The use of gags in BDSM play usually occurs within bondage and fantasy roleplay scenarios. A gag renders the wearer unable to speak and come in many different varieties, with most filling the mouth or being designed to force the mouth open. The type of gag used is largely dependent on personal preference, what type of roleplay (if any) might be included in the scene and if there are any safety considerations that need to be taken in to account.
Gags are often used in combination with other types of physical restraints and are usually associated with play that involves certain types of punishment and control. Using a gag can enhance a feeling of helplessness during a scene as well as increase erotic pleasure. Some people fetishize the sound gagged people while some are also turned on by the uncontrollable drooling that occurs with certain types of gags.
Let's take a look at some of the more common types of gags and other play-specific types of gags.
The ball gag is the gag that most people can easily identify. It gets its name from the ball (usually made of rubber or silicone) that is positioned behind the teeth in the mouth of the wearer, gagging them. The positioning of the ball in the mouth forces the mouth open and renders the wearer unable to talk but still able to make sounds. The size of the ball can vary and they typically have a strap that goes around the circumference of the head to secure it to the wearer, but can also come in more elaborate harness styles. A variant of the classic ball gag is the wiffle gag which has holes in it to increase airflow.
Bit gags are styled after the mouth bits found in horse bridles and are typically identified by the bar placed in the wearers mouth. The bit can come in different materials and thicknesses but is usually made from a soft rubber. Similar to a ball gag, the bit is placed behind in the mouth of the wearer, behind the teeth, and will have a head strap to secure it.
O RING GAG
The ring gag is essentially the same as a ball gag except it replaces the ball with a hollow ring. The ring provides access to the inside of the mouth, increases airflow and decreases the risk of choking. The size of the ring can vary widely and, if big enough, can have objects inserted through it and directly in to the mouth of the wearer. The wearer is also able to flip the ring to a horizontal position if desired.
The spider gag is a variation of the ring gag which features hooks to stop the ring from being flipped horizontally.
DETECTIVE & BANDIT GAGS (Over The Mouth and Over The Nose Gags)
The detective gag is sometimes simply called an over-the-mouth (OTM) gag and has been featured consistently in crime fiction since the beginning of the 20th century. It is typically associated with the "damsel in distress" archetype and is made out of a scarf, bandanna or piece of material that is placed on top of the wearers mouth and tied at the back of the head. Because it is placed on top of the mouth, the ability for the wearer to make sound is not as restricted as when they are wearing a gag that has some inner-mouth feature. The bandit gag is essentially the same as the detective gag except it covers the nose as well as the mouth.