BDSM & DUNGEON FURNITURE

From the comfiness of our beds to the hardness of a simple wooden bench, to the erotically exposing nature of purpose-built furniture, there's just so much option available to us when it comes to implementing furniture into our BDSM play. In this article, Demasque has attempted to create an extensive (but not all-encompassing!) and semi-categorized list of the different types of BDSM furniture available to experiment with.


CROSSES

Crosses can come in all different varieties, but are usually identified as being a vertical structure of two wooden planks. Nearly any sort of play can be had with a cross, as their main purpose is to keep the person secured to it in an upright position, allowing open access to any part of the body on one side. A person can be tethered to the cross for partial or full immobilization, or they can hold or lean on to their cross at their own will.

The St. Andrew's Cross

The St. Andrew's Cross is an X-frame. The shape of the frame makes it possible to affix limbs, wrists and ankles to the end points of each wooden plank, making the person secured to it assume a spread-legged and open-armed position. The St. Andrew's Cross is one of the most common pieces of BDSM furniture. It is said that the cross takes it's name after St. Andrew, who requested to die upon an X-frame cross (being bound instead of nailed), because he believed he was not worthy to die on the same shape of cross as his messiah, Jesus Christ.

The Latin Cross/Trident Cross

Latin Cross by BDSM Artesanato (click to view store)

The Latin Cross (also sometimes called a crucifix) and is the type of cross that we usually see in Christian mythology - having been made famous through the countless depictions of the prophet Jesus Christ being nailed to it at the time of his martyrdom. The terms 'Crucifix' and 'Trident Cross' are sometimes used interchangeably in the BDSM realm, due to the positioning of the wooden planks - though they typically do not have any vertical prongs which would be assumed by the name 'trident'. The structure of this cross is a T-frame and can either have the horizontal plank at the very top of the vertical one, or just below as in a typical Latin Cross. This structure allows the person secured to it to have their arms spread open horizontally, with their legs being either unbound or connected to the bottom of the vertical plank. The structure of this cross also makes it possible to bind the length of the body, including the head, neck and torso, to the vertical plank.


Seated Crosses

A seated cross is a piece of furniture on which one sits but can also have their limbs (most specifically the arms) bound open. A simple piece of furniture which can be manufactured to be as cruel or as comfy as one wishes. Sometimes seated crosses are interchangeably called "bondage chairs" or "thrones".



BENCHES

Benches are another common piece of BDSM funiture and can come in a wide variety of designs. Benches are used for the purpose of keeping the person who is receiving the play (of any sort!) in a more horizontal position, either kneeling, bent over or completely flat.

Spanking & Whipping Benches

It seems that spanking benches were specifically created in the 20th century by spankophiles who wished for an apparatus to accompany their spanking play. Spanking benches can accommodate a variety of different positions for the spankee to assume during play, but usually for the kneeling or all-fours position as they are commonly manufactured with knee rests. The bent-over position that is assumed when using a spanking bench makes the person's bottom more pronounced and protruding - perfect for site-specific impact play. Often, the terms 'spanking bench' and 'whipping bench' are used interchangeably. This being said, historically a whipping bench is simply a normal, flat bench upon which one lies horizontally. The whipping bench was used as a piece of furniture in judicial punishment since at least the 15th century.


Kneeling Benches

A kneeling bench is akin to a Spanking Bench in that it puts the person on it in an upright kneeling position, in which they can somewhat lean or bend forward, but not to the extent that the Spanking Bench would have them in. Again, the kneeling bench provides easy access to a rounded and protruding bottom for impact play but can also be implemented in other more service-oriented types of play and training. The kneeling bench is typically quite low - positioning the kneeler about a foot off the ground - and provides a test of endurance to the person on it, as the bench is not traditionally padded (though more modern varieties can include some sort of padding for comfort).


Exposure Benches

As the name would suggest, an exposure bench is intended to 'expose' the person on it - typically exposing their bottom and allowing access to the genital region. An exposure bench requires the person on it to be horizontally face up with their legs being secured above them either vertically straight or (if they are more flexible) bent towards their head.



CAGES & BOXES

Cages and boxes are intended to enclose whomever is inside and can be made from a variety of materials and used for a multitude of purposes. Cages and boxes can be made to be especially confining - to restrict all movement - or they can provide some sort of sensory excitation. Cages and boxes, along with benches and crosses can be used for all sort of BDSM play, but due to their structure usually do not allow for complete bodily access with implements - instead the cage or box itself being a more physical/mental barrier for whomever is inside.

Standing & Horizontal Cages

These are the most typical sorts of cages that we see in BDSM venues or dungeons. Standing cages typically are built to fit an 'average-sized' standing human body inside, while horizontal cages are usually a tad smaller than a human laying down, forcing the caged person to slightly bend or crouch their body. These cages are typically made of steel, but can be made of wood or any other sturdy material and can be built purposely to fit more than one human inside.


A defining feature of these types of cages is that you can usually see through the bars or whatever material the cage is, allowing a 360 degree angle access to whomever is inside. Some horizontal cages are made for the purpose of petplay, while some are made as tables or benches that rest on the structure of the cage underneath. These types of cages are not simply limited to standing and horizontal structures, though, and can be made in almost any shape, from spherical to pyramidal, to trapezoidal, to domed.


Leather, Rubber & Net Cages

A more unusual (or less seen) type of cage is one that encompasses a whole person's body in a net of sorts - usually being made of some sort of thick-strap material such as leather or rubber, and occasionally of thick rope. These cages enclose on to the whole body of whomever is inside, rendering them completely immobile. They can be suspended or positioned on the ground and again very much provide a 360 degree total body access.


The Gibbet Cage

The Gibbet Cage is a specifically human-shaped caged that renders whomever inside completely immobile, much like the net-style cage. The difference here, though, is that the Gibbet Cage is usually made of steel and is particularly rigid. Modern Gibbet Cages used in BDSM play can come with or without dulled spikes on the inside for an especially sensational experience. The Gibbet Cage gets it's name from the antiquated public execution practice known as "gibbeting" that left the bodies of dead or dying criminals exposed and on display to the public. The body-shaped cage variant was used from at least the 18th century.


Cupboards & Coffins

These two are pretty self explanatory. A cupboard used in BDSM typically holds a single human inside, being locked in for a period of time to experience a confining and sensory deprivation type of play. Likewise, a coffin gets it's name from the horizontal funerary box that we know it to be and is also used for this confinement and sensory deprivation type of play. These both differ from the previous types of cages discussed in that they typically are all-enclosing, with no visual access in or out of the confined space. Some variants of cupboards or coffins may have peek holes or even transparent walls.


Grope Boxes

A grope box is similar to the all-enclosing human-sized cupboard, though it usually has one or more holes in the walls to 'grope' at parts of the body contained inside. Variations of the grope box can include boxes that are specifically sized to have only the genitals, feet, buttocks, breasts or head protruding from the box itself.

The Iron Maiden

Example of an Iron Maiden at the Torture Museum in Lubus