Spreader bars are used to spread apart the legs or arms of a submissive. The most obvious purpose for this is to prevent a female submissive from denying access to her genitals by closing her legs. (As always, remember that we practice consensual BDSM, and therefore when I say prevent her from denying access, bear in mind that any submissive can always opt out of any activity if they choose to do so!) However, in my mind, spreader bars aren’t usually the best choice for this, and honestly, my experience has been that there are only a few situations in which they are truly useful.

The primary reason for this is the bar itself. Oh, the concept is a good idea, but when used for its most basic purpose, the truth is that the bar gets in the way. It’s not impossible to work around—far from it—but there’s no denying that it’s there, and it can be an awkward or uncomfortable barrier to all sorts of activities. Add to this that the bar is relatively hard and heavy, and as Joy puts it, “could be a lethal weapon” if she wanted it to be, and the magic feeling of helplessness that it’s meant to engender tends to dissipate.

Because of this, when I want Joy to feel that oh-so-vulnerable feeling of being unable to close her legs, I tend to prefer to use cuffs or ties to secure them apart. If Joy’s laying on her back on the bed, I might cuff her ankles to the corners of the bed, affording me a lovely view and her little ability to hide herself. Or, if I wanted her to be even more open than that, I might use thigh cuffs to pull her legs up and apart by securing them to the bed’s side rails. And there are probably a hundred other options, just about any of which don’t suffer from having a metal bar stuck in the way.

There are, however, two different times when a spreader bar comes in handy, and these are the reason that Joy and I include one in our arsenal. We don’t break it out often, but it’s there when we need it!

The first situation is when there is nothing available to act as a connection point to which you can secure your partner’s legs. As a for-instance, one of my favorite ways to bind Joy is to cuff her wrists together and attach them to a ring set in the ceiling of our playroom. She makes a lovely picture with her hands pulled up over her head and her breasts exposed. However, the ring is in the middle of the ceiling, and we don’t have connection points set into the floor around it. Therefore, if we act out a scenario where I need to keep her legs spread while her arms are secured to the ring, I bring out the spreader bar. Another example is when we take a road trip. When we’re not at home, the options to restrain Joy sometimes may be limited. However, our spreader bar breaks apart into three sections, and is easily packable in luggage.

The other situation in which a spreader bar is useful is when you want to attach both your partner’s arms and legs to it. Some types of bars come set up for this, with attached wrist cuffs included. Joy and I don’t own one of these models, but it’s one of the next things I’m planning on purchasing. However, even the bar we have works for this, as it’s possible to cuff Joy’s left arm and left leg to one end of the bar, and her right arm and right leg to the other. This tends to make Joy feel very constrained in her movements, and thus increase her feelings of helplessness and vulnerability.

Securing your partner in this way really leaves you with only a few options for positions. Your partner can lay on their back with their legs in the air, or they can be on their knees with their bottom up and their face down. Either can be lots of fun! One potential third alternative (it’s more viable if you have the bar with the built in wrist cuffs) might be with your partner standing up but bent over, almost like they are touching their toes. Note, however, that while this makes a pretty picture, it isn’t usually very practical for much as it’s so difficult for your partner to maintain their balance.

Spreader bars are definitely not a “must have” in your bondage collection. Instead, they rank as a “nice to have”. Still, if you’ve already got the basics covered, they can prove entertaining. Hmmm…this discussion has made me think. I may just have to spread Joy’s legs tonight…

Enjoy Yourself!


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