The Ultimate Guide to BDSM Toys and How to Use Them

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Thinking about bringing a little BDSM play into your bedroom routine? What you need are some BDSM toys. If you want to stock up but aren’t sure where to start, you’ve come to the perfect place. In this guide, I’ll explain everything you need to know about BDSM gear for beginners and help you get kinky…safely!

There’s more to buying BDSM toys than simply hopping online, reading a few reviews, and comparing prices. You need to know what they do, how they work, how to use them safely, and how to introduce them into your relationship. I’ll show you how to do all that and get good results, first time!

Best of all, you’ll be able to use what you learn right away… and experience some amazing results!

Please read my disclaimer before we get started:

This guide is strictly for information and entertainment purposes only. SchoolofSquirt.com does not endorse any of the activities or practices discussed herein. All opinions expressed are those of the writer and have not been written or reviewed by a physician or healthcare professional.

Let’s tear through this together!

What are BDSM toys?

A BDSM toy is any type of sex toy or equipment used to enhance BDSM activities and make sexy time kinkier and more satisfying! BDSM stands for Bondage, Discipline, Sadism, and Masochism, but the term ‘BDSM’ is commonly used as a ‘catch-all’ for any type of sexual activity that’s considered ‘rough’ or ‘kinky.’

BDSM activities can be categorized into three main areas, each containing two different ‘acts,’ giving a total of six types of acts, as follows:

  • B&D – Bondage and Discipline.
  • D&S – Domination and Submission.
  • S&M – Sadism and Masochism.

There’s plenty of cross-over between these areas, and most BDSM eqipment can be used for one, two, or even all six different activities, depending on your preferences!

Take, for example, something as simple as a blindfold. You can use a blindfold to restrict your partner’s vision (B&D), or to dominate them (D&S), or even to inflict pain (S&M) – especially if you use a spiky blindfold! When it comes to BDSM gear, the possibilities are endless.

What unites all BDSM toys is that they are designed to make BDSM activities better! So whether you want to experience stricter bondage or enhance the pleasure and pain experienced during a session, some BDSM kit is all you need to make your dreams come true!

The benefits of BDSM toys

the three main benefits of buying BDSM toys are added safety, more intense physical stimulation, and heightened psychological pleasure.

Let’s look at these three areas in more detail!

Added safety

BDSM gear is specifically designed to enhance bondage, humiliation, pain, and pleasure without causing lasting or permanent injury. You see, if you tie your partner’s wrists together using regular rope or cord, you run the risk of cutting off their circulation and causing lasting injury – a huge no-no for BDSM play.

But if you use a BDSM toy like a pair of fabric cuffs with Velcro fasteners, the same activity becomes much safer. When used correctly, fabric cuffs help enhance BDSM play while keeping it safe. The caveat here is that all BDSM equipment is potentially risky when used incorrectly. But don’t worry, I’ll show you exactly how to safely use these toys later on in this guide!

Intense physical stimulation

The second reason to buy a BDSM item is to give yourself and your partner intense physical stimulation. BDSM gear lets you give and receive stimulation at a level beyond anything else you can try.

Let’s say you want to cover your partner’s eyes. Sure, you could just use your hands or a necktie. But if you buy a blindfold, your partner’s vision will be completely restricted. Their entire body will become extra sensitive to things like sounds, smells, and touch. Your kisses, licks, and touches will feel much more exciting and pleasurable!

Experimenting with other BDSM items such as feather ticklers or a pinwheel lets you give and receive unique sensations that you can’t experience any other way.

Lightly spanking your partner with fun BDSM toys like floggers or paddles will send vibrations through their erogenous zones, and draw circulation to the skin, making their body more sensitive to touch! If you’re looking to maximize pleasure in the bedroom, buying a toy could be one of the best investments you ever make.

Heightened psychological pleasure

Alongside physical pleasure, BDSM equipment also helps increase psychological pleasure. Dominating your partner with things like blindfolds, cuffs, and whips will give you a huge kick!

You’ll get a big ‘rush’ from being in control and having your partner completely at your mercy, unaware of all the naughty, dirty things you have in store for them! Your partner will find submitting to you is incredibly thrilling, too. They’ll anticipate your every move and find every touch, lick, and spank extremely exciting.

A big appeal of BDSM gear is that it lets you explore the power dynamic within your relationship and experiment with role-playing. You can experiment with being the dominant one – the ‘dom’ – or the submissive one, the ‘sub,’ or even trying both roles and being what’s known as ‘switch.’

Experiencing BDSM play from both perspectives helps you understand your partner’s point of view and can give you a huge psychological thrill, leading to more satisfying sex!

What types of BDSM toys are there?

Now let’s look at the BDSM items themselves. The range of toys on offer is vast, but generally speaking, every item will fit into one of three main categories; Restraints, Stimulators, and Fetish. Let’s look at these categories in more detail.

Restraints

In this category, you’ll find things like bondage kits, handcuffs, blindfolds, ball gags, hoods, bindings, bondage tape, sex swings, and spreader bars. These toys are designed to restrain a person and make them writhe helplessly in agony (or pleasure!).

The gentlest type of restraint toys are things like bondage tape, satin ties, and sashes. At the other extreme, you’ll find metal restraints like real steel handcuffs and spreader bars. These are far stricter and should only be used once you become more experienced.

Stimulators

Some BDSM equipment is designed to stimulate a person in some way, either pleasurably or painfully, or both. In this category, you’ll find things like whips, paddles, riding crops, floggers, ticklers, pinwheels, nipple and clit clamps, cock and ball toys, vibrators, prostate massagers, butt plugs, and remote-controlled vibrators.

These sort of toys are designed to give pleasure and/or pain, depending on how you use them! While some types of stimulators – like wireless vibrators – are pretty vanilla, toys like whips, loggers, and cock rings can inflict more pain and should be handled with care.

Fetish

The third category of BDSM toys are designed to produce quite extreme levels of stimulation and are generally only suitable for couples with plenty of BDSM experience. This category includes things like electro toys (battery-powered toys designed to give painful but non-lethal shocks), electro nipple clamps, electro vibrators and butt plugs, and electro wands.

You’ll also find medical fetish toys like speculums, pussy pumps, sounding rods, enema equipment, penis extenders, and cock cages. These toys definitely aren’t for beginners and should only be used with extreme care!

Do BDSM toys hurt?

A common misconception about BDSM is that it has to involve causing pain and discomfort. The truth is that it can do, but only if both partners want it to! During bondage, the actual bindings such as tape, rope, and cuffs should never cause pain.

They should never be so tight that they hurt; if they do, it’s a sign that they may be cutting off blood flow. This can cause lasting injury, such as nerve damage. Not cool.

However, when it comes to BDSM equipment designed for stimulation, there are many different ways to use them. At one end of the scale, you can use BDSM toys to merely tease your partner and heighten their arousal without causing pain. Even menacing-looking toys such as leather whips can be used softly to deliver feather-light strokers that tease and tickle instead of stinging. At the other extreme, any BDSM toy can be used to inflict pain, if you want it to.

Even harmless-looking toys like feather ticklers could be used to deliver some fairly stinging spanks if you know what you’re doing! So, it’s really more about what you do with the toys rather than the actual toys themselves!

That’s why you and your partner need to discuss your boundaries beforehand and agree upon how far you’ll push things before you start playing!

How to introduce BDSM toys into your relationship

If BDSM isn’t currently part of your sex life, it’s important you know the right way to introduce it into your relationship. Many sex experts agree that the type of relationship depicted in 50 Shades of Grey is extremely unsafe. So what steps should you take? There are five main steps, as follows:

1. Break the ice

Surprising your partner from time to time can be fun, but when it comes to BDSM equipment, don’t. It’s best to have an open, frank discussion before introducing any toy into your relationship. Being tied up or otherwise restrained can make some people panic, so you need to find out your partner’s desires and limits first.

Breaking the ice can be scary, but being straight-forward is often the best approach. Find a quiet time you can be alone with your partner and simply make a suggestion, like;

  • “I’d really like you blindfold you and eat you out, want to try it?”
  • “I keep having this fantasy where you’re in charge during sex. Interested?”
  • “I love the idea of being spanked, would that turn you on?”

Making open-ended suggestions is a non-threatening way of testing the waters and working out where you and your partner might be able to start. You get to see things from your partner’s point of view. If they’re okay with it, you might start with some super-sensual romantic play first and then move on to more advanced BDSM play if you enjoy it.

2. Establish clear consent

Consent is one of the most misunderstood aspects of BDSM. To an outsider, rough play involving things like restraints and spanking seems like it’s all about one person ‘punishing’ or ‘abusing’ the other.

In reality, BDSM play is all about role-playing; one person is playing the dominant role, and the other person is playing the submissive role. It’s entirely consensual. The person being dominated or submissive actually holds the power; they are consenting to let their partner dominate them. It’s like giving them a beautiful gift!

That’s why before using any BDSM gear, you must establish clear consent. Be clear about what is and what isn’t acceptable and respect your partner’s wishes if they aren’t interested at all. To hone in on what you and your partner will and won’t consent to, asking yourselves these questions may help:

“Do you have a preference over who is in charge?”
“Do you want to enhance pleasure and foreplay or experiment with power dynamics?”
“Do you want to remain in control or feel powerless?”

Answering these questions frankly will help you understand what you and your partner are and aren’t consenting to.

3. Set boundaries and a safe word or gesture

BDSM equipment can be used in a wide range of ways, from gentle and super-sensual to painful and hardcore. You must discuss your comfort zone and ‘boundaries’ with your partner before you begin. This is critically important. It’s important that you know how far you can escalate things before you get started.

To help each other know when you cross the line, you should set a safe word that you or your partner can use to stop and play at any point. If you plan to do anything that obstructs speech – such as a gag – then it’s smart to agree upon a safe gesture as well. You must always respect the safe word or gesture and stop instantly whenever it’s used. This helps build trust – an essential part of using BDSM toys.

4. Build your own BDSM ‘first aid’ kit

Safety should be your number one priority whenever using a BDSM sex toy. So, a great idea is to create a small ‘first aid’ kit that you can have on hand in case of an emergency. Some good things to include are lubricant, spare keys (if you’re using metal handcuffs), and dressing scissors to cut through fabric cuffs and ties if things go wrong.

5. Test before playing

Before introducing any BDSM equipment in the bedroom, it’s important to test it in a non-sexual setting first. You must take full responsibility for any toy you try, so it’s important to know how to use it safely without causing harm or injury. Things like the release mechanisms on collars, cuffs, and restraints are especially important.

When restraining your partner, always leave a one-finger width gap between the restrain and your partner’s skin. No tighter or you risk cutting off the blood circulation. On the subject of testing, let’s see some of the best BDSM toys you can buy right now!


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The 10 best BDSM toys for beginners

If you’re sick of vanilla sex and want to turn up the heat in your sex life, these ten bondage toys for beginners are all you need to get started! The following toys are ultra-safe, super-gentle, and almost impossible to do any real harm with.

They’ve been specially designed to help you inject a little excitement into your bedroom routine with the minimum of fuss and are sure to go down a treat!

1. The Hot Knots Beginner bondage game

If you fancy trying some light bondage but aren’t sure where to start, the Hot Knots game is just what you need to break the ice! This nifty kit comes with a plush satin blindfold, two silk sashes, and a deck of cards – each one with a different sexy bondage idea for you to try. Simply place the cards face down and take turns selecting one and following the instructions.

The ideas are extremely erotic and will help you find your own style of BDSM play. Things like “Blindfold your partner and whisper a secret fantasy into their ear” should make you both wet with delight!

A neat touch is the inclusion of four ‘Switch’ cards that you can keep hold of and use whenever you want to ‘switch’ the roles. If you draw a card that tells you to, say, spank your partner, but you want to know what it’s like to be spanked, use one of your ‘Switch’ cards and find out!

2. The Tie and Tease kit

The Tie and Tease kit from Lovehoney is another great BDSM item for couples who want to experiment with bondage and sensory play for the first time. The kit comes with step-by-step instructions on how to tease, tickle, and tie your partner. After mastering each item individually, you can combine all three items – the blindfold, binds, and tickler – for the complete experience.

My favorite thing about this kit is that the plush eye mask, the feather tickler, and the silky ribbon restraints are completely non-intimidating and fuss-free. You don’t have to worry about hurting your partner, yet can still thrill them and explore their boundaries! You can use the blindfold to heighten their sensitivity and binds to restrain them, and the tickler to wake up their nerve-endings and drive them wild with delight!

3. Soft collar and leash

If you want to assert your dominance between the sheets (or anywhere else!), this soft collar and leash is one sexiest BDSM toys you can buy! The light, flexible fabric, and forgiving Velcro fastening make it perfect for first-timers. When combined with a tickler and pair of silk sashes, you’ll have all the key ingredients for keeping your lover in check (or vice versa!).

What I love about this toy is that it works well with almost every sex act you can think of – from foreplay to oral sex – like blowjobs – and more! The first time I introduced this with my boyfriend, I slipped it on and then surprised him while he was watching TV. I simply knelt down in front of him and handed him the lead – I didn’t need to say anything!

4. Fifty Shades of Grey Nothing but Sensation Nipple Suckers

If you’re looking to boost your arousal like crazy, this pair of Fifty Shades of Grey Nothing but Sensation Nipple Suckers won’t disappoint! Simply squeeze the soft cups and release them over yours or your partner’s nipples, and they’ll deliver gentle pressure that feels absolutely exquisite!

These may not look as ‘hard’ or intimidating as metal BDSM nipple clamps, but they feel every bit as intense! Once applied, the pressure increases blood flood to the nipples and creates a deliciously tingly feeling. When these suckers are removed, the nipples will be super-sensitive! Light kisses, licks, and nibbles will feel overwhelmingly awesome!

5. Bondage Boutique Slap ‘n’ Tickle 10 Inch Rubber Flogger

Once you’ve tried tickling and want to graduate to the big league, this Bondage Boutique Slap ‘n’ Tickle 10 Inch Rubber Flogger is all you need. The fronds are made from soft rubber that’s perfect for tickling and teasing your partner into submission. If you want to hand out a little more punishment, you can use the flogger to deliver sharper, more stinging strokes that will keep your lover tantalized and amazed.

This is one of the best beginner floggers I’ve ever tried, and I absolutely love how it can be used to deliver a huge range of sensations, from barely-there strokes up to stinging swings! It pairs well with every other toy on the list – especially blindfolds, binds, and nipple clamps. It’s sure to help you fulfill any 50 Shades of Grey style fantasies you may be harboring!

6. Bondage Boutique Adjustable Nipple Clamps and Clit Clamp

If nipple suckers are too tame for your liking, this set of Adjustable Nipple Clamps and Clit Clamp is all you need to transform your sensory play! The two nipple clamps and clit clamp will give your partner a satisfying ‘nip’ in their most sensitive spots and can be easily adjusted to suit any pain tolerance from ‘barely-there’ up to ‘ouch!’.

There are three clamps linked with a strong chain and central O-ring. This lets you pull, tug, and tease your partner until they obey your every demand. You can even attach weights or objects onto the ring to increase the tension. So whether you’re looking to tease and excite or pleasure and punish your other half, this set of clamps is ideal!

7. Remote controlled vibrator

Fancy driving your partner wild and controlling when and where they get their kicks? This remote controlled vibrator won’t disappoint! It slips comfortably inside any shaped vagina and can deliver intense G-spot and clitoral stimulation at the touch of a button.

If your partner’s female or has a vagina, have them wear it while out and about, or on a date, and you’ll delight in being able to make them squirm with one touch of the wireless control! Whether you decide to let them finish in public, or make them wait until you get home, is up to you!

If you’re looking to dominate and control your partner in the bedroom, a wireless vibrator gives you the ultimate power of their sexual pleasure. It’s the perfect compliment to cuffs and restraints; they’ll have no way of removing the vibrator or controlling when you press the buttons once they’re nicely tied up. You’ll get a kick of making your partner beg you to let them cum – or denying them – it’s your call.

8. H’NH Ball Gag

If the thought of seeing your partner drool helplessly turns you on, this H’NH Ball Gag is one of the best BDSM items you could ask for. Its adjustable strap fits any head size, and the smooth, soft silicone ball will stifle your lover’s moans without causing pain. When it comes to asserting your dominance and forcing your partner to submit to your every whim, nothing even comes close to a sexy ball gag.

Ball gags work well with restraint toys as they heighten the sense of powerlessness that your partner experiences. With one of these in their mouth, they’ll be left in no doubt as to who’s in charge in the bedroom. Just remember to set a safe gesture before you try this toy out – you may not be able to hear a safe word when your partner has a ball in their mouth!

9. Bondage Boutique Black Bound to Please Under Mattress Restraint

If silky sashes and ribbon restraints aren’t strict enough for you, this Bondage Boutique Black Bound to Please Under Mattress Restraint kit is all you need to completely immobilize your partner. Simply run the straps under your mattress, and your bed will be instantly transformed into a 4-point spreader-style playground! You can secure your partner’s wrists and ankles using the fabric cuffs and delight as they squirm and thrash around helplessly!

What I love about this kit is that the cuffs are incredibly forgiving; your partner can writhe around as much as they want without any risk of chafing their skin. The cuffs attach with Velcro for ease of release but, in the event of an emergency, you can always cut them with dressing scissors. As the straps are over four feet long, this kit will fit any sized bed up to King size – making it perfect for dirty weekends away!

10. Bondage Boutique Stainless Steel Wartenberg Pinwheel

If you want to make your partner’s heart rate spike like crazy, this Bondage Boutique Stainless Steel Wartenberg Pinwheel will let you create delicious little prickles all over their body! Don’t be fooled by the Pinwheel’s intimidating-looking spikes; they create a thrilling sensation that’s overwhelming without being painful or drawing blood.

There are many different pinwheels to choose from, but what I love about the Wartenberg Pinwheel is its precision, easy-grip handle. It lets you run trails anywhere on your partner’s body and create precise movement without hurting them. The prickly sensation feels amazing when they are blindfolded and restrained – especially on their nipples when you’ve just removed the nipple suckers or clamps!

The 5 best sex positions for BDSM toys

If my selection of BDSM gear has whetted your appetite, you may be wondering, “How do I actually use BDSM toys?”

While BDSM equipment can complement almost any sex position, from blowjobs to cunnilingus and missionary, certain positions offer unbeatable advantages – almost like they were designed for BDSM toys!

So if you’re stuck for ideas, here are my top 5 sex positions for playing with BDSM toys for the first time!

1. The Prison Guard

Technique: If you want to show your partner who’s boss, stand behind them and firmly clasp their wrists with your hands. Tie them with silks sashes or cuffs (depending on how rough you feel like being!) and use your feet to spread their legs apart.

Grab their hair and roughly push them forward, so their head is down and facing the floor. If you can’t wait to get to the bedroom, you can penetrate them right there and then. You can also grab their wrists and use the leverage to control the depth and pace of the thrusts.

Advantages:

  • The ‘Prison Guard’ is great for exploring power dynamics – it’s just like detaining and manhandling a prisoner, leaving your partner quite clear about the sexual polarity of your relationship!
  • This is a great position for introducing some more advanced BDSM items like metal cuffs. You can role-play with the dominant partner being the ‘dirty cop’ and using the cuffs to subdue the ‘criminal.’
  • This position is amazing for rough and ready ‘quickie’ sex – check out my complete guide to quickie sex for more ideas!

2. Doggy Style

Technique: If you’ve always fantasized about taking charge during sex, Doggy Style is your go-to move! Have your partner kneel on the bed and bind their wrists with silk sashes (or cuffs if you fancy being stricter!). Blindfold and ball gag them and then push them forward so that they are on all fours. Kneel behind them and hold their hips as you start to thrust into them!

Advantages

  • Doggy Style is rough, dirty, and animalistic – just the ticket for when you want to play with BDSM toys! You can use things like ticklers, floggers, and pinwheels to incorporate a whole host of sensations and drive your partner wild while you thrust.
  • If you’re the ‘sub’ and want to experience what it feels like to be powerless, Doggy style is one of the best moves to try. Your partner will get a huge rush from being dominant. Wearing a collar will let them control your body and enhance your feelings of submissiveness while they talk dirty to you!
  • If you’ve always wanted to try dominating and degrading your other half, there’s no better position than Doggy Style. You can muzzle them with a ball gag and pull them into you using a collar and leash. This will leave them in no doubt as to who’s in charge!

3. Cowgirl

Technique: Cowgirl is not only one of the best sex positions for women, but it’s also unbeatable for playing with BDSM toys! Have your partner lay on the bed with their arms and legs spread-eagled. The silk sashes in the Tie and Tease kit will get the job done, but the Under Mattress Restraint kit works even better!

With their wrist and ankles nicely secured, straddle their waist. Blindfold and ball gag them if you wish and then start stimulating them with your favorite toys – nipple suckers, ticklers, floggers, and pinwheels work well. Promise to stop only when they agree to make love to you – or keep teasing and tormenting them – it’s your call!

Advantages

  • Girls who fancy taking control in the bedroom are sure to love the Cowgirl position. It gives them almost complete control over the depth and speed of the sex and lets them stay in the driving seat throughout.
  • Guys who fantasize about letting their women take control will love the feeling of helplessness this position offers.
  • Great for G-spot stimulation and amazing for orgasms – this position is win-win for both partners!

4. The Downward Doggie

Technique: The ‘sub’ or receiving partner kneels down on the bed and leans forward onto their elbows. The dominant partner kneels between their thighs and enters them from behind. They can control their partner, talk dirty, and make them submit to their every desire. You can add cuffs, a collar, a blindfold, and ball gag to make this position stricter!

Advantages:

  • The Downward Doggie offers all the great benefits of Doggy Style like easy access, deep thrusting, and plenty of control, but it is more comfortable for the ‘sub’ and puts less strain on their hips and lower back.
  • This position lends itself well to almost every BDSM toy imaginable – from blindfolds, ball gags, cuffs, and floggers – you name it, you can use it in this position!
  • When the female partner or ‘vulva-haver’ is in the lower position, they’ll experience more clitoral pleasure because of the way the vagina is squeezed. The thrusts of the ‘dom’ will hit the G-area and give more pleasure.
  • If you want to experiment with strapon sex or pegging, the Downward Doggie is a great position to try. The angle of the sub’s hips makes rear penetration a cinch.

5. The Spread Eagle

Technique: The ‘sub’ lies on their back and spreads their legs. The ‘dom’ kneels in front of their sub and push their legs upwards, so they are pointing up in the air. They go into a kneeling press-up position and start thrusting deeply into their partner. To make the position stricter, the sub’s wrists can be cuffed to the bed frame or secured with an under-bed restraint kit.

Advantages:

  • The Spread Eagle is great for experimenting with BDSM toys as it exposes most of the ‘sub’s’ body while also being great for clitoral and G-area stimulation!
  • The dominant partner can use cuffs and other BDSM restraints to keep their sub in the perfect position for deep penetration. This frees up their hands for whichever toys they fancy using, such as ticklers, pinwheels, and paddles.
  • This position is a great example of a way that BDSM toys can help improve sex and open up new possibilities. Many subs will lack the strength to keep their legs pointing upwards for any length of time, making this position a no-go. However, with some cuffs or an under-mattress restraint kit, this position becomes much easier.

Final thoughts

If you were curious about BDSM toys, hopefully, this guide has answered all your questions! From choosing the right toys to making your first purchase and trying them out for the first time, I’ve covered it all.

With a seemingly infinite number of toys to choose from, your main problem will be deciding which one to buy! The possibilities are endless, and there are thousands of toys and positions just waiting for you to explore.

If you find a cool toy or position that you want to share, feel free to drop me a comment below! You never know, you might pick up a few tips along the way too!

Good luck!

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