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Illustrations by Maya Chastain

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If you’re reading this, odds are you’re a proud, pleasure-seeking vibrator owner. And panties hats off to you! Vibrators are a great addition to solo, partnered, and multi-partnered sex alike.

But here’s the rub: Lots of sex-having babes mistakenly think the joy of sex toys start and end with their buzzy BFF.

Well, spoiler alert: That’s false! And it’s extra false once you start to incorporate toys that are a little more… advanced, such as ball gags, chastity belts, and nipple clamps.

To prove our point — and to give some much-needed love to often overlooked motor-free, kinky sex toys — we put together this guide of 28 different sex toy types (click on a product name to shop for it online!) for the kink-curious and BDSM-enthusiasts alike.

In BDSM — that’s bondage, discipline, sadism, and masochism — there’s a guiding principle known as RACK, which is an acronym for risk-aware consensual kink, says Lisa Finn, a sex educator at sex toy boutique Babeland.

The gist behind it is that all the participants involved in a certain sex act (sometimes called “scene”) are aware of the potential risks involved and will do what they can to mitigate those risks.

Whether you consider yourself a long-time participant in the BDSM scene — or just want to dip your bits into the world of kinky sex toys — this principle should guide your use of these toys.

In fact, Finn says, “Because consent and safety should be top of mind with any sexual interaction, RACK is good practice to integrate for all types of sex.”

Let this guide introduce you to and teach you a bit about kinky toys you may never have heard of before. But don’t let it be your only research on how to use them correctly and safely.

For that, pleasure-based, queer-inclusive sex educator and sex positivity advocate Lateef Taylor recommends hiring a Dominatrix, watching A LOT of online tutorials, or going to Impact Play classes at your local sex shop.

If there’s one kinky sex toy non-kinksters aren’t snoozing on, it’s blindfolds.

As a refresher: “Blindfolds are an incredible way to maximize a sensual experience because when you restrict one sense, the others can become stronger,” says Carol Queen, PhD, Good Vibrations sexologist, curator of the Antique Vibrator Museum, and author of well-known kinky erotica novel “The Leather Daddy and the Femme.”

Blindfold use requires trust and strong communication skills between partners. If you don’t have either with someone, Queen says you should opt out of exploring blindfold play with them.

You don’t need a fancy schmancy blindfold a tie or a tube sock will work fine! If you like the idea of a specific Sexy Time blindfold, check out this Candy Apple Blindfold or this Hunter Green Essential Blind Fold.

Hoods can be used for extreme sensory deprivation or to help someone get into a role for a particular scene.

Bondage hoods

Bondage hoods (sometimes called “bondage masks”) are a type of fetish gear designed to cover the head of one person (the submissive!).

Some, like this Black Spandex Hood and this Rubber Slave Hood, have eyeholes. Many, like this Disguise Open Mouth Hood with Padded Blindfold, restrict what the wearer can see. Hello, heightened senses.

Puppy hoods

Puppy play is a subset of the BDSM community that involves some folks taking on the personality of either a primal or fun-loving puppy and others taking on the role of “owner.”

Typically, puppies wear hoods like this Puppy Hood with Bendable Ears or this spike Neoprene Puppy Hood.

Isolation hoods

Isolation hoods are designed to block out all sound from the outside world. They’re THICK.

Many Dominants outfit their submissive’s isolation hood with earplugs, blindfolds, or a gag to intensify the level of submission.

From aesthetically signifying “ownership” in a BDSM dynamic to restricting breathing or movement, there are a few types of neck gear.

Safety tip: “Neck gear can fit relatively snug against the throat, but it shouldn’t be too tight,” says Queen. “Make sure you can slide a finger in between the device collar and the throat to avoid damaging pressure.”

Collars

“Collars are part of the visual accoutrement of BDSM and are worn by a submissive,” says Queen. “They can signal that the people bestowing and wearing the collar have started a BDSM scene.”

And for some D/s couples, they serve a similar purpose as wedding rings: to signify a commitment to the relationship.

“For submissives, it can feel emotional or even romantic to wear one,” she says.

Curious? Consider this Beginner Leash and Collar Set. It has a Velcro closure so you can easily — and quickly! — take it off if you’re aren’t feeling it.

D/s is often used as shorthand to describe a relationship where someone leads (the Dominant) and someone follows (the submissive).

The “D” is usually capitalized to signify the power of the Dominant’s position, while the “s” is usually in lowercase.

Posture collars

“A posture collar is a longer, thicker collar that’s designed to encompass the neck and further restrict movement and mobility,” explains Vala Syn, professional Dominatrix and BDSM and kink educator.

For example: Strict Leather Locking Posture Collar or the Padded Locking Posture Collar with Leash.

Chokers

Around town, chokers — like this Holographic Heart Choker — may be just another type of necklace.

But Syn says, in a BDSM context, chokers are designed to signify a Dominant/submissive relationship and to create a specific physical sensation around the neck. Usually, tightness.

Unlike collars, chokers aren’t reserved for those in committed relationships.

“Gags are great for people who have oral fixations and those turned on by power exchange that happens when one partner consensually gives up their ability to verbally communicate,” says Taylor.

To be very clear: Establishing nonverbal safe words prior to gag play is a M-U-S-T.

Ball gags

Ball gags feature a ball that goes into the oral cavity (behind the teeth). They’re secured around the head via some kind of strap.

Peek at the Bondage Boutique Faux Leather Medium Silicone Ball Gag for a visual.

The ball comes in varying sizes. Some are small (think: golf ball), while others are larger (think: lacrosse ball).

And some feature hollow balls (like the DOMINIX Deluxe Silicone O-Ring Gag), so the wearer can still breathe through their mouth while wearing it.

Whatever size and shape you get, Taylor says you need a material that: 1) won’t break your teeth and 2) can be completely sterilized, like silicone.

Mouth spreaders

Unlike ball gags, which fill the mouth, mouth spreaders open the mouth wide.

While wearers still aren’t able to verbally communicate, spreaders do give them the opportunity to be orally penetrated by their partner.

Here are some options:

There are different types of clamps for different body parts. Basically, clamps pinch the skin to restrict movement or create a pleasurably painful pulling, squeezing, or tugging sensation.

Nipple clamps

“The sensation the nipple clamp provides will vary based on how tight the clamp is and where on the nipple/breast you place it,” says Syn.

They can create a hit of (ideally, pleasurable) pain going on, a rush of intense sensation when pulled or twisted, and a serious sense of release when removed.

“When you take the clamps off, all the blood rushes back to the nipple, which creates a radiating sensation and extreme pain,” says Syn.

Some nipple clamps, like Nipple Playful Tassels Nipple Clamp, feature screws that allow you to really experiment with tightness. However, Syn notes, “These are less likely to fit on all nipple shapes and sizes.”

Others, like the Unbound Clit & Nipple Clamp and Bondage Boutique Adjustable Tweezer Nipple Clamps feature a slide-to-fit feature.

Genital clamps

There might be more delicious uses of genital clamps than there are genital shapes, sizes, and colors!

On a vulva owner, you might place a clamp at the base of the clitoris (not the glans clitoris!) to restrict blood flow and then release it.

Or, you might place a few clamps — like these Labia Spreader Straps with Clamps — up and down the inner and outer labia to, as Syn puts it, “Create a splayed out, very open look or pull on the labia.”

On a person with a penis, you might place clamps up and down the scrotum or on the foreskin.

“Pay close attention to the coloration of the skin when using genital clamps,” says Syn. “Aim to release the clamps before the area becomes darkened.”

Nose clamps

There are three main types of nose clamps.

Some look like classic clothespins and are designed to close your nose to restrict your breathing. For example, Speedo’s Competition Nose Clip.

“These can be especially fun for a submissive to wear while giving oral sex,” says Syn.

Others, called “nose shackles,” go inside the nose to clamp the septum. For example, Kneel Nose Genitals Kneeling Clamps.

“These are often used during predicament bondage scenes,” says Syn. “Move in one direction and you’ll yank on your nose, move in another and you’ll yank on your genitals, nipples, or wherever else the clamp is attached.”

It sounds painful, sure, but it can be psychologically hot.

A third category of clamps is actually “hooks.” See: Collar with Nose Hook.

“Nose hooks feature prongs that pull up on the nostrils, which can make someone look like a piggy for humiliation play,” says Syn. “They’re also great for medical play that harkens back to psych wards.”

Hooks also make the nose run, which can make play messy and especially humiliating.

Put simply, impact play involves using impact for the purpose of pleasure.

Impact play could entail using a hand or one of the toys below to spank.

“Each creates a slightly different sensation from sensual and massage-like to really frickin’ painful, from stingy to thud,” says Queen.

Proper technique and risk awareness are imperative for impact play. Using these toys with improper form or on less fleshy parts of the body can cause serious damage.

“Make sure you practice a thousand times on your pillow before trying it on a partner,” Taylor says.

Floggers

“A flogger has a handle with a bunch of tails at the end,” explains Taylor. (TBH, it kinda looks like a kinky mop).

Some are made of leather (like this Leather Cord Flogger) and others are made of chains (like this Gunmetal Chain Flogger).

“The more tails a flogger has at the end, the more thuddy, heavy, and pressure-y it will feel when it’s used on your body,” says Taylor.

The fewer tails it has, the stingier the sensation will be.

P.S. According to Queen, “Some people can come from being flogged alone!”

Paddles

Paddles pretty much look like ping-pong paddles (proof: The Enforcer Paddle) and are designed to hit more surface area at once, says Taylor.

This creates a lot of force and impact.

Taylor adds: “In my opinion, the best part is they’re the easiest toy to transport to a partner’s house.”

Canes

“An impact cane is nothing like a walking cane,” says Taylor. “It’s way, way, way thinner.” See: Intense Impact Cane.

Almost always made out of wood, “canes are thinner, longer, and can be used to provide one line of stinging impact.”

Meaning, unlike paddles, which cover a lot of surface area, the sensation canes provide is really localized.

Whips

According to Taylor, “whips are the hardest toy to learn how to use correctly because whipping someone requires a ton of technique and practice.”

Translation: They’re not for beginners.

When used correctly, whips apply stinging, quick slashes on the body. See: Premium Leather Whip.

Be warned: Taylor says, “I’ve never seen someone not have bruises after a proper whipping.”

If a lover’s arm holding your hands above your head can be hot, imagine how hot it would be if they could provide that sensation completely hands-free. That’s the gist of restraints.

“There’s a wide variety of restraints people can use during sexual activity to limit someone’s mobility,” says Syn. Below are four common types.

Rope

Rope = super versatile.

Queen explains: “Rope bondage can be slow and aesthetic. It can involve suspension. It can be paired with all kinds of other erotic play, from impact to good old intercourse.”

“It can also change the position of your body so you experience sensation differently. It’s a trust and Dominant/submissive thing too.”

The material and type of rope matters, so chat with a bondage expert before buying any. This cotton rope from Doc Johnson, for example, may be a good starting point, because it’s softer on skin.

Then, spend some time learning the ropes (pun obviously intended). There are some awesome books out there, such as “The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage” by Midori, to help you learn basic knot tying skills.

Binders

Most common in the BDSM scene are arm binders, like these Full Sleeve Binders, which c-o-m-p-l-e-t-e-l-y immobilize the wearer’s arms (unlike handcuffs which still give them a little bit of wiggle room).

There are also leg binders. like these Strict Leather Leg Binders, which keep the wearer from bending their knee or moving on their own.

While these aren’t for folks new to BDSM, they’re a great addition to an experienced kinkster’s wardrobe sex toy collection.

Bondage tape

Bondage tape like Unbound’s Tether can be used to create makeshift hand or ankle cuffs, to secure someone’s hands down, or any number of things!

What makes bondage tape different than say, duct tape, is that it only sticks to itself, not your skin or hair.

Safety note: “If you’re going to be exploring tape play, be incredibly careful of nearby candles,” explains Syn. “Certain adhesives will become too sticky when heated, pulling the top layer of skin off when you go to remove the tape.”

Shackles

Shackles refer to metal (and sometimes leather) ankle or wrist restraints, like the Slave Steel Full Body Shackle.

Like the other restraints, shackles are designed to immobilize or humiliate.

Ever hold your legs behind your head during missionary? Spreader bars, like this Adjustable Spreader Bar, do the leg work (heh) for you.

“Spreaders hold your ankles apart from each other, exposing your genitals and holding your legs in one place,” says Taylor.

Note: Some spreader bars, like this Black Steel Spreader Bar, can also be used to immobilize your wrists.

You can think of yokes as cuffs and collars (like this stainless steel option) or shackles and collars (like this leather and chain set).

Basically, they work by connecting some combination of your neck, ankles, and neck together.

The point: prolonged limited mobility.

As the name suggests, chastity toys are designed to consensually keep you (or your sub) from engaging in sexual activity.

“While people could do this temporarily for fairly casual play, it’s often found in ongoing D/s relationships where this level of control is one aspect of a larger power exchange,” says Queen.

Chastity belts

Complete with lock and key, chastity belts are basically underwear that lock up your junk so that you can’t go to the bathroom or touch your own bits unless the person with the key permits it.

The locked-up nature makes chastity belts a perfect tool for power play in BDSM relationships.

As Queen puts it, “Nothing says ‘you are MINE’ quite like locking up someone’s genitals so they can’t be accessed except by you.”

Syn notes that chastity belts can also be physically stimulating. “Many have built-in butt plugs, vaginal plugs, butt and vaginal plugs, cock rings, or vibrating or pulsating abilities.”

Intrigued? Here are a few to check out:

Chastity cages

While chastity belts go around the entire pelvic region, chastity cages are regulated just to the genitals. They’re sometimes called “penis cages” or “cock cages” because this tool is only designed for penis owners.

Most commonly used in D/s relationships, Syn says, “Cock cages serve as a constant reminder that your cock ‘belongs’ to your Dominant. It’s the next level of ownership.”

When you peruse the internet, you’ll likely find a few chastity cages made out of plastic.

“The plastic ones may look less intimidating than the stainless steel ones, but they’re not a good idea,” says Syn. “Plastic is a porous material, meaning you really can’t get it clean all the way, so it’ll get gunky real quick.”

Stainless steel, on the other hand, is easy to sterilize.

Plus, she says, “there’s a weight to stainless steel which never lets you forget that they’re there.”

Check out the Dominix Deluxe Chastity Cock Cage or the CB-600 Designer Chrome Male Chastity Cage.

Visually, anal hooks look like a cross between classic carrot-shaped butt plugs and, well, Captain Hook’s hand.

Typically made out of stainless steel, anal hooks feature a ball on one end that goes inside the anus, while the “hook” anchors it outside the body. See: Single Ball Stainless Steel Anal Hook.

Friendly reminder: Anything that goes inside the anus needs a flared base or anchor.

Taylor notes: “The ball is especially good at stimulating the prostate in people with prostates.”

But in some vulva owners, the ball may also be able to stimulate the urethral sponge (aka the G-spot).

Anal hooks also usually feature a loop at the end of the hook that can be connected to rope during bondage (especially predicament bondage) scenes.

Your mouth, bum, and vagina aren’t the only holes that may enjoy being filled…

Urethral sounds

Also known as cock-stuffing, urethral sounding involves inserting a sounding tool — is a long, thin (very thin!) rod with a stopper at the end — into the urethral canal.

They’re usually made out of stainless steel, but there are some silicone options, like these Bolted Deluxe Silicone Urethral Sounds, on the market.

However, Syn says they’re harder to use because silicone isn’t as firm or heavy.

“Slowly moving the toy up and out of the urethra can stimulate the nerve-dense head of the penis while also giving you a way to bump the prostate from another angle,” explains Syn.

Yup, some people can have a prostate orgasm from sounding alone.

Keep in mind that research shows there’s a risk for people with penises of lower urinary tract symptoms linked with urethral sounding.

Urethral sounds can be used on vulva owners, too. But because the urethral canal is shorter in vulva owners, urinary tract infections are more likely.

“These are usually way smaller than catheters,” assures Syn.

Case in point: Most catheters are around 5 to 10 millimeters thick, while sounding toys like the Single Rosebud Sounding Rod are only 3 millimeters wide.

As you get more advanced in your urethral play, you can graduate to:

Urethral plugs

Unlike urethral sounding toys, which are designed to be slowly pulled in and out, urethral plugs (sometimes called “penis plugs”) go in and stay in.

For how long? Well, it depends on the person wearing it (or their Dominant).

But some, like Titus Stainless Steel Through-Hole Prince’s Wand with Glans Ring and Libertine Faucet Penis Plug, have a hollow inside that someone could, in theory, urinate or ejaculate through.

However, Syn notes that this can be extremely irritating to the urethral canal.

Okay, we lied. There’s one motorized toy on the list. Introducing: electric wands, aka sex toys that let you play with electricity.

“Turn an electric wand like the Neon Wand way down and it creates an intriguing and sexy pulse on the genitals,” says Queen. “But when you turn it up, it can be quite intense.”

Worth mentioning: There are many kinds of electro-stimulation toys, not just wands. Think cock rings, anal plugs, and even whip attachments that “strike” with electricity.

Kink and bondage toys can be an amazing addition to anyone’s sexual repertoire, so long as it’s with the consent and risk awareness of everyone involved.

They don’t always have the same mass appeal as vibes. So if you’re happy to keep your pain-as-pleasure exploration to that Rihanna song, no big!


Gabrielle Kassel is a New York–based sex and wellness writer and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer. She’s become a morning person, tested over 200 vibrators, and eaten, drunk, and brushed with charcoal — all in the name of journalism. In her free time, she can be found reading self-help books and romance novels, bench-pressing, or pole dancing. Follow her on Instagram.