Progression in Semenawa: A Weekend with Subay

  • Hosted by VoxBody Studio
  • Oakland, CA -
  • 16 people on the list-

This advanced suspension weekend is already sold out, but you can join the waitlist via the ticket link, and be sure to check out the performance event on DEC 1!

We first welcomed Subay to VoxBody Studio back in 2018 and are so honored to have her back for her third visit to the studio! 

Join Subay and her model Arachne for an advanced suspension level weekend exploring Progression in Semenawa

In this workshop, we will explore the concepts, techniques and emotions in traditional semenawa. Subay will share her personal approach to semenawa and her interpretation of Naka Style.

Semenawa is roughly translated into “torment ropes”. This translation does not always encapsulate the subtle nuances in semenawa. In this workshop, we will delve deeper into:

  • the multiple facets of semenawa
  • how people experience semenawa differently
  • expressions in semenawa
  • ideas of suffering, surrender and vulnerabilities
  • dichotomy between pain and pleasure in semenawa
  • how to progress and build up intensity in semenawa

We will explore the above topics through discussion, demonstration and exercises on both floor ties and suspensions. During each exercise, the focus will be on how every single rope plays a part in building up feelings and emotions in semenawa while maintaining good techniques, form and aesthetics.


Please note that this workshop is for very advanced students. You must meet the following pre-requisites:

For the one tying / rigger / rope top:

  • Solid gote suitable for suspension, in any style. Some basic understanding of Naka Style of gote will be helpful but not essential. If you tie the Akechi style of gote, you must master the 3-rope variations (a 2-rope gote will not meet the pre-requisites)
  • Extensive experience in floor ties and suspensions
  • Good understanding of suspension line management
  • Good understanding of safety in Shibari (which include the physical and the psychological aspects)

For the one getting tied / model / rope bottom:

  • Feel comfortable being tied and suspended in a gote / armbinder
  • Extensive experience in floor ties and suspensions
  • Open to exploring vulnerabilities in rope
  • Open to expressing and communicating in rope
  • Good understanding of safety in Shibari, especially the difference between nerve compression and blood circulation loss

What to bring

  • Jute ropes (at least 10-12 lengths of ropes, 5-6mm in diameter). We also suggest having varying lengths of ropes (some shorter ones are always helpful)
  • Safety shears or any other suitable cutting tools
  • Notepad and a pen (phones are not allowed for note-taking*)
  • Comfortable clothing
  • Snacks and drinks
  • Aftercare items
  • Respect, kindness and an open mind :)

* Subay is requesting a phone-free environment for the weekend. If note-taking on your phone is a matter of accessibility, please let us know in advance of the weekend. 

You will receive a discount code for the Friday evening performance event in your workshop registration confirmation. Please do not share with anyone beyond the tying pair; we have allotted 20 total discount codes for workshop attendees only. 

COVID policy 

Getting Here


About Subay 

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Subay (she/her) is a Shibari artist, performer and educator based in London. She is the founder of Studio Yukari in London (2022) and Kokoro Studio in Hong Kong (2015).

In 2011, Subay was introduced to Shibari as a Shibari model. Deeply fascinated by its aesthetics, eroticism and emotions, she began studying the art of Japanese rope bondage in Japan. Being drawn to the raw expression of vulnerability in semenawa 責め縄, Subay found her teacher Naka Akira 奈加あきらand has been a formal student under Naka Ryu since 2014.

Subay’s style of semenawa is described to be “feminine and inclusive”. She draws great inspirations from her short encounter with Yukimura Haruki in 2014. Using rope to engage in an empathic conversation forms the heart of her style in Shibari. With her vast exposure to techniques and knowledge across various Japanese styles, she has developed a unique, adaptive and evolving approach in tying and teaching.

Subay has taught and performed in over 20 cities. Notably, she had the honour of performing at Onna Matsuri おんあ祭りand Naka sensei’s satsuei-kai 縄奈加會緊縛撮影会 in Tokyo in 2018. She has also assisted Naka sensei in his international workshops in San Francisco and Copenhagen, as well as his work with Sugiura Norio sensei.

Instagram: subay_kokorostudio

X (previously Twitter): subay_kstudio

Website: /


Arachne (she/her) is a rope switch based in London and Hong Kong.

Fascinated with the aesthetics of Shibari, she had her first experience with Shibari watching a semenawa performance in 2022. The experience opened her eyes to the possibilities of Shibari - she was deeply captivated by the powerful yet delicate bond shared by the two. Shortly after, she began modelling for Subay at Studio Yukari and exploring the deep emotions within semenawa as a model.

Arachne has modelled for the Naka Study Group in London and a wide range of workshops and performances in semenawa. While she mainly models for Subay in Naka style, she continues to explore the various styles of Shibari. In 2023, she modelled for Michael Ropeknight in Yukimura style.

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