Playbag – Handcuffs

Handcuffs (and handcuff play) seems like pretty easy thing to use in the bedroom. In fact, I bet it’s the first (and for many, only) kinky ‘toy’ people have. Using handcuffs isn’t hard, but like any toy there are some things to remember.

First and foremost, it’s metal vs. skin, so be careful. No matter what kind of handcuffs you use, be aware of what kind of damage you are doing to your partner during play. At the very least, there will some redness and sore muscles – at worst, you could pull a muscle or cause your partner distress. That’s why you want to make sure your handcuffs are in good condition, and, of course, you have consent for this type of play!

I highly recommend handcuffs that are made for play and have safety releases on them, but if you go for the real deal┬ámake sure you can open them at least two ways. All (real) handcuffs should have a way to open them, and an emergency way to get them off – usually a key, and a shim. Keys get lost and locking mechanisms can rust, so an emergency way to get them open is must. Here is a video about it, if you want to see. Alternatively, if you are using plastic handcuffs or ties, make sure to have two sets of scissors or knives to cut them off. You have never experienced panic until you go to cut off some zip-ties and your scissors come apart.

Last word about locking them, even if you have ten ways to get the handcuffs off, make sure to practice unlocking them before you put them on. Bathroom or other emergencies happen even when you are getting sexy.

Now it’s time to put them on, I think everyone knows how to do this. Here are some safety tips to remember –

  • Do not overextend the arm. Distress play should only be done if you have a lot of experience, muscles get pulled and shoulders dislocate even if you are being super careful. Make sure your partner has a bend at the elbows and can move their arms and hands, even if a little bit.
  • Circulation – keep it going. Watch your partner’s fingers for any sign that blood flow is constricted. If their fingers start to redden or purple, don’t ask – get the handcuffs off and lower their arms. The cuffs don’t have to be super tight to cut off circulation, it could be the position or the way they are laying. Don’t play around with someone’s blood flow.
  • Don’t pull on your partner’s body when they are handcuffed to something. They have no give and when you push or pull them too far something is going to give, and it’s not going to be the metal handcuffs. If you need bondage with give or distance, try some rope or tape, handcuffs aren’t ideal for that. Also, don’t ask them to move around a lot. No matter if their hands are cuffed before or behind them, with their hands bound, their balance is not perfect and they have no way to stop or avert a fall.
  • This is play, and with all play, you must have a safeword. If you hear that safeword, stop what you are doing, take off the handcuffs, and find out what else might be wrong. Don’t wait, the safeword has been given, and you must get your partner from play to safety as soon as sanely possible.
  • Do not use handcuffs for any other part of the body but the wrists. If you want to bind other parts, use other toys. There is wealth of ankle cuffs, arm binders, and other bondage toys for other parts of the body.

If you tying our partner down, make sure you’re doing it with safety in mind. And never lose the key!

Until the next time, keep talking the taboos!


(Photo credit: bookgrl / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND)

Ms Pomegranate is an experienced sex educator - concentrating on Sexual health in the teen years, and BDSM for beginners. In the scene she is a rope bottom for MrBLK, and domme for all who would venture into her domain. Sex blogger, sex educator, and sexy - talking the taboos!

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