Say what you will about the literary merit of E.L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, but you can’t deny the sexual curiosity they’ve ignited, the sexual knowledge they’ve imparted and the sexual delight they’ve given, where most readers are concerned. The result has been a boon for the sex toy industry, thanks to all the props Christian Grey has in his museum chest in the Red Room of Pain. Here’s a review of some of the items you too can procure to live out your Ana fantasies, from mild to hardcore:
Blindfolds — As Christian knows, you dampen one or two senses, it heightens the rest, particular your sense of touch. In the trilogy, they use an airline sleeping mask, which we’re all for. But come on, billionaire Grey has to steal the in-flight paraphernalia for his kinky fuckery? Not buying it. More plausible would be an elegant silk number like the Intima, perhaps in red to match the blood red walls of his upstairs dungeon. If you need to improvise, scarves work well — just be sure to tie the knot to the side so your blindfold-ee doesn’t have to lie on it.
Wrist Restraints — Christian uses everything from the iconic woven tie on the cover of the first book to metal handcuffs, from leather cuffs to silk ones. Ties will work if you’ve got nothing else handy, but they can also pinch if they’re tied too tightly, cutting off circulation, which is a no no. And you read about the booboos Ana got from the metal handcuffs. As for the cable ties Christian bought from Ana in the hardware store: Don’t go there! Way too dangerous for newbies. And hardware store rope bondage is a whole other advice article (coming soon on this site!). No, best to go with purpose-made cuffs that keep you secure without causing bodily harm, like Etherea Silk Cuffs for more vanilla play, Sutra Chainlink Silk & Suede Cuffs for Red Room play. If you indeed are thinking about re-enacting any “50” scenes, read up on our 10 Rules of Wrist Restraint.
Wand Vibrators — Often sold as “back massagers,” these big boys are for external stimulation, usually of the clitoris. They pack such a powerful punch that the recipient of its vibrations may get over-sensitized. Which, if you’re into sensual torture, could be just the tool for you. The most famous is the Hitachi Magic Wand, but Lelo just launched their own beautiful line of “Smart Wands” that are rechargeable and waterproof!
Bicep Cuffs (or Armbinders) — Just like purpose-made wrist restrains, accept they attach to your biceps and hook behind your back, limiting movement and sticking your boobs out for you. You can also improvise with a set of wrist cuffs, as long as they’re big enough for your biceps, fit comfortably and don’t keep falling down around your elbows. Or go for a hip corset with attatched wrist restraints.
Vaginal Balls — Also known as Ben Wa Balls, Geisha Balls, or Vaginal Beads. They can be free-floating, or connected by a cord. They can be hard and shiny, or made of softer material. Inside each is a weight that moves when you move, causing your vaginal muscles to involuntarily contract. The sensation is subtle and will be better at promoting pelvic floor health — which should be a priority — than it will be at giving you instantaneous orgasms. In fact, you can wear them and pretty easily forget about them. That is, of course, unless you’ve got a hot 27-year-old billionaire spanking you at the same time. Lelo has the bestselling beads in the world, three years running. Read much more about balls vs. beads from us here.
Arnica Cream — This is a “pain relieving gel for bumps, bruises, sprains, sports injuries & over-exercising.” Applied after a bottom spanking (as Christian did on Ana’s red tush), this ointment may reduce bruising. You can also try applying beforehand as well. Either way, you get a nice sensual butt massage out of it.
Crops — Disciplinary devices for horses and errant submissives. Newbies should use it for teasing and tantalizing, not beatings. (Or for simply completing an outfit.) The power of a crop swing should equal that of an enthusiastic love pat, and only then should its target be the fleshiest parts of someone’s bottom. Anywhere else, and you’d be wise to use the impact of a feather. Reread the scene from the first Fifty Shades, and do what the kinder, gentler Grey does (“This is not going to hurt. Do you understand?”) with something like the GoodVibes Riding Crop.
Spreader Bars — Stiff bars, usually two to three feet long, with a cuff at either end, used to force the wearer’s ankles or wrists into a spread eagle pose during bondage play — most bars can be adjusted, depending on how much yoga your own “Ana” practices. They’re handy if you don’t have bedposts for attaching cuffs to. Instant self-contained bondage! Sure, your prisoner could still get up and walk around if they were particularly coordinated, but they’d look mighty funny doing so. And you’re not going to believe this, but Amazon sells one for 60 bucks — and it’s available for Prime!
Nipple Clamps — The kind Christian uses are bejeweled “tweezer clamps.” GoodVibes sells a version with beaded charms if you want to go for a more glamorous look, as well as
Tweezer Clips on a chain. All versions have rubber tips and are adjustable, so you can start with a very light squeeze. Test the grip on your inner wrist. And remember those playground fights? The less skin you pinch, the more it hurts, and the bigger and wider the clamps are, the less they’ll hurt. Grab the nipple close to the base, or even on the areola, for a gentler hold. Test them on yourself first before you put them on anyone else (yes, men have nipples too!) — that way, you know what you’re both getting into. Just remember, you don’t want to go too tight or for too long (no more than 10, 15 minutes). And it’s gonna hurt like hell when you take them off, so ease the tension off them slowly — at least until you become more accustomed to playing around with them.
Floggers — The pom pom of the BDSM world. (“Give me a W! Give me an H! Give me an I! Give me a P!”) A popular flagellation tool, a flogger consists of a fairly stout handle and several “tails” of equal length (from one- to three-feet long) made of leather, suede, nylon, pleather, rubber, or even ribbon. One of Christian’s had little beads on the ends, which beginners should steer clear of (too dangerous): instead, go with a well-made, small, light-impact flogger like the Sensua Suede Whip. That and a light touch will evoke more giggles than actual cries of pain.
Butt Plugs — The anal area is chock-full of nerve endings just dying for some attention. And a butt plug can do that for you — filling you up, giving your sphincter something to contract around, and raising all-over goose bumps when it’s finally removed (you know you know that feeling). But you’ve got to start small with a little finger and then work up to an inanimate object, but only one designed specifically for the tush (lest you end up in the E.R. with an embarrassing story to tell). As with any toy, go for safe, hygienic materials, quality design and durability: the Little Flirt is a good start for both guys and gals. If you’re a genuine “Christian,” then you can afford the 24K gold-plated Earl for gentlemen (what’s a measly $2590?).
St. Andrew’s Cross — This is a piece of bondage furniture for serious kinksters (they are pretty pricey) named for the X-shaped cross that Saint Andrew was allegedly crucified on. It features restraining points at the wrists, ankles, and sometimes the waist. We can’t imagine all the soccer moms devouring Fifty Shades are really going to install a bondage cross in their basement next to the storage boxes of winter hats and coats, but here are a few examples from Metalbound.com for you anyway.
Did we miss any?