A gag is an object inserted into the mouth whose primary purpose is to silence the wearer. Gags come in several varieties differing in both effectiveness and in secondary purposes. The choice of gag is often a matter of both personal preference and the intended purpose. Beyond silencing the individual a gag may have an aesthetic purpose, be a method of humiliation and control, and/or be used for punishment in a BDSM relationship.
A simple strip of cloth such as a scarf or pair of tights that is pulled between the person's lips and teeth and tied behind the neck. This gag is not very effective at silencing the wearer but is often used for aesthetic reasons (it is commonly seen in films or TV shows). The effectiveness can be improved by tying a large knot in the material which is then pushed into the mouth.
A variation allows the wearer's mouth to be stuffed with some material such as a hankerchief or sock before the cleave gag is applied, thus increasing its effectiveness. Mouth stuffing should be done carefully to avoid causing breathing difficulties or irritating the throat area.
Strip Gag/Detective Gag
A strip of cloth tied over the mouth that emulates gags often seen in classic TV/film kidnap scenes. Ineffective for silencing the wearer but popular for aesthetic reasons, particularly with people who enjoy "damsel in distress" scenes. For latex fetishists, the cloth strip can be replaced with a strip of latex or rubber wound around the face and neck.
As with the cleave gag, mouth stuffing can increase the gag's effectiveness.
A rubber or leather ball that is attached to a strap and inserted into the wearer's mouth. Quite effective at silencing the wearer and difficult to push out if tied securely. Possibly one of the most popular gags among BDSM enthusiasts. The balls come in a variety of sizes and should be selected based on the wearer's mouth size. Too large a ball can cause considerable discomfort and may even lead to jaw damage.
Variations on the ball gag include plug gags and solid penis gags. Most ball gags use solid balls but variations using wiffle balls or spongy material can also be found.
See also Ballgag.
The inflatable gag uses a rubber balloon that is attached to a hand pump and can be inflated in the wearer's mouth. Some form of panel or ring attached to a strap is usually used to ensure the gag is firmly secured.
Variations include the butterfly gag where additional inflatable pieces are inserted into the cheeks and inflatable penis gags where the balloon is penis shaped.
Care should be taken not to over-inflate the ballon as this can lead to breathing difficulties.
This type of gag uses a ring device to force the wearer's mouth open. While not silencing the wearer it does reduce the ability to speak coherently while keeping the mouth open for other purposes. It is secured in place by a leather or rubber strap.
See also Ring gag.
Bit gags resemble a horse's bit, that is a cylindrical piece of rubber or leather that is secured with a strap. Bit gags are not particularly good at silencing the wearer but do have strong fetishistic overtones, especially for people who enjoy pony play.
See also Bit gag.
Another popular gag uses a strip or strips of adhesive tape placed over the mouth. The effectiveness depends on the adhesive qualities of the tape and can be enhanced by stuffing the mouth prior to applying the tape.
Care should be taken with tape gags that the wearer can breathe through their nose while the gag is in place. Also, the more adhesive the tape the harder it is to remove safely and painlessly.
A variety of medical devices such as a Jennings Gag may be employed. Much like a ring gag these force the mouth into an open position and prevent coherent speech but do not completely silence the wearer.
There are a large number of variations on the basic gags discussed above. These include:
- Layering which involves combining different types of gag to increase the effectiveness, e.g. a ball gag combined with a tape gag.
- Speciality devices such as breathing tubes, funnels, dildos, etc.
- Alternative methods of securing the gag including panels, muzzles, head harnesses and gag masks.
When using a gag, the person applying the gag is responsible for ensuring that the wearer can breathe properly and, particularly in the case of ball gags, that the gag is not causing more than minor discomfort. Remember using gags improperly can lead to permanent jaw damage. The wearer should not be left alone while gagged and the use of gags in self-bondage must be regarded as a risk.