Starting Your Own Gear Collection

In the last couple of weeks I got quite a lot of messages asking me what to buy when getting into kinkier sex. Most of the questions came from the USA because I mainly tested basic gear from German and European stores. They do ship international but shipping and customs duties make them unattractive for someone new to the scene who doesn’t want to spend or wait too much.

For this article I did some research on the US BDSM retail landscape and I got in touch with some friends from the states. They told me that there are very few really good BDSM stores throughout the states and advised me to recommend Mister S Leather’s (online) store in San Francisco due to offering good quality for reasonable prices. Most products featured here were in my hands at least once, p.e. when taking a look at a friend’s toy collection, but I didn’t play with them for an extend period of time. But since a lot of my friends are very satisfied with them and with Mister S Leather being one of the oldest gay BDSM stores in the world, I think it is safe to say that you are buying good quality and reliable toys.

The Necessity of Own Toys

Especially when starting out you ask yourself why you should get your own toys. They are expensive, it is difficult to find the right one and when you are not living alone there is always the threat of someone finding them who is not supposed to know aboutthem.

In spite of all these good reasons I would recommend to get you your own toys. As a bottom you can try out what you like in a relaxed atmosphere without the more or less subliminal pressure of a top who expects a good session. And as soon as you have tasted the sweet blood of pain and bondage you can enhance your solo sex live with solo sessions. As a top it is vital to know your toys; how they work, how to use them, in which condition they are. So bringing your own toys to a session is always better than relying solely on the toys the sub provides.

How to Decide What to Buy

Getting into the kinky scene mostly starts with a distinct experience. You have seen some hard action in a porno and now you are curious to try it out or a date of yours introduced you to some rougher action. Before starting to shop sit down and think about a few questions:

Are you into BDSM or into fetish?

This is the hardest question but it is vital. Most people being into the one thing are also into the other but there is a little group who is into vanilla sex while wearing fetish gear or into BDSM session while being strictly naked. So when looking at a picture of someone being bound while wearing a gimp suit p.e. try to figure out if your arousal comes from the bondage or the suit. Otherwise you will end up with an expensive investment lying around unused. Due to this website being about toys I will mostly focus on toys but at the end of this article you will find a small section about fetish attire.

What turns you on?

Is it being bound and helpless? It is pain? If yes where? Is it humiliation? Exploring your dark desires is essential to getting the right product category for you to start your collection with.

How much money do you want to spend? How much will a wrong purchase piss you off?

When you start shopping it is easy to get into some buying rush because everything is new and tempting. Setting yourself a budget and writing exactly down what you want will prevent you from buying stuff you don’t need or you won’t use. Of cause it is ok to buy one or two items which appeal to you with no deeper reason but buying a small number of high quality toys is better than having a bunch of crap or stuff you can only use when you are an experienced pervert.

Where to Buy

I would always recommend going to a specialized store (and I don’t mean an erotic outlet where straights are buying lingerie to rescue the marriage or “funny” toys for bachelorette parties) where you get a good expert advice and at best can try out the merchandise. However for most people such a store is at least a day’s travel away so you have to stick with online resources. Every good online store has an e-mail help desk which will help you getting the right product for you. Don’t be afraid to ask any question. There are no stupid questions due to the BDSM world being complex and confusing especially for someone new. And since you just started out with your collection they have an interest in creating a loyal customer.

Basic Items

Here are some items which in my opinion are good for a basic BDSM collection. They will enable you to have a fun session and are a good starting point to explore even darker and harder desires.

Restraints

Your first set of restraints should consist out of a pair of ankle and wrist restraints. Material wise I would recommend them being made out of soft leather with a thick and soft padding and a strong welded D-ring. Other features like more than one D-ring, being lockable, etc. are nice to have but will make them more expensive. When selecting your basic set it is always good to take a look at the product range as you might want to extend your set in the future, p.e. with thigh restraints, and it looks nice when they are from the same series.

If you already want a bondage collar take one with at least three D-rings. Everything else makes no sense and is a waste of money because it will be difficult to attach your wrist restraints and a leech on it.

For many people a pair of handcuffs is the first bondage item they get due to being inexpensive and easy to get. Despite these advantages I would disadvise to buy handcuffs for other than fetish or short foreplay action. Handled wrongly they can lead to severe injuries.

Gags and Blindfolds

Soft material (at best leather going with your restraints) is even more important here than when buying restraints in order to prevent injuries and to work properly.

A blindfold should be soft thus flexible enough to seal of your eye socket. Regarding padding I am a bit ambivalent. Padding is good to increase the light sealing but if the blindfold sits too tight it can apply pressure on your eye ball which at best in uncomfortable but at worst can be dangerous. Most blindfolds have a leather strap which is ok when you use padded folds. If you have an unpadded one you should try to get one with Velcro at the back in order to adjust the blindfold tightly enough to seal off all the light.

Your first gag should be a simple bar or ball gag made out of a soft yet firm easy to clean material (silicone or rubber). The diameter of the gag should not be too thick in order to prevent you from chocking but still be thick enough to give you a helpless feeling and enough material to bit on. You should also pay attention that the gag or the strap doesn’t irritate the corners of your mouth.

Clamps

At this point most of you will have tried out cloth pins which are ok for the beginning but specialized toys provide an own kind of pain sensation. Especially for beginners an adjustable clamp is good because you can determine the pressure on your nipples. Only a little bit more advanced and really THE standard clamp are the Japanese clover clamps. If you are a bit into tit pain just get them. You will (learn to) love them!

Spanking and Whipping

When it comes to getting hit by an object many things influence the pain intensity: The target area, the intensity of the stroke and the state of the hitting instruments (p.e. are all tails of the flogger together when striking out). So when getting into spanking and whipping you want to get yourself the “softest” variant out there and increase the pain by technique.

If you want to get yourself a flogger everything under 20’’ tail length is too short in my opinion especially when you want to use it on yourself. As a beginner I would recommend suede as a tail material.

Another basic and very versatile toy is a small paddle and/ or a small slapper which can be used for spanking, tit or cock and ball torture.

CBT

The best CBT toy to start out with is a ball stretcher. A stretcher will on the one hand increase your wanking pleasures by intensifying your orgasm; on the other hand it will get your balls in a nice position for a good beating. Again look for a model made out of soft leather and soft, rounded piping on the edges! Otherwise you will end up with bruises or even wounds on your shaft or balls after a long hard wanking.

Another basic CBT item is a parachute. You can pull or put weights on it or even tight it to your restraints.

If you want it all you can get a combination of a stretcher, a divider which will enable you to hit single balls and a D-ring to put weights on it. But when buying it you should try out the divider. If your scrotum it too big you might not be able to get the strap over your balls.

Fetish Attire

Personally I divide my gear into two sections: Play and pride attire. Play attire enables me to have a good session by granting access to the area the something should be applied on, p.e. clamps on tits. So a (surf) suite with a zipper running from the neck to the rump is a good basic piece. After trying out several suits I would not recommend zippers over the nipples. When you open them, the nipples are anywhere but never under the zipper and when they are closed they irritate the nipples without any play fun. Another good play piece are chaps which allow a good butt spanking and CBT. A harness serves as play and pride attire at least when it is made out of leather. Rubber tears too easily to be made for harder playing.

Pride attire are pieces which are made out of fetish material but are not so good for playing at least as a sub but great for going to a pride event, found raiser or just a night out in a bar; since tops mostly only need something where they can get their dick out of, pride attire is as functional for playing as play attire. A basic pride outfit consists out of a pair of pants and some kind of shirt like a polo. You can also add accessories like a shoulder harness, belt, etc. An everyday pride article is a small wrist band made out of your favorite fetish material in the hanky color of your major kink.

Since I am only into rubber I can’t really tell you much about the material properties of other fetishes. When buying rubber gear you have always to weigh between toughness and feeling. The thicker the rubber the more robust it is towards tearing but you will also feel less when being touched. Also the draw on the glue joints will increase. The best compromise for me is 0,6mm grade rubber. It is robust enough to withstand a small pull but lets through enough touch feeling.

Mister B Thowncrown

Vendor: Mister B

First Impression and construction

The Thorncrown with the hex to adjust the screws

The Thorncrown with the hex to adjust the screws

When I first got this little devil I was pleasantly surprised by its weight.  As a person who is triggered very much by mind games you instantly get it that this toy means business. Being made out of massive brushed stainless steel it is one of these toys which are so sturdy that even your grandchildren can have fun with as soon as they have grown up. It also has a nice rough and technical appearance. Inside the ring six holes with screw threads are milled housing each a grub screw. At the end of the screws you can put a hexagon key for tightening or loosening the screws.

You can get the toy in three diameters: 30mm, 32,5mm and 35mm which is enough for most dicks but when playing with big boys it is too small. A version with 40mm or even 45mm with maybe 8 screws would be a great extension to the line.

Playing with it

As already written, this toy is great for mindfuck. Just show your tightly tied pain pig the thorncrown, demonstrate a bit how it works and whisper in its ear where you are going to put it. Most masochists will shiver in fear and/ or excitement. And they are right. The pain experience is quite unique and can be everything between a light tickling up to sheer agony. Most people will fear that the screws will actually injure them but since the heads are flattened they won’t break the skin’s surface in most situations.

One of the six grub screws

One of the six grub screws

Because every screw can be adjusted separately you can dose the pain very precisely which is necessary because at worst (or best) a nerve runs directly under a screw head. When deciding how deep to drive the screws into the skin always keep in mind that that screws are the only things keeping this hefty toy in place (see next paragraph). Because the screws have no deepness limiter this toy can cause serious harm up to bleeding wounds; screwed in to the max the aperture shrinks from the 35mm of the steel ring to 7mm between the screw heads. As a rule of thumb you can say that a full turn of the key will drive the screw approx. 1mm. I would also advise you to drive the all screws in equally because by doing so you leave the flesh at least some space to escape between the screws. If you only twist the screws on one side or even only one you nail the flesh against the steel ring which will cause injuries more easily.

The Thorncrown put onto a dick

The Thorncrown put onto a dick

Despite its weight the thorncrown can be attached to nearly every body part which sticks out. Except the penis I have put it on fingers, toes and even the tongue. I can imagine that the small version also plays very nice with pumped up nipples but I haven’t had the chance and toys to try it out. Since the screws can dig quite deeply into the flesh the thorncrown also stays in place on slippery and softer tissue. However due to the weight once the body part starts to move it can get loose and fall off. This is especially annoying when you have put it right under the glans and start to jerk your bottom boy off. It is a quite unique sensation – if the toy stays in place for which you have to dig the screws deeply into the flesh. This is a major problem: If you only want light pain and you cause another pain which makes the sub twist a bit harder the toy will most likely fall off.

Handling wise you either need to be very dexterous or have to limit the movement of you sub very much. The head of the hexagon key has only 2mm in diameter and the matching lock on the screw isn’t very deep. So you need to target the lock well and need some force to keep the key in place. The key itself it 55mm long which is a good compromise between handling and being short enough for whole revolutions – at least on average dicks. Since the key is only 2mm thick it is difficult to grasp it with thicker leather gloves and depending on the amount of lube you have on your finger it will be impossible to control it enough to fit it into the lock. Another thing to bear in mind is the fact that the screws have no limiter thus when playing around with the toy without putting it on something or releasing it you can easily loose a screw. I once spent 5 minutes after a session helping my top to find a screw which rolled under the bed. I will check on my next trip to the home improvement store how easily such screws can be replaced.

This CBT device doesn’t really play nice with any material covering the applied area. Leather, Spandex, Lycra or Neopren absorb much of the punctual pressure and will most likely keep some pressure marks. When used on rubber at best there also will be some pressure marks, at worst the material will give in.

Usually this toy will leave only little pleasure marks which fade away very quickly. But if you drive the screws very deep into the skin and maybe add some friction, p.e. by jerking the dick, the skin irritation can be very bad. The worst case I have seen were little bruises.

Conslusion: A sturdy and mindfucking toy which need cautious handling
Pro Cons Where to get Price
Unique pain experience Difficult to handle Mister B (Manufacturer) 49€
Quality feel Some injury potential
Very good pain dosing  

A New Kind of Cockring

On Monday I took my guest master to my local BDSM dealer in Dortmund. There, he and my BF discovered a new type of cockring and bought it right away. Hand bended and welded out of stainless steel it reminds one of the shape of a pear. In order to wear it you first put your balls through the circle and push them into the long attachment piece, than you can put your hopefully still soft cock through the circle.

The main point of this new design is that other than with standard cockrings the spermatic duct isn’t cut off by the tight metal of the ring. Also another issue known to people with large balls is addressed: Since you don’t have to squeeze your cock through a ring already to a large extended filled with parts of you balls the cockring itself sits tighter and needs/ can be a lot smaller than normal cockrings.

The big question is: Does it work? Since I don’t have anal intercourse and consider cockrings a useless toy in a session (if you have a real use for a cockring during a session, please let me know), I have to rely other people’s opinion for standard cockring usage. My guest is thrilled by his new cockring. Finally his trademark – the nearly endless stream of precum – can flow again and also his piss pressure has increased – besides working great as a cockring. My BF hasn’t made up his mind yet. I had it on for a quick jerk off and was pleasantly surprised. With my balls bouncing around more freely and the end of the attachment pressing against the outer site of my protest it was a nice toy for some unpainfull self pleasure.

If you are interested in such a cockring, they are only available at Demask Dortmund for about 50€ probably also via e-mail order. Since they are handmade by a blacksmith close to Dortmund don’t expect manufacturing tolerance like with a machine made toy but in the end you have an individual one of a kind cockring if wanted produced made to measure to your dick diameter.

What a weekend

Boy, what a great weekend. I had a good friend and top from Hamburg over to play, drink, cook and show around the Ruhr region. To be honest, he was so captivating that I neglected this site a bit and tomorrow I will have to work again. So it will take some time to catch up with everything.

I started with updating my Recon and GayRomeo sub profile with pictures from the weekend which sadly I am not allowed to show here. If you are interested, check it out and leave a cruising or footprint 😉 As you can see I also managed to post the little bit belated desiderate blog post. But there is still more to come this week – especially getting some sleep and spending hours over hours at the gym in order to somehow train off the many gin tonics, gateaux and great food 😀

Mister S Neopren Restraints

For the first item of this new segment I chose the Mister S neoprene restraints. On several occasions I wished I had some “water”-(please insert here any other kinky liquid you desire ;))proof restraints. Of cause, for a short period of time you can use your leather restraints. But when water goes through the piping and into the padding or if you play with a little bit more aggressive liquids like piss which can alter the color of the leather, you want to use something which feels at home in a moist environment. Browsing stores in the last couple of years I have come across some neoprene restraints but most of them were missing a buckle strap making them difficult to handle. What’s more to love about the Mister S Neopren restraints is that you can get matching collars and blindfolds.

A pair of ankle and wrist restraints cost $79.95 each at the time of the publishing of this article.

Some Small Changes and Final Placement for Semester Abroad

Today I got my final placement for my semester abroad: I will attend North Park University in Chicago! I have been to Chicago for a couple of day during my exchange year when I was still in school and I instantly fell in love with this great city, so I was thrilled when I got the news that I will be spending an entire semester there. Also the college seems to be good: A good faculty-student-ratio and good access to public transport. However: North Park is a Christian university. This will be an interesting experience for me and the university and as well. If any Chicago kinkster, rubber fetishists or BDSM guys are reading this blog, I would love to hear all about the Chicago scene. I already know the Chicago Rubber Men and followed them instantly at Twitter. But I think there is more to know about the Chicago scene.

Getting this info also means a lot of work for me: Booking flights, organizing stuff in advance, getting immunizations, etc. Besides that I have one of Hamburg’s best tops coming for a visit for an enhanced weekend. So I sadly currently have other things on my mind than this website. I am still working on the update on the rating but it will probably take some additional days. Despite still working on the text, I already took numbers out of the rating chart at the end of the reviews because I haven’t come up with a way to make them work yet. As soon as I figure out how to make the charts go, I will also delete them 😀

Last but not least: I sent of the first e-mail asking for the permission to feature pictures from a web shop in the new category Desiderates. I am quite excited how the response will be.

 

Getting Post

I hope you all had a fun night out at MIR 2012. I wish I could have been there but sadly my semester abroad is in the summer and not in the winter term. We will see when I will make it to the Windy City for this great event. Plans are currently 2016 but let’s see what my bank account says then 😀

After spending yesterday on working and reflecting on the toy rating system (I am currently organizing my thoughts and I will post a blog entry or even an article on it in the first half of the next week) today a little update on my postal affairs.

First of all: After what seems like ages, I got my new light tend. It has been more than 4 weeks since I ordered it but the first parcel was damaged, then they it was out of stock but Friday I got my new one. As you can see from the picture, it is way bigger than my old (the right) one. As soon as I have time, I might reshoot my toy collection in a decent environment. But since the new tent is about four times the volume of the old one, the light issue is an even more pressing one. We will see how I will deal with it.

Also, after spending a lifetime in a waiting loop I got my new mTAN and thus could get my neuro wheel. When using it on my own the effect was rather disappointing, a little bit like tickling yourself. However, on Thursday I get a visit from a friend from Hamburg how might try it out on me… 😉

Mr S Eagle Talon Tit Clamp

Vendor: Mr S Leather

First Impression and construction

A thoughtful friend from Indy got me this clamps as a little gift at a dinner party I hosted during his trip throughout Europe this summer. At first I was a little bit puzzled: Two cylinders with a gripping surface, a stick coming out of them and a bit fragile looking chain connecting them but nothing to put tissue between. After the party I spend some time with this enigma and boy, did I discover some twisted but horny kink.

Detail of the gripping surface

Detail of the gripping surface

To solve the enigma: How does this clamp work? You grab the barrel and push the stick coming out of them. Than at the top of the barrel a claw-like array of five metal conductors which are a bit flexible comes out. The array opens up about 1cm in diameter so most nipple should fit perfectly.

The metal conductor array slowing coming out of the barrel

The metal conductor array slowing coming out of the barrel

Playing with it

When I first saw the array with its spiky conductors I was quite afraid of breaking the surface of my skin but luckily it doesn’t break even when letting the clamps staying in place for a longer period time. But that’s all what I can say about light play possibilities with these pair of clamps. The pain they inflict is unique! They are the most painful clamps I own, even more painful than the hard crocodile clamps. Since the conductors are circling the nipple and stay a bit apart (depending on how much tissue is enclosed in the clamp) you can feel every single conductor. Another major and important difference is the reaction to hard pulling on the chain. When you pull the chain at most clamp they tend to slip away and increase the pain because the area the pressure is applied to gets smaller. With the Eagle Talon things are differently. They usually stay in place only driving their conductor heads deeper into the flesh. I haven’t tried to rip them off because I was too scared and too whiny. There are two possibilities: Deep, even bleeding scratches or ruining the clamps because the conductors get deformed. If you have firsthand experience with pulling off this clamps, just let me know.

The conductors digging into the skin

The conductors digging into the skin

Since the array “attacks” the skin from all areas and digs itself into the tissue these clamps are very flexible. If you can pull out a bit of tissue with your finger you can put the clamp on it. Even when the skin is slippery from lube, sweat, piss or anything else not forming a too thick coating, this clamp will stay in place. A little drop of bitterness is that the strength can’t be regulated. Pressing together the array is not possible but the strength of the spring should be enough to make even an experienced pain pig whimper after some time.

Handling these little devils is a bit tricky. You need two hands to operate them: One holding the barrel another pushing the stick. Holding the barrel a bit of a challenge especially when you are wearing gloves since the pattern of the gripping section is not very deep. Even more challenging is operating the stick because on its end is a small sphere where also the chain is mounted on; there is little room for the finger which also slips away easily due to the form. This gets even worse when you’ve got lube on your finger tips. With a bit of practice you get a good feeling for the handling of these clamps but you must always stay concentrated when putting them on otherwise you might provide your sub with a cruel but unintended sensation.

This clamps should not be used with rubber

This clamps should not be used with rubber

Another thing to consider when using them is the material which might cover the area you want to attach the clamp to. If have testes these clamps with 0,6mm rubber and nappa leather. Both surfaces stayed mostly unharmed with only a little star like scratch pattern left behind. But especially when it comes to rubber I would be very cautious since the spiky conductor tips might penetrate the material. Also because the pain feeling comes from the tips digging into the flesh instead of the pressure the pain is reduced very much when applied on fetish gear.

When handled rightly they leave an interesting pattern on the skin with each conductor leaving a pressure mark which stays about 5 min. They can stay longer depending on how long you dared to let the clamp stay in place.

Conslusion: A unique sensation for the true masochist and a sinful pleasure for real sadists
Pro Cons Where to get Price
Unique pain experience Difficult to operate Mr S (Manufacturer) $27,95
Cool looking Pain level cannot be increased or decreased
Very flexible

How the Reviews are Made

Some of you might have wondered: How do you test BDSM toys? Well… here is the ultimate answer – at least for this website.

It all starts with receiving an envelope from a mysterious donor which goes straight to my desk for unpacking.

The first thing I find inside such envelopes is mostly something to get me through the stressful and exhausting reviewing process.

Damn, they know my weaknes! 😉

Next up is a friendly and easy to understand notice which should help me reach a verdict matching the superior quality and functionality of the new toy.

Last but not least is the toy itself. And now you know why unboxings will be very rare at this website.

The first thing I do with a new toy is testing it at a uncritical part of my body in order to get a first impression and a feel for it.

From this first test, I take some notes on the initial expressions I got.

Because the initial reaction can be misleading, I let the toy rest a bit. This is why you will rarely find extensive reviews of new toys tight after I got them.

Now also the testing on me and on friends begins – which I am at the moment not allowed to show you. I might update this article as soon as I find a way to do so.

During the resting time, I keep on testing them and get second oppinions, p.e. from friend who come over for a drink and a pretzel…

… or by taking them out to a club in order to get some reallife experience with them.

After I have gathered enough information how the toy performs as a BDSM utensile, the more technical testing starts. How do certain materials influence the experience? Does the toy damage the material?

Next up is the handling test where the influence of gloves and lube on the overall and more important the secure handling of the toy is tested.

Right after the testing, I take some times to try out different probs in order to show the toy in it’s best light when the pictures are taken…

… which takes place right afterwards.

It all ends with the digital production process: Cropping and editing the pictures, writing a review from the notes I have taken, scoring the toy and finally creat a WordPress article featuring the review.

Going Postal

I know the title of this post is a cheap rip off from a great Terry Pratchett novel, but it suits perfectly. In Germany the formal federal postal service which is now DHL set up boxes where you can send and pick up parcels so you don’t have to be at home. The system isn’t perfect since you can only receive parcels shipped with DHL but anyway, it is great for people who are not at home all day.

Monday they implemented a change in their authentification system: Instead of a static PIN they now send you a mTAN with the notification SMS that a new parcel has been delivered. I awaited a new toy yesterday and was thrilled when I got the SMS that it has been put into the Packstation box. I was not so thrilled when I sat that the SMS ended right after 160 characters – right before the mTAN. So I called the DHL hotline – and waited for about 45 minuits in a waiting loop before I had to work. I sent e-mails, used twitter and the contact form, today I spend another hour of listening to their ridicules waiting loop music but I had no success. Thursday will be a holiday in Germany and I hope they send me a new mTAN by tomorrow evening, otherwise somebody will really suffer and not in a good way!

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