Stocking the Wild BDSM Toy Box
Exploring and experiencing BDSM is at least in part about creating reality from our dreams. But in order for us to do this we must gather not only our wits and creative thoughts together, but also a collection of material items. Before we can do that we must be clear about our interests. One’s private assortment of kinky sex toys is unique to each person and their preferences. Someone whose passion is male or female cross-dressing, for instance, will have toy box needs unlike someone interested in English corporal punishment, flogging, age play, genital or breast torment, foot worship, body modification, etc. For the purposes of this column, I will focus on the more general player’s toy needs.
First off, stocking up for “vanilla” sex is a foundation for more savory treats. In other words:
- Safer Sex Supplies: plenty of condoms, dental dams, non-microwaveable plastic wrap, gloves (latex, vinyl or plastic), and water-soluble lubricants. If your play will include sexual or body fluid contact before, during or afterwards, this is a real “Must Have” part of a fully stocked toy box. Remember that sexual contact doesn’t just mean intercourse. If you’re going to be fisting, fingering or licking anyone (especially their asshole), sharing toys or moving them from one orifice to another, cutting or piercing or likely to otherwise come into contact with risky body fluids, especially if anyone has abrasions, cuts or an unknown STD status – think “barrier method.” Then put thought into action.
- General Safety Supplies: items including a First Aid Kit (always handy), fire extinguisher, flashlight and/or other non-electricity dependent light source (a tap light or blackout light, for instance), hydrogen peroxide (3%), rubbing alcohol (70%), alcohol wipes, and paramedic scissors are a good place to start. They’re the kind of things that should be available for daily disasters as well as kinky clean-up and rescue, as well. Whether you’re planning on spanking someone, poking sharp things through their skin, or trussing them up like a prize goose, chances are you’ll need one or more of these at some point. If you use anything that locks (like a collar or cuffs) it’s a great idea to keep a back up key somewhere. This might be a wise spot. Keep your safety supplies in the same room with you or very nearby when you’re playing.
Having taken care of the vital business of safety, we can move along to the fun stuff now. There are variations available on nearly everything mentioned below and it’s certainly not a requirement that you have each item on hand or even on your list of things to own. This is visceral sexuality, after all. Feel free to mix and match to fit your personal perversions. No point in buying extra sets of hand cuffs if your fantasies run more toward stinging nettles and menthol rubs or being mummified in pink plastic wrap and having vibrators run over your quivering body, right? So, know thyself – and shop or create accordingly.
- Bondage: a collection of restrictive goodies including duct, vinyl or adhesive tape, plastic wrap, soft and flexible rope including common clothesline, If you’re going to engage in suspension bondage, make sure you know what the weight limit is – it’s no fun to discover by accident. Length does matter here and it should usually be cut in multiples of six feet. Nothing longer than 24 feet usually. Shorter lengths for genital bondage, of course. It’s perfectly fine to play with common household items, too. Soft, wide cloth restraints can easily be developed using bathroom belts or scarves and the like, for instance. But make sure it’s something you won’t mind cutting if a knot gets stuck or a quick release is required. When/if you’re not using rope, leather restraints are a more comfortable alternative to metal hand or ankle cuffs and can be safer if you’re prone to misplacing keys. Gags and blindfolds can be nice, too. With gags, make sure that the wearer can breathe and that it can be quickly removed in case there’s a problem. Be aware of the potential for drool and plan around how little/much you want to deal with. In spite of what you see in the movies, it’s not advisable to use tape for gags or blindfolds.
- Sensation Play: there’s an enormous assortment of touch types that you can pack into your toy box here, ranging from ‘thuddy’ to ‘stingy’ to intense to mellow. A quick list of common tools of the trade wouldn’t be complete without mentioning clothespins, menthol-containing rubs, leather straps, belts and laces, ice cubes (don’t actually store them in your toy box unless it’s got an insulated cooler attachment, but remember that they exist) a broad, flat hairbrush, white paraffin candles, feathers, scraps of fur, rulers and/or paint stirrers, snake bite kit suction cups, wooden spoons, nipple clamps, paddles, floggers, canes, crops and whips. Paddles can be made from a variety of materials including wood (which some became familiar with back in the Old Days of school discipline), lycite, reinforced leather and even metal. If you want to avoid explaining things, ping pong paddles work nicely. It looks even more convincing if you own a ping pong table. Floggers can be made from a wide variety of materials, including rubber, leather, suede, and fur. Keep in mind personal preferences for “thuddy” (wider tails) or “stingy” (narrower and/or pointed tails) when making selections. Canes run the gamet from various sized lucite rods to narrow rattan, with a creative array of options in between. If you’re budget minded, there’s always the much maligned metal coat hanger. Good caning technique requires practice, so make educated acquisitions and remember that canes are likely to produce visible marks, which will need negotiation prior to play and aftercare after completion.
Some of the most important things that you’ll need for your complete BDSM odyssey can’t be stored in a box, bag, closet or tube. Experience will require time, which unwinds at its own rate of speed. While you’re absorbing information and experiences, make sure to carry extra common sense, compassion, communication (including safewords) and courtesy. If you make sure and always pack these items, your chances of enjoying a long and healthy life of loving kink will be greatly increased. And so will your pleasure. Have fun and play safe.