Updated: FEBRUARY 15, 2016
Neoprene is a synthetic rubber which shares many physical properties with natural rubber. It is most commonly used to create wetsuits. However, bondage accessories may also be made or enhanced with neoprene including wrist and ankle restraints, harnesses, confinement hoods, and bondage collars. Neoprene may also be used to create whips and floggers.
Neoprene is also known by its scientific name polychloroprene.
More About Neoprene
Neoprene is a popular material for BDSM paraphernalia because it is pliable and it feels soft against the skin. For this reason, some items that are not made entirely from neoprene, such as ankle or wrist cuffs, may be lined with the material. Despite its tactile appeal, neoprene can be used to inflict pain when it is made into a whip.
Just like natural rubber, neoprene is moderately resistant to heat and oil. This means that people can comfortably use neoprene BDSM toys around oil-based lubricants. It is also more durable than natural rubber. It can easily withstand the twisting and pulling involved in BDSM play.
Neoprene’s right weave also makes it resistant to dirt penetration. Neoprene products should be cleaned when they are exposed to bodily fluids including sweat. In most cases, they can be wiped clean with a damp cloth. Stubborn stains may be removed with a mild soap and water.
It’s important to note that any neoprene material may contain latex. People with latex allergies or sensitivities may suffer reactions when exposed to neoprene BDSM toys. A dominant partner may get around this by wearing non-latex gloves while handling the toys. Some people may also experience contact dermatitis when exposed to thiourea. This compound, used to convert rubber into neoprene, may linger after the manufacturing process. Compounds which contain lead, such as litharge, are also typically used to finish neoprene products. These substances have been shown to have a toxic effect on human blood, reproductive systems, and kidneys.