The Toy Box

The Toy Box is an individual's assemblage of toys. Within the BDSM realm we tend to commonly call instruments that deliver sensation 'Toys'. In extension the submissive themselves can at times be considered a 'Toy' being used or played with by a Dominant.

Some Dominants co-scening their submissive with one or more other submissives will use their submissive's physical body to elicit responses in someone else. At this point their submissive becomes an extension of the 'Toy Box'.

Until fairly recently the 'content's' of a Toy Box were considered to be things collected and used BY the Dominant. This also assumed that the Dominant maintained ownership of the 'Toys' and exclusive rights to their usage and control. However, in this time of serious health risks the possibilities of transmitting bacteria or disease through 'co-scened Toys' is altering how the handling of these Toys is considered. Many types of toys have properties which make the maintenance of sterility difficult or impossible. Among these are leather (such as with floggers or whips) or other porous items. Some bacteria can live for months and can be 'carried' from one person to another long after the initial contact has ended. Because of these genuine concerns it becomes increasingly logical to adapt to new ways of considering the Toy Box. Since the submissive is the person MOST at risk from blood, feces, or bodily fluid transfer it becomes logical to consider encouraging submissives to build or fill their own Toy Box. Such toys are to be used EXCLUSIVELY on them. This conversion of ownership also places control of cleanliness clearly into the hands of the persons most affected by any LACK of cleanliness. Identification, marking and maintenance of individual submissive Toy Boxes is a new line of defense against serious health related problems.

It is also VERY important to consider here that public scening involves apparatus or equipment that is and has been used by others. It is IMPOSSIBLE to know the relative health of others who have scened using any public or even private dungeon equipment. If ANY object, table, bench, cage etc., is in use by more than one submissive then it presents an increasing health risk. Dominants and submissives desiring to use public equipment should bring appropriate cleaning and sterilizing materials or wrappings to cover the surface of equipment. (Ask your hosting facility what kinds of sterilization is performed on their equipment and what they recommend using on objects of increased risk.) {Do NOT attempt to CLEAN some one elses property without their FULL knowledge and consent!}

If you are a relatively new Dominant or submissive you may have a limited idea on where to start when building or assembling a group of toys. Here are a few beginning suggestions.

For the purposes of this article I will assume that you have at least a light interest in bondage, discipline and the application of pain. Specific fetish toys or advanced toys are really governed by individual desires and needs.

It is important to buy quality. Price should NOT be the line of choice when selecting the basics. Inferior quality often injures or breaks down quickly. Take the time to save up for the more expensive pieces, consider forming a relationship with a reputable BDSM store for lay-away arrangements. Most of the really good stores are amenable to forming lines of credit. Quality BDSM equipment is or can be expensive!!!

The FIRST selection in a Toy Box is a course in Basic Emergency Health. Basic CPR. A FIRST AID KIT. This item is usually the LAST thing a newcomer thinks about and often one of the first things they need. BDSM stresses the physical and mental body of both Dominant and submissive. An expectation of basic knowledge on how to respond in a crisis is mandatory, the life you save MAY be your own. Most communities offer courses in Emergency Health Care for free or at virtually NO COST. Putting together a good First Aid Kit WILL cost you a little money but having it and knowing how to use it will help alleviate some very real concerns.

Try to locate a BDSM group or organization in your local area and plan to attend any workshops or demonstrations they may offer on Beginning Techniques!

Buy a GOOD general BDSM book that offers detailed information on toys, and their safety factors. Take the time to READ it and mark or highlight sections which are germaine to the proposed scene for easy reference. You will not start out BEING an expert so do NOT pretend. Prepare!

Include a small notebook with copies of your health care provider information, your doctor's name and any specific health problems such as diabetes, heart disease etc. This notebook may need to SPEAK FOR YOU if you are incapable of talking. Make sure your Dominant knows what this book is and where it is. Also, encourage your Dominant to show you the same courtesy and provide a similar notebook, in case something should occur which requires YOU to summon medical attention for them.


Cuffs: There are a wide variety of cuffs (restraints used on wrists and ankles) available both through BDSM stores as well as through mail order. It is best to 'try them on' even though many cuffs will fit almost any person. Each are made slightly differently and some will be vastly more comfortable than others. Standard cuffs (not to be used in strain or suspension play) are made of a good grade of cow leather, generally stained black and lined with authentic sheep skin. The latch assembly should be relatively easy to use and the cuff should incorporate a large D ring in chrome for use in attachments or detachments of other objects. Metal 'handcuffs' though visually effective are poor tools in scene. They tend to bind the flesh often injuring the tissues even in very light scenes. They can be used for effect or in situations where a submissive desires to feel captured. I do NOT recommend them for any serious scening. Good, lined leather BDSM cuffs can cost up to $150.00 per pair, though often you can find more reasonable choices at Fetish Faires or through mail order. These types of cuffs are essential for 'basic bondage'. You may query why cuffs first when ropes are so much cheaper. Ropes take expertise to use with safety. The risk factors with professionally made cuffs is FAR reduced. Please note that to truly cover the variety of cuffs available would entail an entire chapter or perhaps even a book , so, I am going to cover ONLY the BARE basics.

TRAINING COLLAR: I recommend the Training Collar as the second physical toy purchase. This is a fairly wide leather collar with a minimum of 2 D rings (hopefully 3). It should be MADE for human play (not a dog collar) with no interior protrusions which might scratch or injure the neck. It should fit or exceed fit of the individual submissive (two fingers gap UNDER or between collar and neck) NO TIGHT COLLARS. Please note that many MALE submissives have MUCH wider necks than female submissives. Buy the collar designed FOR you! This type of collar can run up to $100.00. Again I suggest you visit a store and TRY ONE ON. Consider having one made for you if you have special needs or do NOT find one that suits you. The interior of the collar should be smooth!. There are MANY types of collars, some for show, some for particular play scenes (such as posture collars) Learn to distinguish the properties and limitations of each. A Training Collar is for scening, made to handle loads with the least RISK to the submissive. Your neck is fragile, be respectful.

There are a variety of connectors which work VERY simply in joining D rings together. Many can be purchased inexpensively from your local hardware store. DO remember to identify the tensile strength of ANY connectors which may be used in weight or suspension play. Most hardware connectors are made of inferior metals and can break or sheer away under pressure.

Ropes: Before buying any rope for play - BUY a good CURRENT book on rope play bondage. Certain types of ropes are good in-scene - others quite are quite poor. The varietys change as product lines change. Identify the type of ropes you would like to use after investigating what is available in your local area. Note: Size your ropes. Select lengths (cut to length) rope sections and mark them for easy identification. For an enthusiastic submissive you can do this the OLD fashioned way by 'whipping' the ends of the ropes in colored threads. Each color to identify a particular length. An easier way to bind the potentially fraying ends is with colored tapes.

Leashes: Leashes often provide interesting options. If you visit a large pet store you will run into leashes with 'adjustable' handles. These are generally sliding plastic connectors (very easy release) that allow the handle 'loop' to be adjusted. These types of leashes are generally nylon and relatively inexpensive. They make EXCELLENT fast bondage toys. You can use them WITH towel wraps (around the skin) to quickly immobilize virtually ANY area of the body. This means thighs, waist, etc... The quick release factor makes them enjoyable for new players. NOTE: These leashes are NOT designed for 'pressure' and may break if stressed beyond their capacity. I generally recommend at least 8 of these leashes if YOU enjoy the feeling of strong bondage. (This is suggested for EASY table, bed or floor bondage)

The toys noted above will allow a beginner a foundation of bondage play. Try to locate an organization in your local area that provides demonstrations for beginners. Attend. If you are a submissive do NOT be afraid. No one will assault you or in any way dis-respect you. If your Dominant is also new then your information may be very helpful to them. Please refer to the article titled Sensory Toys for general information regarding basic floggers, crops, canes, etc.
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