Close-up of a woman wearing a bright red ball gag pulled deep into her mouth, just as red as the lipstick framing it. Two straps of leather seem to cleave her face in two, holding the gag in place. She moans and yelps, sometimes tries to say something, but you can't really make out the words.The gag is large, barely makes it past her teeth. Drool slips down, pools at her chin, and drips onto the floor.

That's the kind of dramatic display we imagine when we think of ball gags. This display is fueled by pornography, of course, and it's hard to escape. No wonder so many people are reluctant to try ball gags: they're too big, too unwieldy, too uncomfortable, too humiliating.

But the reality is so very different from the fantasy porn provides. Ball gags have their place in kink exploration, especially if you're interested in D/s dynamics.

My first ball gag experience was with a homemade one: a leather shoelace threaded through a hollow practice golf ball. It didn't muffle much sound, but it made it difficult to pronounce, and the holes let more drool pass through, which was indeed very humiliating. The ball was small, and it didn't force my jaw open as wide as the stuff you see online.

Sure, you can use ball gags for the visuals. It's pretty striking. But for me, it's not about how attractive or shocking it makes me; it's about the vulnerability it provides.

When my partner makes me wear a ball gag, it means "I am taking away your speech". Being unable to speak is sometimes a blessing: you can let your more animal, instinctual reactions take over. (Of course, whenever you are gagged, you should have a safe sign; my partner gives me keys to throw away if I need to stop.) When you can't speak, sometimes, you let go of your need to vocalize and analyze your experience, and you can simply feel. Letting go is what great sex is all about. A lot of people need a cue, like a gag, to get there.

Being unable to speak is sometimes a blessing: you can let your more animal, instinctual reactions take over.

When my partner makes me wear a ball gag, it means "Trust me". Agreeing to wear it means "I trust you to not harm me". Since you can't speak, you need to trust your partner to understand how you feel with just the way you move and react. You need to trust your partner to make decisions for you based on their knowledge of your desires and needs, rather than on direct feedback.

When my partner makes me wear a ball gag, it means "You are stronger than you think". The submissives and bottoms who like humiliation like it because it shows them that they are strong, that they can withstand being reduced and humiliated and rise up. That humiliation can be a role, not who they are. It shows them how resilient they are to the harshness of the world; it convinces them that they are stronger than they think.

But wearing a ball gag isn't just for hardcore BDSM practitioners, and it doesn't have to be intimidating. A small one works just as well as a big one; in fact, smaller gags can be worn longer, with less strain and pain. Choose a gag with a little give and softness; hard plastic is harder for the jaw and teeth. Body-safe gags with silicone balls are smooth, soft, and don't harbor bacteria if you clean them thoroughly after each use.

Oddo Atlas Silicone Ball Gag
The Atlas Ball Gag from Oddo Leather features a comfortable leather strap, a smooth silicone ball and a gorgeous look.

There are also plenty of colors to choose from; black and red are classic for the BDSM world, but you can have a little fun and get one in pink, blue, purple, or whatever other color you choose.

Oddo Leather Ball Gags


If you do it right, wearing a ball gag should be fun. It should be part of a fun scene that brings both you and your partner pleasure. Some people can't do gags, and that's OK; others, like me, love the helplessness and the trust that it implies.

Plus, when it comes to your sex life, be willing to be curious. Ball gags are a safe, simple way to experience the thrill of submission.