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Some people are sexually aroused by the sight of gags, or activities involving gags. One specific paraphilia relates to scenes on television in which the captor gags the damsel in distress to stop her screaming for help. Some people are sexually aroused by such imagery, even if there is no nudity or sexual act present, sometimes going as far as to search video stores and websites for certain scenes.

Other people appear to find that being gagged exacerbates their sense of helplessness within a BDSM scene, and desire to be gagged for that reason. Gags also have connotations of punishment and control, and thus are often also used as a form of humiliation to the wearer.


Placing a gag on anybody is very risky, as it involves a substantial risk of asphyxia if the subject's nose is blocked while wearing a gag. Using a gag on somebody who is ill, or affected by some condition such as the common cold, catarrh, the flu, or common allergies (including your cologne or perfume) is also quite dangerous, as most gags make it difficult or impossible to breathe through the mouth. Vomiting and choking also pose a risk, which further blocks the airway. For this reason, a gagged subject should never be left alone.

In practice, no gag is effective enough to silence someone completely without inhibiting breathing. Most gags that do stop the subject from making intelligible speech still allow loud inarticulate vocal noises to call for help. Thus, a pattern of noises, such as three grunts in rapid succession, is sometimes used as a safeword by BDSM players. It is also common to use an additional non-verbal safety mechanism, such as a solid object held in the hand, which can be released by the gagged person as a sign that they are in distress.

One thing to remember is that if your submissive is gagged, she probably will not be able to speak very clearly, so use a safe word that is easily recognized. ("Supercalladociousexpialladosis" is probably not a good choice.) If in doubt, place a set of car rings in each hand, one set dropped is a yellow, both dropped is a red.


A gag is a device designed to prevent speech, or as a device to stop the subject from calling for help.

This is usually done by blocking the mouth, partially or completely, or attempting to prevent the tongue, lips, or jaw from moving in the normal patterns of speech. They are often less effective in reality than in crime fiction. They carry a strong risk of killing the victim by suffocation. In fact, the more "effective" a gag appears to be, the more hazardous it is.

The use of gags is commonly depicted in crime fiction, frequently with fetishistic connotations. In real life, it is actually very rare for criminals to gag anyone as they do in books and films. (In extremely rare cases, courts have been known to gag unruly defendants.)

Gags can be combined with blindfolds and other sensory deprivation devices to create some very exciting (and very scary) scenes. If you are new to BDSM, I would recommend taking baby steps. Use bondage without gag or blindfolds the first time you play, and then, one by one, add other elements. (See bottom of page for various samples of gags)

A few examples

Ball Gags

Ball Gags can be made from almost any material. The most common (and most commercially available) type is a strap through a latex or rubber ball. One of the biggest problems with this style of gag lies in its difficulty in cleaning it. While the ball is made of rubber, the strap is usually made of leather. If you try to wash the ball, the leather will get wet and it will deteriorate. If you try to use a soap that will not destroy the leather, the soap left on the ball will leave a taste in her mouth that she (and eventually you) will never forget

An easy work around is to wrap the ball with saran wrap before you use it. (Make sure there are no loose ends that can be inhaled.)


An OTM gag that covers the nose, and is commonly used in Japan and on many cartoons. Without stuffing it is not very effective. Also known as an over the nose and mouth gag.

Bit Gag

  • See Pony bit below


A butterfly gag is a wing shaped gag, that is usually inflatable by means of a rubber bulb. The centre part fits behind the teeth and fills up the mouth, while the wings go between the teeth and the lips. The gag inflates in the shape of a butterfly. This kind of gag is very hard to keep in the wearer, use of an O-ring in front of the gag strapped to the back of the head will hold the butterfly gag in place. This is a great gag for those who like an entire mouthful of rubber.

Cleave gag

A model wearing a knotted scarf cleave gagA more effective variant of the OTM gag is called the cleave gag. Instead of being tied over the person's mouth, the scarf or cloth is pulled between his or her teeth. While such a gag of thin material is not very effective, a thick scarf can be used to hold his or her mouth open, and the tighter that gag is tied the better it works, although no matter how tightly it is tied, the gagged person can usually spit it out. Occasionally a knot is tied in the centre of the gag so it


You can use almost anything at hand to gag someone. If you use two chopsticks and place them one above and one below the tongue, and then wrap rubber bands around them on each side of the mouth, you can make a pretty effective gag.

Detective Gag

  • See OTM gag below

Duct Tape

  • (also known as Gaffers Tape)

I have but one major warning about using duct tape. The glue that is used in its manufacture is designed to not come off once in place. This means that if you put it on skin, and then try to remove the tape, you stand a good chance that you will remove skin and especially hair! Rub vaseline or coconut oil onto those parts of the skin you plan to cover. This will keep the tape from actually sticking to the skin. Another idea is to place a used stocking over the head, and then wrap the head with tape. You can then cut holes in the stockings where you are not going to place tape, fold it back over the top of the tape already in place, and apply one more layer to hide the stocking.

There is a product called "Bondage Tape" currently on the market. It is basically a PVC derivative tape without adhesive. This allows the user to wrap it around a head, face, whatever and it will stick to itself, but it will not stick to skin.

If you check with your local vet, pet shop or tack shop, ask for 'Vet Wrap'. it is a wax impregnated gauze that will, again, stick to itself but not hair or skin.

Funnel Gags

A funnel gag consists of a funnel with a tube leading from its spout into the mouth, usually with straps to hold the tube in. Such a gag is used to force the bound person to drink a fluid. It is very easy to choke during such forced drinking.


The most common type of gag is the old standby, the cloth handkerchief of the Wild West of United States history. The true advantage of the handkerchief is in its ability to be thrown dirty into the washing machine. After a few moments tumble in the dryer, it can be taken clean and somewhat sterile, and it’s ready to silence another heroine.

Hand (or HOM)

Hand gags are, as the name suggests, you gag a person with your hand. When hand gagging someone, a person usually grabs the victim from behind since the victim cannot see this coming. Then, the person firmly places their unfolded hand over the victim's closed mouth. Then they may pull the victim into their body for extra leverage and control. However, hand gags are not only limited to BSDM, but to every day life as well. For example, if a person is about to accidentally tell you what your birthday present is, their friend may hand gag that person to keep them quiet. Despite hand gags being the simplest gags, they also are the least dependable. This is because the victim could easily spit or bite the hand of the person gagging them. This would cause the person to lose grip on their victim. In some crime shows, when a victim is handgagged, the person doing this wears leather gloves at times, and this could be the reason why.

Ironically, despite being a type of gag, hand gags are sometimes used by heroes when rescuing damsels in distress at the moment the latter least expect it (such as when the damsel in distress runs into a corner, only to be snatched by the unexpected hero hidden there) or when both of them are evading the captor(s). Hand gags are also common in war films and military dramas, particularly in the stereotypical portrayal of special forces such as the US Navy SEALs, whereupon they handgagged enemy sentries before either snapping their necks, or dispatching them with a silent weapon (either a knife or a silenced handgun).

Inflatable Gags

These are usually found at "adult stores" and are made of a rubber bladder which is inserted into the mouth. It is inflated by pumping a hand held bladder. You might wish to think first before buying or using these, as the cost is fairly high. Also, in terms of safety, it is possible (but not probable) that the inflated bladder could block the submissives airway if it is placed to far into the mouth.

Infatuation Gag

IMG 0166.JPG

I have one of these little goodies in my toy bag, and I find them quite enjoyable, well at least for me. Imagine a u-shaped piece of tubing with a pair of rubber blocks threaded on to it. The tubing is placed into the mouth with the u-shape toward the back of the mouth, and the two blocks are placed between the teeth so that she can not close her mouth. It keeps her lips only slightly opened in a perpetual smile, always ready for kissing.

Knotted Gag

A knotted gag is a blend of the ball and cleave gags. The scarf either has a knot tied in the middle and placed in the gagged person's mouth or is an over the mouth (OTM) gag placed backward with the knot tied inside the person's mouth. The knotted gag is able to soak up the saliva that the ball gag does not and can be easily washed for reuse. Knots can be doubled or tripled to fit the size of the gagged person's mouth.


A liplocker gag is a device to keep two captives with their lips locked together.

It consists of a large ball gag with two sets of straps. The ball is half in the mouth of each captive; this requires the captives to have their heads at right angles. When the straps are tightened, the two mouths are pressed together in a forced open-mouth kiss.


Bondage pornography also depicts the use of medical gags such as the Whitehead gag and Jennings gag in BDSM contexts. It is unclear to what extent these devices are used in general bondage play, outside of pornographic depictions. Such gags allow unlimited access to the mouth. They stop coherent speech, but do little to silence a person.

Mouthguard Gags

Mouth guard.jpg

This gag has two mouthguards, similar to those worn by football and hockey players. One rests on the lower teeth of the wearer while the other is against the top. Again, like sports mouthguards, these mouthguards can be softened in boiling water to fit to the mouth of the wearer. The mouthguards are attached to a front faceplate, like most plug gags, and straps from the front to the back.

Because the gag does not push into the mouth cavity / throat, it is unlikely to cause a gagging reflex (which could be dangerous).

Muzzle Gags

Muzzle gag.jpg

A muzzle gag works in a similar way as an "hankerchief gag", only they are usually made of leather, are fastened around the head with buckles and straps, and cover the lower part of the face. They have different shapes and colors, depending on the manufacturer. It is so called because it resembles a muzzle used on animals, with a flexible pad which straps over the mouth, and sometimes also around the cheeks and chin. Muzzle gags have a strong psychological effect on some people, because of the association of being restrained in a way generally associated with animals. Restricting movement of the jaw and covering the cheeks can both increase the efficacy of a gag. It is difficult to draw the line between a muzzle gag and a head harness with attached gag.

Muzzle gags are probably one of the oldest gags and illustrations showing muzzle-like gag devices have been observed from early colonial times.

A muzzle gag may also have an attached posture collar and may also be fitted with an integrated pecker gag.

OTM Gags

In case you hadn't figured it out, OTM stands for "Over The Mouth" This type of gag is often described in fiction as preventing the subject from speaking, using soft materials like scarves and bandanas. In practice it does not silence the subject very effectively. The long scarf or bandanna is pulled over the subject's mouth and tied at the back of his/her head. Images of OTM gags, usually applied on women, had been prevalent since the film serials of the early 1900s. For this reason, the OTM gag is associated with the typical damsel in distress. It is also sometimes called the "detective gag" because many of its first appearances were in crime serials.


A panel gag is a simple gag with a panel that covers the mouth area, and straps that buckle or lock together behind the head. The panel is often outfitted with an attachment that fits into the mouth (without any attachments, the panel is purely cosmetic and does not inhibit speech or sound). Panel gags with plugs are sometimes referred to as plug gags. In some cases the plug attachment is shaped like a penis see pecker gag.

Panty gag

See Stuff gag

Pear gag

An instrument consisting of a metal body (usually pear-shaped) divided into spoon-like segments that could be spread apart by turning a screw. Descriptions and some recent sources assert that the devices were used either as a gag, to prevent people from speaking, or as an instrument of torture. The instrument was inserted into the victim's mouth, and then slowly spread apart as the screw was turned. ( Also see Oral pear )

Penis Gags

A penis (or pecker) gag that has a protuberance on the inside that sticks into the mouth. It may be wide and flat, intended to depress the tongue, or it may be a large knob with an effect similar to a ball gag.

  • Also known as Pecker Gag

Pony Bits

A pony bit

Pony bits are readily available at most tack shops. For about twenty dollars, you can buy a pony bit and three Collins Clips. This will allow you to take any used and about to be discarded leather belt and cut it in half. Connect one piece of the belt on each side of the bit with the clips, leaving the third to be connected behind her head, with plenty of adjustments available

Ring Gags

Ring gags are usually made by tying rope or leather straps around a metal ring. If the gag is going to be used in the mouth, it will get wet. In planning to purchase or build this type of gag, think about the fact that most inexpensive metal tend to rust if the get wet. You can wrap the ring with a leather strap, but the leather (and then the ring) will get wet. You can also get Tool Dip (a rubber based paint used to protect tools) and paint the ring. Better choice, but the Tool Dip tends to peel after continued use, and it too, tastes quite bad.

Spider Gags

A spider gag

A spider gag is a variation on the basic ring gag It consists of a steel ring which fits in the mouth, welded to the ring are two loops of steel rod bent to look like the legs of a spider (where the name comes from). When in place the steel loops come out of the side of the mouth and back along the cheek. Rope or strapping is then tied through the loops and behind the head to hold the gag in place. The design of the gag makes in almost impossible for the sub to remove.

Despite their effectiveness they are not widely available in the marketplace.

The picture at the right shows a spider gag being modeled by Kayla Paige.

  • Based on an article titled "Spider_gag" at Wipipedia and is used in accordance with GFDL

Stuff Gags

Stuf gag

A stuff gag is very similar to, and works in the same way as, the ball gag. The victim's mouth is stuffed with handkerchiefs, scarves, socks or bandannas rolled into a ball, acting as a stopper. To reduce the chances of choking, the stuff gag is never pushed all the way into the person's mouth. Instead, a large part of it hangs out of the mouth, allowing the top to pull it out easily when he/she has to. Sometimes, to further ensure that the gag does not accidentally slip deeper into the person's mouth, the top may use a larger gag.

With enough stuffing, the mouth becomes so full that the cheeks bulge. Some people find this attractive.

The stuff gag was first seen on television, most notably Chinese period dramas, where it was lambasted by members of the BDSM community. While it works in preventing speech, a person who has been stuff gagged can easily spit it out by pushing it with his/her tongue. However, it is for this reason that the stuff gag is one of the safest gags to use during self bondage, as the person with his/her hands tied can still spit the gag out if he/she feels any kind of discomfort. However, the risks of asphyxiation and choking.

  • Based on an article titled "Stuff_gag" at Wipipedia and is used in accordance with GFDL

Tape Gags

there is enough info on this topic, that it deserved its own page -- Tape Gags

Tube Gag

Tube Gags

A tube gag uses a tube as part of the construction of the gag. Depending on the size and stiffness of the tube it can be used as a more complex version of a ring gag. Flexible tubes can aso be added to other gag types to provide a breathing tube.

  • (See "Open mouth trainer" picture below)


Trainers and head harnesses are usually built for individual, specific purposes. One style of head harness has a built in ring gag. It will force the wearer’s mouth to remain open for the purpose of fellatio, but will not allow the wearer to close their mouth or bite down.

Urinal gag

See Funnel gag above

Wiffle Ball Gags

You can take a wiffle ball and thread a shoe string through the holes to make a pretty effective gag. Another method is to take a wiffle ball and put it inside a stocking. When you're through with it, disassemble your gag and throw all of the components in your washing machine.

A Personal Note

In some of my sessions, I will make sure that she is absolutely aware of what safewords are, and what her safeword is, and then proceed to remove any ability to utter a sound. It is that point she surely knows that she has given up control, and that she has to trust you.


Also see the Disambiguation page [ Gag ]
Also see the page [ Forniphilia gag ] and/or [ Gags gallery ]


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