I’ve written before that I finds gags to be more ornamental than functional. In other words, they are more about atmosphere and creating a specific “feeling” than they are about being functionally useful. However, atmosphere is important when it comes to a bondage adventure! Therefore, an overview of gags might be useful.

Gags are somewhat severe, and should probably be avoided until after both parties involved in a bondage game have had at least a little experience. Because some types can interfere with breathing, it’s important to never leave the gagged party alone, and to ensure that some kind of signal is in place to warn of trouble so that the gag can be removed.

Gags come in various sizes, and are often measured by their diameter. Start small–a larger gag is more challenging both in mouth discomfort as well as the potential for breathing issues. No gag, no matter how large, is going to prevent the wearer from making noise–that shouldn’t be your objective. It may, however, make intelligible speech difficult or impossible. Therefore, consider employing some sort of “safe signal” rather than “safe word” if you and your partner are using one.

If you go online and do a search for gags, it’s amazing the number of types available to choose from. If you’re experienced, then you probably know your options and what you’re looking for, but if not, here’s a quick primer that covers the major types to help guide you through the plethora of options!

  • Ball gags

    Anyone with an interest in bondage is probably familiar already with the ball gag. Basically, it consists of a ball of rubber, silicone, or some other material with two straps coming out the side. The ball fits into the recipient’s mouth, and the two straps are wrapped around their head and fastened to prevent the gag from being easily spit out. The straps may be elastic, in which case no buckle is necessary, or they may be some other material, in which case they buckle in back.

    Ball gags come in a variety of sizes, usually from 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter, with the smaller sizes being more comfortable for the wearer. Don’t go bigger than 1.75 inches for your first one. The material the ball is made from matters as well–some can have an unpleasant taste, and some are softer and therefore easier on the mouth than others. I’d suggest plastic or silicone for your first purchase, and you can explore other options from there. Note that some types are hollow and have holes in them to allow for easier breathing.

  • Open Mouth Gogs

    The theory behind open mouth gags is to–surprise!–keep the wearer’s mouth open. There are several possible reasons why this might be desired by the gagger–you’d think that the most obvious would be so that they can have oral sex with the wearer. However, most types of open mouth gag are not really very good for this particular purpose. Instead, they’re made with other objectives in mind, and tend to move more toward the direction of humiliation. Since this isn’t my particular forte, frankly, I’ve not been a fan of these types of gag. There’s only one type Joy and I generally use, and that’s because it’s also the only type I’ve found so far that is actually moderately useful for oral sex.

    • Ring Gags

      This is the one type of open mouth gag I actually kind of like. A ring gag consists of a metal or plastic circle with straps coming from each side that wrap around the head and keep it in place. Generally the ring itself is covered with some type of material, such as leather or plastic, to make it more comfortable to wear. It sits vertically in between the teeth, so that it keeps the mouth open in an “o” around the circumference of the ring. It does a good job of keeping your partner’s mouth from closing, but allows free action of the tongue and allows the jaws and lips to close enough to make oral sex rewarding. If the ring is large enough to allow penetration, this one can be fun. They do come in a variety of sizes, so take the size of your partner’s mouth into consideration to make sure it can fit, and if you desire to insert anything through the ring when it is in place, make sure the interior diameter will accommodate it.

    • Dental Gags and Spider Gags

      These types of open mouth gags usually consist of four (or more) blunt, metal prongs that are inserted into the mouth around the edges and serve to pull the lips and teeth back and open. There are straps that go around the wearer’s head that can be tightened to provide the necessary outward pressure. While this does do an excellent job of keeping the jaw and lips from closing, it also means that there’s no ability to close the lips and therefore the oral sex opportunity is gravely diminished. I also have to say that I don’t like the way they look when they are worn. If you’re into humiliation (and there are a number of humiliating things that can be done with these–requiring your gagged partner to drink some sort of liquid, for instance) perhaps this would be of interest, but they’re just not my cup of tea.

  • Bit Gags

    As you might expect from the name, these are gags that look and act somewhat like the bit that goes into a horse’s mouth. The bit is inserted horizontally so that the wearer’s teeth can clamp around it, and straps come from each end that can tighten around the wearer’s head to make sure the bit stays in place. For those who are into Pony Play, the bit can also be attached to reins and used to guide the wearer just as a rider guides a horse. For my money, there are better gagging options than these, but of course it depends on your particular fetish.

  • Cleave Gags

    These are the most basic gag of all. You remember those old movies where the gangster would take the heroine hostage and tie a handkerchief in her mouth to keep her quiet? That’s basically a cleave gag. It’s a strip of cloth (or it can be other materials) that goes between the wearer’s jaws and ties behind their head. Simple and reasonably effective, this type of gag can fit nicely if you’re acting out some kind of captive scene or other, similar role play.

  • Penis Gags

    For some reason penis gags seem to be somewhat uncommon, though they’re one of my favorites. The most basic type consists of what amounts to a short, “realistic” dildo that is inserted into the wearer’s mouth, and then buckled in place with straps. This ensures that the wearer must hold a penis in their mouth for as long as they wear the gag. The penis itself is generally 2 to 2 1/2 inches long, which even though it sounds short, will easily fill the wearer’s mouth.

    An alternative model incorporates a longer, external dildo in addition to the internal one. The external dildo faces out from the wearer’s mouth, and is made to be used by the wearer’s partner for couples play.

There are many other sub-types that I’ve skipped describing, but that’s at least a brief introduction to the world of gags. Bear in mind that a gag is one of the easiest pieces of bondage equipment to improvise, so if you decide you want to try one, consider an impromptu cleave gag using a handkerchief or scarf. That way you can get your feet wet and see if you and your partner enjoy this type of activity without committing any dollars.

If you’re about to buy your first gag, I’d recommend the tried and true ball gag. You can branch out into other more esoteric options as you and your partner gain more experience and can better gauge your interests.

Enjoy yourself!

Jake

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