I review sex toys for sextoy.com. You can find the Bondage Basics Wrist Cuffs 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.
Much of BDSM — and specifically dominance and submission — is about the voluntary loss of control. Many submissives I know gain an immense amount of pleasure, as well as a sense of deep security, out of being bound even in symbolic ways to their Dominants. Even before you use them for physical restraint, asking a play partner to wear your cuffs — to bed, for a play session, or even for a day — creates a symbolic but temporary mark of ownership that both may find very rewarding.
There are many different designs when it comes to wrist cuffs but the Bondage Basics Wrist Cuffs from KinkLab have one of my favorite features, the reason I picked them from the sextoy.com catalog: they can be locked in place on a lover’s wrists. Where most manacle-style cuffs have a simple buckle, these can be used with or without a padlock. They are secured around the wrist by a long strip of leather that goes through both the D-ring and the clasp and then can be tucked in for added snugness. However, you can also slip any kind of lock into the closure as well to create an even deeper sense of restraint.
While rope is a wonderfully appealing medium to play in, I’ve always had a special place in my heart for leather and chains, the way they feel and sound and the sense of unbreakableness they convey. Most sex toy vendors have poor options when it comes to locks, unfortunately, so I’ve always favored using keyed luggage locks. These small brass padlocks come in sets of 4, 6 or even 12 locks with an equal number of matching keys and are readily available from Amazon or your local locksmith or hardware store. Since they come with so many keys you can keep one on your keychain and stash spares in places like your toychest or jewelry box, and know you’ll always be able to let your lover out in an emergency.
These cuffs are made of very simple, somewhat thin leather. When I first unpacked the cuffs from their plastic tube they had an unpleasant chemical odor. However, the odor has dissipated now that they have aired out, and the toy now has a faint but pleasant leather smell. The tube is probably reusable to hold small items like your padlocks or carabiners but the smell made me throw it out.
One drawback of these cuffs is that the d-ring — the point opposite the clasp which you use to fasten your play partner to a tie-down point — is unusually small. You could easily get one of the small locks we’ve been discussing through it, or the clasp of a leash, but for other purposes you will want to attach something larger like a metal ring or carabiner.
There is no lining on the leather, and the metal from the hardware shows through on the inside. This could be a concern for comfort during longer wearings, or a possible issue for those like my Pet who have nickel allergies. However, she wore this toy for many hours on two separate days of her most recent visit to Austin. She wore the cuffs during both play and normal everyday activities. They were even comfortable enough to fall asleep in, though the padlocks later woke her up. She had no allergic reaction. Mz Honey J, Squeak, and at least one other play partner has worn these now. They even fit my visiting friend with benefits last weekend who had some of the smallest wrists I’ve ever seen.
Of course these cuffs are not strong enough for use in a suspension scene or anything similar. But for everyday play, they were comfortable, easy to put on, and secure. Despite their simplicity and the drawbacks I outlined above, the Bondage Basics Wrist Cuffs are going to see a lot of use in my circle: at play parties, in the bedroom, or anytime I feel like placing my mark on a lover.