Much to my chagrin, there are many kinks that I enjoy more in fantasy than in reality. Sex in public? Hot — until I remember that there are people in public. Having my armpits worshiped? Hot — until I remember that I’ll have to skip deodorant that day. Sex standing up in high heels? Hot — until I remember that I can barely walk in high heels, let alone keep my balance while being rhythmically rammed.
Until recently, wearing a gag was one of those kinks that I just liked better in my head than in the real world. I’ve owned a few gags — including a Zalo one that looks like a red rose and is quite possibly the prettiest ball gag in existence — and have always found that my jaw would start aching so intensely after just a few minutes that it made it hard for me to focus on anything else. On top of that, I enjoy giving oral sex, so it was a bummer to have no stamina left in my jaw muscles after the gag had been removed. The spirit was willing, but the body was weak!
But I’ve been determined to find a gag that would work for me, because there are still lots that I find hot about the idea of wearing one. As a submissive-leaning person, I like feeling helpless and controlled by my partner, both feelings that are easy to access when I’m not able to speak. I also like having something to bite down on while receiving pain, such as a spanking or some wax play, because it helps me process the sensations without getting overwhelmed by them. And gags integrate nicely into some kinky roleplays, especially if you’re into edgy, “consensual non-consent” themes like kidnapping and torture.
Many of the dominants I’ve dated have been into seeing their partners gagged, too. For instance, while I know lots of people who find it embarrassing that wearing a gag can cause them to drool so profusely, a lot of doms and sadists actually get off on seeing that uncontrollable flow of spit and the feelings of (consensual) humiliation and vulnerability it can evoke in a sub.
With all of that in mind, I was intrigued when I saw that the sex toy company Unbound had released a gag of their own (called the Bit), which isn’t only gorgeous but practical, too. But before we get into what makes this particular gag so great, let’s go over some gag safety basics…
How to Use a Gag Safely
1) Pick a Safe-Signal. You’ve probably heard of the practice of choosing a safeword before doing a kink scene — it’s a mutually agreed-upon word that, when spoken by anyone involved, will call an immediate end to the action. Typically, these are unusual and weird-sounding words or phrases that are unlikely to come up for any other reason or to be mistaken for sexy sounds, like “firetruck” or “Tucker Carlson.” (Or, I dunno, “fire Tucker Carlson.”)
But when there’s a gag in your mouth, it can be hard to get any words out, especially in the heat of the moment. For that reason, you should pick a “safe-signal” instead — essentially, it’s a non-verbal safeword. Mine is shaking my head back and forth like I’m saying “no,” though I’ve heard of other kinksters dropping a noisy object (like keys) or double-tapping their hand on the bed or on your partner’s body. It just needs to be something memorable and clearly recognizable that’ll easily get your partner’s attention.
2) Supervision Required. A person wearing a gag should never be left alone in a room, especially if they’re also in any kind of bondage. If they start to choke, or their nose suddenly gets congested and they can’t breathe, they need to be able to communicate that to someone so that the situation can be addressed quickly.
If you do have to leave the room for some reason while your partner is gagged, just take the gag out and put it back in when you return. I promise, taking a pee break or answering the door isn’t as important as making sure your partner stays safe!
3) Breathe Easy. While a classic ballgag is probably the best-known style of gag, it’s not necessarily the safest for beginners, because it can make breathing difficult, especially if your nose is congested from allergies, sickness or sexual arousal (yep, that’s a thing). A slimmer gag, like the Unbound Bit, is a safer bet. There are also ball gags that have holes in them to allow for better airflow.
4) Use Sparingly. Unless you have a superhumanly strong jaw, you’ll probably find that it starts to ache after a few minutes of wearing a gag. For some people, that pain is part of the draw — but if you plan on using your jaw much in the hours after wearing a gag, whether for oral sex, talking or eating, you might not want to push it to its limits. Thus, Unbound recommends that beginners start by using their Bit gag for just 10 minutes at a time.
5) Wash Before and After. If your sex toy storage situation is anything like mine, there’s always a chance that your gag will accumulate some dust or debris while sitting around in your nightstand drawer, and you don’t want that in your mouth. Give it a rinse before you use it, every time. It’s also important to wash the gag with soap and water after you’re done using it, because our mouths are full of bacteria that can build up on a toy if not cleaned off.
On that note, stay away from gags where the part that actually goes in your mouth is made of a porous material like rubber. These can’t be fully cleaned no matter how much you scrub, so they’ll get gross after a while. Instead, look for silicone, a much more hygienic material that won’t start tasting and smelling disgusting after a few uses. Gags should make you gag but shouldn’t make you gag, you know?
My Experience with the Unbound Bit Gag
While ball gags are the best-known type of gag for BDSM usage, bit gags — which are inspired by the type of gag that some horses wear — are often a better pick for beginners. They consist of a slim bar that you can bite down on, rather than a ball that fills almost your entire mouth. Because of the difference in size and shape, it’s easier to breathe when you’re wearing a bit gag versus a ball gag, and bits will also be comfier for many users.
The Unbound Bit gag is one of the most elegant gags I’ve ever seen. It consists of a blue silicone cylinder that’s attached to a long, velvety strap made of blue polyester. You put the bar into your mouth, bite down on it loosely and then tie the strap at the back of your head to keep things secure.
Because the gag itself is made of silicone, it’s easily the comfiest one I’ve tried. I can bite down on the bar without worrying that I’m ruining the gag, or my teeth. My jaw only starts aching once the gag’s been in for several minutes longer than the 10-minute max Unbound recommends for beginners. I can get through an entire kink session without getting distracted by jaw pain — which ultimately means I feel more connected to my partner during the scene and am better able to enjoy whatever pleasure and/or pain is being inflicted on me while the gag is in.
Meanwhile, I still drool when I use the Bit, as I would with any gag, but it doesn’t feel quite as uncontrollable and profuse as it is with larger gags. In any case, my partner finds the drooling hot, so it’s not a big deal to me.
One of the best things about this gag is that it doesn’t completely impede communication while it’s in. Sure, you’re not gonna be at your most articulate when there’s a silicone bar in your mouth, but you can at least mumble a muffled safeword if you need to (although I’d still recommend having a safe-signal instead of, or in addition to, a safeword).
However, if you’re hoping to find a gag that can dampen sound, this ain’t it. I once had a roommate who screamed so loud during sex and masturbation that she frequently awoke me from a dead sleep in the middle of the night, and friends joked that I should’ve gifted her a gag so I could finally get some rest. If I’d been bold enough to go that route, I wouldn’t have picked this gag, because it wouldn’t have done the trick. So if you’re concerned about anyone overhearing your moans ‘n’ groans, a traditional ball gag would probably be the smarter choice.
Back to the positive side of the ledger, the Bit is easier to clean than many others I’ve seen, because you can remove the strap before cleaning by simply pulling it out of the gag bar. I can’t speak to how well its construction will hold up over time, because I haven’t had it for long, but it seems durable and solidly built.
Overall, the Unbound Bit gag is the perfect option for a beginner, or for anyone who’s struggled to use ball gags before. It’s comfier, safer and prettier than most options you’ll see in the gags section of your local sex shop, and at only $39, it’s an unintimidating way to dip your toe into the world of gags. Communication is easier with it than with any other gag I’ve tried, but it still turns me into a helpless, drooly mess in a way that both my partner and I enjoy.
If you’ve been chomping at the bit to try a gag, this is one you can really sink your teeth into.