Rubber is one of the major fetishes out there and was actually my first fetish (more on that in some rare personal words at the end of this review). Often, a rubber fetish comes along with a love for bondage (rubber drones being forcefully reprogrammed anyone?). Sadly due to rubber being a fragile material and complex to process – especially when you want to compensate the fragility – there are few “good” rubber restraints out there. So many people mix rubber gear with leather restraints which for a true and only rubber lover is a painful compromise and thus messages asking for product recommendations in that regard are frequent. So when my dear friend StormWolf from Belgium drew my attention to the Cuffed restraints during his visit to Darklands earlier this year, I was thrilled and amazed because they looked very promising. Not wanting to anticipate the final verdict too much but they exceeded my expectations.
The Rubstraints follow the design of all premium cuff-style restraints: A soft body that hugs tightly around the joint is connected to a sturdy belt that absorbs the force of the struggling sub. Unlike their leather cousins, the body is not padded but made out of two layers of 0.9mm grade rubber. Along the long edges of the body runs a rubber tubes covered in thin rubber to create the impression of piping. Onto the body, a double layer of Kevlar reinforced industrial rubber is riveted. On one side a rough patch of Velcro is glued and riveted on the belt while a small fleecy patch is at the other end of the body. The second belt houses two stainless steel gates with a clearing above the rubber of 11x51mm, a locking pin and roller buckle. There are 10 rivet-reinforced holes for closing the buckle. If you want to used the locking pin, you can fasten the belt up to the 7th hole (if you use the widest setting of the Velcro the 6th hole).
For the locking mechanism Cuffed uses genuine Segufix locking pins, locks and keys so you can mix and match with your existing set. What sets them apart from standard Segufix equipment is that 11mm below the top, there is a 4mm hole drilled into the locking pin. This hole is designed to lock the restraints onto your sub if the Segufix locks seem to unsecure for you. However, since the top of the hole is aligned with the bottom of the Segufix lock neither my testees (useing ABUS Titalium) nor me (using Master Lock, please don’t ask my which line…) could find a lock which shackle was long enough which body was thin enough to fit below the lock. So you have to choose between the Segufix and the padlock. Alternatively, use seals like the ones for chastity cages so at least you know when your sub broke out.
The two restraints I have used for this review are wrist and ankle restraints. The wrist restraints cover a joint circumference of 14cm to 22cm, the ankle restraints 20cm to 28cm. A question I genuinely get often in regard of other restraints: If you have thin ankles, you can of course use wrist restraints on them or vice versa if you have strong wrists! Especially the industrial rubber is stiffer than leather. So the restraints have little give. Furthermore the basic tension inside the restraints means that the buckle pin will not rest on the roller when you just leave one hole between the buckle and the locking pin.
Along with the restraints themselves, you can order various connection belts. They are made out of the same Kevlar reinforced industrial rubber as the belts on the restraints and are just wide enough to perfectly fit inside the stainless steel gates. But since they do not have skin contact, they are not lined with soft latex. The core of each of these connectors is a Segufix locking pin. For the basic Shorty connector there are two rivet-reinforced holes. If you push them over the locking pin they create two loops for connecting two restraints. Another iteration of this design adds a stainless steel gate perpendicular to the rubber belt. For longer distances there are also adjustable, there are belts out there (ingenious product naming!). Instead of having just two holes wide enough apart to create the loops, the have a traditional belt hole layout. Additionally they are equipped with two stainless steel gates for added connectivity.
Nota bene: While for this review I only looked at the cuffed restraints most often used in bondage, Cuffed created an entire system around the design also featuring collars, biceps and thigh restraints or a wide bondage belt. So they have gotten you covered for more elaborate or stricter bondage scenes.
If you have a medical/ asylum fetish that is not satisfied by the professional lock system Cuffed offers some of the restraints, belts and connectors off the rack with a tan belts and beige bodies. I am sure if you want other restraints from the system currently not included in this collection like the thigh restraints, they are open for custom commissions.
Like all rubber and latex items, the Rubstraints require a bit special care. Most important: Keep them away from oil and fat, including and especially Crisco! These substances will destroy the rubber! Since there is always a thin film of oil on the human skin, rubber should be washed after each scene either using simple, non-moisturizing dish soap or a special rubber detergent (my detergent of choice is Wonder Wash). Before storing them, make sure they are COMPLETELY dry (often water gets trapped in the tubes used for the piping) and seal the surface either with talcum powder or silicone lube to keep the rubber from oxidation. But regardless how well you take care of the Rubstraints, how thoroughly you clean and protect them from oxidation, they – like all rubber and latex times – will over time get old and finally break! So use them often and well to get the most fun out of them.
If you want to learn more about rubber and latex, the perfect are and its appeal, check out my Rubber 101.
Playing with the Rubstraints
This is the first time I have ever written this about a piece of rubber bondage gear (except body bondage items lick sleeping bags): They work as well as their leather counterparts. The latex piped lining creates a soft and sharp edge-free surface that can actually be worn on bare skin over extended periods of time – even on a struggling sub! – without chafing. The thought-out placing of the rivets that connects the body to the belt diverts most of the force of a struggling sub to only the belt which is strong enough to deal even with strong subs. A testee submitted a body builder sub of his to tough e-stim torture and there was no noticeable wear and tear on the rubber or the rivets. So any rubber scene, any latex fantasy you would normally resort to using leather restraints can be turned into reality using the Rubstraints.
The most noticeable design difference to leather restraints is that as anchor points the Rubstraints use gates instead of D-rings. While this is an unusual decision I actually like the look at lot. It adds to the sleek, technical look and feel the thick, hard-edged rubber belts create. A drawback is that threading rope is difficult and attaching climbing carabiner is impossible. This is a very personal opinion and play preference of (most of) my testees and me but in our opinion “classic” rope clashes a bit with the modern look. “Rough” chain (with shackles as connectors) or “high-tech” nylon tension straps are a better match. The great advantage of gates are that if tied with enough tension and facing towards the short sides, the bondage medium stays in the corner and does not travel towards the apex like they have the tendencies on D-rings.
The gates are also the foundation to incorporate the belt-style accessories. This is what set the Rubstraints really apart from all the other cuff style leather restraints I have reviewed and played with so far. The rubber straps being almost as wide as the gates, there is little vertical wiggle room so they create a stricter bondage than a carabiner would. Since they come in a variety of length, the severity of the bondage can be adjusted. For example, instead of using a belt to connect the ankle restraints and limiting the movement of the sub, a testee used the short Shorty which leave about 50mm of movement space. This leave the sub the theoretical possibility of walking around but practically it take a lot of practice to not fall over his own feet. Practice, easily enforces when tugging on his collar. Due to the added gate, the 90 are a bit wider (and actually come in two sizes). While they take a bit away the strictness between the limbs, they add versatility. Now you can connect the two restraints pairs with either a short belt for a hogtie or a longer one when for a standing sub to create an interesting way to limit his movements (every time he takes a step, there will be a tugging on his wrists which especially when tied tightly behind his back adds another difficulty level). If you are more of a sadist, add a (spiked) parachute to his balls, run the rope through the gate and attach a weight. In this instance, the rope will travel from one corner to the other, causing the weight to swing, making the sub move and the weight swings more. There are many, creative, vicious and aesthetical pleasing ways to play with the connector. On the website from Cuffed there is a short, still extending guide with examples. So check this out if you need more inspiration. Another benefit of the rubber connectors are that they do not disturb the clean all-rubber and steel look the Rubstraints laid the basis for.
And last but definitely not least: The fetish aspect. They smell like a good piece of rubber gear should smell. The smell is so intense that opening up the box I store them in feels like opening my rubber closet. As for the looks the industrial rubber of the belts can either be high-shined to match latex suits yet is dull enough to appeal to the lovers of the rougher, dry or hazmat suit look. Other testee subs loved the Segufix lock. They bring a professional and heavy duty feel to the restraints. Especially a blindfolded sub familiar with the Segufix system will know what the faint and subtle “click” means when the lock is pushed over the locking pin.
A Personal Word from ToyTorture
Despite all the personal experience I try to make these reviews as objective as possible. So I have never written a truly personal opinion about a toy. But given the circumstances, I feel it necessary for this toy.
Rubber was my first true fetish and slowly venturing into the fetish, kink and BDSM scene, I first struggled a bit with good bondage gear were only available in leather. So locking back at my own past, I was genuinely excited for these restraints. When I opened the parcel, a wave of intoxicating rubber smell hit me! It was almost like Rubber@LAB – minus the smell of piss and poppers. I got them end of August and I was SO locking forward to using them on me, on subs, as photo prop. But due to the current circumstances, I only managed to get a few scenes as a top with them and was glad that I have testees with live-in subs to get more opinions on the toy for a review as you would expect it of ToyTorture.com.
Yet still, every time I open the storage box for the Rubstraints in my playroom and smell the rubber and I see the shiny surface and feel the cold stainless steel I am heart-broken that a toy holding so much potential, so many fantasies inside them is just laying dead and unused in a box. So I truly hope that things will get better soon, that some time next year, I will lock these restraints around a rubber sub at Quälgeist or join one of my tops to Rubber@LAB. But for the moment these excellent pieces of bondage gear, German art of engineering and craftsmanship are a good example for all the things to look forward to once this pandemic is over.
|Conclusion: The most effective, sturdy, fetish-please, thought-out and high quality rubber restraints.|
|Pro||Cons||Where to get||Price|
|Sturdy enough even for heavy bondage scenes and strong subs||Will age over time and will eventually break||Rubstraints Wrist Cuffs||169€|
|Rubstraints Ankle Cuffs||169€|
|Intense rubber smell and feel|
|Shorty Connector (2 pieces)||34,90€|
|Two anchor points||90 Connector||24,90€|
|Thought-out accessory system||90 Long Connector||29,90€|