Advice: SM equipment
This article is designed to allow people to share experience and give advice about SM equipment. If you feel that you have a valid contribution to make then please add it as a new section at the end of the article. If you have a comment to make about someone's advice then please use the discussion page for this. Readers, the advice given here is personal opinion and should be treated with caution.
Balzac's recomendations on what to buy
Cerys and I have a well-stocked toy box but if we look carefully at what we use there is a definite pattern with some items being used again and again whilst others only get used occasionally. 20% of our equipment gets used 80% of the time. We are both switches so it is important to having things that we both can use if possible. There are very few things that we have bought that we consider to be mistakes, but most things are just nice to have rather than essential. The things I would consider essential are as follows.
- A good set of leather bondage cuffs: These are a staple of any toy box, you can buy them almost anywhere but I would recomend buying a well-made set, cheap sets look cheap, are less comfortable to wear, and will quickly be discarded for something better. Cerys likes the Top to Bottom Leather's cuffs and collars. They are beautifully made, lined in leather, and have great colours. I prefer wearing the RGL Designs double strap cuffs and collars, they are more masculine and a heavier construction than the Top to Bottom design and feel great on.
- A well made and well fitting collar: Same advice as for bondage cuffs.
- A leather and chain dog lead: If you like going to clubs then nothing beats having you slave follow you around, bound and gagged at the end of a lead! For us, good old fashion dog leads work the best, they also tend to be heavier and cheaper than the ones from BDSM retailers.
- Plenty of rope: It may be obvious but rope is the most versatile bondage device you can have. We use synthetic braided rope which you can buy quite cheaply on-line or from any of the fetish fairs. If it gets mucky, just throw it in the washing machine. We have it in a number of different lengths and mostly in black.
- Our leather isolation hood with gag: We bought this from Top to Bottom Leathers, it has a mouth hole, two very small holes for the nostrils, but no eye holes. It zips up from the back but then has side lacing to create a snug fit. This means that it will fit both our heads. Wearing it you are in complete darkness, the smell and sensation of the hood laced tightly over the head is very powerful. We use it with a Fetters penis gag, on its own the gag is not that effective but used in conjuction with the hood it becomes very effective indeed, the small mouth hole helping to hold the gag in place.
- A ball gag: Ball gags are the most effective way of silencing a sub. They also look good and have a very strong D/s element about them. You do need to get one that is the right size though, too small and much of the effect is lost, too big and they can become very uncomfortable too quickly.
- A blindfold: Sensory deprivation is a majpr part of our scenes, not knowing what is about to happen to you added to the sense of loss of control and submissiveness.
- Two sets of quality handcuffs: A set of double locking handcuffs and leg irons are definitly essentials as far as we are concerned. The great thing about handcuffs is the speed and ease of use. You don't need to think too much about what you are going to do, just snap then on your slave and they belong to you! They are also versatile: We use them for spreadeagle bondage on the bed, hogtie by linking the cuffed wrists to the cuffed ankles using the second set of handcuffs. They can also be used for self bondage. We sometimes get one of us to come home early from work then use the handcuffs to chain themselves to the bed to wait for other other to get home.
- Two sets of quality legcuffs: Same adviceas for handcuffs.
- Some lengths of chain: We use chain a lot in our bondage. It looks good, has a feeling of inscapability about it and is very easy to work with. We don't use padlocks but instead use carabiners to attach the chain to cuffs and other fixing points. The only real problem is trying to unclip the carabiners at the end of a session (particularly difficult with oily hands!).
- A collection of carabiners: to use with the chains. We also use climbing carabiners which are great with rope.
- A metal butt plug: Bondage is one half of the SM equation, the other half is controlling the sensations the slave experiences when bound. The whole pain pleasure thing is central in this regard. There is something very intense about anal play, it breaks almost every social taboo on touch going. A heavy metal butt plug feels great and never lets you forget for a second the situation you are in.
- Nipple clamps: Classic clover clamps work well, the pain builds up slowly, and they can be used in a variety of ways.
- A heavy leather flogger: If you want to give someone a flogging and you can only use one tool, this is what I would use!
- Hemostats and other related medical clamps are the best all-round toys for tit torture, in that are designed to minimize damage to tissue while at the same time being almost slip-proof. They are usually adjustable in how much pressure is applied. These can be obtained in medical supply stores in larger cities, or through catalogue sales, without a prescription.
- Vise grips and other assorted industrial grippers are also used in titplay, but may have to be adapted if the gripping surfaces are sharp. Other toys are also obtainable in a hardware store, as Balzac has suggested.
- Fishing weights, traditionally in lead, but now in other metal, are easily obtained at sporting goods stores, ranging in size from one ounce to five pounds. Other toys are to be found in such shops.