Joy and I have several different sets of cuffs. There are our favorite black ones with little red hearts on them–we use them all the time. It is great fun to restrain Joy in them and watch her twist and turn in the throes of passion. I find few things more erotic than the sight of a helpless woman reaching orgasm after orgasm.
We have assorted other sets of cuffs, including a single pair of metal, police-style cuffs which have been relegated to the back corner of a bottom drawer in the playroom bureau. Though I like the weight and strength of metal, they are simply too uncomfortable and too likely to cause abrasion for Joy to wear for most activities. We have a backup pair of plain, leather cuffs that our friend Beth wore upon occasion when she visited, and an old pair of velcro cuffs that come in handy when Joy needs to be rapidly secured.
But we also have one other set of cuffs that sees occasional use, a set that possesses a unique characteristic that comes in handy once in awhile. They are unadorned black leather, heavily constructed, each made to wrap twice around one of Joy’s limbs to provide additional strength. We have one pair for Joy’s wrists, and a second for her ankles, and each of the four comes complete with a small, brass padlock. These are our locking cuffs, and when they have been placed upon her, Joy truly cannot escape their grasp without assistance.
We use them only rarely. Frankly, the extra step of having to close the padlock on each one can be fussy and time consuming, and in most cases is unnecessary. After all, while I am quite certain that Joy could, if she desired, unbuckle our favorite, non-locking leather cuffs if she wanted to and had sufficient time, she’s never tried. Why would she? I release her whenever she needs release, and she is always free to request to be set loose at any time. Standard cuffs provide plenty of restraint for any adventure, and therefore they are what we use most frequently.
The advantage that the locking cuffs bring is purely mental. Joy is quite aware that when they go on she will not be getting loose on her own, and the act of letting me lock her in them without knowing quite what I have planned for her can be…inspiring. The sound of the padlocks as they “snick” closed, one by one, reinforces the inspiration. I save the padlocks for last on purpose to capitalize on this, buckling each limb in place and then adding the padlocks–one, two, three, four.
With the padlock in place, the hasp of the leather buckle can no longer slide back through the slot in the leather that it extends through. The buckle cannot be opened without the padlock being removed. And tug as she likes, Joy is held fast, her arms and legs extended, open and vulnerable to whatever may come.
I like the feeling of power this provides, and Joy gets extra excitement from the accompanying feeling of helplessness. However, this reward does not come without a cost. In addition to the extra time required to insert and close the padlocks, there is risk involved. One risk would be that I might lose a key, making extradition challenging. For this reason, all of the locks are keyed the same, and I have several different copies of the key. However, a more serious risk comes from the reality that Joy cannot escape the cuffs without my assistance. What if, in the midst of an adventure, I had a heart attack and collapsed? (Lord knows she makes my heart pound!) How would she escape? You see the challenge here.
Hopefully this risk is a small one, but it is nevertheless real. And so, as I said, we save the locking gear for special occasions, when it is truly called for. In addition to the locking cuffs, we have a locking bondage belt which has proven useful. We also have a locking stock, which is a good idea, though poorly designed. We do not have a locking collar, and due to safety concerns, I’m not a fan of them–it is too easy for me to imagine some sort of choking situation and being unable to remove the collar quickly.
So our locking gear is only rarely used, and there are risks and drawbacks associated with it when we do break it out. Why have it at all? Well, I think it comes down to that lovely “snick” sound when the padlock closes. That sound makes it perfectly clear to Joy that she relies solely on me to free her, and that she has no choice but to comply with my wishes until the lock is opened. As the commercial says, that small noise is “priceless”.