Wednesday, December 12, 2007

BDSM for beginners (part 3: putting together your kinky toy box)



WHERE CAN WE BUY GOOD
BDSM TOYS ONLINE?


So you want to start assembling a kinky toy box?

Congratulations ... you are going to have fun! It's time to let loose all those desires you've had for years regarding strap-ons, collars, bondage ropes and vibrating anal plugs, lol.

But how to start?

Quite honestly the best thing is to visit a good fetish store like Mister S in San Francisco or Eagle Leather in Melbourne and graze your way around their displays. Bear in mind here folks I am not talking about your average adult sex shop. Oh no. You want REAL kinky toys: leather cuffs that can never be escaped, a flogger that actually does more than look pretty against the skin ... then again, as my friend Gemini shows you below, you CAN have a lot of fun visiting those adult stores! If you live too far away - or if like Gemini, terror at entering such a place still dogs your heels - not to worry: most good stores have excellent online product catalogues that couldn't make selection any easier. If privacy is an issue just rent yourself a post box and all good things will soon arrive....

Here's a small selection of the many great BDSM stores and manufacturers online include:

Sax Leather An Australian company ("the Adult Sex Shop & BDSM Leather Bondage specialists") who sell adult discipline wear, erotic sex toys, and pleasure products worldwide - great website, and some really classy leather gear
JT's Stockroom - Based in LA. They have a very easy to use website, wonderful products - and a good forum for newbies, do join!
Extreme Restraints - very popular website, lots of products
Mr. S Leather Company - as they say, "When You're Ready For The GOOD Stuff!"
Rupert Huse and Son - tools for controlling people
The London Tanners - UK company - historical and contemporary range of paddles, tawsers etc
Blowfish - seriously weird and wonderful acrylic dildos
Tickelberry - UK company - great website, lovely queening chairs
Flogger.com- great website
Aussie Whip Makers - vanilla whip makers; specializing in kangaroo leather single tails whips amongst others. They also produce "make your own" Whip Kits (I bought one for sol)
Locked in Steel - custom made chastity items for all genders
Eagle Leather - specialises in BDSM toys, men's leather, latex etc. Huge online store with world wide delivery, also workships etc in Melbourne
Happy Tails - great floggers in a myriad of different leathers
Mermaids In The Sack - lesbian owned and operated, toys include an exclusive mermaid design silicone dildo
Get Kinky - Australian quality vegan BDSM toys, restraints, harnesses etc; ships internationally
Twisted Monk - great hemp rope for Japanese style bondage

I'm putting together Mistress 160's Store at Extreme Restraints, to give some more ideas, but you'll really find all our toys at Sax Leather and JT's Stockroom.

Sax Leather sells adult discipline wear & erotic toys - click here for the best leather in the world...

JT's Stockroom


WHAT SORT OF TOYS
SHOULD WE START WITH?

This is up to you :). Advising on what type of toys to buy really depends on the specific individual's interests and budget, but to get you thinking, here are some classic fetish items that potentially should be in everyone's toy bag:


WHAT ABOUT BONDAGE ROPE??

If you are seriously interested in bondage you need to put some serious thought into the type of rope you want ... or I should say types of rope because there are so many and you'll want to try and buy more and more!

You'll find an excellent article on building a rope kit by Maestro Stefanos and Chey here. They note that "a 15-foot length of rope has as many uses as your kinky mind can imagine! Thus, learning a little basic bondage and having a good rope collection can get you far". They are right!

They go on:
There are pros and cons to each of the widely used types of rope. Which type you choose is basically just a matter of personal preference, and weighing what are the most important considerations to you. Experiment with the different types before you invest in lots of one material! The mainstream choices for rope types are nylon/MFP vs. hemp rope. There are other options, such as cotton, climbing rope, bungee cords, etc, but these tend to be less common as their disadvantages outweigh their advantages for most people..."

Definitely check out their article for some great ideas.

HOW DO I CLEAN / STORE TOYS?

You invest quite a lot of money in your toys and you'll want them to last.

Read about toy care on BDSM Education's Toy Care page. The LoveShop.biz site has excellent sections on care, while Kitten's Toy Room blog also has specific posts on leather sex toy care, insertion sex toys care, bondage + sex furniture care and metal medical toys care.

Storage is often a challenge - you need to combine out of sight / secure with easy to reach. Plastic storage units that fit under the bed are useful - the tight lids keep out dust and pets. We have two of these under our bed (see this post)! Other useful storage ideas include tool / fishing tackle boxes, old suitcases - even old woodwind instrument cases (the length is great for canes). Sextoysexotic has some unusual ideas including pillows. JT's Stockroom has EXCELLENT toy boxes and travel containers available.

One tip: remember to remove all batteries when you store items!

WE WANT TO HELP SAVE THE PLANET ...
ARE ANY "GREEN" KINKY TOYS AVAILABLE

Absolutely. In fact this is such an important subject that I've written a separate post about it. You might like to have a read :).

WE CAN'T AFFORD TO SPEND A
LOT OF MONEY ON TOYS
- WHAT CAN WE DO?

Can't afford to make major purchases?

Don't worry, you will be amazed at the "pervertables" all around you - everyday household items that hold marvellous BDSM / kinky potential, often with little adaptation. You will find inspirational lists at BDSM Education and sexuality.org, but here are a few old favorites:

clothes pegs ... wooden spoon ... paraffin candle ... cotton sash cord ... hair clips ... hairbrush ... bobby pins ... corn cob picks ... tweezers ... electric toothbrush ... feather duster ... ice cubes ... sleep mask ... tassels ... string of pearls ... pizza cutter ... belt ... fly swatter ... ruler ... rubber bands ... rolling ... pin ... wet towel ... dog leash and collar ... dog food bowl ... snake bite kit ... ace bandage ... shoe laces ... saran wrap ... scarves ... travel sewing kit (needle and thread) ...Betadine ... loofah gloves ...rock climbing gear (rope, carabinas, suspension harness) ... menthol wipes ...chopsticks ... metal meat tenderizers ...ping pong paddles ... rubber tipped clamps ... ties ... feathers ...

(if anyone would like something added to that list please drop me a line)

For more serious toy construction you can't beat the Frugal Domme's great resource page on making toys - anything you want to make, she'll have a link for it, from over the door portable bondage to toys you can find in your hotel room,which begins:
"Scenario: you are away with your SO for a period of time, be it a day or a week or more on vacation. Perhaps you are traveling with family or Vanilla friends and don't dare bring your toys, perhaps the airline "misplaced" your luggage with all your toys in it. Whatever the case you find yourself in a hotel room wanting to play so badly but nothing to play with? Think again. There are myriads of things to be found in a hotel room or through room service to incorporate in your play....'
Sartan's Workshop has brilliant projects especially for those wanting to work in leather. There are also some great books around, like Janet Hardy's 21st Century KinkyCrafts (a collection of clever ideas and detailed instructions for making your own SM and sex toys, ranging in cost and difficulty from serious bondage furniture to the cheap 'n easy Bubblewrap Dildo) and Douglas Kent’s The Better Built Bondage Book: a Complete Guide to Making your own Sex Toys, Furniture and BDSM Equipment (good for larger projects, but you definately need a bit of craftsman's experience for some of them).

For some seriously innovative toys check out Kindred's article "Mind fucking and innovative instruments 101" in the online journal The Dominant's View (vol.1 no.8). As Kindred notes:
"Let me clarify that anyone can use their imagination when looking for toys, as witnessed by so many talking of what delightful objects can be found in their local Dollar store or Home Depot, but what I am addressing here is moving beyond conceptualizing what can be used to strike or beat with. It is moving beyond the thought: ‘Oh this will be stingy or thuddy!’ and more into first and foremost the topic of “Mind-fucking and Innovative Instruments 101”. It is the psychology of dominance and the use of toys to achieve this."
Fetlife also has an extremely innovative and active group focused on home made BDSM toys and materials ("How many times have you gone to a sex shop or website and thought "I could make that myself for a fraction of the cost". This group is for those who like to make toys themselves"), it's well worth joining.

Really broke, can't buy a thing? Then it's time to access your very evil kinky imagination!

Postscript:

Since I first published this, many of you have contacted me about the contents of my own toy box. Interested to see what sol and I use? Check out this post for more details.

And as noted in the post above, if like us you are into eco friendly sex / kinky toys, check out this later post.

Want to read more about the 'pervertibles' sol and I create? Read about:


A "FIRST TRIP TO THE TOY
STORE" STORY


You really want to go visit that adult and/or fetish store but find yourself having trouble with that very first trip?

You CAN do it! Here is an edited version (due to space, alas not content, lol - the full text is available upon request) of my friend Gemini's first visit:

1. Gemini proves that he is an idiot...
"So, our story begins and ends with the infamous "Most Eager to Please Contest". I entered myself into this contest thinking that, "oh, I'm invulnerable, I can take anything listed in these tasks. If they want me to buy a toy I'll do it gladly! ... This assuredness, of course, came to a screeching halt when the tasks were released and realization hit me: I would actually have to set foot in the forbidden realm of the adult store.

"I soon began to panic, trying to figure out A) how the hell I'm going to get to one by bus or by foot and B) how I'm actually going to set foot inside and buy an anal plug...

"Since, my mistress Sugar is a little less on the kinky side I turned to Mistress 160 for advice and possibly a good, strong push in the right direction. We discussed the issue thoroughly, coming to the conclusion that my choices were good ones, and I got ready to catch the bus and face my fears...."
2. Gemini takes the longest walk of his life....
"With a kick in the butt from Mistress Sugar, I began my quest ... despite my looking at the online map, I still had only a vague idea where the store was. This was compounded by my running into a homeless man who decided that I was his best friend and wanted to walk and talk with me for a while [despite] my primary concern to be as inconspicuous as possible ...

"I continued along, watching my surroundings getting dingier and dingier - less people were watching me, but equally that meant less people to witness me being mugged. Needless to say, I began looking for the store across the street, beside me, behind me, down alleys, in dark corners, behind trees ....
"I finally [found] the store ... predictably, of course, as I got closer to its entrance, my confidence fell like a brick in a well, and I decided to tactfully scout out my quandary. Fortunately (or unfortunately), the windows to the store weren't tinted, so I decided to peek through to see who was manning the till ... a hunched over figure with long hair ... with a dramatic and courageous step I confidently walked by the store and to the far corner of the parking lot to consider my options.

"Mulling over my thoughts, I actually watched another man drive up and go into the neighboring store! Yes, that's it! I'll be like him and just walk in, everything will be fine! ... it was about then that it finally dawned on me: "wait, if you're wanting to be inconspicuous, why the hell are you pacing in front of an adult store?". I think that was the turning point, after waiting for the last people around to go into stores, I took a deep breath (almost theatrically) and opened the door...."
3. Gemini's fears are realized...
"Yup, it was terrible ... so utterly horrible that I think I might visit that store again...

"Upon entering and walking past the mannequins at the entrance, I received one of the biggest shocks of the day. I was greeted, and in a quite friendly manner, by a smiling woman (late 20s early 30s) behind the counter. Trying to hide both my shock and my continuing nervousness, I meekly told her that I didn't need a hand with anything, and scuttled to the end of the store where the toys were located.

"Believe it or not, they had the plug that Mistress 160 and I had looked at earlier hanging out in the open. [bold added by Mistress 160, while falling about laughing].

"I quickly snatched it up, and turned around, only to find a package of anal beads which I had been considering. Grabbing both ... I brought my selections to the front to pay ... the shop assistant grabbed some cleaning solution and some instructions, and even took the toy out of the box to test it ...

"I was stunned by how calmly she did this, and I think my nervousness began to dissolve a bit. I did, however, still stutter when I asked for a box of condoms (who buys their first box of condoms from an adult store? I guess me!). Ringing everything up, she mentioned if I spent $3 more, I'd receive a free DVD ... so I just bought 3 X-rated gumballs [showing his youth here - comment by Ms160] and proceeded to pick out my movie.

"Everything wrapped up in a glossy black bag (think bastard child of supermarket and garbage bags) I left the store ... I was done! The walk back wasn't nearly as bad ... [reaching] my [university college] room with no trouble, I hopped on my computer and told Mistress Sugar and Mistress 160 the news. I must say, my purchases were worth the money - my only wish was that I wasn't still in the contest; to orgasm from them would have been divine!"
Alas, Gemini stops at this point and deprives us of what then ensued with his toys, but hopefully we can get an update on that later!

Many thanks:

to Gemini and Sugar,
Frugal Domme, The Dominant's View, Jane's Guide,
Richard Evans Lee for the cartoon,
Sax, Risque Adult Boutique (Kings Cross) and
JT's Stockroom for website images.

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