From Inside the Store: Why We Don’t Have Metal Handcuffs

After working at Good Vibrations for a while, I’ve helped a lot of folks with a lot of different questions.  Although I get tons of unique questions, there are a few that pop up fairly often. This is one of ‘em.

When you walk into a Good Vibrations, one of the first things you probably notice is that the store is clean, well lit, and easy to navigate.  You’re greeted and maybe even slightly overwhelmed by a sea of pink, purple, and magenta.  Overwhelmed, that is, until you reach the bondage, kink & fetish section.

From the Shades of Desire Kit to the Nipple Teasers Vibrating Nipple Clamps, this section has tons of fetish and bondage gear to either spice up your sex life or maybe help you play out some of those Fifty Shades of Grey scenes.  In addition to spankers, crops & floggers, this section is also home to a variety of restraints.

“Restraints?  Wait, isn’t this about handcuffs?”

A question we get fairly frequently (and especially around Halloween) is, “Why don’t you sell metal handcuffs?”

I know that when most folks think of handcuffs, they immediately picture the kind that the police use, and some folks are even a little disappointed when they walk into the store and don’t see pairs of shiny metal handcuffs staring at them from the store walls.  But there are a few reasons that we don’t carry these types of handcuffs, and here they are:

1) If handcuffs are used improperly or for long periods of time, the person wearing them could end-up with bruising, soft tissue, and even nerve damage.  Metal is extremely unforgiving. In fact, I’d have to say that stepping on an electrical plug, barefoot, has to be one of the most painful feelings one can experience.  Also, can you imagine reaching up to touch your partner’s hair during a sensual make-out section and smacking them in the jaw with your clunky metal handcuffs?  Ouch.

2) The person wearing them can’t take the cuffs off themselves.  Most metal handcuffs need a key to be taken off, and when you’re the one handcuffed, it’s impossible to use the key yourself.  Some folks will say, “Well that’s the point!  I don’t want them to be able to get out of the cuffs!”  During play, of course, if you’re the key-holder, you want to be the one in control.  But what if something happened and you were unable to unlock the cuffs? For an example, if an earthquake occurs and the keys get knocked off of your nightstand and cannot be found? (I live in California, so this is extremely possible).  In any kind of emergency situation, it’s much safer if the cuffed partner can get out of the cuffs without assistance.  Speaking of getting out of those cuffs, what if you misplace that key?

3) If you lose the key, you’re screwed.  You could always keep some bolt cutters by the bed, I guess.  Right next to the lube and alarm clock.  I’ve read that handcuff locks are easy to pick, but I wouldn’t bank on that.

4) You have very little movement when wearing metal handcuffs.  I said earlier that metal is very unforgiving, and that plays into this reason as well.  Let me remind you that these are the handcuffs that police officers use.  I’m not a police officer or anything but I assume they use these specific cuffs to ensure that a cuffed person can’t escape, so it makes sense that they don’t give you much wiggle room.  This not only makes them uncomfortable but this makes them very limiting as far as sexual positioning is concerned.  Something to think about if you’re into having acrobatic sex

But don’t let the lack of metal handcuffs RESTRAIN you from trying out restraint play (ZING)!

If you’re just getting started with restraints or bondage, check out the Bondage & Fetish pages on our website’s How To section.  There are tons of tips, tricks, as well as safety information on how to keep you and your partner comfortable while using restraints.

AJ Jones

AJ Jones is a Sex Educator-Sales Associate at Good Vibrations, a graduate of San Francisco Sex Information’s Sex Educator training and current SFSI volunteer. When she is not educating folks at Good Vibes she is (still) a student studying Gender & Women Studies and Human Sexuality, attending Bay Area sex geek events, and devouring unhealthy amounts of donuts.

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