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The 10 must-have BDSM toys for beginners

Photo via Come As You Are/Flickr

Before binding each other to the ceiling, try these options first.

There’s a reason why BDSM toys and equipment are so popular, even among non-kinksters. The best toys enhance playtime between partners, increasing the erotic sensations both a dominant and a submissive feel. BDSM gear can also establish and maintain dominance over one (or more) partners, creating a consensual power play rooted in being restrained, bound, or sexually teased.

Of course, some toys aren’t meant for newcomers; they simply present too much risk. Luckily, there’s plenty of equipment out there for kinksters just getting their bearings in the world of BDSM.

BDSM toys for every kink treasure chest

1) Blindfold

Arguably the easiest kink item to obtain, blindfolds should be in every dom’s collection. Why are blindfolds so fun? Well, they provide sensory deprivation.

When blindfolds are on a sub, they heighten the sounds, feelings, and, in some cases, tastes they are exposed to during play. This makes touching much more sensual and intimate. Blindfolds also force the sub into reliance on the dom, building tension between moments. Will a domme press her hand on a sub’s breast, or will she move her fingers down to her belly? Is a dom about to force his sub into giving oral sex, or make him receive? Blindfolds turn those actions into an open question, making this garment the perfect addition to any kinky power play.

Unlike other BDSM equipment options, there are very few safety precautions to keep in mind with blindfolds. Players just need to make sure a blindfold can be easily removed, and that the blindfolded partner remains in a safe area where they won’t accidentally stumble, fall, or roll into a dangerous object (such as a sharp knife or lit candle). Restraints can further prevent this from becoming a problem by, well, keeping a sub in place.

bdsm toys : blindfold Photo via Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)

2) Hitachi’s Magic Wand

The Magic Wand is one of the best vibrators on the market. Originally designed as a back massager, Hitachi’s Magic Wand revolutionized the sex toy industry by inadvertently creating a toy that worked perfectly for stimulating cisgender and transgender women’s genitals. And as far as kink toys go, the Magic Wand still remains one of the best vibrators to pick up.

The original Magic Wand has since been replicated by a variety of toy makers, with Hitachi creating an updated wireless version called the “Magic Wand Rechargeable.” Hitachi’s wand can be used for masturbation through direct application on genitals across genders, and with the Rechargeable model, different vibration settings also allow for different kinds of genital stimulation: from a low rumble to intense, pounding sensations.

But the Magic Wand can also be used in bondage and dom/sub play sessions. Wands can be tied and bound to a sub’s genitals, giving the sub ongoing stimulation for their dominant’s pleasure. Or wands can be applied for edging, allowing doms to control a sub’s orgasm by constantly denying them the opportunity to climax. The Magic Wand has many uses, and as far as BDSM goes, its application is a must.

bdsm sex toys : hitachi magic wand Screengrab via em_lee_sleaze/Instagram

 

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3) Bondage Tape

When it comes to restraints, bondage tape is one of the best sex toys for any kink fan to pick up. Especially beginners.

For the uninitiated, bondage tape is a PVC strip that can be used to wrap together different parts of the body, such as arms, legs, and breasts. Unlike duct tape and other adhesive-based tapes, bondage tape only sticks to itself. So while the strip is durable and hard to break without a pair of scissors, bondage tape is also safe to use without worrying about skin tearing or any other adverse effects.

PVC-based tape is excellent for beginners for that same reason. Unlike rope, there’s less risk for circulation. And binding a partner together is much easier than learning how to tie rope columns. For quick, easy but durable bondage, grabbing PVC tape is essential.

Some important safety points: When binding someone, be careful not to bend the tape or draw it too tightly to their skin. This can lead to circulation issues, not to mention general discomfort. Take care not to press bondage tape too tightly onto a sub’s body when using it as a blindfold or as a gag, and always come up with a non-verbal safeword before taping shut a play partner’s mouth or eyes (a hand gesture or series of squeezes are both great options).

Remember to have medical scissors on hand to cut your partner out of their bondage in case of an emergency or when it’s time to end play, too. Having blunted scissors allows kinksters to quickly free their play partner while diminishing the risk of cutting skin.

bdsm toys : bondage tape Photo via Simon Speed/Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

4) Dildos

Dildos, of course, are phallic sex toys that can be inserted into a vagina or anus. They come in various shapes and sizes, and some even come with built-in vibrators. This makes dildos pretty versatile across play partners, as every person can use a dildo in at least one orifice of their body (if not more!). Whether a domme uses her dildo to peg a sub, or a sub is forced to use a dildo on his dom, dildos are perfect for kinksters into penetration.

When it comes to dildos, there are two ways kinksters can make the most out of these phallic playthings. Dildos can be used by themselves for penetration, either in aiding masturbation or with a partner’s guidance. They can also be used in conjunction with a harness, turning dildos into excellent toys for both anal and vaginal sex.

Whenever using a dildo, it’s absolutely necessary to use lubricant. Plenty of lube should be applied on the dildo, as well as inside and around the area that will be penetrated. Some dildos can only be used with certain kinds of lubes, too, such a water-based lubes. Remember to read any care instructions that come with a dildo before slapping on lube.

When done with the play, make sure to thoroughly clean a dildo—especially if it’s about to be shared between partners. Again, carefully read through your dildo’s sanitizing instructions before passing it around.

bdsm toys Photo via Come As You Are/Flickr (CC-BY)

 

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5) Harness

Harnesses are a thing of beauty for any trans or queer couple. Owning one of these makes penetrative sex all the easier—and in some cases, sexier.

A harness is an undergarment worn over the genitals that can be used to hold and mount a dildo. They’re useful for a couple reasons. For cis women, harnesses are the key to “pegging,” a sex act where a strap-on dildo is used to penetrate a bottom’s anus. Of course, harnesses are also perfect for using a dildo during vaginal sex, and for some cisgender lesbians, this is their preferred use.

Meanwhile, for non-op trans women who cannot use their genitals for anal or vaginal penetration, strap-ons are also perfect solutions that simulate penetrative sex’s sensation without needing to “get it up” (or keep it up). And trans men (as well as cis men) can also use harnesses for penetrative sex for similar reasons.

As always, there are some safety tips to keep in mind using a harness. Make sure the harness’ size is perfect for your body type before picking one out. Designers such as SpareParts’ Tomboi provide online guides for measuring body types to pick out the right fit. And before buying a dildo for your harness, make sure its diameter and size are perfect for your pick. The last thing you want is a strap-on falling out—or being too big to wear.

bdsm sex toys : tomboi Screengrab via YouTube

6) Handcuffs

Handcuffs are a slightly more complicated bondage solution than tape, but with practice, they can quickly become a must-have for any equipment library.

As the name suggests, cuffs can be used to bind limbs, keeping a sub restrained for play scenes. They can also be used to lock a sub to a piece of furniture, such as a chair, table, or bedpost. Or two handcuffs can be locked across each wrist, connecting a submissive to a bedpost in a spread eagle position. Again, it’s up to your imagination and comfort levels.

There’s a variety of cuffs out there for kinksters. But no matter your choice, know that handcuffs come with greater risks than bondage tape. This kink equipment is designed specifically to keep submissives in place, so in an emergency situation, it’s harder to free play partners from locked restraints than from tape.

Familiarize yourself with how your handcuffs feel when used, and whether your choice’s locking style presents circulation issues. If your cuffs don’t have a double locking mechanism, don’t use them. These cuffs are much more likely to tighten under pressure. And if your cuffs use a key, keep a spare key in a secure location. Keep tabs on the main set’s location at all times.

bdsm handcuffs Photo via Pixabay

7) Rope

Ropeplay is beloved by many kinksters for one simple reason: It’s versatile. Rope can be used to make mock handcuffs. It can be used to restrain someone to a bed, table, or chair. Doms can tie their sub’s limbs together with it, or in conjunction with sex toys. In the right hands, a rope is an amazing tool that can heighten the stakes in play scenes, making restraint all the more sexy in ways that handcuffs, tape, or blindfolds can’t quite attain.

When it comes to rope, practice makes perfect. There’s a variety of knots and positions that have to be learned in order to have safe ropeplay sessions. KinkFriendly’s Rope Bondage 101 guide explores some of the simple knots needed behind rope bondage, as well as some of the techniques behind tying submissives up. Whether that means tying your partners’ forearm to a bedpost or drawing two limbs together, there’s plenty of columns beginners can learn from the start.

bdsm for beginners Photo via Christopher Bulle/Flickr (CC-BY)

While rope is one of the best BDSM restraints around, it also introduces a wide range of safety concerns to watch out for. For one, any rope should be looked at carefully before use to check for damage. The rope must be tied in specific positions to maintain a sub’s safety, too. The neck, wrists, armpits, genitals, eyes, and joints should be avoided, as intense pressure on these areas can cause severe damage and even be life-threatening.

Improper rope tying can cut off circulation, too, leading to potential nerve damage if a knot is tied too tight. For this reason, doms must check in on their subs’ rope regularly, making sure their skin isn’t showing signs of blood loss. And of course, medical scissors should be kept on hand at all times to cut through rope in emergency situations.

For more information on rope usage and its risks, check out BDSMWiki’s guide on beginner rope bondage.

8) Collars

It doesn’t take much imagination to figure out why collars are such an excellent beginner choice for BDSM toys. Like bondage tape, these toys are simple to pick up but can help both submissives and dominants feel immersed in their roles, making the wearer extra obedient for their owner.

For one, collars can be as complicated or as simple as play partners want them to be. Leather collars with leash rings that latch in the back are commonly found in sex shops and kink stores across the country, but some kinksters may prefer grabbing their collars from places like Pet Smart. Both options work, and doing the latter can help make a scene extra sexy for subs into pet play. There are also more advanced options, such as collars that lock with a key. Plus, chokers and collars are also fashionable, which means submissives interested in public play can use a collar to discreetly signal their submissive side while out on the street.

BDSM collars grendelkhan/Flickr

Dominants using a collar should always keep any hair or skin away from collar latches while putting it on their submissives. If using a collar that locks, make sure the key (and its spare) are accessible at all times. And ideally give two fingers’ gap between the collar and neck when applying it. Lastly, submissives should always warn their dominants if a collar feels too tight, and collars should never be tugged. The resulting force can damage the neck or lead to whiplash, as UberKinky explains.

9) Gags

True, there’s only one way to use a gag. These toys go on, inside, or around the mouth. But like collars, gags can increase immersion and make a submissive feel helplessly restrained. After all, there’s nothing more humiliating than being unable to speak.

Gags vary from style to style. Some simply muffle the gag-wearer’s voice, while others essentially stop them from speaking altogether. And there are various gags out there, from the classic ball gags to forniphilic gags that force submissives to wear a dildo for their dominant’s pleasure. But for beginners, UberKinky recommends breathable gags, which are hollow and feature holes that help submissives take in air during their first few gagging sessions.

beginner bdsm : ball gag SexyMall/Amazon

Breathable gags let subs breathe during BDSM play sessions, making them perfect for beginners.

Before starting play, create a non-verbal safe word to end a scene. For instance, submissives can snap their hands or blink slowly three times. Always give submissives time to try on a gag, making sure it fits properly and does not cause discomfort. Practice putting them on and taking them off a few times as well.

UberKinky also recommends taking time training with a gag, letting submissives’ mouths get used to using one before an extended play session. And the site points out that gags should never be used with an upset stomach or cold: The latter can lead to asphyxiation, and the former can cause the user to choke on vomit if they have to throw up.

10) Lube

Even if you’re still not completely sold on BDSM toys, invest in good lube. For all of the pleasure and none of the (unwanted) pain, a good lubricant should always be in your kink toolbox. Lube makes any kind of penetration easier and, typically, allows you to play for longer and make sure everything is moving smoothly.

When choosing a lube, it’s important to remember that you’re choosing something that goes directly into your body, so you’ll want to make sure it’s safe and provides the sensations you want. According to UberKinky, it’s best to avoid parabens, which can trigger an allergic reaction and have been linked to cancer, and glycerin, which could increase your risk of getting a yeast infection.

Most lubricants are either water-based or silicone-based. Water-based lubes are the most versatile, and safe to use with latex condoms and silicone sex toys. Silicone-based lubes are also condom safe and waterproof, but not always safe to use with silicone sex toys. Always avoid oil-based lubricants with condoms, as they can cause breakage.

bdsm toys : best lubricant Trojan Brand Condoms/

Still can’t find what you want? Here’s your guide to the best erotica sites for women, the best sex toys of the year, and the best dating apps for everything from hookups to true love. Plus, read more about the true meaning of kink.

Editor’s note: This article regularly updated for relevance.