GAGS 102 - BDSM Gag Variants
This is part of a series of posts on the use of gags in BDSM. Other postings include:
- Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 1) - gags / duct tape
- Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 2) - Introduction to Gags
- Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 3) - Variations on a Gag
- Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 4) - Wiffle Gag
- Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 5) - Serafina's Assignment
- Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 6) - Hand Gag
- Keeping Her Quiet (pt. 7) - Drooling!
- Keeping Her Quiet (pt 8) - Gag Maker Extraordinaire
- 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 Caning, Clips 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.
- Bandit Gag / Over-The-Nose (OTN) Gag - A 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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.
- Humiliator Gag - A unique Forniphilic Gag produced by Scott Paul Designs.
- 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.
- Jennings Gag - One specific form of a medical/dental gag. similar to a Whitehead gag in design.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Panel Gag - Same as a Muzzle gag except without a head harness.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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,.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.