Gags and Urban Legends

An entire book could be written about gags and mouth stuff.  BDSM and the mouth is not just about gags and even if it was, there is so much to write about – and do with gags. Much photographed, hardly ever used properly and to their full potential and surrounded by thousands of urban legends.

Ruling out some persistent urban legends and misunderstanding is probably the best thing to do first, so, here goes:

Sizes

The average gag you can buy in a shop is too big for effective use. This is especially true for almost all penis-shaped gags.

They have been designed by people with no experience in power exchange, usually only made to appeal to certain fantasies and create sales. So, whatever you do when you go out to buy a gag: buy a small one.

A gag that is too big will be too uncomfortable to keep in for any length of time (and usually that is exactly what you WANT a gag to be used for), because it will create cramps in the jaw muscles and a gagging effect if it is too long. There is no need for the gag to go in any deeper than halfway down the tongue.

Gags and Breathing

Inflatable gags and some very large penis shaped dildo gags excluded, gags – as in “things put in your mouth” – will not interfere with your (sub’s) ability to breath. There’ll almost always be room enough to let a sufficient amount of air flow around the gag. And – unless she has a cold – she can breath through the nose as well. The fear of not being able to breath is largely psychological and – although not very rational – something that most slaves will have to learn to overcome.

What does limit the ability to breath are attempts to try and swallow the saliva. And these attempts are largely futile, which is the main objective of a stick-in-gag. As soon as the slave lets the saliva just drip out of her mouth – yes humiliating, but again, that is one the main objectives – there is enough room and freedom for the air to move in. Kind of cruel, isn’t it. But then, cruel choices is what BDSM is all about.

Choking is another gag related problem and it’s origin usually is – again – the saliva problem, in combination with fear (of being unable to breath). If gags are something new to you, ask your dom to train you. It is really not as bad as it seems, but you may have to get used to it and that may indeed take a while.

Gags and Silence

It is impossible to fully silence a submissive – or anyone else for that matter – with a gag, regardless the type. Once you stuff the mouth to the point where making noises is entirely impossible, the victim has probably died or very likely will very soon.

In the BDSM-situation the objective of the gag is to humiliate, both through creating the saliva problem as well as through the fact that any more or less coherent speech is impossible and reduced to funny sounds.

The third main objective is to remind the submissive in a physical way that she is not supposed to talk.

Some types of gags may serve other purposes as well, such as to bite in (to help fight or cope with the pain), steer (in pony play) or train (for oral sex).

Finally, a gag very frequently serves as a pacifier in the same way it does for babies. Being able (or being allowed) to suck on something can be comforting.

A gag is a gag, who cares?

Most certainly not! There are many different types of gags – we’ll talk about most of them in this section – and most of them serve different purposes. The fact that most people think a gag is just a silencer is what leads to many misunderstandings – as well as a lot of opposition, especially by submissives.

Gags are a very powerful instrument, when used in the correct way and for the right purpose, both from a psychological point of view (usually their main purpose) as well as from a purely physical and practical point of view.

For example, many people think that using a gag will help prevent complaints from neighbors. Guess what, very likely exactly the opposite will happen. Want to know why? Well, spend an evening doing nothing but watching abduction movies and television series. If there is one distinctive sounds (no matter how faint) the average TV-watcher has gotten used you (psychologically grinded in) it is the faint sounds of a gagged woman, especially hearing it through walls, from behind bushes or from the trunk of a car. You won’t believe how many even wake up when they hear a sound that “sounds like” a gagged woman and call 911 or the police. A gag can be useful to suppress outcries of pain provided the sub has been taught to BITE in it to fight the pain instead of shouting, which is another energy burst, a way to fight the pain. The gag doesn’t muffle the cries – the gag is supposed to be an alternative for shrieking and crying.

Dangerous Gags 

One of the problems with television series and movies is that it makes some things seem harmless and hardly dangerous. Gags are close to the number one position in that area and every year especially children die, because their playmate – when playing cops and robbers – thought a gag wouldn’t do any harm. And it is not just children. In the – unlikely and rare by the way – event a person dies during a BDSM scene it will almost always be either the result of breath play (strangulation) or the result of a dangerous gag.

The most dangerous toy, in the hands of someone inexperienced, is a role of duct tape. Depending on the type this may indeed make breathing through the mouth entirely impossible and all you need is a simple nose blockage of some kind for the sub to die!! If you use duct tape, at least punch a few holes in it.

Another dangerous way of gagging is to put cloths into someone’s mouth. This will obstruct all air channels, including the back of the nasal inlets. Cloths kills! Especially when used in combination with duct tape.

Finally, another type that does not belong in the hands of inexperienced people (in all honesty, experienced people are of the opinion they should not be sold at all) are inflatable gags – rubber balls or balloons that can be pumped to size. They will almost always be pumped to a size that is dangerous. The balloon fills the entire mouth and blocks all airways. To make things worse, they will usually form part of some sort of mask or leather harness or belt, making it impossible for the submissive to even try and push them out far enough to be able to breath in the event of an emergency.

Furthermore, such inflatables may very well make it impossible for the saliva to go anywhere else BUT the lungs. Meaning the slave will choke on her own saliva and die!

As always, we have no intention to scare you away from gags, but you should be aware of the health risks and dangers to be able to make the right choices. And THEN gags – and other forms of mouth related torture and teasing – can be a lot of fun.

Precautions 

Regardless what type of gag you use, you should be aware of a few important things:

1. Never leave the sub out of sight and preferably be in a position where either the dom or someone else – if that is an option – can monitor the facial expression of the sub on a more or less constant basis (which is one reason why having mirrors in your dungeon can be very handy). The first signs of lack of air are the eyes widening (“popping out”), lips turning bueish and the facial skin turning either red or pale. Unexpected heavy sweating – on the forehead – is another warning signal. Inability to breath is mostly a matter of panic. It should be dealt with. Always remove the gag instantly, because you should respond to panic seriously, regardless if there is a logical reason for it or not.

2. Make sure there is some sort of non-verbal warning signal or safe word. Humming SOS in Morse code (three short – three long – three short) is one way, but not
always handy. A bell to ring is the most efficient safety tool. An old and not always practical advice is to give the sub a ball in her hand, she can drop if she feels she is in trouble. That signal may be too subtle and may be overlooked easily. If she has to drop something, let her drop something that makes noise when it falls, so you
have a double warning signal!!

3. Make sure – whatever the restraint, bondage or position is – a gagged sub can always tilt her head sideways (when laying down) or bow it (when the head is in a more or less upright position) so she can expel excess saliva. This is humiliating, but always a better choice than choking. 4. Never gag anyone suffering from heart or lung related diseases, regular hyperventilation or claustrophobia, someone who is on heavy medication or psycho drugs or suffers from diabetes or seizures.

Adapted from Amsterdam News Desk/Powerotics

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