Kinkonomics – Sex Toy Pricing

Last week sex toy pricing was twice the topic on Twitter: British gay sex shop Clonezone announced a sale up to 75% which lead to a little shit storm because people felt they Clonezone would generally overcharge them. Later this week, Twitter user DiggerPup responded to my review of the Mister B Nipple Claws that you could get the barrels off eBay as diamond prongs for around £3.50 instead of the £30 Mister B charges for the sex toy. Since both topics are somewhat related and the topic of sex toy pricing is a constant one in my reader questions, I decided to blog about it today.

The Iconic Mr S Store on 8th Street in San Francisco. Maintaining such a big presence in a high-rent area is expensive.

Running a business creates a lot of costs beyond the purchase price of the goods sold: Rent, insurance, capital costs, wages, income and value added taxes and many more. When the business manufactures own goods, the prices for workshop equipment, defective work and research & development also needs to be priced into the product price. If you are a multi-channel retailer (which means running an online and a brick & mortar business at the same time), your prices have to have a mixed calculation: Being competitive towards other online retailers, being the same offline and online and still covering the costs of stationary stores (for example store rent in the gay district which – especially through gentrification – is generally higher than the rent in an industrial estate).

While all retails have to cover these costs, kinky products come with the same challenges as luxury goods: They are not essential needs but part of the self-actualization so among all the other purchase possibilities they generally speaking rank amid the lowest in priority. Furthermore, once bought, the likelihood of purchasing a similar good again soon, is low compared to other products. So all the costs mentioned above need to be covered by products which are not bought often and are marketed to a niche.

For that reason, the profit margin of most kink products compared to luxury goods which ranges between 60% and 150%. This sounds like a lot, but if you take off the value added tax (in percentage points!) and take into consideration that the average receipt is relatively low because the most common purchases are cockrings, nipple clamps and lube, the profit is not that high.

The S10 Hooded Gas Mask: A good example how Labor and Material Costs increase the Price of a Pervertable

So, how does this relate to the two opening examples? First let’s talk about the Clonezone sale. The initial tweet readUp to 75%”. The word “up” is important. I went to webpage linked in the tweet on Jan 21st at 6pm and the average discount over all offers was 26.11%. At an average cloth retailer you will get a bigger discount rate at an end of season sale. Looking at the profit margin from the last paragraph and taking into consideration the VAT, the products are not that outrageously overpriced as the 75% discount would imply but priced margin-wise in the neighborhood of average department store or luxury products.

The Mister B Nipple Claws are actually a good example to illustrate why kink products are not as overpriced as they first might appear. If you wanted to make your own Nipples Claws you would need two diamond prongs which cost £9 including shipping and chain and the two bails for approx. £2. The labor time for drilling, deburring and soldering will take about 10 minutes which will cost approx. £4. So a self-made Nipple Claw would cost you £15 – not including tool depreciation and maintenance costs, the labor costs for purchasing the materials and the hypothetical costs of defective work. Taking into consideration scale effects, the Nipple Claws will have a purchase price for Mister B of £10. But Mister B is not only a multi-channel retailer, but also a wholesaler. They need to price their products so they can sell it to other retailers with a profit and they must be able to make a profit covering all the costs of their own business.

The Mr S Four Buckel Restraints and Bishop Head Harness. Two of the probably most knocked-off Piece of Bondage Gear.

While I am on the subject, I want to address a third aspect I often get asked: Why are toys from Bad Dragon, Square Pegs or Oxballs so expensive? Why buy the original products from Mr S or Regulation when there are cheaper version of them from Asia on eBay?

  1. Raw Material Price: Premium sex toy maker use premium, but thus more expensive materials. Silicone for example needs a catalyst which can be the inexpensive metal lead. But for humans, lead is an highly toxic material so body-safe products should use the catalyst platinum which naturally is more expensive. Most leather from Asia is dressed in a way which does not satisfy European or American safety standards. Potentially dangerous chemicals and processes are used among which the Chrome-6 allergy is the most common yet the most “harmless”. Since most leather pieces designed for BDSM are worn on the bare skin, these chemicals are more easily absorbed through body warmth and sweat than when the leather is used to make a cheap leather jacket which has a cloth lining.
  2. Liability Risks and Customer Loyalty: The potential harm through cheap raw materials is only one part of potential liability risk. When selling bondage gear for extremer scenes like suspension, the production quality has to be so good, that an avarage piece being sold must be able to good enough to satisfy safety requirements even when assesed in court.
    Because established companies have become a brand of their own. The customer expects a certain level of product quality. Otherwise through the small size of the kink community, a bad reputation quickly spreads which can easily get a company into big economic troubles. This kind quality control causes higher costs through more thorough manufacturing, quality testing of samples or all products and higher cull.
  3. Lack of scale effects: Most kink products are not made in large quantities. A type of bondage gear is usually only manufactured two or three pieces at a time because the capital tie-cost would be too high to produce them in bulk and just store them. Through the large number of different color and pattern options, firmness degrees and extras, each Bad Dragon toy is individually made. Despite the basic technique of making leather or polymer toys is the same, there is no real chance of gathering much experience making the individual model so there are only little scale effects (for example increased manufacturing speed and reduction of defective work).
  4. The Prototype of the Mountain Drake Dildo, submitted by user Xan to the Bad Dragon Labs

    Labor costs: These companies are usually located in the western world and there in areas with high living costs like London or LA. Through social security systems and generally high living costs than in developing countries, the labor costs of skilled craftsmen like leather tailors are considerably higher causing higher product prices.

  5. Research and Development: The more elaborate the product, the more complex the design process is going to be. For example: Oxballs uses 3D printer to rapid prototype their new toys, Bad Dragon has an entire community dedicated to product design, not to talk about how difficult it is to create a sowing pattern for ergonomically designed bondage gear. All these efforts to design new products costs time and thus labor, sometimes required special equipment (3D printer, CAD programs, etc.) and expensive raw materials.

I know that sex and kink toys are expensive and that there are always more toys a kinkster wants than he can afford. But I hope this little blog entry illustrated well why the products we perverts yearn for are most of the time worth the price in the store.

Oxballs Slung

The Oxballs Slung

Vendor: Regulation

Construction

This toy is basically a triangular ball stretcher with added features. The stretcher is 35mm high and hole through which you put your balls has a diameter of 32mm. The material thickness at the sides is 11mm. The corners are heavily reinforced. There are holes in the middle of the reinforcements in which non-locking carabiners are housed. Their material thickness is 5mm and they measure 50x24mm.

The Slung is made out of Platinum Silicone which means it is hypoallergenic and while being somewhat flexible stiffer than the FLEX-TPR Oxballs uses on other products.

Playing with the Slung

Despite calling the Slung “a ball stretcher” it really works like a parachute. The carabiners are there to have things attached to them. Either weights or – for even more fun  – restraints. I usually attach each wrist or ankle restraint to one of the carabiners and the third to some form of head gear. The more the sub struggles, the harder his balls get tugged.

Detail of the Carabiner Housing

When I first considered buying this toy, I was skeptical if it could work. Knowing how easily my other Oxballs toy stretch for easy handling, I believed that you could easily pull the Slung off balls. But well, it doesn’t. I had a real CBT aficionado over who suspends kilograms of weights from his balls and we attached 8kg to the Slung and let is swing without a problem. It actually works a bit better than a traditional parachute. With leather ones the balls can shift so that the parachute slips off. But the  silicone’s strength and stiffness stretches the sack tightly, keeping the balls in place. This sturdiness in combination with the high material thickness makes the Slung good for ball busting. The nuts stay in place (and furthermore can be tied in place using the carabiners) and the wide rim makes a good contact surface when they get hit. For this kind of play I recommend turning the carbiners parallel to the Slung.

Carabiner Orientation for Ball Busting

However, the stiffness is also a problem when putting it on. You basically need three hands: Two to pull the strong silicone apart to make the hole larger and a third to reach for the balls and pull them through. If you have really strong fingers and are dexterous, you can tie off your balls tightly using other TPR stretchers and maneuver them through on your own while pulling the stretcher open. Also, unlike leather parachutes, the size of the Slung’s hole is naturally not adjustable. So if you have really tiny balls, you will just slip through it.

Being made out of platinum silicone it is quite easy to clean after play: Wash it in hot soap water, let it dry and spray sanitizer on it. Since silicone oil will disintegrate the material, keep silicone lube away from it. Also, silicone attracts dust like almost nothing else.

Conclusion: Unique form of parachute which works better but is a pain in the ass to put on.
Pro Cons Where to get Price
Sits more securely then traditional parachute Extremely difficult to put on. Regulation £44.99
Three different attachment points Not for people with small balls

 

Padded Posture Collar

The Regulation Padded Posture Collar

Vendor: Regulation

Construction

The actual collar is a piece of leather which is roughly anatomically shaped to follow the jaw line on the top and create a support around the sternum. The minimum width of the collar is 100mm so it is quite restricting through its sheer height. Onto the collar an anatomically shaped rest for keeping the chin from moving is riveted.

All pieces are made out of stiff bridle leather so it is really restricting. The edges are burnished and dyed so despite the stiffness the collar is comfortable to wear (leaving out the stress bondage aspect). Regulation calls this collar “padded” and technical I have to agree: Below the soft garment leather lining there is a thin, stiff layer of foam padding. However it is far from the lavish padding on their other premium bondage equipment. Thicker padding would actually compromise the purpose of this collar because it would give in to movement limiting the restricting aspect.

Detail of the Posture Collar’s Anatomic Shape

The collar comes in two sizes: M for a collar circumference between 37cm and 46cm; L for between 45cm and 51cm. It is closed by two 32mm wide leather belts with roller buckles and is equipped with three D-rings: one in the front and one on each side.

Playing with the Posture Collar

As the name of this piece of bondage already tells: It is designed to keep the head in a certain position and it does it really well. Of cause there is a little room for movement because leather is not steel and even the strict riveting allows for a little wiggle room. However it is the most strict posture collar I have come cross yet thus it is fitting gear for stress bondage. And while it is comfortable to wear over extended periods of time through the great production and material quality, keep in mind that forcing any limb or joint to remain in one position for extended periods of time will make it go stiff. This in combination with the head being rather heavy requires a lot of attention and support when taking the collar off the sub’s neck. Otherwise something similar to whiplash can happen.

Detail of the Rollar Buckle and the Custom Locking Posts

The three D-rings are ideal for “traditional” bondage positions: Attach a leash to the front one and wrist restraints or bondage mitts to the side ones. A handler friend of mine gives his dog elbow and knee pads, fetters his legs with the Fetters Heavy Hogtie Set, clip the bondage mitts to the posture collar and leads his K9 around this way for a more intense animal play headspace. Another top friend of mine attached short leashes to the side D-rings to have something to hold onto while face-fucking his boy who could not turn his head away.

Detail of the Burnished and Dyed Edges and the Padding

Especially on Tumblr I have seen pictures of people incorporating this posture collar into (rope) bondage layouts to completely immobilize a sub. While this collar is good for keeping the sub’s head from moving, the rest of the bondage layout should be equally tight or even tighter. Otherwise the sub might be able to get up and strangle himself.

When I ordered my collar I had it custom made with added locking posts. Especially when it comes to such an intense piece of (stress) bondage gear, hearing the locks lick and the inescapability sink in is a big mindfuck! If you are interested in that option, simply write it as a comment in the ordering process.

Conclusion: Very well made and very strict (stress) bondage collar.
Pro Cons Where to get Price
Reliably keeps the head from almost moving at all Off the rack without locking posts Regulation £149.99
Very well made with attention to detail out of high quality leather
Three D-rings

 

Fetters Ball Gag

The Fetters Ball Gag

Vendor: Regulation

Construction

The ball is made out of a hard silicone and has a diameter of 48mm. It is connected to the leather straps through two solid tubes which have a diameter of 13mm and a length of 23mm. They end in two rectangular pieces which are riveted onto the leather straps. They are made out of high-quality bridle leather and have burnished and dyed edges. Through a roller buckle the length can be adjusted between 45cm and 60cm.

Detail of the roller buckle

Playing with the Fetters Ball Gag

Through the reviewing process of gags I found two types of gag users which I like to call bounds and biters. The bounds enjoy the feeling of something solid in their mouth. They want the feeling of their mouth being in bondage and thus a too soft material isn’t doing the trick. Biters on the other hand have a more practical approach: They enjoy the functional value of a gag (like silencing or drooling) but when they want to sink their teeth into something that gives in. This gag is definitely for the bounds, keeping the mouth open.

Detail of the tubes responsible for comfortable extended wearing

Through its size the ball encourages a lot of drooling. Since the rather thin, small tubes sit in the corners of the mouth rather than a leather strap like on other ball gags, this gag is very comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. The diameter is on the larger end of the ball gag spectrum so especially for people with a smaller mouth having the ball gag put into their mouth is a bit of “stress” bondage. The strap is unusually long for a gag so it fits even subs with a large head or with a thick, open mouth hood fettered onto the head.

Since the ball is made out of silicone it is easy to clean and disinfect which is necessary between scenes because it will be exposed to large amounts of saliva. After play simply wipe the ball dry and spray it with your favorite sanitizer. Don’t forget to wash the ball afterwards to clean off sanitizer residue; it is something you do not want in your sub’s mouth.

Conclusion: Comfortable ball gag for heavy drool scenes
Pro Cons Where to get Price
Comfortable to wear for long periods of time Only one size Regulation £34.99
Long strap allows the gag to be put even over very thick hoods
Easy to clean

 

ToyTortures Top 10 Toys: Fetters Handlock

Front of the Fetters Handlock

As I have already written in this series I like toys which are innovative, designed well and stimulate creativity and the play instinct. The Fetters Handlock scores on all three accounts.

Fettering both hands together like a ridged handcuff does seems to be a natural toy design. The more it is surprising that nobody else but Fetters thought about it. Being made by the iconic British manufacturer it is well made like all their toys (but the little bit of foam which can be seen at the edge of the holes punched for the straps), crafted out if soft, high quality leather which just smells great. With its thick padding the Handlock can be worn in long scenes. So when you put a padlock through the locking posts you can be certain they are going to stay on for a long time. I generally like locking posts because they add a big psychological element of inescapability. What I like even more than locking posts are D-rings. The more the better because each one is an anchor point for bondage.

Detail of the Locking Post and the D-Ring next to the Roller Buckles

The Handlock has five of them so the bondage possibilities are almost endless. I have used the restraints for a hogtie (they also fit around the ankles), in combination with a (bulldog) harness as a shoulder to wrist restraint, for restraining the hands above the head, connecting it to a parachute or a ballstretcher as a wrist to ball restraint and incorporating it into rope bondage. Just to name a few.

The Fetters Handlock costs £109.95 at Regulation London. To learn all about it, read my in-depth review.

Episode 1: Mr S Bishop Head Harness

Episode 2: ErosTek ET232

Episode 3: E-Stim System Electrodes

Episode 4: DeTails Flogger Set

Episode 6: Sheets of San Francisco

Episode 7: Oxballs Ball Stretcher

Episode 8: Doxy Die Cast

Episode 9: Mr S Ultra Blindfold

Episode 10: HML Fetish Bondage Harness

Square Peg Pegger Extractor

Toy Properties

Form: Butt Plug
Material: Platinum Silicone.
Colors: Supersoft Bronze, Supersoft Graphite & Hard Black.
Firmness: Soft; does not collapse when standing up.
Lube: Water, Oil
Cleaning: Soaking in hot water with dish-soap than use sanitizer.
Safer Sex: Clean and sanitize it thoroughly
Storage: Store either standing in a well-ventilated place not touching other toys to prevent damaging the toys.

Vendor: Regulation

The Square Peg Pegger Extractor

Construction

The Pegger Extractor has the typical shape of a butt plug with a roughly egg shaped head and a large base which keeps it from involuntarily getting sucked up into the ass. I am reviewing the size L which I have bought in firm black. The head is 115mm long and has a “core” diameter of 75mm. All around the head there are ridges increasing the maximum diameter up to 88mm. The ridges are round and thin so depending on the material firmness they more or less easily give in when being pushed in. The neck is 45mm long and has a minimal diameter of 52mm. The base of the toy is pentagonal which makes it great to grip even with lubey fingers.

Playing with the Pegger Extractor

Detail of the Heavily Textured Tip

Due to its ridges this is not a toy to start out your play with even when you are an experienced ass pig. I recommend pre-stretching up to at least 80mm diameter (I prefer a size L Acron for this) for the size large. Even when pre-stretched well taking the Extractor is still a (hot) challenge. The ridges stimulate the nerve endings of the sphincter while the added friction of their shape enhance the stretching sensation. With the supersoft silicone taking it up the ass feels like a gentle, flapping massage. With the hard silicone it is an intense, yet horny struggle so I recommend this material for the more masochistic ass pigs. However if you approach it carefully and slowly let the sphincter adjust to the unusual shape it will eventually open up to be fucked with the Pegger Extractor. If you do this often the ridges of the Pegger will facilitate the blooming of a rosebud.

Detail of the Ring of Ridges at the Bottom of the Head

There is a ring of ridges just above the neck. This perpendicular edge works like plug which seals the sphincter and keeps the plugs from being pushed out easily. Despite the heavy texture the Pegger Extractor is quite comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. However pulling it out after some time, the sphincter will not be tender anymore and the lube having flown off the head which makes it a challenging task.

Overview of the Color Option: Acorn L in SuperSoft Bronze, Pegger Extractor L in Firm Black and Splitter M in SuperSoft Graphite

When choosing the size please consider the heavy texture. Even when you can take an 88mm diameter plug the Pegger Extractor will still be a challenge. Since the ridges are perpendicular even well lubed up they will hinder smooth insertion. If you have problems relaxing the irritation caused by the ridges will make the sphincter tense up quickly. So it I recommend to choose a smaller size if you want to engage into aggressive play like fucking with the Pegger Extractor.

Where to buy?

The SquarePeg Pegger Extractor can be bought at Regulation London for £59 for the size M or £89 for the size L. Regulation does only stock the Supersoft Graphite variety. If you want a different color, simply write the color in the order comment and they will order it for you.

 

Fetters Heavy Leather Hogtie Set

Vendor: Regulation

Construction

The Fetters Heavy Leather Hogtie Set

The Heavy Leather Hogtie Set consists of a pair of modified Fetters Padded Leather Thigh Restraint, a pair of Padded Locking Wrist Cuffs and an Elbow Strap. All pieces are made out of high quality leather, thick soft padding and stainless steel trim. The set comes without pad locks. If you want to lock the restrains the shackle diameter of the pad lock should not be larger than 3mm.

The core of this set is a modified version of the Fetters Padded Leather Thigh Restraints. As all restraints from their padded & lockable range are basically made the same way: An 8cm wide cushion of thick padding covered with soft leather is sewn onto a wide strap of bridle leather. Onto this a belt with a roller buckle and a locking post is riveted. Usually each restraint is equipped with two welded D-rings.

The lowest circumference the thigh restraint can be adjusted to is 42cm; the largest is 71.5cm with a padding gap of 11.5cm; largest circumference with padding all around the thigh is 54cm and the largest circumference and still being able to lock is 67cm with a padding gap of 7cm. Next to the locking post there is a welded D-ring. 15cm away from the D-ring a Padded Locking Ankle Cuff (which I reviewed here) is riveted with its two D-rings being perpendicular to the rivet. Since only one rivet is used the cuff can turn to allow for different bondage positions. Another difference to their standard Padded Thigh restraint is that they have replaced the second D-ring with a stainless steel loop which has a width of 38mm and a height of 8mm. Through this loop the belt of the Padded Locking Wrist cuffs (which I reviewed here) can be threaded to attach the wrist restraint to the thigh one.

Detail of the Wrist Restraint attached to Thigh Restraint

For an even stronger bondage experience an elbow strap comes with the set. The basis of it is a 13.5cm long and 8cm wide octagonal piece of two bridle leather layers which are sewn together. In the middle there are two roller buckles with a locking post riveted onto the body.  In front of each buckle a slot is punched through which a leather belt with unburnished sides is threaded. This belt is 118cm long and 3cm wide. It features 7 holes on one side and 29 holes on the other side which allows for fine adjustment.

Playing with the Hogtie Set

To put these restraints on it is best when the sub lies face down so the top can easily move the limbs to put them into the corresponding cuffs. Each buckle is far away enough from the wrist restraints to prevent the sub from opening the roller buckles. If you want to be extra sure each restraint is lockable which adds a lot of mental bondage sensation. Once fettered you can choose between four different bondage positions: The traditional lying face down, lying face up, kneeling or sitting on the ass. Since sitting up requires a lot of muscle strength this position is a bit of stress bondage. Lying face up is equally stress bondage but great for CBT or an extreme form of gut punching – even with low intensity punches. The thigh restraints quickly became popular with a top friend of mine in kneeling position. He used them in combination with the Handlock (which I reviewed here) to restrain the hands above the head with the thigh-ankle-combination effectively preventing the sub from standing up.

Minimum and Maximum Diameter of the Thigh Restraint

The most traditional position is obviously lying with the face down. In this bondage layout mouth and ass are still accessible but (if the top is strong ort the sub light) you can still move the sub around. Besides face fucking most testees used the hogtie for impact play. With the ass exposed (and if you are not fettering gymnasts the feet unable to cover the ass) and the restraints covering the sensitive area of the upper thigh this layout is great for spanking. Especially if you want to administer bastinado I recommend locking both ankle restraints together using a small shackle. This will effectively limit the movement even more. When you want to create a stress bondage position add a head harness or a muzzle and connect the top D-ring to the shackle. In this layout I would not recommend inducing too much pain because heavy movement can lead to neck or spinal injuries. Of cause this layout can be used for lighter play like sensation play or – if you are not afraid to get lube on the leather – fisting.

I am a bit hesitant to recommend using the elbow strap. It is a great piece of bondage gear which can increase the sense of being bound quite a lot – also in other bondage layouts. But the construction is killing it for me. With the edges being unburnished, at best they are just sharp and uncomfortable. But if the sub moves a lot it can cause abrasions. In order to make this part of the toy useful I am actually considering having movable padding custom made like on the thighs on the suspension harness.

Detail of the Buckle of the Elbow Strap and the Unburnished Belt

Besides hogties this set can be used in many different other bondage layouts. If the added ankle cuffs don’t bother you the thigh restraint can be used to fetter down upper legs. To attach thicker rope or carabineers to the metal loop, simply use a shackle to add a larger anchor point. When the sub doesn’t have to small hands the ankle cuffs can be used to restrain wrists to the thighs. However this does only work if the bondage layout is either standing up or lying with the ankles also fettered. Otherwise there is a chance the sub can simply slip off the thigh restraint. On testee even used the restraint for pup play: He gave his puppy knee and elbow pads, connected the ankles to the thighs and the wrist to the collar and thus forced his sub in an even more dog-like position. However I do not recommend this form of stress bondage for extended periods of time since especially the elbows are not made to support such weight.

Conclusion: Unique and clever restraint set with one disappointing element.
Pro Cons Where to get Price
Unique layout Finishing of the belt makes elbow strap unusable Regulation £248.99
Comfortable through thick padding
Very well made – except elbow strap
Locking
Plethora of D-rings

 

Electro Gloves

Vendor: Regulation or Mr S

The Electro Gloves

Construction

The Electro Gloves are made out of a stretchy synthetic material with a conductive fiber woven into it. On top of the wrist is a button for the snap connector making each glove a monopole. The toy comes with a snap-to-2-mm-female connector but this can be easily exchanged for a snap-to-4mm-banana-plug connector depending on which system you are using.

Size wise the glove is somewhere between a size S and M but stretches enough to accommodate even a small XL. The fingers are long so you have to pull them back a bit when you have small hands.

Playing with the Electro Gloves

The Electro Gloves can be used in two different ways: Either with both gloves at the same time or with one glove working as the other pole for a monopolar toy. Regardless if you use one or both gloves they are a delicate toy to play with. Since besides the power output the sensation intensity of this toy is determined by the contact area gently lifting the hand and thus reducing contact area can dramatically increase the sensation. It is a very fun thing to play with but needs practice. It is an especially great mind fuck once the sub becomes aware that lifting the hands (but not losing touch completely!) increases the sensation which will make him afraid of the top’s every movement.

Detail of the Snap Connector, in this picture for 4mm Banana Plug

The sensations these gloves create depend greatly on the skin’s conductivity which is influenced by many factors like sweat for example. I would not recommend using conductive lube to increase conductivity with these gloves. The cloth will take up most of the lube making it useless. Since these gloves require gentle hand wash with a mild detergent and not too hot water getting the lube out of them is more stress than theoretic benefit of better conductivity.

When both gloves are used at the same time they are great for sensation play. More or less lightly touch the sub’s skin and let the gloves run over his body. Especially massages or masturbation are a great sensual experience with these gloves on. However it really takes focus from the active part so that both gloves don’t touch. Otherwise the power box will be short circuited.

How to safely wear the Electro Glove as a Top: Wrap the Latex Glove around the Cuff to prevent any accidental Body Contact

How to best utilize a single glove depends on the other electrode you are using. With a mass rich electrode like a big anal plug the Electro Gloves are great for edging. On the more agonizing side of the sensation spectrum spanking the sub with the glove on adds a shock to the impact sensation. Through the movement you have to take care not to disconnect the gloves from the leads when spanking. A single glove also works really well with skin electrodes like the Whisker or a Pin Wheel. If you follow the electrode closely with just the tip of a finger it might be acceptable to use the electrode above the waist.

In any other case as with every e-stim electrode: Stay below the waist for safety reasons! Especially when you use both gloves together it is imperative that you cover your hand and wrist with a non-conductive glove like disposable latex ones. The Electro Gloves cloth must never touch your skin otherwise there is a chance the currency will flow through your body instead of the subs and thus through your heart.

Conclusion:  Versatile e-stim toy which takes time to master and attention when using.
Pro Cons Where to get Price
Many possible usage scenarios Takes lot of practice to really master Regulation £70
Mr S $84.95
Needs much attention to handle correctly
Great for mind fuck

Kinklab NeonWand

Vendor: Regulation

The Kinklab NeonWand

Construction

Like almost all violet wands the NeonWand consist of two pieces: A power unit which has a socket on top for interchangeable electrodes. The power unit of this model is 23.5cm long and has an average diameter of approx. 45mm. Inside is a solid state power unit which means there are not moving parts like in traditional power unit. So moving the toy won’t affect the sensation delivery. The lower ¾ of the power unit is covered by a soft textured material for better grip. On top is a 12.5mm socket for the electrodes which is the diameter most violet wands use today so most electrodes from other manufacturers should fit. At the bottom of the power unit is a rotary control for the intensity and the 2.3m long power cord.

The NeonWand comes with four electrodes made out of glass and filled with a noble gas:  A comb shaped one and three rods with a mushroom head, a small probe head and a tongue head.

There are two versions of this toy: A white power unit with purple glowing electrodes or a red and black power unit where the electrodes glow red. The toy comes in a cardboard box outfitted with foam to store the electrodes safely. There is also a detailed handbook on how to use a violet wand.

The Electric Arc and Purple Glowing Argon inside the Electrode

Playing with the NeonWand

Violet wands work much differently than the TENS units I have reviewed so fare. The power unit is a Tesla coil which produces static electricity. The currency doesn’t flow through the body but an “electric arc” appears when the electrode comes close to the body. If the electrode touches the skin just warmth is felt. Since no currency is flowing through the body the violet wand can be used on almost all body areas (but the eyes which is an absolutely forbidden area!) safely. It is advisable not to use a violet wand for an extensive period of time at the same body area. Burns like sunburns can occur. I would actually recommend using a moisturizing lotion after using a violet wand to clam the skin.

Unlike TENS e-stim units violet wands don’t have stimulation patterns (more commonly called “programs”). Only the intensity can be adjusted. Depending on the electrode the sensation can range from a light tingling to excruciating pain. The NeonWand is not the most powerful wand out there but it is certainly powerful enough for an interesting scene.

As with all e-stim toys conductivity is the key to the sensation which is influence by three factors when it comes to violet wands. First there is the electrode’s conductivity. Most violet wand electrodes are made out of glass and filled with a noble gas; these are quite conductive. There are metal and conductive silicone electrodes out there which have better conductivity and thus stronger sensations. Second there is the skin conductivity which is influenced by many factors like sweat for example. Improving skin conductivity can be achieved by conductive gels, water-based lube or heavily moisturizing lotions with urea or zinc oxide for example. This can be used to creating a “ladder” out of conductive strips so the intensity keeps changing while you run the electrode over it.

The Four Electrodes which come with the NeonWand: The Comb, the Mushroom, the Probe and the Tongue

Third there is the contact area. This is where the different electrodes come into play. While the Probe and the Mushroom are just different contact area sizes which don’t change you can use the comb and the tongue creatively. Just twist and turn them to alter the contact area. All electrodes can be used to inflict sensations on conductive materials like a chain wrapped around the subs. The longer and thicker the chain the less sensation is felt so I recommend using only thin otherwise the power unit will not be powerful enough to induce a noticeable sensation. Generally speaking a violet wand is best used to sensation play or teasing e-stim sessions. Since you can move around the electrode quite freely sensations can be spontaneously induced on surprising spots of the body.

What is important to keep in mind is the material of the provided electrodes. As much fun/ agony are they are on “moist” body areas as the glans of an uncut guy or the anus I strongly recommend against inserting them into the body. The chance of them breaking is simply too high.

Conclusion: E-Stim toy for tickling and torturing with a dramatic visual effect.
Pros Cons Where to get Price
Easy to use No real smooth sensation possible Regulation £148.99
Come with electrodes for many different sensations
Buzzing sound when turning it on
Powerful enough for most subs

Sling Suspension Straps

Vendor: Regulation

The Regulation Sling Suspension Straps

When I posted last week’s review of the Serious Toys Rubber Sling I have gotten a lot of questions about the leather restraints hanging in the background. So I decided to review them this week. When I announced the review on Twitter the guys from Regulation got in touch with me and said that the product has been discontinued which is a shame. Usually I don’t write reviews about products which are not available any more. But since I really love these restraints maybe this review will be helpful to kinkster who run across a pair of hand slings and wonder what to do with them.

Construction

The basis of the Suspension sling is a 64cm long and 4cm wide strap of saddle leather. On one end a large, welded D-ring is riveted using four rivets, on the other end a 4.5cm long leather loop using again four rivets is created. Between these two sections thick and soft padding covered by soft nappa leather is sowed onto the strap.

Detail of the D-ring at the top

Playing with the Sling Suspension Straps

The function principle of these restraints is pretty simple: Put a foot or a hand through the loop formed by the strap and tighten it. If you than put tension on the D-ring there is no way to get out of these. Through the thick padding and the fact that the force pulling on them is in line with the limb and not perpendicular like it is the case with a D-ring attached to a cuff-style restraint these restraints can be worn comfortable even with considerable tightening draft on them. These properties along with the sturdy build make these restraints ideal for any situation where pulling force is involved like in a spread eagle or for the wrists on a St.-Andrews-Cross. Another usage scenario are hogties where a lot of sensations are induced like tickling or bastinado. The movement will keep the bondage tight while the force distribution minimizes the injury risk. I personally use them in the sling. The unique combination of softness, sturdiness and easiness to hold onto makes them ideal to grab onto something and work things out physically when the sensations get too intense. In combination with the stir-ups (which I will review next week) they are ideal to lift oneself up from the sling and ride the fist in your own speed.

Detail of the clever fettering way through a leather loop.

One thing must not be forgotten to be mentioned here: Despite being called sling SUSPENSION straps they are NOT made for extended suspension. Putting the entire body weight on these restraints can cut circulation. If you are looking for suspension restraints I recommend these for the hands and these for the feet.

When buying a sling type strap pay attention to some important details. There are suspension hand straps out there which just feature a d-ring on each end. While basically you can do the same thing with them as with the Regulation ones reviewed here, the ones I own have a major advantage: Since the loop which forms the sling is wide the leather is twisted forming a smooth curve. Thus the padding is all around the wrist or ankle, unlike the two-D-ring-version where they are exposed to the edges of the stiff strap leather. So when you are planning on buying a two-D-ring-version pay attention that the edges of the strap are either padded or piped.

Conclusion: Simple yet clever and effective restraints.
Pro Cons Where to get Price
Clever design which places padding all around the joint Discontinued Regulation

(Manufacturer)

£44.99 (discontinued)
Made for heavy duty play
High quality leather
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