I review sex toys for sextoy.com. You can find the KinkLab Vampire Gloves and other Kink Toys on their site. Disclaimer: Although I am not paid for these reviews (unless you purchase something via an affiliate link), I am sent free toys in return for my honest opinion.
I’ve always enjoyed vampire gloves when I got to experience them, or on the rare occasions when I got to borrow a pair that fit my hands. For a while, the only person I knew with them was a Domme with tiny hands, so I couldn’t borrow hers! It took owning my first pair — a wonderful Christmas gift from Domina Doll at sextoy.com — before I was able to really fall in love.
What are vampire gloves? Imagine leather gloves with small, blunt nails sewn into the fingers, palm-side down. Make no mistake about it — the KinkLab Vampire Gloves look intimidating and that intimidation factor is some of their charm in the hands of a creative dominant.
The reality is that, despite their name and fearsome appearance, most of the time playing with vampire gloves falls under sensation play. It might seem obvious to say that these toys feel sharp, but you can roughly categorize different kink toys by the sensations they produce — thuddy (many paddles and some broad-tailed floggers), stingy (lots of whips and some thinner floggers), hot (fire play, candle wax). Many submissives or kink bottoms love sharp sensations; if you’ve enjoyed a lover’s fingernails then you might enjoy vampire gloves.
The sensations these toys can produce range from very ticklish to pleasantly scratchy to very sharp depending on where and how you use them. My lover “Honey J” described them as feeling ‘like a cat’s scratchy tongue’ when I ran them lightly over her legs. I have seen blood drawn with a set of vampire gloves — this was done to my pet once with another set of vampire gloves when she was spanked with them after a long, heavy session with many other impact toys.
However, this is far from the norm — with light play you will probably not leave any marks at all, or only the lightest of scratches that will quickly fade from most skin types. With more pressure, you might leave scratches or little pinpoint marks that will linger a little longer. This will vary from person to person, so you’ll have to get used to what leaves marks on them (and make sure they’re ok with it!).
This is a toy that is easily portable — though you might want to store them in some kind of pouch for travel. They don’t have a loop for hanging, but if you close the little buttons at the wrist you could easily slip them over a hook. The leather is soft and smells great. Vampire Gloves have an advantage over many kink toys like floggers in that you can practice very easily on yourself by experimenting with what different amounts of pressure or different motions feel like on your own; this makes them one of the easier kink toys to learn to use properly. My play partners loved the feel of them almost anywhere, but especially on backs, arms and legs, nipples and breasts, and even gently held against their necks.
Sizing is a potential issue, especially when you are ordering from the Internet. These vampire gloves are available in five sizes. My hands are small for a cisgendered man, so I fit comfortably into the Medium size with a fair amount of room to spare. The sextoy.com website gives some sizing instructions, but you should probably figure out what size of standard men’s leather gloves you fit into before ordering. It’s also worth noting that while you can clean the spikes with some alcohol, nothing can truly sterilize leather; keep this in mind if you plan for them to come into contact with bodily fluids of any kind.
As a final tip for new users of this toy, I think it’s usually better to wear just one glove while using the other, bare hand for balance, restraint, or to create other sensations. One notable exception to this would be when your play partner is in an upright position, such as when they are restrained to a wall or any vertical dungeon furniture.
I’m sure you can tell — I’ve gone on for over 800 words — how enamored I am of these gloves. Like my favorite riding crop, the KinkLab Vampire Gloves are that rare toy which instantly became a favorite part of my kinky repertoire the moment I received them. You should try them too — but if you’re looking for an even easier “sharp” sensation toy to learn, why not try the a Wartenberg Pinwheel?
Thanks to Maenad (as well as all my play partners) for input on this review.