Newcomer's Guide to Cuffs, and Why You Shouldn't Start With Metal Handcuffs

Posted by Rat Queen Kyver on

Handcuffs are a great, familiar way to bring a little fire to your sex life. But often, folks don't know where to start. As a society, we are inundated with images of stereotypical cop-dramas, and with that, metal cuffs often seem like the place to start. If this is you, you're not alone. The world of cuffs is as diverse as it is misunderstood. I'm here to shed a little light. My hope is, when you've finished reading this post, you won't be one of the many people who falls victim their first time to the extreme bite of metal cuffs.

All too often, I see a couple enter the shop who, having decided to spice things up a little bit, make a beeline for the iconic metal handcuffs. Don't get me wrong - Cuffs are, as a category, a great basic item for any sexy toolkit. And for most people, metal cuffs are by far the most familiar-looking option. Unfortunately, this classic piece suffers from a few drawbacks that don't make them a great choice for the beginner. Here's why:

I think you will agree with me when I tell you the most important aspects of any sexy scenario: All people involved should be 1. Safe, 2. Comfortable, and 3. Have given consent for all the activities (and potential outcomes) involved. Even in situations where someone has volunteered to be put into an uncomfortable position or receive spankings from a paddle, any and all of those scenarios should be pre-negotiated so as to avoid unpleasant surprises. One really important thing to negotiate before you begin is whether any lasting marks are OK. This includes hickies, burns, scrapes, or impression marks from any paddles or other toys you might use in the bedroom.

Metal handcuffs, being made of metal, don't have a lot of give. Worse, because any force or stress placed on them must be distributed over a very thin surface area, they are much more likely to become painful very quickly and cause chafing, indentations, irritation, and even serious wounds like lacerations, which can leave a scar. Now, some people are okay with permanent markings. But if this is your first time exploring handcuffs or/and kinky play, you probably aren't necessarily seeking to leave permanent scarring on your lover. 

I can already hear the people saying, "But Kyver, what about the fur-covered ones? Wouldn't the fur covering prevent all that noise?" Now, take a good look at your fur-covered metal handcuffs. They still have that thin metal skeleton underneath, and that skeleton still does not give under tension. What can happen with the fur cuffs is that they may make it more difficult for the metal to bite as easily into flesh, but often, you end up with the additional issue of the fur covering sliding around, which may quickly chafe. And this type of cuff still only distributes force across a very narrow surface area. That's the thing that's going to lead to discomfort the quickest - sections of skin less than a centimeter across are bearing the brunt of any struggling, wriggling, or tugging on the cuffs. Zipties are a no-go for this reason, too.

So, metal is out. What's left? Well-made cuffs can be found in many materials - Silicone, neoprene, and even leather or faux fur, to name a few. If you're new to cuffs, you're probably not looking to plunge $80 deep into a pair of high-quality leather cuffs that wouldn't look out of place in a dungeon. That's totally reasonable. I'd like to present you first with Quickie Cuffs, which are both budget-conscious and safe. They are thin like your standard handcuff, but what sets them apart is their flexibility. They move with your body rather than fight against it. A pair of cop cuffs from us will run you anywhere between $10 and $20, so you're not spending any more than you would ordinarily. For just a little more money than the Quickie Cuffs, you could get a set of broader cuffs, typically made of leather or vegan materials like neoprene and pleather. These have the benefit of being more comfortable for longer wear than more thin or narrow cuffs, since they distribute any force exerted upon them over a much wider surface area. Some can even be padlocked!

A quick word about safety: Any good pair of metal cuffs at an adult store will always have a quick-release mechanism, and in Quickie Cuffs the safety is in the stretchy silicone. If things get a little too intense, the person restrained can slip out of them, and in an emergency you can cut them off.

This may seem counterintuitive - I can't count the times I've heard "What's the fun of restraint play if the person can choose to leave?" - but really, what makes restraining a loved one hot and spicy rather than abusive and rapey is that the person being restrained has given you their enthusiastic permission to be there. Believe us when we say play and pretend is a great fun part of sex. Cuffs are a great tool to create and enhance a fantasy - But they should enhance your partner's experience, too.

Well, that's all for me. Now you know about what makes a good handcuff, and how to play it fair. Now that you have some ideas about where to start, the rest is up to you. Get out there and get kinky!

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