Gags

Bondage and gags can be a dangerous combination. Consider not using gags unless you are with a partner who you personally know and trust and who is experienced with bondage. If you are going to use a gag, carefully consider what “safe signal” the bottom can use- it needs to be compatible with the bondage for that scene. A safe signal of opening and closing hands will not work if the bottom is tied with their back to a wall and their hands behind their butt. Sometimes a combination of grunting noises and body signals can work, but this relies on trust and a perceptive bondage top!

IMG_5847Remember that nerve damage can happen in seconds, and while a bondage top can assess the bottom for signs of nerve damage, there are no perfect assessment tests. This means that even if the bondage top does nothing but assess the bottom’s nerve function for the entire duration of the bondage scene (not likely!), they are STILL relying on the bottom to communicate! Bondage tops cannot see nerve damage happening. If the bondage bottom can’t communicate to protect themselves… there is potential for disaster. As an additional note, if you’re planning to play with a gag in a playspace that has DMs, they may want/require you to notify them of the bottom’s “safe signal”- doing this in advance may keep your scene from being interrupted.

If you want the feeling and look of being gagged while maintaining more safety, most bottoms can find a “sweet spot” with gags (at least common ball gags) where the gag will stay in and have the desired sexy effects, BUT is just loose enough that they can spit it out of their mouths if they really want/need to. Bottoms, if you want to be gagged, consider providing your own gag (shared gags are kinda yucky anyway), with the “sweet spot” for tightness indicated in some way. For a buckled gag, you could use a silver permanent marker or colored grommet to mark the appropriate hole for the buckle to fasten through.

Gags and Suspension
Gags are not often combined with suspension, and for good reason. In addition to the usual considerations about communication, there is additional increased concern about the possibility of vomiting. Many bottoms are prone to nausea and vomiting in suspension, especially when there is inversion, tight constriction, a lot of movement, or spinning. I’ve personally become very nauseated in suspension, had someone I rigged throw up while in the air (of course I got them down right away). As a host/DM, I’ve cleaned up the mess from someone else’s unintentional suspension bondage roman showers several times.

Throwing up with a gag in place can easily have disastrous, even fatal, consequences. If you do decided to use a gag, especially for suspension, consider how quickly it could be removed in an emergency (asthma attack, fainting, vomiting). A ball gag with a thin strap is easily unfastened or cut off. Heavy gags/hoods that would be impossible to remove FAST are a big safety concern, and as a bottom wearing one, you’re betting your life that you either won’t vomit or that your top will be able to remove the gag in time if you start to feel nauseated. Consider your own risk profile (are you prone to motion sickness?) and whether this is worth it to you.