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A mouth bit is a general term for any BDSM gag that features a long, cylindrical-shaped bit rather than a round ball gag. These gags are modelled on the mouth bits worn by horses during equestrian and dressage events.
Mouth bits are typically made from rubber or latex as these materials are soft and affordable. Some more expensive mouth bits are made from soft leather.
Mouth bits do not restrict speech as effectively as most other gags. However, they have an aesthetic appeal that makes them very popular. Many people also find it easier to breath while wearing a mouth bit than with other gags. All gags, including mouth bits, also help to reinforce the dominant and submissive roles within a BDSM relationship.
Mouth bits are considered a restraint device, especially when used in conjunction with a collar and leash or chain. Like other gags, many people fetishize mouth bits and find the feel of wearing them and/or the sight of them very erotic.
Many mouth bits feature integrated harnesses. These types of mouth bits are particularly popular in the role-playing practice known as pony play. Reins may be attached to the harness for this purpose.
While mouth bits are most commonly worn by submissive individuals, they may also be worn by dominants during particular BDSM scenes.
Though mouth bits pose a fairly low choking risk, they should still be used with caution. No one should ever be left alone while wearing a mouth bit. It is important that all those involved in play with the mouth bit establish a safe word or action so that the person wearing the bit can stop the scene at any time. While mouth bits are often made of soft, flexible materials, pulling a partner around by a mouth bit could still damage their lips or jaw. For this reason, mouth bits are not recommended for rough BDSM play.