Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hand Gag (keeping her quiet pt. 6)

No Assembly Required - Hand Gags
Welcome again, my dear friends and readers, to another installment of keeping her quiet, an continuing multi-post series about gags in BDSM.  Other postings in the series (so far) include:
  1. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 1) - Duct Tape Gags
  2. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 2) - Introduction to Gags
  3. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 3) - Variations on a Gag
  4. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 4) - Wiffle Gag
  5. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 5) - Serafina's Assignment
  6. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 6) - Hand Gag
  7. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 7) - Drooling!
  8. Keeping Her Quiet (pt 8) - Gag Maker Extraordinaire
Once again, I'd like to remind readers that the title of the series, Keeping Her Quiet, is only a reflection of my experience as a dominant, and not intended to be chauvinistic or sexist. I do not believe in stifling or silencing women in everyday life, so understand that this post is about BDSM and not the politics of gender.

The title of the series, and the tone of my posts reflect my personal experience, but the subject matter and techniques discussed are almost always universal in nature and not dependent on a particular sexual orientation. Please feel free to apply your own sexual preference and orientation as needed . . .

Thanks for reading, I sincerely hope you enjoy the article.

I know a cat named Way-Out Willie,
Got a cool little chick named Rocking Millie.
He can walk and stroll and Susie Q
And do that crazy hand gag, too.
Hand gag, hand gag, do that crazy hand gag . . . 
   ~~ my apologies to Johnny Otis, Eric Clapton, the Grateful Dead, George Thorogood, and musicians everywhere who have performed the original "Willie and the Hand Jive", the song who's lyrics I've taken liberties with today . . . 

Hand Gags & BDSM

Today we're talking today about the classic hand gag, detailing it's use in BDSM scenes and play. You've seen this gag at the motion pictures, it's a classic in detective, horror, suspense, and thriller style movies.

It's the scene where the villain comes up from behind our victim. Capturing her with one arm, he clamps his free hand firmly over the heroine's mouth. By doing so, he effectively silences any attempt she might make to call for help.

It should be said that the hand gag is not quite as effective in real life as it appears to be in the movies. There are actually few things as effective as the movies might portray when it comes to totally silencing a struggling lady, especially one who's truly intent on making noise.

With that minor limitation in mind, I do believe the hand gag is an absolute classic.  And, it does offer some unique advantages all it's own.

The first time I used a hand gag during sex, I wasn't even overtly aware of it's BDSM overtones.  It was during my first marriage, I was 18 years old, and I was just discovering the joys of being a newlywed.

My wife, Charlie, and I were entertaining a friend of mine.  She and I stepped into the kitchen together to make some mixed drinks.  Suddenly we were struck, as newlyweds often are, with the overpowering urge to screw, right then and there, on the kitchen floor.

Moments later, with our pants down around our ankles, we were rutting like animals in the kitchen of our small three room apartment. We were separated from my friend by a single empty room, and Charlie was a very passionate woman. I should say right now that none of our differences ever came from the bedroom.

Charlie was always pretty freely vocal in expressing her lust for lovemaking.  But, as she started with her usual coos and moans, my friend's close proximity was forgotten.

Instinctively I clamped my hand down over Charlie's mouth to quiet her sounds of passion. When she reached for me, I thought it was to push my arm away. To my surprise, she instead pulled my hand down more strongly.

The tighter Charlie pressed my hand over her mouth, the tighter her internal embrace became. Within moments, she was squirming and shaking in orgasm underneath me. As I pushed my hand down tighter still, seeing her face turn a little red, as I was now temporary blocking her breath, I came too.

My orgasm was overpowering. I came with extreme urgency and surprising passion for a guy who was getting a little raw from frequent sex. I didn't even realize it at the time, but I'd just had my first intimate experience with a hand gag.

Let me tell you, it was good! There's something especially powerful that is stirred in me when I clamp my hand over a woman's mouth to act as a gag. This isn't a gag that you'll need to hunt for or dig out of the toybag. Like I said in the name for this piece, no assembly required.

I think that is one of the things that makes a hand gag so powerful - it's absolute immediacy. Hand gags are the gag of here and now. And that makes hand gags a very personal thing.

When I clamp a hand gag over Serafina's mouth, I can feel her lips, I can feel her breath. And, in return, she can feel the strength of my hand, and the heat of my palm, as I clamp it ever so tightly over her mouth.

As I stated at the start of this post, the actual usefulness of this gag will never match what the movies might lead you to believe. The effectiveness of this gag does vary quite a bit depending on the amount of pressure applied, as well as the relative size of the dominant's hand compared to the submissive's face and mouth.

I should also add that this isn't the ideal gag for biters.  If the submissive I'm considering hand gagging is one who loves to really sink her teeth into a situation, my fingers and palm won't likely be pressed up over her mouth.  

No offense, but I'm not the masochist!

Leaving the world at the door

In my previous post- Sliding into Submission - working it out in real life I wanted to begin a dialogue which will help us as a couple to create a very real way to step into and back out of the work-day world.  I have been doing a lot of pondering on that topic.

photo by Serafina Samadhi
Some in BDSM relationships  have very intense routines and protocols.  Routines could involve greetings, positions, and other actions that establish "We are now leaving the outside world behind and entering our sacred place."   Most of us have certain things we do. . like setting our keys, bag , and coat away.  And changing into "home" clothes.  Many of have learned that in order to keep track of things, it is helpful to consistently do some things repetitively.

In our BDSM world, there are more  people who implement protocols and rituals for some very valid reasons.  It seems like they develop an awareness or they realize a need.  One primary consideration would be the need to keep prying and critical eyes out of our affairs.   We do live in a very real planet and we do have to earn a living,  Even as "freaks" we have basic needs to clothe, feed and shelter.  But as freaks we tend to be- in general - more mindful then - to have a clear delineation between the differing realities.  Rituals do however, provide a core structure around which everything else is built.

In a Vanilla world one does come across people who have the ability to have great relationships, but the Vanilla Society in general is not nearly as concerned with people interaction as is the BDSM community.  By that I mean that I have heard so many women wish that their husbands would spend ANY quality time with them.  In the BDSM relationships, that are both loving and spiritual, that some women are learning to be careful what they wish for, as they may have far more attention bestowed upon then they were prepared for.   In Spiritual BDSM it is ALL about each other,  For some that can be overwhelming, and for others it is very comforting.  For me it is the latter, but there is a learning curve, never-the-less.

In the BDSM Realm,  we are a diverse society.  We represent all ages and backgrounds and experiences.  Submissives, Slaves, or Dominants or Master. . .there are none  alike and every unit decides on and works out certain protocols and rituals based on what satisfies a particular need.  If the Master is wise he will be sensitive to just where his submissive partner is at.  Is she young?, what is her background?, what are her strengths? will all be important to deciding on creating rituals.  If she is from a strong Catholic or other setting, she may find much comfort and stability in patterns that imitate such as a meditation rosary, or other liturgy.  Depending on the person, they may be self-disciplined or may be in need of accountability.

Bearing in mind that all relationship require negotiation and acceptance by both the Dom and the Sub; the older, experienced  or natural submissive may only need and desire more subtle protocols or whatever is both suitable and desirable by the sub.  Even when the Dom sets out strong rules, the sub commits to those by action, contract or in any written or verbal form- it is a deliberate choice - even if at a sooner or later point, they have a change of heart.  I see more people who vacillate, because they really have never thought much of anything out at all, nor do they even know what they really want. All that is the subject of navigation and negotiation, and creating, planning and living the rituals and protocols is also a big part of that.

The bottom line is that rituals and protocols need to work for everyone.  Different strokes for different folks.  What I get or take from a ritual may look very different for some other.  I may place value on a method that may look stupid or be revolting to another.  What is important is the results.  If it pleases the Dom and Sub has no moral issues with an act or behavior, and if it places both in a reciprocal space, it is working well.  What really matters is how well is it working for you?

It is so easy to loose sight of our intentions.  We mean to keep them but all the cares and concerns we have become so ever present and it is easier not to pay attention to our goals.  Maybe it's time to spend a little less time pursuing all the wonders of the internet, and instead turn and face each other in a Tantric activity.  It is something to ponder.
We loved, sir- used to meet:
How sad and bad and mad it was- 
But then, how it was sweet! 

    --  Robert Browning

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Brief History of Time Ass?

Stephen Hawking 
Stephen Hawking, world renowned cosmologist, and theoretical physicist, has apparently been studying some new heavenly bodies these days.

As reported by Radar Online, the author of A Brief History of Time (which stayed on the British Sunday Times best-seller list for a record-breaking 237 weeks) who suffers from a debilitating condition related to Lou Gehrig's Disease, has become a regular visitor of Freedom Acres, a swingers club in Devore, California.
According to a source who has been a member of Freedom Acres swingers club for nearly half a decade, Hawking, 70, shows up to the club with a bevy of nurses and assistants and has naked woman grind on him.
"I have seen Stephen Hawking at the club more than a handful of times," the source revealed.
"He arrives with an entourage of nurses and assistants. Last time I saw him he was in the back 'play area' laying on a bed fully clothed with two naked women gyrating all over him."
The source notes that Hawking, who is wheelchair-bound due to a long-time battle with Lou Gehrig's disease, has his staff stand nearby watching while he's with the women.
"I have spoken to him on several occasions and have even shared drinks with people in his group," the insider said.
I lived a polyamorous lifestyle for something like 20 years, and I've never attended a sex club.  I have never even played in a public dungeon.  My own home was the venue for the majority of my own play, with some cars, parks, and campgrounds thrown in for good measure.  With that said, I think it's wonderful that Hawking is going to a swinger's club.  As a celebrity who knows that he's news wherever he goes, it takes a lot of courage for Hawking to frequent a place like Freedom Acres.

Hawking's an absolutely brilliant scientist.  Somewhere in my collection of books there is a copy of A Brief History of Time which I confess to not completely understanding.  I suppose that speaks to the absolute brilliance of his work, as I actually have a strong affinity for natural sciences, and usually have no problems comprehending any scientific books targeted to wider public audiences.

Which in my own smart assed way leads me to wonder, if Stephen isn't researching a material for a new book that I believe could break the 250 week mark on the Sunday Times best-seller list - A Brief History of Time Ass.

Now that's a subject I could really sink my teeth into!

you knew nobody would judge you . . .

 (photo by Serafina Samadhi)
I want to dance!

But I am shy . . .

It reminds me of a quote that's very near and dear to me:
“Dance like there's nobody watching,

Love like you'll never be hurt.

Sing like there's nobody listening,

And live like it's heaven on earth.”

- William W. Purkey
If you are going to be pigeon-holed, then a handsome womanizer is not the worst thing to be.

    --  Jon Hamm

Monday, February 27, 2012

slave assignment 2/27/2012 - (keeping her quiet pt. 5)

My darling slave/wife,

As a way to demonstrate not only your sewing skills, but also to illustrate my ongoing series of posts about gags in BDSM, and ultimately to add to our toybag, I'm assigning to you the creation of a number of different fabric gags with a matching blindfold and restraints.

I'd like for you to fashion the following:
  1. Wiffle gag 
  2. Cleave gag 
  3. OTM (over-the mouth) gag 
  4. OTN (over the nose) or Bandit's gag 
  5. Blindfold 
  6. Wrist restraints 
I've also like to have a simple fabric hood, essentially a pretty sack for placing over your head when it pleasea me. This final request can be considered an extra credit project.

I'll take you shopping for any necessary materials before the end of this upcoming week.

With love, passion, desire, & dominance,

Postings in the Keeping Her Quiet series (so far) include:
  1. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 1) - Duct Tape Gags
  2. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 2) - Introduction to Gags
  3. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 3) - Variations on a Gag
  4. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 4) - Wiffle Gag
  5. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 5) - Serafina's Assignment
  6. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 6) - Hand Gag
  7. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 7) - Drooling!
  8. Keeping Her Quiet (pt 8) - Gag Maker Extraordinaire

You're no buddy, your're no friend, and you sure as hell ain't my pal! ~ PayPal's Big Problem

PayPal would ban works by Anaïs Nin, Vladimir Nabokov, Henry Miller, Marquis de Sade and books like Caligula, The Sookie Stackhouse Novels (True Blood), The Story of O, Venus in Furs, Lolita…
    -- Violet Blue
Suddenly, PayPal has become the 800 pound gorilla in the room . . .

You are familiar with PayPal aren't you?

Almost certainly you've used the ubiquitous money transfer service called PayPal to make an online purchase, or donation?

Well, if you believe in freedom of speech / expression, or if you enjoy erotica, you may wish to reconsider doing business with PayPal in light of their most recent announcement.

Here's how I learned about this story, from Violet Blue:
On Saturday February 18, PayPal began threatening indie book publishers and distributors with immediate deactivation of the businesses’ accounts if they did not remove books containing certain sexual themes - namely, specific sexual fantasies that PayPal does not approve of.

PayPal told indie e-book publishers and retailers - such as AllRomance, Smashwords, Excessica and Bookstrand - that if they didn’t remove the offending literature from their catalogs within a few days of notification, PayPal would close their accounts.

Of course, the immediate termination of payment processing would devastate these businesses and all of their authors (not just the erotic writers) overnight.

In case you haven’t noticed, PayPal has a monopoly on the market of online payment processing. There are few alternatives, though none that are widely used by online shoppers.
When taking a few moments for consideration of this issue, I have to admit that I'd usually come down on the side of the business.  It's my usual opinion that allowing consumer choice to dictate the market will, in the end, deliver exactly what people want.  Isn't that how free markets work, at least in theory?

I'm not even sure that the free market won't eventually solve this problem too.  If enough people want to purchase erotica, somebody's going to find a way to facilitate it, and I can guarantee somebody's going to be there to sell it.

Problem solved, right?

Well, yes and no.  While I do believe that the lure of profit will attract enterprising individuals to step in and fill the gap left when our friends and buddies over at PayPal decided to wash their hands of what they perceived to be the taint of erotica, I'm not going to reward the business for getting all moralistic.

If PayPal was any kind of actual friend, I'd be over on Facebook using the "remove" button right now!  I personally resent PayPal's attempt to dictate how and where I spend my money.  That's not how my pals treat me, or at least I can say with certainty that they will only treat me that way once.

And there's something special, something truly sacrosanct about the written word.  Freedom of the press is an essential written into my rights as a citizen.  Attempts to reign in the press through commerce are just as abhorrent to me as any other form of censorship.  

And then there's that big gorilla I mentioned at the opening of this post . . .  

Censorship of the written word is almost always going to bring to mind images of Nazis and their ilk burning books.  PayPal has now invoked those images in the minds of all who remember history and hope to avoid repeating it's mistakes.

Nazis raid the Institute for Sex Research Library
I wonder if any of the corporate sycophants at PayPal noticed that particular 800 pound gorilla in the room during their corporate committee meetings.  Even the myopic and olfactory challenged should have been able to recognize the giant simian lurking . . .

When the Nazi's started burning books, one of their first targets was the "decadence" of places like the Institute for Sex Research Library.

Sadly, as my friend Cherub recently pointed out, our race is made up of individuals like John Muir, but also those like Joseph Goebbels.

Guess which model PayPal has decided to follow?
The smell of her hair, the taste of her mouth, the feeling of her skin seemed to have got inside him, or into the air all around him. She had become a physical necessity.

    --  George Orwell

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Wiffle Gags (keeping her quiet pt. 4)

Simple and Safe ~ Wiffle Gags
Today's installment on the topic of Wiffle Gags is just a single part of an ongoing multi-post series about the use of gags in BDSM.  Other postings in the series (so far) include:
  1. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 1) - Duct Tape Gags
  2. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 2) - Introduction to Gags
  3. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 3) - Variations on a Gag
  4. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 4) - Wiffle Gag
  5. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 5) - Serafina's Assignment
  6. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 6) - Hand Gag
  7. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 7) - Drooling!
  8. Keeping Her Quiet (pt 8) - Gag Maker Extraordinaire
Once again, I'd like to remind readers that the title of the series, Keeping Her Quiet, is a simple reflection of my own experiences as a dominant.  I'm a 48 year old male in an ongoing 24/7 M/s relationship with my slave/wife Serafina.  Prior to Serafina, I was in a 18 year long polyamorous D/s relationship/marriage with a woman I called Blissful Torment.  While married to Ms Torment, I also had a decade long D/s relationship with a lady that blog readers know as Cherub.

The series title is not intended to be chauvinistic, and I don't believe that women should be silenced in real life.  The title of the series, and the tone of my posts reflect my experience, but the subject matter and techniques discussed are almost always universal.  Whatever happens in just about any consensual relationship between consenting adults is fine by me.  Please feel free to apply your own sexual orientation and preferences as needed . . .

Wiffle Gags

Wiffle gags are a great "beginner's gag."

Please do not misunderstand, they aren't a toy.  That opening sentence does not mean that the use of Wiffle gags need be limited to gag neophytes, nor to folks just getting started with BDSM play.

Instead, I guess that's just my way of saying that Wiffle gags are one of the simplest and safest of the gags commonly used in BDSM.  And yes, they are a good place to get started with gag play if you are considering some experimentation.

A wiffle gag is a variant of the classic ball gag.  Instead of a solid ball (usually rubber or silicone), a perforated hollow plastic sphere is held in a submissive's mouth, usually by a strap around her neck.

There are a number of variations on the "strap" holding the ball in place.  I've seen everything from a locking leather harness, to a long strip of beautiful satin material, to a plain leather bootlace.

Wiffle gags are safer than most other ball gags because they don't usually restrict breathing to any significant extent.  Those little holes in the ball allow for plenty of air exchange, making this a gag that's safer for submissives with allergies, or other issues with nasal breathing.

On one hand, it might seem as though wiffle gags would also be an absolute dream for individuals with a fetish for uncontrollable drooling from their submissive.  To an extent that is true.

The holes in the wiffle ball will allow drool to run out of a slave's mouth just as readily as they allows air to whistle in.  When placed at an angle that promotes drooling in a gagged submissive, this gag will not usually disappoint.

Remember though that mouth breathing can actually serve to dry out a person's mouth.  So, wiffle gags are by no means an absolute panacea for dominants with a fetish for making a submissive drool.  They will work, but are probably not perfectly ideal.

This is also a simple gag for anyone to fashion for themselves, it's great for folks trying to do bondage on a budget.  Small wiffle golf balls are easily sourced from almost any big box sporting good store.  One online source offers a dozen balls in 3 different colors for only $4, so it's just not possible to find a more affordable BDSM toy.

A great variety of easily available, not to mention very affordable materials can be used to create the "strap" to hold your freshly purchased ball nice and firmly in your submissive's mouth.  I think the first time I ever created a gag like this I used a length of leather bootlace.  Clear plastic surgical (or aquarium) tubing also can be easily fashioned into an effective way to secure a wiffle gag into your lady's mouth.

For a slightly more sophisticated look, a silk, satin, or lace ribbon can be threaded through the ball and tied neatly behind your submissive's neck.  You can complete this look with a matching blindfold, not to mention creating matching sashes for Cleave Gags as well as Over the Nose (Bandit) Gags.

With just a few dollars spent at a fabric store, and a few moments with a sewing machine, you (or your submissive) can create a beautiful matched set with just a little effort.

Yes, there are probably more attractive gags you can use if your submissive's vanity requires only the finest of gag materials enter between her lips.

But for a cheap, safe, and potentially quickly fashioned homemade BDSM toy, wiffle gags are hard to beat!  (Save the beatings for your submissive!)

Variations on a Gag (keeping her quiet pt. 3)

GAGS 102 - BDSM Gag Variants
This is part of a series of posts on the use of gags in BDSM.  Other postings include:
  1. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 1) - gags / duct tape
  2. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 2) - Introduction to Gags
  3. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 3) - Variations on a Gag
  4. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 4) - Wiffle Gag
  5. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 5) - Serafina's Assignment
  6. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 6) - Hand Gag
  7. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 7) - Drooling!
  8. Keeping Her Quiet (pt 8) - Gag Maker Extraordinaire
  9. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 9) - Panty Gags
I'd like to once again remind you, my dear reader, that the series title - Keeping Her Quiet - is a reflection of my own personal sexual preference, and not intended to imply that women are inherently submissive, nor that they have any special need to be silenced or stifled.  It's simply the title for my continuing series of posts about gags.

And, it always seems that the deeper I delve into any particular style of BDSM/fetish play, the more I will discover the myriad of endless variations that the human mind is capable of eroticizing.  That, in and of itself, is one reason I decided to create an entire series of posts with gags as subject matter. I've never seen the tremendous variety of gags that are used in BDSM scenes and roleplay laid out well and detailed in a comprehensive fashion.  

There are a series of small pocket books on a variety of BDSM topics called Toybag Guides.  The subject matter of the books covers to everything from Canes and CaningClips and Clamps, to Foot and Shoe Worship, but to date they have not published a guide to Gags and Gagging.  With that in mind, I began this series of posts.

Today's posting is simply an attempt to chronicle the many different and varied forms of gag that are used in BDSM play.  Since it's my intent to feature many of the individual gag variants as separate postings, I'll save my own musings and further details on individual gag variants for that time.  With that in mind, many of the descriptions accompanying individual gag variants in this post are used directly (or adapted) from Wikipedia, with a few of my own gag variant additions.
  1. Bandit Gag / Over-The-Nose (OTN) GagA bandit gag covers the mouth as well as the nose, and is commonly used in Japan and on many cartoons. Without stuffing it is not very effective. Also known as an over the nose and mouth gag. Its name is due because it looks similar to a bandit mask.
  2. Ball Gag - A ball gag is usually made of rubber or silicone in the shape of a sphere with a strap passing through its diameter. The most common diameter is 1¾ inches, but other sizes can be found.  In use, the ball is strapped into the mouth behind the teeth, with the straps going around the head to secure it in place.  If the ball is very large, it may be difficult to push it into place behind the teeth, or to remove it. A ball gag's purpose is more of humiliation rather than silence; the wearer can still be heard, but it renders their speech completely unintelligible, distorts their facial features, and, should the wearer attempt to talk, excessive drooling will result.
  3. Bit Gag  - A bit gag is styled like the bit used in a bridle for a horse, and much of its sexual appeal stems from fetishistic symbolism in human pony play.  It consists of a bar that is held in place in the wearer's mouth by straps or other device. Unlike the metal bit that is most common in horse bridles, the bar of a bit gag is usually a soft rubber cylinder. It is not very effective in preventing speech, unless combined with mouth stuffing, although it will make it somewhat more difficult for the wearer to produce coherent speech. Occasionally reins are attached. Because of the possibility of injury to the lips, the bit gag is not suitable for rough play.
  4. Butterfly Gag - A butterfly gag is a wing shaped gag, that is usually inflatable by means of a rubber bulb. The central part fits behind the teeth to fill up the mouth, while the wings go between the teeth and the lips. The gag inflates in the shape of a butterfly. This kind of gag is very hard to keep in the wearer; use of an O-ring in front of the gag strapped to the back of the head will hold the butterfly gag in place.
  5. Cleave Gag - A more effective variant of the OTM (over the mouth) gag is called the cleave gag. Instead of being tied over the person's mouth, the scarf or cloth is pulled between his or her teeth. While such a gag of thin material is not very effective, a thick scarf can be used to hold his or her mouth open, and the tighter that gag is tied the better it works, although no matter how tightly it is tied, the gagged person can usually spit it out. It can be used effectively however. But even when it is applied properly, the gagged person can still nearly say the words they are trying to say, but it just comes out muffled.  Occasionally a knot is tied in the centre of the gag so it works more like a ball gag
  6. Detective / Over-The-Mouth (OTM) Gag - This type of gag is often described in fiction as preventing the subject from speaking, using soft materials like scarves and bandannas. In practice it does not silence the subject very effectively. The long scarf or bandanna is pulled over the subject's mouth and tied at the back of his/her head. Images of OTM gags, usually applied on women, had been prevalent since the film serials of the early 1900s. For this reason, the OTM
  7. Dildo Gag - The dildo gag is a special kind of BDSM gag that has a rubber or silicone dildo projecting outward from the front/face of the gag.  The dildo can then be used for insertion by the dominant, to pleasure themselves (or others) and/or humiliate the submissive.  Because the friction of insertion and any simulated rocking or fucking motions would quickly dislodge an unsecured phallus, dildo gags are usually held in place by a wide neck strap or head harness.  Dildo gags often have an internal penis gag for additional support from inside the submissive's mouth.
  8. Duct Tape Gag - The duct tape gag is a specific type of tape gag made using tape known as duct (or duck) tape.  Because duct tape is a strong and semi-waterproof adhesive, it may create added risk for abrasion type skin injury compared to other tape alternatives.
  9. Forniphilic Gag - A Forniphilic gag is a type of gag which has the primary purpose of objectifying and/or humiliating the wearer. The term forniphilic comes from the word forniphilia which is the incorporation of a bound person into furniture or other objects.  The gag becomes a mounting point for a tool or other device which allows a slave to perform a task or service for their master or mistress. When employing the gag, the slave's hands are usually bound behind them so they have no other option than to control the tool with the gag. In order to provide stability and to allow the slave to control the tool, a muzzle gag with a mouthpiece is commonly used as a base for attaching the tool.  Types of tool or device can include the following; dildo or vibrator, ashtray, toilet brush, feather duster, boot or floor brush, and small serving tray.
  10. Funnel Gag - A funnel gag consists of a funnel with a tube leading from its spout into the mouth, usually with straps to hold the tube in. Such a gag is used to force the bound person to drink a fluid. It is very easy to choke during such forced drinking. Watersports fetishes may use this gag for nefarious purposes.
  11. Jawbreaker Gag - A form of a ball gag made with a ball of edible jawbreaker candy.  According to the product's vendor: "Actual use can cause heavy salivation which can lead to choking. If used wearer should be upright and monitored heavily. Do not use while in any position other than upright and make sure wearer has hands free and is able to remove gag themselves.”
  12. Hand Gag - A hand over the mouth can be used as a gag. When hand gagging someone, a person usually grabs the victim from behind since the victim cannot see this coming. Then, the person firmly places their unfolded hand over the victim's closed mouth. Then they may pull the victim into their body for extra leverage and control. Handgags are common in thrillers and are often associated with damsel-in-distress phenomena.
  13. Harness Gag - A harness gag encircles the head, and the straps are generally secured by buckles that fasten at the back. Head harnesses are most commonly used to provide points of attachments to secure various kinds of gags, such as ball gags, bit gags, muzzle gags and ring gags, although they also have other uses, such as providing attachment points for other forms of bondage, or may be used simply for their psychological effect. Head harnesses may also function as a gag by themselves, by restricting the ability to open the mouth, or have a mouth cover as an integral part.  Head harnesses, like many other forms of bondage, also have the effect of creating a sense of objectification and erotic helplessness in the wearer, which can be erotic for the wearer, or for those observing them. Many head harnesses are designed with straps that pass in front of the wearer's eyes, restricting their vision, and further increasing the sense of objectification and erotic subjection.
  14. Humiliator Gag - A unique Forniphilic Gag produced by Scott Paul Designs.
  15. Inflatable Gag - An inflatable gag is usually a rubber balloon which is inflated by a hand valve. Most inflatable gags will not hold in the gagged person's mouth well, so the gag is usually paired with a ring gag to keep it in place.
  16. Jennings Gag - One specific form of a medical/dental gag. similar to a Whitehead gag in design.
  17. Knotted Gag - A knotted gag is a blend of the ball and cleave gags. The scarf either has a knot tied in the middle and placed in the gagged person's mouth or is an over the mouth (OTM) gag placed backward with the knot tied inside the person's mouth. The knotted gag is able to soak up the saliva that the ball gag does not and can be easily washed for reuse. Knots can be doubled or tripled to fit the size of the gagged person's mouth.
  18. Layered Gags - This is a term for a series of gags over each other, for example an Over the Mouth (OTM) over a cleave gag. Another piece of cloth could be tied under the gagged person's chin in conjunction with an OTM gag.
  19. Medical & Dental Gags - Bondage pornography also depicts the use of medical gags such as the Whitehead gag and Jennings gag in BDSM contexts. Such gags allow unlimited access to the mouth. They stop coherent speech, but do little to silence a person.
  20. Mouth corset - A mouth corset is a type of neck corset that covers both the neck and the mouth.  Incorporating a gag into a neck corset presents a few safety issues: should the wearer begin to choke, it is not easy to remove the gag quickly. For this reason, most mouth corsets use a simple muzzle gag that merely covers the mouth and does not force anything into the mouth, thus minimising the risk.  Despite not forcing anything into the mouth, mouth corsets are usually very effective in gagging the victim due to the fact that the chin piece prevents the wearer from opening their mouth and dislodging the gag and the lacing at the back of the corset holds the gag tightly against the mouth making a very effective seal. Also, the cheeks are compressed.
  21. Mouthguard Gag - This gag has two mouthguards, similar to those worn by football and hockey players. One rests on the lower teeth of the wearer while the other is against the top. Again, like sports mouthguards, these mouthguards can be softened in boiling water to fit to the mouth of the wearer. The mouthguards are attached to a front faceplate, like most plug gags, and straps from the front to the back.
  22. Muzzle Gag - A muzzle gag works in a similar way as an OTM gag, only that they are usually made of leather, are fastened around the head with buckles and straps, and cover the lower part of the face. They have different shapes and colors, depending on the manufacturer. It is so called because it resembles a muzzle used on animals, with a flexible pad which straps over the mouth, and sometimes also around the cheeks and chin. Muzzle gags have a strong psychological effect on some people, because of the association of being restrained in a way generally associated with animals. Restricting movement of the jaw and covering the cheeks can both increase the efficiency of a gag. It is difficult to draw the line between a muzzle gag and a head harness with attached gag.  Muzzle gags are probably one of the oldest gags and illustrations showing muzzle-like gag devices have been observed from early colonial times.  A muzzle gag may also have an attached posture collar and may also be fitted with an integrated penis gag.
  23. Panel Gag - Same as a Muzzle gag except without a head harness.
  24. Penis / Pecker Gag - A penis or pecker gag is a kind of a muzzle gag that has an object resembling a penis or dildo on the inside that is placed into the mouth.  It may be wide and flat, intended to depress the tongue, or it may be a large knob similar to a ball gag.  The penis/pecker is attached to a strap that buckles behind the head to hold it in place.  This type of gag is sometimes considered a humiliating gag due to its resemblance to having a penis in the wearer's mouth.  It is possible to have an inflatable pecker. Since inflatable gags do not easily remain in the mouth they are usually paired with a ring, muzzle or panel gag.
  25. Ring Gag - A ring gag is a similar to a ball gag, except that the ball is replaced by a hollow ring. The ring reduces the risk of choking, and allows access to the mouth. Oral sex may be performed if the ring is big enough.  A ring gag will cause the subject to drool uncontrollably, this often being the purpose of the gag. 
  26. Rope Gag - A rope gag consists of a length of rope wound multiple times through the mouth of the person being gagged - similar to a cleave gag. Soft rope, such as nylon, works well for the comfort of the person being gagged, but rougher rope, such as unconditioned hemp or other rough natural rope varieties, can scratch the lips quite a bit. Rope gags can be made into a part of a full-body tie as well,.
  27. Spider Gag - A variation on the ring gag, the spider gag is also called a 2nd generation ring gag. The ring has hooks on the sides so as to keep the wearer from flipping the ring horizontally in their mouth. Unlike the ring gag which can be easily flipped, a spider gag is essentially functional and non-decorative. Generally these gags have interchangeable rings so as to accommodate both the wearers' mouth and the size of any object that might be inserted through the ring.
  28. Shoe Gag - The shoe gag is a special gag designed to appeal to shoe and foot fetishists.  In most cases it's created with a single shoe from a pair of woman's dress heals.  The gag is fashioned with the pointy toe portion of the shoe designed to be wedged inside the submissive's mouth.  A custom strap, or harness, often permanently attached to the shoe, is then secured around the submissive's head or neck to hold the apparatus in place.  While some shoe fetishists may crave such a gag, most consider this to be a humiliating gag for the submissive to wear.
  29. Stuff Gag - A stuff gag is very similar to, and works in the same way as, the ball gag. The person's mouth is stuffed with handkerchiefs, scarves, socks, hosiery, panties/knickers, and/or day sheets, either clean or dirty, bandannas or any item rolled into a ball, acting as a stopper. To reduce the chances of choking, the stuff gag is never pushed all the way into the person's mouth. Instead, a large part of it hangs out of the mouth, allowing the top to pull it out easily when he/she has to. Sometimes, to further ensure that the gag does not accidentally slip deeper into the person's mouth, the top may use a larger gag. It is then secured with a cleave gag, cloth gag or tape gag.  While it works in preventing speech, a person who has been stuff gagged can easily spit it out by pushing it with his/her tongue. However, it is for this reason that the stuff gag is one of the safest gags to use during self bondage, as the person with his/her hands tied can still spit the gag out if he/she feels any kind of discomfort. However, the risks of asphyxiation and choking are still present for someone who is not careful.  For the more extreme application, a stuff gag can be used in conjunction with a tape gag, effectively rendering the partner completely silent. This practice requires greater caution, since the risk for asphyxiation is high
  30. Tape Gag - A tape gag involves the use of sticky tape over the mouth. The most commonly used types are duct tape, gaffer tape and PVC tape from two to three inches in width. Tape gags are the simplest gags to apply. If the wearer blows while the tape is on it makes it easier to remove, making it not the most effective gag. To better secure the tape, a long strip of tape can be wrapped around the lower part of the person's head. A strip from ear to ear under the jaw restricts jaw movement, making the gag more effective. However, the tape can cause the skin on the lips to be ripped off and it can irritate the lips and cause fever blisters in those who have dormant fever blisters or cold sores. The tape can also rip hair off when wrapped around the head. The longer the tape is left on, the harder it will be to remove from the skin.  Though many prefer ball gags and bit gags during bondage play, tape gags are often used when neither is available. The top may also use tape during a roleplay where a ball gag will be inappropriate; for example, a kidnapper and captive scene that does not immediately lead to sex. Tape is used by kidnappers since it is most effective at keeping hostages quiet.  While tape gags can be combined with stuff gags for extra effectiveness, it is easy for one to choke on the stuffing inside of the mouth.
  31. Tube Gag - A tube gag uses a tube instead of a ring. It allows easy breathing but not much mouth access. It is also possible to have a tube through the ball of a ball gag.
  32. Whitehead Gag - A Whitehead gag, also called a mouth spreader gag or a dental open mouth gag, is a device to hold the mouth open. The device is similar to a Jennings gag, the main difference being the two ratchets in front of toll.
  33. Wiffle Gag - A wiffle gag is a simple ball gag that replaces the standard solid rubber ball with a light plastic ball similar to the one used for the game of floorball. It is generally safer than other ball gags because there is constant airflow.
Last, but certainly not least, we can't forget to mention a cousin of the harness gag . . . 

Hoods are another element in BDSM play that may have a gagging effect, or in some cases, may have integral gags as a part of their design.  Hoods have their own fetish fans, and create their own unique headspace when experienced by a submissive.  Rather than lumping them together with gags in any fashion, I consider hoods to be a separate and distinct topic.
I'm all for bringing back the birch, but only between consenting adults. 

    --  Gore Vidal

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Introduction to Gags in BDSM (keeping her quiet - pt. 2)

After bondage and blindfolds, gags are one of the most common elements found in erotic BDSM images.  With that in mind, I'd like to welcome you, my dear reader, to the 2nd installment of keeping her quiet, a series of posts detailing gags as they are used in BDSM.  The first installment was all about duct tape gags, but, as the title indicates, today's post won't focus on any specific type of gag.  Instead, it's intended to be a general introduction to gags as they are used in BDSM.

I'd also like to immediately note that the title "keeping her quiet" is not intended to be chauvinistic or sexist in any way, instead it simply reflects my personal sexual orientation. I am a 48 year old man involved in a Master/slave relationship, married to my slave/wife Serafina.  My choice of a female pronoun is not intended to imply that female submissives, nor women in general, should be gagged or stifled from expressing themselves.  This is about the use of gags for BDSM scenes, not life in general.

Observations and lessons from this series are almost always equally applicable to the use of gags on submissives of any gender or sexual orientation, but the pronouns and examples I use are from my three decades of experience with BDSM.  About 99% of my experience is with female submissives, although my my former submissive and ex-wife did enjoy having a houseboy for a few months, once upon a time.  With that in mind, I have slapped a gag into a boy's mouth a couple times before he was forced to watch me torment his Mistress.
GAGS 101 ~ Introduction to Gags in BDSM
A gag is an element used in a BDSM scene as a fetish item, and to heighten erotic tension by increasing a submissive's sense of helplessness.  The basic purpose of a gag is to prevent the individual wearing it from communicating with their voice.

Gags come in a great variety of shapes and sizes ranging from a simple scarf or bandanna, to intricate harnesses with several leather straps securing the gag and virtually encasing their victim's head.  The great variety of available gags means that they all vary somewhat in terms of their individual effectiveness, and their safety.

I've seen a variety of reactions to the use of a gag.  For some, being gagged can be a very erotic experience, they get wonderful sexual excitement from the strong sense of submission a gag enforces.  For some individuals gags have strong connotations of both punishment and control, which they may either crave or dread, sometimes feeling a mixture of both emotions.  Other individuals derive excitement from feelings of humiliation elicited by being gagged.

Some submissives don't care for being gagged, but submit to it for their dominant.  Other individuals detest the practice, and only submit to it under special circumstances, or for a special individual.  And finally, there are some individuals who consider being gagged to be a hard limit, and will not submit to being silenced in this way under any circumstance.  I'm guessing that later group is no longer even reading along . . .

I haven't done aftercare, nor have I interviewed another dominant after a scene, so I can only discuss a Master's outlook on gags from my own personal perspective.  I love gags!  I love the aura of helplessness and loss of control a submissive inevitably associates with wearing a gag and being unable to speak.  I even love the way they look. That's not true for everyone.

I think it's safe to say that I'm also aroused by the sound a gagged person makes when attempting to communicate.   There's something adorable about the muffled mews that come from a gagged lady that I find irresistible.

Some fetishists are also very turned on by the vision of the uncontrollable drooling gags commonly cause.  Although I do appreciate the visible and obvious loss of control signified by such drooling, it's not as erotic for me as the look of the gag itself, and the sounds gags elicit.

The biggest single safety issue facing individuals using gags for BDSM play is the danger of cutting off the wearer's ability to breathe and causing asphxia, death from lack of oxygen.  For this reason it's essential to stay in constant visual contact with a gagged submissive.  It's never safe to leave an individual who has been gagged alone, not even for a short period of time.  

Because many gags prevent a submissive from breathing through their mouth, it becomes absolutely essential that they be able to breath well though their nose.  If a submissive is suffering from the effects of seasonal allergies, a sinus infection, the common cold, or influenza (the flu) then it is not safe to use a gag.

Because they can quickly cause a simple vomiting episode to escalate into a serious emergency, I'd also suggest that gags are not suitable for use on a submissive who's feeling nauseous.  To err on the side of absolute safety, like the old wisdom our Mother's probably shared with you about the dangers of eating and swimming, I'd even go so far as to recommend that the use of gags be avoided for at least a short period of time directly after the consumption of a large meal.

It should go without saying, but cannot remain unsaid, that I also suggest avoiding gags if the user has been drinking alcohol, or using any kind of narcotic drug.  I don't personally mix BDSM play with any kind of non-medicinal or recreational drug use. I find that there's no need to alter my state of consciousness going into a scene, as the headspace created by the scene is it's own reward.

I must also confess that I wasn't always so enlightened, and there was a time when I combined the consumption of hallucinogenic drugs and/or alcohol with my BDSM play.  While I count my lucky stars that I escaped such reckless behavior without any serious emergency arising, I also know that such a mixture is like playing with fire, it's not a question of if you'll get burned, it's simply a question of when the conflagration will inevitably occur.
Dita Von Tease bound and gagged
Communicating with your partner is big a key to successful BDSM, and it's even more essential when it comes to safely using a gag with your partner.  On the surface this seems counter intuitive, leading to the obvious question - How can communication become more important when a gag is literally taking away your submissive's voice?  It's one of life's delicious ironies I guess, but by taking away a submissive's voice, a gag makes communication before the scene more important.

Because gags can elicit such a wide range of reactions from submissives, good communication and negotiation before their use is is an absolute essential.  Not only does this include assuring yourself that the submissive is physically and mentally up the the challenges a gag will present, it also means checking closely on their current health status.

The use of a gag also requires prearranged physical signs to signal emergency or distress, as a safeword can't be used when a gag is in place.  Instead of a safeword, a different kind of prearranged signal must be adopted.

While gags prevent their wearing from articulating words, they don't usually prevent all sounds, so a series of three grunts, or three of any vocalization in quick succession are a commonly used way for a submissive to signal for help.  Three slaps of a hand, three stops of the foot, and when bound so tightly that those aren't option, blinking deliberately three times in obvious succession, are other commonly used distress signals.

Obviously then, the use of gags require tremendous awareness and continual diligence on the part of a dominant.  When playing with gags, you have to be alert and on top of your game.  For this reason, I'd make the same suggestions for a dominant that I would for a submissive.  If you are feeling ill with cold or flu, if you have taken especially strong prescription medication, avoid gags.

Even if you are especially tired on any given day, it's probably not a good idea to include gags in your play, save it for a time when there's no doubt you'll catch even the most subtly signs of real distress your submissive might give.
Are Gags Edge Play?
Are gags to be considered to be a form of edge play?  I guess, as with many things in life, that depends on your perspective, as the term edge play itself is subjective.  What qualifies as edge play in my mind may be totally different than where you'd categorize the same activity, so it's a bit nebulous as a term.  When it comes to edge play activities it's said:
It is nearly universally held that they should not be attempted without proper training, supervision, safety precautions, etc. as appropriate
And that's certainly applicable to gags and gagging.  But there's a problem with calling gags a form of edge play.  That's because the full definition of the term edge play also includes the following:
In BDSM, edgeplay is a subjective term for types of sexual play that are "on the edge" of the traditional safe, sane and consensual creed. These forms of BDSM activity are regarded by many as inadvisable and dangerous.
Yes, the use of gags has a greater inherent danger than many other BDSM activities, but gags are commonly seen and used by a wide variety of people.  Certainly, when used with proper precautions and a bit of common sense, gags are not so inherently dangerous that they'd be considered absolutely inadvisable.

Keeping Her Quiet is an ongoing discussion about gags and gagging in BDSM.  Other postings in this series (so far) include:
  1. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 1) - Duct Tape Gags
  2. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 2) - Introduction to Gags
  3. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 3) - Variations on a Gag
  4. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 4) - Wiffle Gag
  5. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 5) - Serafina's Assignment
  6. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 6) - Hand Gag
  7. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 7) - Drooling!
  8. Keeping Her Quiet (pt 8) - Gag Maker Extraordinaire
Being with a woman all night never hurt no professional baseball player. It's staying up all night looking for a woman that does him in. 

    --  Casey Stengel

Friday, February 24, 2012

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Duct Tape Gags (keeping her quiet pt. 1)

An essential part of any abduction or damsel in distress scenario, nothing screams enforced submission better than the image of a submissive who has been bound and gagged.  Welcome to the first installment of "keeping her quiet", an ongoing discussion about gags and gagging in BDSM.

I'd first like to note, for you my dear reader, that the title "keeping her quiet" is not intended to be sexist in any way.  Please understand that any observations or advice I give are almost always equally applicable to gags used upon a male submissive.  My choice of a female pronoun is not intended to imply that female submissives, nor women in general, should be gagged or stifled from expressing themselves.  This is about the use of gags for BDSM scenes, not life in general.

The articles on gags are intended to be pansexual.  My original working title for this series of postings was actually "keeping them quiet".  While that's a more politically correct title, and perhaps even more accurate to my actual intent, it's also flat out generic.  It's plain, and to my eyes it's also boring.  My personal observations come primarily from experiences with women submissives, and a writer can best express the viewpoints they know.

OK?  Let's get on to the good stuff!

Gags are an interesting and very important topic to discuss for a variety of reasons.  Gags are a form of edgeplay because a misused or misapplied gag can quickly kill an unattended submissive.  Although I've never seen any research studies with statistics, I personally believe that gags are one of the first forms of edge play an individual is likely to encounter in the BDSM world.

As a part of this ongoing series, I'm envisioning two kinds of posts.  I plan to write more extensively about gags and gagging in general, the inherent dangers of gags, and how they can be used safely.  I also will include, as a second kind of posting, short discussions about specific types of gags, their inherent advantages, disadvantages, as well as their specific dangers.  This current post falls into the later category.
Duct Tape Gagskeeping her quiet (pt. 1)

Mila Kunis duct tape gagged
When perusing erotic pictures on tumblr, it's very common to find images of duct tape being used as a gag. Since a lot of individuals who are new to BDSM get their inspiration from sources like tumblr, it's important to consider the positives and negatives before trying anything like a duct tape gag in your home on your own precious submissive.

Duct tape (also called duck tape) is a strong pressure sensitive plastic/polyethylene tape with cloth backing and/or cloth threads embedded in the plastic for strength.  Believe it or not, common duct tape is not recommended for use on heating/cooling duct work in your home, there are special shiny metallic tapes that are actually designed for duct work.  Although it's available in a variety of colors, duct tape is most commonly found in a dull silver/gray, with a standard width of 1 7/8th inches.

They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and I've noticed that even mundane sciences like adhesive tape progress most quickly under wartime pressures.  And while it may seem as though it has been around forever, it's interesting to note that what most of us know as duct tape was originally designed to help seal munitions into cases before shipping in World War II.

That designed purpose is important to keep in mind, as duct tape was specifically formulated to be strongly adhesive, and at least somewhat waterproof.  In one of life's little ironies, it turns out that duct tape's strengths and weaknesses both stem from that design.

Here's a cute little tape gagging tutorial from YouTube that can serve as a sort of introduction to further discussion of duct tape gags.  The viddy has some loud music, you may wish to turn your volume down . . .

A few observations on the video.
  1. In case you weren't sure, the "stuffing" in Step 1 is most assuredly a pair of balled up panties.  The panty gag itself is such a classic of BDSM play and literature as to deserve it's own installment of "keeping her quiet" - for now simply suffice it to say that the addition of panties as "stuffing" along with any other type of gag increases choking risks exponentially.  
  2. The Video's Step 2 - Cloth is also another classic style of gag, the scarf or bandanna gag.  Once again, I believe that a separate installment of  "keeping her quiet" is in order for this style of gag.  In terms of it's use here, a scarf gag might mitigate some of  problems with overly strong adhesives that are inherent in duct tape play.
  3. I'm not 100% positive that the tape used in this tutorial is duct tape.  Duct tape does come in a variety of colors including shiny metallic tape, I have seen white duct tape, and the title of the video is Duct tape gagged!  With that said, the video itself isn't terribly high definition, so it's possible that she's using white medical adhesive tape, which is a safer alternative to duct tape.
In using any sort of tape gag, I'd avoid a loose object like balled up panties.  Anytime there is a loose object in a submissive's mouth there is a risk they could inhale the object.  Inhaled objects are going to cause choking and blocking of the airway.  If the panties don't fully obstruct a submissive's airway, they can still cause a gag reflex.

Severe enough gagging can lead to vomiting, and if a submissive's mouth is full of her own (or her lover's) panties, there's a good chance she could end up inhaling her own vomit.  You might be aware that, among others, Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix both died from inhaling their own vomit and resulting respiratory arrest.    Even if inhalation of vomit doesn't lead directly to death, it introduces virulent bacteria from the stomach into the lungs, potentially causing illness like pneumonia.

All sorts of problems are easily enough avoided by simply omitting any "stuffing" when creating a tape gag for your submissive.

I think that's enough comment for one video, let's move on to another version of duct tape in use as a gag . . .

my darling Natalie Duct Taped by clarehoughey
As an unabashed pervert, I must say that Natalie struggles beautifully!

Using Natalie as an example, it appears that most of her duct tape bondage is pretty safe.  Where it's wrapped around her torso and legs, that special ubiquitous shiny gray tape has been used as restraint over clothing and nylons/stockings.  In those cases there's little risk of harming the the fair lady's skin, as the stockings and clothing are the one who will suffer the ravages of strong adhesive.  Although it's not certain, there's a pretty good chance that the duct tape wrapped around her torso will ruin Natalie's sweater.  

Natalie's struggles demonstrate duct tape's characteristics very well, the tape is very strong, and so is it's adhesive.  Duct tape is easy to to put on as a gag, most of us have used it before for other projects, so it's a familiar medium to use.  Because of it's strong adhesive and somewhat waterproof nature, a duct tape gag stays in place very well too.

Jessica Alba w/ duct tape gag
Those characteristics are also what make Duct Tape less than ideal as a gag material.  The biggest problem with duct tape is that it sticks too darn well.  When duct tape is snugged down tight and left in place for any kind of extended time period, it can bond so well to the skin that it takes a few layers of skin with it when removed.  Ouch!

The effect is similar to a rug burn or other abrasion wound.  In this case, instead of being scrapped off, the skin is ripped away by the adhesive, but the effect is still the same.  These kinds of wounds are anything but erotic for most folks, and they seem particular prone to becoming infected.  Sensitive skin in areas around the mouth, or on a submissive's cheeks, tend to be the areas most likely to be attacked by duct tape adhesive.

Where duct tape doesn't pull away skin, it may leave behind a sticky, gummy residue.  Because duct tape was designed to be at least semi-waterproof, it's adhesive reside can be difficult to remove.  And, if you don't remove the residue, it seems to be a magnet for dirt and grime, becoming really ugly, really fast.  

Quite obviously, the adhesive is not soluble in water.  And, although it's somewhat soluble in alcohol, I've yet to meet a submissive who really wanted to scrub their face with an alcohol soaked cotton swab right away after duct tape lifted off a few chunks of skin.  If you've ever felt alcohol in an open wound, you know that's not really the kind of masochism most are seeking, eh?

So, were Natalie my submissive, I'd forego the duct tape gag and blindfold (especially the blindfold!)  For me personally, I'd not want to chance ugly angry marks on her face where the tape held a little too well.  I'd not want to roll the dice on whether the tape's adhesive might lift away some eyelashes, or part of an eyebrow.  And I'd not want to look at dirty splotches of adhesive between the wounds that were difficult to clean or remove.

Yes, people do use duct tape as a gag.  If that's a big fetish for you, and you can find a partner who's skin can withstand the adhesive, then more power to ya!

But for most folks, I'd suggest another alternative.  If using a tape gag is important to you, I'd suggest that there are other tape gags which are better suited for this purpose.  And there are a whole world of other alternatives that can be used as gags, so stay tuned for future installments of . . . . "keeping her quiet".

Keeping Her Quiet is an ongoing discussion about gags and gagging in BDSM.  Other postings in this series (so far) include:
  1. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 1) - Duct Tape Gags
  2. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 2) - Introduction to Gags
  3. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 3) - Variations on a Gag
  4. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 4) - Wiffle Gag
  5. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 5) - Serafina's Assignment
  6. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 6) - Hand Gag
  7. Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 7) - Drooling!
  8. Keeping Her Quiet (pt 8) - Gag Maker Extraordinaire

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