Bondage Gear 101

Bondage gear includes feathers, whips, cuffs, and blindfolds. These items are used to explore different types of sensations and to experiment with powerplay, where one or both partners might be deprived of certain sensations or control of the situation.

What to look for

  • You can start simple with these types of toys. Items outside of the sex shop can be used to start, like a simple satin scarf to use as a blindfold or a feather duster for tickling. If you're starting with simple things, don't spend a lot of money on them — wait until you know what you like before you go all out.
  • If you're looking for cuffs, unless you want to play dress-up and be a cop, go for high quality soft cuffs instead of hard metal or plastic. These will still do the job without hurting the wrists or ankles.
  • When choosing whips, paddles, and floggers, check for good quality workmanship, sturdy stitching, and smooth handles that won't scratch.

What to avoid

  • In general, it's best to avoid mass-produced bondage gear. It just isn't sturdy enough to handle the kind of play it will get. The one major exception to this is Sportsheets — their products are made for play. Otherwise, go custom or handmade.
  • Don't buy an entire dungeon's worth of toys until you know what you're doing. If you've never tried it before, stick with ticklers and very gentle paddling. Using percussion instruments or bondage gear can result in injury or emotional trauma. Go slow and stay in constant communication with your partner.

Learn! Find out more about how to get started with kinky play by attending one of our flogging or rope bondage workshops, or check out books like SM101 and The Ultimate Guide to Kink.