The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide to Fetish


You’ve definitely heard of it. You’ve probably become somewhat familiar with it thanks to the growing popularity of franchises like Fifty Shades of Grey. You may even have tried your hand at it a time or two with a willing partner. It’s fetish play – something that’s incredibly appealing to so many of us, if also a little bit intimidating to the less experienced. 

Why Is It Important to Buy Actual Fetish Products?

If you’ve spent much time looking into the fetish scene and considering your options, you’ve probably heard it stated that it’s really important to buy actual gear made specifically for bondage or fetish play. It only makes sense that you’d also be wondering why that is. 

After all, can’t you use pretty much anything to tie someone up – like neckties, scarves, or whatever else you have lying around? And you can totally deliver a good flogging with just a belt or an extension cord, right? Actually, while it may be tempting to think that if something was good enough for Christian Grey, it should be good enough for you, it really is better to trust your experience to real fetish products. Here’s why.

Safety: Common items like neckties and household rope may seem safe enough for tying a partner up, but they can actually cause plenty of problems (especially if you’re inexperienced). Knotted ties, scarves, or string can easily slip in such a way that they cut off circulation. Ropes can chafe or burn delicate skin. And when it comes to flogging, you could really hurt someone if you use just anything. Real fetish gear designed especially for the purpose won’t cause that kind of harm, even if you’re brand new to game.

Experience Quality: Fetish products are also designed to really optimize your experience down to the subtlest sensation. Think materials that were carefully chosen with sensation conveyance in mind, handles that are ergonomically designed to help you keep your grip, and so forth! Plus, browsing the fetish section at your favorite sex shop is a great way to discover potential experiences you didn’t even know you were interested in!

You already realize that an ergonomically designed vibrating dildo is worlds away from making do with whatever you can find around the house, right? Well, it’s the same with fetish gear. Investing in the right tools for the job is well worth your while.

Bondage Gear

The term “bondage” covers quite a bit of ground, but in its simplest form, it’s all about tying up or otherwise restraining a play partner. Bondage is also among the most popular and widely practiced forms of fetish play and it’s not hard to see why. Sensory deprivation, limitation, play that involves power dynamics, and so forth helps us tap into and leverage some of our most powerful desires. Popular gear options include restraints, gags, blindfolds, paddles, whips, and more. Which options are right for you and your play partner will depend entirely on what types of sensations you’re interested in exploring.

Pros: The sheer range of choices alone makes bondage gear a good first option to consider if you’re interested in fetish play. Bondage offers plenty of room to grow and to customize your experience once you discover what you really like (or don’t like). You can start light and basic with something accessible like restraints or blindfolds and make your way to the more formidable items when you’re ready.

Cons: Naturally, bondage won’t be right for everyone, so it’s important to discuss the possibilities with your partner beforehand. 

Handcuffs and Restraints

If you and your partner are interested in playing with concepts like dominance and submission, simple restraints or handcuffs are great first gear options to try. They definitely give you that feeling of thinking outside the vanilla box and doing something naughty, but aren’t so “out there” that they feel like too much too soon. Handcuffs and restraints come in a wide variety of designs, materials, and styles – everything from utilitarian and no-nonsense to fluffy, frilly, and flirty.

Pros: Actual handcuffs and fetish restraints let you explore the possibilities when it comes to tying yourself or your lover up safely and securely. You don’t have to worry about hurting one another or about the restraints not being adequate enough to do the job. 

Cons: Handcuffs and restraints really do require a partner for safe, proper use so they may not be right for play lovers looking for an experience they can enjoy on their own.

Paddles and Whips

If you or your partner have ever experimented with a little light spanking, then you don’t need to be told that sometimes a little controlled pain is just what’s needed to elevate your pleasure that much higher. Toys like paddles, whips, canes, and floggers take the guesswork out of spanking, striking, or teasing your partner in this way. The many styles they come in also open the door to lots of new sensation experiences you may not have experienced before.

Pros: Toys like whips or paddles take all the guesswork out of spanking your partner properly and getting maximum results. Many options make it easy to vary the strength and intensity of your blows as well. All it takes is a slight difference in the way you flick your wrist to go from a teasing tickle to a stinging smack.

Cons: As with any other type of fetish activity, not everyone enjoys being spanked or struck, so definitely make sure your partner is on board with that type of play first.

Blindfolds and Gags

Never underestimate the excitement factor a little sensory deprivation can bring to the table when it comes to foreplay or even the main event! Removing one sense from the equation (like sight) effectively heightens all the others, meaning every little sensation feels that much more intense. The same goes for restriction of a partner’s speech or ability to deliver verbal feedback. Options like blindfolds and various types of gags are incredibly popular and useful for this reason, especially for players that are ready to take the next step up from simply enjoying a little restraint or light spanking.

Pros: Specially designed fetish gear like blindfolds and gags make it possible to fully explore sensory deprivation in a way that’s completely safe. Such items are also simply going to work better and be more effective than simply making do with whatever you’ve got lying around your bedroom.

Cons: If you or your partner aren’t terribly imaginative or playful by nature, sensory deprivation play may just leave you cold. 

Nipple Clamps

If you or your partner are crazy about nipple stimulation, it only makes sense that you’d want to explore nipple clamps at some point. Nipple clamps make it easy to safely apply continuous stimulation without the need to free up a hand (or two). Most nipple clamps are simply designed and easy to operate. Some are weighted or decorated to make the experience of using them even more interesting.

Pros: Takes the guesswork out of pinching, squeezing, or teasing nipples for those that love what that brings to their play.

Cons: It can take some practice to master striking the perfect balance between pleasure and pain.

Fetish Kits

Maybe you’re completely new to the wide, wonderful world of fetish and want to sample the best it has to offer right out of the gate. Maybe you already have some experience and are looking to quickly build up a collection of fun items to keep on hand. Either way, bondage and fetish kits are awesome ways to satisfy your desire to experiment with lots of different sensations and experiences. 

Pros: Fetish kits are specifically meant for people in search of a comprehensive, varied play experience, so they typically contain multiple types of toys. (Possibilities include blindfolds, restraints, mini vibrators, anal teasers, feather ticklers, and more.) They can be a simple and very economical way to accumulate some basics without having to spend too much cash or too much time shopping right out of the gate.

Cons: There’s always the possibility that the kit could contain one or more toys that you have zero interest in trying. Not every kit is right for every user or set of needs. 

Chastity Gear

Lots of people make the mistake of thinking chastity gear like cock cages or chastity belts is about making sure a partner doesn’t cheat or stray from the relationship in any way, but that’s not it at all. Like many aspects of fetish play, chastity gear is about experimenting with control, domination, and submission. As with surrendering your sight, your freedom or movement, or your ability to speak, surrendering control over your genitals or your ability to orgasm can be overwhelmingly erotic.

Pros: Chastity gear gives fetish lovers a great new level to move up to once they know dom/sub play appeals to them. Options like chastity belts and cock cages come in numerous different designs and make it possible to restrict control to varying degrees.

Cons: Some people – even if they’re into fetish play – can find it off-putting to surrender any degree of access to their genitals to someone else. Some items may also make wearers feel claustrophobic, so it’s important to consider a partner’s limits before buying an item with them in mind.

Sex Swings

If you’re the type that really loves to experiment with different positions, you might want to consider adding a sex swing to your repertoire at some point. At their simplest and most basic, sex swings are harnesses designed to allow the suspended partner to have penetrative intercourse with the non-suspended partner. They come in many different designs and can really open up a lot of new possibilities when it comes to spicing things up. Some sex swings are made to be suspended from a support beam, but there are varieties that can be integrated into a doorway or other set-up as well.

Pros: Sex swings are awesome ways for creative kink lovers and play lovers to explore exciting new acts and positions that might not be possible any other way. They’re also relatively inexpensive and easy to install.

Cons: They may not be the best fit for people with health issues or mobility issues. Also some designs can make it hard to maintain discretion if you’re trying to keep your sexual interests private.

Sex Machines

Whether you’re looking for something to add spice to partnered play or a special treat to keep all to yourself, a bona fide sex machine can definitely be something to consider when you’re ready. Many sex machines consist of a rig equipped with a piston-operated arm capable of simulating real thrusting. There are also options out there that can simulate oral sex or manual experiences. Quite a few come with a variety of attachments, speeds, and modes as well so they’re wonderful ways to bring your wildest fantasies to life.

Pros: Sex machines do an excellent job of simulating real sexual experiences without the need for a partner. Many are able to do this on a level that would actually be difficult to impossible for a flesh and blood human to match. They’re ideal for serious play lovers that love hands-free pleasure play and are willing to make an investment in something that really does the job.

Cons: Sex machines can be expensive and hard to store discreetly, so they may not be the best fits for casual fetish lovers or beginners.

Which fetish items will be the best fits for you depends on what you’re looking to get by exploring kink on your own or with your partner in the first place. Many fetish lovers start small with some basic items or a kit and then add to their collection over time as they discover more about what they like. You can too!