Ball Gags, Bits, and Other Things to Shove in Your Mouth

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I decided to write a blog post about the difference between these forms of mouth-stuffers as Mistress Kay's comment on my review inspired me; their comfort level, how they work, what are the best features to use, who they're best for, and why you, a friend, or a partner might want to use them during play. Generally speaking, there are four different types of gags: bit gags, ball gags, open-mouth gags and binky gags. Each of them can be used for specific times and styles, and they all work very, very well.

Binky Gags
First, let's start out with binky gags. These are the easiest to hold in the submissive's mouth, and can sometimes be the most comfortable, depending on their size. Their name comes from the fact that they are shaped somewhat like a binky, with a protruding portion that sits in the mouth and a base that covers the wearer's lips. They come in all different shapes and sizes, some simply shaped like round balls, others more phallic, and others yet odd and intricate shapes.

This binky gag by Tantus is a phallic-shaped silicone gag, that's a bit larger and sits further back in the mouth. Edenfantasys also has another silicone by Tantus, their Beginner Ball gag. Both have velcro closures, which work very well for people new to using gags so that they can quickly undo the gag and take it off of the wearer. For more experienced users, finding a perfect binky gag with a locking buckle is hard, but possible. I've seen a few on the internet and in person.

When worn on the submissive, they are hard to spit out since they're locked in place. Ball gags and pony bits can sometimes be wrestled with and the submissive can nuzzle the gag out of their mouth in defiance (as a Dominant, I would not enjoy that one bit). Binky gags have no way of getting out of the submissive's mouth, as the base provides a sort of suction on the wearer's lips.

Now I'm going to give a short list of the positives and negatives of binky gags:
+/- Their style/design and aesthetic appeal
+ Very comfortable, can be worn for longer periods of time if the binky isn't too large
- Often times come with velcro straps since they are perceived as "beginner"
+/- Look childish
+ Cannot be spit or wrestled out of the mouth
+ Block mostly all noise from wearer
+ Great for beginners and experienced users

Ball Gags
Ball gags happen to be the most well-known and mainstream gags used, to my general knowledge. They are most times the first thing that a person will pick up if they're just getting into gagging their partner or being gagged. They're the most well-known, and even vanilla couples know about them! In all honesty, however, they are not as easy-going as binky gags. They can sometimes be very hard to work up to, so for ball gags, size is everything.

Ball gags are just that—they are balls attached to a strap that wrap around the head. The ball sits in the mouth, blocking a good amount of noise but allowing a lot of saliva to dribble. Sometimes, they can be spit out if the strap isn't tight enough; because of this, you must make sure that the strap is secure, but also comfortable for the wearer. There are two different ball gags: hollow ball gags, which sometimes have holes in them for easy breathing, or solid balls. The solid balls are basically like bouncy balls you might have played with as a child—you can actually make your own gag very easily with a bouncy ball, even though it might not be body-safe.

Ball gags come in all different sizes, materials, and strap closures. They can be made for more experienced users, with a silicone ball and locking buckle, or for people just "trying it out," with rubber, a cheaper material, and a regular buckle or velcro closure. Ball gags have the capability of being both your first and last gag, as they can evolve with you as you grow. Before buying, look at girth/diameter of the ball and put fingers into the mouth that make that same diameter to make sure that you will not get anything too big.

To sum ball gags up:
+ Evolve with you as you grow sexually in BDSM
+/- Most everyone knows what they are or has been exposed to them
+ Can be used by beginners or rougher players
+ Come in a variety of sizes and strap designs
- Noise can sometimes seep through
+/- Can sometimes be messy from all of the dribble (I personally love that)
- Have the possibility of being spit out if strap is too loose
+ Classic look

Bit Gags
Finally, we come to my absolute favorite of all the styles out there: bit gags. They just have this absolute appeal to me that I cannot even describe. They work well for pony-play, and also for people attracted to the design. Some people may actually be intimidated by bit gags, because they are marketed for pony-play (don't be—if you're experienced and think that you can handle it, go for it!) Me personally, I love all of the trappings of pony-play, without the pony aspect. And bit gags, in my opinion, certainly are the most attractive and alluring of all gags (next to binky gags).

The bit is a long piece of either wood, rubber, or silicone that extends the width of the mouth with cheek rings attached to either side and a strap to go around the head. They are probably the hardest thing to purchase as there are a ton of things to take into account before buying one, such as, am I ready for this? will this add anything to my collection? will I have fun with it? is it worth the price? You'll want to look for quality, material, and of course, whether or not it's the right one for you.

Bit gags can sometimes be more difficult to hold in the mouth because the teeth must clamp around them in a certain way, not restricting sound, but causing a lot of dribble and sometimes discomfort. Bit gags need to be worked up to, definitely; for my partner, it was hard for her to hold her gag in her mouth at all. She got nervous, flustered, and I had to take it off of her because it just was not a good (first, mind you) experience for her. As you can see, no matter how experienced you may be with playing with partners with gags, the person you choose to play with must also be before you spring bit gags on them.

Sinvention has a number of great bit gags, my personal favorite being their Happy Mouth Bit. All of Sinventions things, though of higher quality, are much more expensive and not worth the money for a first-timer. Edenfantays carries this gag, which is a low price and great for people wanting to try bit gags out, either for pony-play or just plain gag purposes. It has a silicone bit, which is soft and easy on the mouth (cannot be bit through, though) and a sturdy, non-locking buckle and leather strap. They are definitely pieces that need to be worked up to, but once they are, they can be extremely pleasurable and enjoyable.

A couple of great and bad points of bit gags:
- Might be too big for starters
+/- Perceived to be specifically for equestrian play
+ Absolutely beautiful design
- Can become uncomfortable
+ When used in pony play, pony is able to neigh
+/- There may be drool
+ Made of various materials and sizes to fit different people

Open-Mouth Gags
These types of mouth gags are the most serious, hardcore, intimidating, and extreme gags out there. You will typically see them in rougher BDSM and medical scenes. These forms of gags require a lot of experience and a lot of caution; they are not something that can be jumped into using, and they certainly should not be. Open-mouth gags need to be discussed diligently so that all partners involved in play understand that they will be used. Communication is key, especially with open-mouth gags.

Open-mouth gags can be attractive, beautiful, and very sexy. When worn, the feeling of air drifting into the mouth and saliva dribbling down the chin can be very humiliating as well as pleasurable. But just like the Dominant must be experienced with using them, the submissive must be too. Starting out with open-mouth gags of softer materials, like leather rings, will be a must better start than jumping into the contracting metal designs.

There are a number of different designs with open-mouth gags, each of them of varying intensities. There are open-mouth gags with have a regular o-ring mouthpiece that sits in the wearer's mouth during play. These gags are great for Dominants who enjoy to hear their submissive squeal and attempt to murmur noises, without really getting much out that's understandable. There are also contracting open-mouth gags, which can be clicked or adjusted to open the mouth in increments. The incremental gag is much heavier duty, and only an acquired taste can fully enjoy such a piece. Those are gags for extreme sadists, who enjoy "upping the ante" bit by bit (no pun intended).

So what are some of the good and bad points of open-mouth gags?
- Might be too "hardcore" for some people
+ Typically used in medical scenes
+/- Stylistic design
+ Varying designs for different intensities
- Have a definite learning curve
- Can be uncomfortable at first
+/- Wearer can make noise, but no understandable words
+/- A lot of dribble comes with these gags

Materials and Structures of All Sorts of Gags
The cool thing about the two binky gags that I linked earlier is that the gag can be snapped off and sanitized, and the velcro closure allows easy removal and adjustment. These are some things to look for in gags; what's best for you and why?
  • Material of the gag itself (the thing that will be put in the mouth): There are many gags out there made of rubber, silicone, leather, and metal materials. Each of them give a different feeling in the mouth, and must be taken note of before rushing into things. I suggest silicone for beginners, because it can be sanitized and it's smooshy enough that it's not overwhelming. Rubber is a lot firmer, but can also be good for beginners. More experienced users will use whatever they please: metal open-mouth gags are typically used for medical scenes, and leather gags may be used for pony-play. Any mouth injuries or problems with the teeth should also be taken into account before buying a metal gag, as metal is a very hard material that could possibly damage the teeth if you're not careful. My personal favorites are silicone or leather bits, though leather is a bit harder to hold in the mouth because of the moisture from saliva.
  • Some problems I've had with materials have been taste, which isn't something that can be tested unless the gag is actually bought. The rubber bit gag that I have has this awful scent and even though the taste wasn't bad, the smell was too overpowering. It took a lot of airing out and a lot of washings to make it usable. Rubber also cannot be sanitized, so it was a bit of a downer about the taste/smell. Silicone is wonderful for this exact reason, as it tends to not have any scent or taste. I also like leather and metal, though those are each acquired tastes. Metal is, of course, has a metallic, blood-like taste. Because of this, you need to make sure that you or your slave can hold such a taste in your mouth for long periods of time before buying the gag, as metal gags tend to be a lot of money. Leather does not really have much of a taste at all, but it has a texture that takes some time getting used to, so you may want to train with a piece of scrap leather in your mouth to know what it feels like.
  • So can you clean the gag, and how do you do it? This is something to look for with your gag: cleaning methods, if it will be easy for you or a hassle, and if you want to bother going through the trouble. There are some gags with snap closures that allow you to either slide or remove the gag from the strap, allowing it to be easily cleaned or sanitized. If the gag is made of a rubber, plastic, or leather material, it cannot be sanitized. Silicone and metal, however, can be, by either boiling on the stove for three to five minutes or taking a 10% bleach solution and wiping the gag down. This binky gag can be both sanitized and easily cleaned, as it has snap closures for removal and is made of silicone. My bit gag, however, cannot be removed or sanitized, since the bit is not removable and is not made of a nonporous material. Regardless, it can be easily wiped down. If you play with many partners, be careful when sharing equipment, as you do not want to contract disease because you did not know that your favorite gag could not be sanitized!
  • What's also great about being able to take the gag piece off of the head strap is that you can change different balls with different straps sometimes, depending on the size of the hole in the mouthpiece. So that's another reason to get gags with balls that can be removed!
  • Closure of the gag: Gags can be closed in a number of different ways. There are snap closures, buckle (locking and non-locking), and velcro. Snap and velcro are the easiest off mechanisms, and great for both experienced and beginning users (though I recommend snap closures for more experienced, since they do stay on more closely). Even though snap closures are a bit more of a tight fit than velcro, they are less time consuming to take off and put on than buckles. There are a few different forms of buckles, but the main two that are used are locking and non-locking. Locking buckles have a little hole that clicks onto the buckle where a lock can be slid through. The lock, in essence, keeps the gag locked in place—it cannot be removed unless the person with the lock's coding or key unlocks it. Non-locking buckles (normal buckles you might see on belts) work just as well, though some are a bit more flimsy than others. Check the hardware to see what you like more, and experiment.

Now to end this, remember: always play safe, have a pair of scissors or clippers on hand to get out of really bad situations (do not worry about the gag; if it's ruined, so be it. A life is more worth saving.), and make sure that you have strong communication with the partner(s) you are playing with. Gags can be fun to use, and very erotic and sensual.
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