Mouth Gags 101: Exploring the Many Purposes, Designs

Lynda Mort

Mouth gags aren’t simply used to muffle cries of passion. Although they certainly hinder the wearer’s ability to speak, most gags still allow for moaning, screaming and grunting. So if they aren’t for keeping quiet while getting frisky, what are they for?

Gags come in many forms and can serve a number of purposes. Most are suitable for both novice and experienced BDSM players, which makes them a wonderful addition to kinky starter kits or for longtime kinksters in search of something new. When assisting customers, don’t overlook the role that a mouth gag can play in their bedroom adventures. Be prepared to illustrate the differences in styles and function so they can find what best suits their play style.

When experimenting with a new gag, only wear it for about 10 minutes at a time to make sure there’s no residual soreness. Extend your time a little each session until you have a good idea of where your threshold is.

What’s so appealing about mouth gags?

This kind of toy is typically used in dominant/submissive BDSM play. Dominants may like using gags because it’s a way to exert their authority over the submissive. Removing someone’s ability to speak is a very powerful thing and an effective way to mentally take control of another.

Many dominants find the look of a bound and gagged partner exceptionally sexy. It forces the wearer to communicate and express their emotions through wide, open, eager eyes. Even the drool they produce can be an incredible turn on.

The reasons why submissives like gags are plentiful and often very specific to the wearer and the dynamic they have with their partner. Gags can help those who have a hard time “letting go” give into physical sensations. Others may find wearing one titillating because it’s erotically humiliating. For those aroused by humiliation, the drool and perceived unflattering look of wearing a gag feeds right into their kink. Finding a state of deep vulnerability and helplessness is often a submissive’s goal, and slapping a gag on when play starts can help them get into that headspace quickly.

Where should someone start with mouth gags?

The first thing to determine is what purpose you want a gag to serve. Do you want a gag that obstructs the mouth, forces it open, or that serves multiple functions?

The Silicone Ball Gag with Leather Straps by Greygasms is a wonderful example of one of the most common types of BDSM gags. This style is what most of us think of as stereotypical fetish imagery. Although this is the type of gag most associated with sex play, buyers don’t have to start there; those specifically looking for a gag to fill or obstruct the mouth will find items like the Mouth Harness with Ball Gag by Strict, Inflatable Butterfly Gag by Master Series, or Beginner’s Penis Mouth Gag by Frisky useful.

Mouth Gag by Frisky useful. Gags that leave the mouth open for exploration can be amazingly playful, and this style also tends to induce quite a bit of drooling, which can be sexy. Some gags, like the Side Mouth Spreader or Spider Mouth Gag, both by Strict, leave the lips gaping open and ready for probing fingers or other instruments. Not all open mouth gags are wide enough to accommodate a penis, however; so if that’s the customer's goal, be sure to check the diameter of openings and rings to make sure a penis can fit through. Suggest something like the Deep Throat Gag by Strict, which is made specifically for penile penetration.

For those looking for more restrictive feeling, the Head Harness Ball Gag by Strict Leather has straps that extend over the face. This gives the wearer a sense of being more heavily bound while adding additional attachment points around the head for more extensive bondage. The Blindfold Harness and Ball Gag by Strict Leather takes things a step further, combining mouth restriction with eye cover for the ultimate in sensory deprivation.

A forniphilic gag is multifunctional and sports an attachment allowing the dominant to objectify the wearer. The Inflatable Gag with Dildo by Master Series is a forniphilic gag that turns the submissive's head into a sex toy. It’s common with this type of gag for the top to restrict the bottom’s hands so they have no physical control while their partner uses their face as if it were merely an object.

What precautions should be taken with gags?

Although it’s possible to make quite a bit of noise while wearing a gag, most vocal attempts sound like indistinguishable grunts. This makes using safewords tricky. Rather than relying on muffled vocals to communicate, it’s a good idea to use an agreed-up-on nonverbal safe signal when playing with gags. Common signals are two distinct taps on the arm or snapping fingers. The submissive may also hold a rubber ball or set of keys in their hand that when dropped means the safeword is called.

When it comes to comfort, the common sense approach is a good one. Those with existing jaw, teeth or mouth issues should avoid wearing gags. It is also possible for otherwise healthy people to strain or overextend their jaw during an overzealous play session.

When experimenting with a new gag, only wear it for about 10 minutes at a time to make sure there’s no residual soreness. Extend your time a little each session until you have a good idea of where your threshold is. Any time the wearer’s mouth feels sore, they should call their safeword to rest their mouth immediately.

When you’re helping customers find new kink toys, remind them that gags aren’t only used to keep sex silent enough not to disturb the neighbors. While they certainly can be used this way, they offer so much more. Mouth gags are versatile play tools that add depth to sensory deprivation scenes, bondage scenarios, roleplays, objectification and service scenes, erotic humiliation, and wherever the imagination takes you.

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