This entry is part 5 of 12 in the series Kink of the Week

Some submissives find rope bondage comforting.  I’ve heard it described as feeling like a warm and tight embrace.

Others (like my Serafina) love the feel of leather cuffs, and feel much the same way about restraints made from buttery soft cowhide.  My slave finds the feel of her leather restraints very much comforting.  She often wears them around the clock except for when showering or doing dishes.  After some time wearing them, Serafina says she feels naked without the leather restraints.

The psychology of metal restraint is entirely different though, it seems.  While I have known a submissive (or two) who enjoys handcuffs and steel shackles, I’ve never heard them described as being of any comfort.  

Steel is inherently unyielding.  And, until warmed by the body, steel is usually quite cold on the skin.  The physical sensations are unique to this particular form of restraint.

Then there’s the weight.  Steel shackles (as well as some models of traditionally styled handcuffs) are weighty.  While a slave like Serafina might forget she’s wearing leather restraints, nobody ever forgets the weight around their wrists when wearing my Clejuso Heavyweight Handcuffs.  Likely the heaviest weight handcuff manufactured today, they weigh in at 47.7 ounces, or roughly three pounds!

Steel comes with special aural pleasures as well.  There’s nothing like the distinctive snick of a button-release spring-blade-knife snapping open.  Because the distinctive sound is associated with intense mind and body play, the sound can make my slave shudder, and cause goosebumps.  Handcuffs come with their own distinctive metal on metal sound, the clicking of a metal ratchet as the cuffs are closed.

Metal rattles when worn too.  So, while it’s not totally unknown for Serafina to wear her leather wrist cuffs under her winter coat while running errands like grabbing our mail, that’s just not going to happen with steel restraints.  Not only do they make distinctive noises, there’s also that heavy chain connecting everything together.

Handcuffs are not generally appropriate with jeans, or an evening gown.  Unless, that is, you find yourself in a dungeon (or police station.)  Apparently, there are circumstances where handcuffs go with everything!

 Why are handcuffs such an ubiquitous symbol of BDSM iconography?

For a symbol to raise to the status of becoming a cultural icon, it must be ubiquitous.  Handcuffs are exactly that!  While a vanilla inclined person might not recognize some of my more exotic toys for what they are, everybody knows handcuffs.

I think it’s primarily because handcuffs are such potent imagery for captivity.  We are raised on police dramas where handcuffs are used in a matter of fact fashion in nearly every arrest.  So, as a result of their common use and high visibility, the use of handcuffs is easily the most familiar form of restraint most folks have seen.

It’s also worth noting that handcuffs are commonly one of the earliest sex toys adventurous couples add to their toy-chest.  They aren’t necessarily the best choice for neophytes, but because handcuffs are are such a commonly seen method of restraint, they end up being purchased by default.  I know lots of folks who don’t consider themselves to be kinky but have a set of handcuffs in the top drawer of their nightstand.

Do you play with them?

Yes, of course, I play with handcuffs.  Metal restraints have some special qualities I enjoy using from time to time.  I’d characterize my use of handcuffs as being somewhat infrequent, rope and leather restraint are still more common.  My favorite handcuffs are the Clejuso Model 15 Heavyweight Handcuffs that I mentioned earlier.

What do you like about them?

I’ve already mentioned the special feel and sound of handcuffs.  The other thing to like about handcuffs is that they can be put on a struggling victim much more quickly and easily than rope or leather restraints.

How do they make you feel, either as a Top or a bottom?

This is a great question!  I’ve spent plenty of time pondering the effect of metal restraint on a submissive, but I’d never before thought much about the effect handcuffs have on me.

In a scene where handcuffs are used, I’m always a bit more on guard, and I’m certainly more aware.  That’s because I know that metal restraints are truly unforgiving.  A struggling victim full of endorphins could potentially cause ligament or joint damage to themselves.  So I watch carefully.  I do also enjoy the inescapable nature of handcuffs, as once I’ve locked a pair on a sub, I know she’s not going to slide out of them.

Is play with them part of a larger roleplaying scene, or are they just another implement in your kink arsenal?

When I read this question, I found myself  nodding my head up and down in agreement with both.  So, it’s a situation of using the word “and” instead of “or”.

I like using handcuffs in the context of role playing.   Almost entirely on their own, they can give a sense of being under the control of law enforcement.  Because handcuffs are relatively easy to put in place, they are great for abduction, captivity, and other similar scenarios where a struggling victim is part of the play.

And . . .

My perspective really is that handcuffs are just another implement in a Master’s arsenal of tricks.  Overall, I’m far more prone to using rope or leather restraint.  I get out handcuffs when I’ve got a specific purpose in mind.

When it’s all said and done, whether they are used for a specific role-play scenario, or whether it’s one of the unique qualities that metal restraints offer, handcuffs and steel shackles are an essential part of my kinky toy bag.  It’s quite likely  a pair will (if they haven’t already) someday play a role in your own explorations of the joy of kink.

cold steel shackles


Today’s post is in response to a prompt from Kink of Week. Click on the icon to find out who else is discussing handcuffs this week.
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