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Keyholder is a term for an individual who holds the key to a chastity device. The keyholder has a position of great power, one that is often taken on by a dominant person in a BDSM relationship.
Keyholders can be of any gender or sexuality, but most commonly, they tend to be heterosexual women who hold the keys to a male chastity device.
The term keyholder is often shortened to the acronym KH.
Because a keyholder controls access to a chastity device, they also by extension control the genitals of their partner. The keyholder controls whether the person wearing the chastity device can achieve sexual gratification and even has an impact on how and when they urinate and shower.
Many keyholders enjoy wearing the keys to the chastity device on a necklace. The visibility of the keys while hanging around one's neck reinforces the relationship between the keyholder and the wearer of the chastity device, reminding the submissive of the keyholder’s power.
Keyholders should respect the power they have and never abuse it. It’s important for keyholders to act within the boundaries established before the chastity device is put into place. These boundaries may include specifications about the length of time the keyholder will keep the keys and enforce chastity and whether the keyholder will make the submissive work for his or her freedom. Keyholders typically use the duration of their position to "train" their submissive to be a better and less selfish lover.
While their power should not be abused, keyholders are also responsible for disciplining their submissives should they act out or break the rules while wearing chastity devices. Discpline could involve spanking, taking away privileges, or other deterrents for bad behavior.