Barefoot sub drooling with a ball gag and eye mask.

Guest Post: My Quick-ish Guide to Ball Gags

Barefoot sub drooling with a ball gag and eye mask.
Photographer: Tony James Photography.

I have been growing increasingly curious about gags for a while now.

For one reason or another I have never used them in scene, unless you include cocks and knickers. I recently made a purchase from McHurt and shared the news with a good friend of mine, the male half of the couple who let me try on their bobble hood. He got excited at the store, and asked if I had looked at their ballgags. Apparently McHurt ballgags are the best out there. I shared with him that I was woefully lacking in knowledge when it comes to gags.

A couple of weeks passed, and my mind came back to gags, among other pressing desires…

At the same time I was broaching these subject with Sir I had a message pointing me to Trautaruan’s fetlife post on gags. I have never been the biggest fan of “Fet-experts” or any experts for that matter, but I have a lot of respect for him and his opinion is always worth a look. Better still, he doesn’t get offended if I disagree! As a result of reading this I asked if I could share it here, because… as a complete beginner I found it interesting and thought it may be a valuable resource for others embarking on their own adventures into the world of gags.

My quick-ish guide to: Ball Gags

Another big gap between writing anything here but I’ve been pondering writing my own guide or two just from my own experience and our toy cupboards (yes…it’s now turned plural!)

Now I’ll caveat this as being simply my own opinion and whilst I’ll try to describe why I’ve came to these opinions… everyone is different, so I really don’t mind if you disagree or think I’m talking utter garbage!

Intro…best place to start!

We now have somewhere in the region of 50-60 different gags… a gag-session if you will. And have resigned quite a few to the “probably won’t be using that much” category and a much fewer number are not even in the gag drawer but are sitting on the bedside table or in my playbag, I hope to explain why and what may be a good start for anyone looking to find something new or even their first gag.

We have many styles and enjoy the variety but for now let’s talk Ballgags…

Straps

There’s several different straps and harnesses out there for even the most simple gags and they can be a very crucial choice for comfort, practicality and security.

Single Strap

By far the most common ballgags are a single strap around the back of the head, these are very photogenic within the wider frame as they don’t obstruct the face. The drawback can be unless tied tightly they often leave wiggle room to push out the gag. Now some may enjoy a very tight single strap but this isn’t for everyone and material becomes even more critical.

String

I completely avoid string gags, any fine string used to hold a gag in is owwey almost from the outset, they tend to come on the very cheapest of gags and with such a small surface area all of the tension immediately starts to dig into the side of the mouth. They cause some of the worst gag-marks and often have some stretch, meaning to be effective they end up being very tight… its a no from me I’m afraid.

Canvas

Canvas straps appear from time to time, notably within the Fetish Fantasy range, these are a woven canvas similar to a cheap ratchet/tie down strap, these have very little stretch but a whole heap of friction, they chafe badly, and although they flex or fold they are another culprit of bad gag-marks and discomfort beyond the normal fun levels. (You may have guessed I prefer a gag to be comfortable and let the rest of the scene cause the discomfort)

PVC

PVC… actually works quite well, not too much stretch but much softer than canvas and there’s a certain fetishism nature to the feel of shiny PVC around the mouth. Its not a great choice for long term use though, it can get quite warm and sweaty, holding moisture and causing chafing after a while.

Latex

Latex straps… now I’m very sympathetic to it’s drawbacks because…well, its latex! I’ve got a few gags which use latex straps and I love them, if you’re going for impossible to push out, this is a no… you can ALWAYS stretch latex and it will be push-outable, but its latex… its lovely, however if I was buying 1 gag… it wouldn’t have a latex strap, its too stretchy. (But get one…its fricking latex!)

Leather and Faux Leather

Leather and Faux Leather… these two can be described together despite real leather often being softer. These just work… a good leather strap has little stretch but is supple enough to be comfortable, with good care they can last a long time even with regular washing, they are however very hard to truly sterilise, but really gags should only be for one partner…let’s not be spreading bugs around! There are often more options and designs in these more common straps too, a smaller width around the edges of the mouth and through the ball increase comfort massively and a good buckle keeps these secure. But be careful, whilst I have a couple of VERY cheap ballgags with lovely soft faux leather, there are some bloody horrible ones which are far too stiff, so be cautious of photos which show the straps resisting being bent…they may soften and bed in, but who wants to wait to use their new gag?!

Silicone

Silicone…these are almost always built into the ball itself… I do love these, they are very comfortable, are often quite kind to the mouth and give a lively aesthetic, they usually have a faux leather or leather strap for the back of the head which offers a very nice option, particularly for those with smaller mouths or looking for a good comfy gag which is easier to clean.

Chin Straps

Chin strap gags have the normal single strap but include an added chin strap, this helps keep the ball secure and really transforms the feel of a gag. They make it much harder to push out and can take some pressure off the main strap without the wearing losing the feel of restriction. If you are looking for a first ballgag I’d be torn between a nice single strap or a chinstrap gag… there are many which allow you to slide off the chin strap over the buckle and use them as a normal ballgag… if you are only buying 1 gag, this is a lovely option to effectively have 2 slightly different choices.

Harnesses

Harnesses vary a LOT, there are a couple I would personally avoid though… those missing the chin strap, they tend to try to ride up, you have tension around the top of the head but nothing stopping the whole lot creeping up slowly… its not a fun sensation. Also, those with very thick or very thin straps in all the wrong places, a thick “headband” works great but 2 wide stripes of leather running up either side of the nose feels cumbersome and simply too much. Equally thin “split” leather front/nose straps feel lovely but very few will enjoy these rubbing their ears.

The Ball!

I don’t want to go into much depth about sizes here, size of the ball varies very greatly by material and your own mouth, unfortunately if you do have a tighter jaw or a smaller mouth your options are often limited a little although some of the very best gags out there are available in a great range of sizes so please don’t rule out ballgags in general because you have tried and failed to get something too big for you into your mouth comfortably.

Let’s start with my own no no’s …

Unsealed Foam

Unsealed foam balls, these are the type that are much like sponges, they immediately feel flakey and uneven and nobody is going to enjoy inhaling a bit of foam mid scene, there are very few of these on the market now, the retailers have caught on that these are nasty horrible cheap bastards which belong in a bin! (Sorry… not much else to say but NO!)

Steel

Steel… Steel is a lovely material, it makes fantastic bondage restrains, beautiful collars, incredible furniture and although there are many who like a steel ballgag… I personally use gags during play, they are very rarely just a photoshoot… biting down involuntarily on a steel gag will only make a greedy dentist happy… I’ve heard first hand of chipped teeth… if its your first gag, don’t bother…if you really like them, that’s completely up to you, but personally, they belong in photoshoots and photoshoots only!

Candy

Candy or Jawbreaker gags, these are hard sweets poured into a ball, often red and flavoured as strawberry, now I know I have a friend who sells these, and I’m really sorry to say it, but similar to the steel problem, they are too hard, they can chip due to bubbles or defects in the pour and they get very sickly very quickly, they aren’t my cup of tea although they are a fun novelty outside of the more “serious” (said very tongue in cheek!) bondage scene.

Glass

Glass… glass is a toughy! I actually really like a glass ballgag, bet you didn’t expect that?! I like them when coupled with a latex scene, no impact, no surprises, no sudden biting, just a beautiful aesthetic with a slight vore element to them. However, size is key, too small and they rattle around, too large and they go from kinky to nasty very quickly. First gag…no! Keeping someone quiet for a scene… no! Admiring a latex subbie dribble in…. Oh yes!

And now to those I do recommend!

Foam filled faux Leather

Foam-filled faux leather, these are seen much more commonly as the gag piece to bondage hoods or as bit gags but there are a couple of ballgags in this style, they are very soft and whilst they often don’t silence the wearer they do feel rather nice to wear, there’s very rarely any taste and the soft coating makes them rather forgiving. They can be tricky to get properly clean as they absorb quite a bit of dribble (also worth noting if you really enjoy the uncontrollable drooling….and who doesn’t!) These can be MUCH larger than any harder ball and still be comfortable, but do be careful not to make it difficult to breath, as they are squidgy they can start to make their way into “Uh oh!” Territory.

Rubber

Rubber balls, by far the most common but also with a huge variation from manufacturer to manufacturer. Things to look for here are reviews and the smoothness of the ball, rougher rubber balls have a tendency to have a stronger rubber taste. This can vary from a mild flavour all the way up to “old lego tyre”-taste…if you know, you know! These solid rubber balls have a little give in them but usually not much, kinder to teeth than a rock hard material and available in many colours they are often a choice for first ballgag. They can be prone to attracting teeth marks with a firm bite so do be mindful that they won’t stay perfect forever but they are much easier to clean, especially when they have a higher quality smooth finish.

Sealed Foam

Sealed foam / hard PU foam, this one is a little of a fence sitter for me, I have a couple of them in a harder, higher density foam from when I started out with gags, they attract bite marks like they are in fashion, they have very little give and can taste a little odd if you don’t give them a good clean and time to air before using them. If you are going with one like this, do be careful once they start getting bitten into, these can start to shed once they are beaten up a little. Thus perhaps not making them ideal for a first gag. The other variation here is the elusive sealed soft foam ball, these tend to be DIY jobs more than available through the usual retailers, not really a play gag as such but due to their squidginess they can be big…and I mean BIG. As a “who can take this?” Challenge they are very fun, I just wish I could find a good 3″ version as a novelty!

Silicone

And then there’s silicone, it’s almost like they designed silicone to make ballgags… I absolutely love it, it makes for the most comfortable gags whilst also some of the most effective. Now I’ve already mentioned that some will come with silicone “straps” extending out of the ball and providing a nice comfortable sensation around the mouth, these feel good but they don’t win absolute top prize from me. That would be silicone balls with a nice large round hole through them for a soft leather strap. You see any solid ball is confined to only squidge as much as the material can flex…throw a big hole through the middle and you suddenly get a whole (pun might be intended) heap of delightful flex-y-room.

They are resistant to teeth marks even with a firm bite, and good quality silicone is easy to keep clean. When coupled up with a leather strap they are easy to swap out for smaller or larger balls and the flex is just perfect. Enough to allow the jaw to rest a little and have a small chew, but not so much as to lose the feeling of restraint.

They are also available in a whole heap of colours and sizes, infact you may be surprised to hear sites like PleasureParadox offer over 100 combinations just in silicone balls! They also benefit from having little to no taste and being widely available…but do take your time to find the best one for you! (But they are also available as ball only from many places….so don’t be disappointed if you find you want a bigger or smaller ball for occasions, just get an extra ball!)

There’s not too much more to add, other than… get one! (Or 3 or 10…)

Closing thoughts

There are many ballgags I’ve not quite covered, a few of note are inflatable ballgags (yummy!) And wiffle/dribble gags (meh…you dribble in a normal gag anyway) but hopefully there’s plenty of information here to help make picking a new gag that little bit easier.

Oh and I wasn’t going to include a load of links and photos, it takes much longer to find them all however I will close with this…

TL:DR … Buy one of these: https://www.mchurt.eu/en/our-onlineshop/mcsilence/ballgags-made-from-silicone/silicone-ball-gag-red.html?c=1125

Put it on…realise it’s fantastic and then say “Wow this ball gag is really comfortable”

Or simply… “Hmmpf wuhh bah guhh wwawaa humpfftubble”

Thank you for reading!

Guest Post: My Quick-ish Guide to Ball Gags was first published on Fetlife and was shared with permission on A Leap of Faith.

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