Posts Tagged bdsm cuffs

Locking Gear

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”.

Enjoy yourself,

Jake

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Rope vs. Chain

You know how some guys prefer to use a gas grill when they cook out, whereas others are charcoal purists, and wouldn’t dream of using anything else to barbecue? Well, that same sort of controversy exists within the bondage community. On the one side you’ve got the chains and cuffs crowd, who have no patience for the intricate knots and elaborate setups of the rope folk. And on the other you have the rope enthusiasts, who look down on the chain fans as being base and un-artistic.

As usual, the bulk of bondage practitioners fall into the middle, using a combination of chains and cuffs when they are most practical, and ropes and knots when they work best. I fall into this middle crowd, though my bias tends towards chains and cuffs (note the name of this blog). I thought I’d share some thoughts on the merits of each style of bondage, as well as some practical reasons for when to use one versus the other.

My lean towards cuffs and chains really stems from two main sources. First and foremost, they’re easier. Placing cuffs on Joy’s wrists and ankles is a matter of a couple minutes at most. Add in a snap hook (which is essentially a single link of chain designed to connect things) and a length of chain or two, and I can have her bound in any number of interesting and compromising positions in a very brief time indeed. Fast is good, as a lengthy binding process can drain energy from your BDSM adventure, requiring you to build it up again before you go on. So practically speaking, I like cuffs and chain because they’re quick and easy.

But there’s a second reason that carries nearly equal weight for me. I like the atmosphere they provide. Metal chain conjures a feeling of inescapability and brutality, a sense that Joy cannot break or sever her bonds to get away. It feels cold and unforgiving, and the rattle and clink it makes as it slides through an o-ring calls to mind dark cells in ancient prisons. Properly, metal cuffs would go best with this mood, but with cuffs, the practical aspect trumps the atmosphere. Metal cuffs can abrade the wearer’s wrists, and even when they do not do so, are not nearly as comfortable as their leather kin. More than that, leather carries its own cachet—the way it feels against bare skin and the scent it gives up as it warms through the wearer’s body heat both contribute to the feeling generated during a scene.

Rope purists point to a different set of benefits, however. They take great pride in developing complex bondage schemes that twist the bound submissive into a lovely, human pretzel. Rather than focusing on ease and practicality, they instead place their emphasis on the beauty of the setup, with the submissive bound tightly amid coils and strands of rope or framed nicely in a complex rope harness. Taking a long time to complete the bondage setup is expected, but that’s okay, as it’s the splendor of the submissive tightly bound in a myriad of perfect knots that catches their fancy. In fact, top-tier rope enthusiasts hold demonstration sessions in front of an admiring audience, showing off their skills as they slowly weave their web around their submissive partner.

Cuffs and snap hooks are not required—rope can encircle the wrists or other body parts quite handily on its own, and if the proper type is used, can prove reasonably comfortable. Because of this, the number of positions in which a submissive may be bound using rope is substantially higher than the number that can practically be achieved using cuffs and chain. In fact, because of its flexibility, rope may also be used to effectively bind less traditional body parts, such as a female partner’s breasts. Also, because the length of a strand of rope can be easily adjusted (whereas chain cannot), rope enables tight bondage even when required connector lengths are not known, or when tension needs to be increased.

Not being part of this community myself, I can’t say the following with a huge degree of confidence, but it appears to me from the outside that the rope aficionados gain much of their pleasure from the act of restraining their partner—in other words, the rope bondage is the end itself. I’d contrast this with the cuffs and chain community, for which I’d suggest that the bondage is a means to an end, and that end usually involves a paddle or a vibe and eventually hot socks.

Honestly, I think it’s neither possible nor desirable to state that either rope bondage or chains and cuffs is better than the other. Instead, it comes down to one’s taste. If the idea of beauties bound in elaborate positions calls to you, you might prefer rope. If the idea of confining your submissive partner so that you can take pleasure in their body appeals, you might like chains and cuffs. And it’s certainly conceivable that you might like both!

So, I said that I lean towards chains and cuffs, but sometimes use rope if it’s necessary. When would I choose to use rope?

Well, generally speaking, I always go with cuffs and I use chains whenever possible for the reasons I mentioned above. However, if I am binding Joy in a position where I don’t have a length of chain that works well, or where I don’t know what length will be required, I’ll use rope. If I need the flexibility to change the length of a connector during an adventure, I’ll use rope. If there will be contact and the possibility of abrasion between the connector and a tender portion of Joy’s body, or if I need the ability to tighten the connector as the scene progresses, or if I’m trying to attach to a place where a cuff won’t fit, or if I feel like breaking out our anal hook connector, I’ll go with rope. Basically, I use rope when I require flexibility and softness that chain simply isn’t made to deliver.

Oh, and for the record, when it comes to grilling out, I’m a charcoal guy. Go figure!

Enjoy yourself,

Jake

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Review of Black Leather Locking Wrist Cuffs Added

Just added a new recommended product to our bondage product reviews section. These black leather locking, buckling wrist cuffs are a touch more severe than the standard variety leather wrist cuff, and come in handy when you want your partner to feel truly unable to free themself. Take a look if you’re interested!

Enjoy yourself,

Jake

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Bondage Equipment – A Look at Cuffs

There are myriad different bondage products available today. Actually, we live in a golden age of bondage–you can order just about anything you’d want to satisfy your particular need or desire online. However, having all those choices can be confusing. I thought writing a series of posts on the different categories of equipment might be helpful. And, since they’re my own, personal favorite, let’s start with cuffs…

First, let’s acknowledge that it’s perfectly possible to create do-it-yourself impromptu cuffs from lots of materials. An old necktie can do the job quite nicely, or a silk scarf (that’s where the “silken bonds” part of this blog’s title comes in). All types of rope, cord or even plastic ties can work as well. However, these don’t really qualify as cuffs in my book–they fall either into the rope bondage side of things, or into an impromptu bondage area, and those are both different topics. So, with that out of the way, I divide cuffs into two primary categories:

  • Soft Cuffs
  • Metal Cuffs

Soft Cuffs

Soft cuffs can be made from a variety of materials, with leather being the most common. The big virtue they bring to the table is comfort–soft cuffs can usually be worn for extended periods of time and in more extenuating positions without chafing, and they generally provide for more flexibility than metal ones. Soft cuffs are best for beginners precisely for this reason. The less comfortable metal cuffs are more likely to result in a negative experience for those just getting started.

The purpose for cuffs, however, is to restrain, and to be worth while, a soft cuff must be able to perform this task effectively. The good news is that most available on the market today, even the ones covered with fluffy fur, can do so. I’ve occasionally had issues with the kind that close via velcro, especially after they’ve seen some use, but barring this, as long as you get real cuffs and not toys or novelty items, you should be okay. A few cuffs come with a length of chain (avoid anything that has plastic chain, please!) holding them together, but most simply have attached d-rings which you can clip together with a snap hook.

I believe that appearance counts for a lot when it comes to cuffs. While it’s important to me that Joy be comfortable wearing them, it’s also important to me that they look serious–it helps fuel the fantasy that she can’t escape. Therefore, I tend to stay away from fluffy or brightly-colored pairs, and instead gravitate toward plain leather. The leather ones, by the way, are plenty strong to hold a grown woman (or man) in the throes of passion.

Most cuffs have metal buckles that allow them to adjust to various sized wrists. These work well, but can sometimes be a little arduous to get all fastened on in the heat of the moment. Some types use velcro as a fastener as mentioned above. This makes them quick to put on and highly adjustable size-wise, but the tradeoff is that they’re not as secure. If you want to create an even more serious feeling to your adventure, some types of cuffs come with locking buckles, which can be secured with a small padlock.

Metal Cuffs

Every police show you’ve seen on TV has the cops with a pair of metal handcuffs securing the perp’s hands behind their back. This is the basic form of metal cuffs–two adjustable, metal bracelets linked with a chain. Unlike the leather cuffs, a metal pair usually comes pre-chained together–no snap hook required.

The virtue of metal lies in it’s real and perceived strength and severity. Police use metal cuffs for a reason–they can’t be cut or broken. More than that, the metal looks hard, and that brings a severity to the proceedings that can be very stimulating.

The down side, of course, comes from that very hardness. Metal cuffs are generally not comfortable to wear, especially if there will be a lot of movement, rolling around, or stretched positions. The metal will chafe the wearer’s wrists, and it’s definitely not comfortable to find yourself lying on top of a metal cuff, especially if it’s also around your wrist. Of course, there are some folks who actually thrive on the discomfort, so perhaps that’s not a drawback for everyone. Another downside to locking metal cuffs will be discovered if you somehow lose the key while they are locked in place.

Varieties range from the familiar police handcuff on up to full-fledged manacles, which may even be fixed in place on a wall, St Andrew’s Cross or stockade. Be aware that there are many toy versions of handcuff available, usually sold to kids to play with or as costume props, etc. These are not recommended–buy the real item if you’re going to go this direction.

Miscellaneous Others

In addition to these two, primary categories, there are some miscellaneous other varities. Suspension cuffs, for instance, are specially made to enable someone to hang from them with their full body weight being borne by the cuffs (picture someone dangling by their wrists from a rope above their head). If this is something that interests you, be aware that it is not at all comfortable for the dangling person, and definitely needs to be practiced with care. Read up on it before you begin to understand risks!

Some security companies market plastic wrist or ankle restraints, similar to the plastic cable ties used to hold wires together. These rank poorly on the comfort scale, and while effective, in my mind, the low-key way they look doesn’t add much to the feeling of the adventure. There are also thumb cuffs, which hold the hands together by connecting the two thumbs.

There are probably others I’m not familiar with, but this is a pretty good general round up. As a first purchase, I’d recommend going with some sort of soft cuff. From there, you can branch out in whatever direction you and your partner desire.

By the way, if you’re interested in my recommendations for creating a starter bondage kit, suitable for use by any couple interested in adding bondage to their sexual repertoire, I’ve listed them on my Basic Bondage Kit page.

Enjoy yourself,

Jake

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