Category: BDSM Toys

Stay on topic!

Reading Time: 4 minutes

I don’t as a rule spend a great deal of time on Facebook, but the times that I go there, I check on a few things, then leave again for the better part of day or more.  I’m a member of quite a few diverse groups, and yes, some of them are kink related.  Though I do my best to relegate the ‘kink’ portion of my life from the interests of vanilla people who I’m related to, friends with on Facebook, simply because it’s a conversation I really don’t think I need to be having with them.

One of the groups that I have been a member of for many months is ‘Friends who like Steel Restraints’.  It’s mostly a picture sharing group, with an occasional post from someone detailing their interest with the topic.  So far as I can tell, there’s one Admin, she’s submissive, but is fairly active.  In the last week there’s been a couple of members that have been posting pictures that are most definitely off-topic.  Yes, they have references to BDSM in them, however none of them have steel restraints, which is the topic of the group.  The member that keeps reoffending is from the Middle East, so I can pretty much guarantee that English is not his primary language.  Seeing as I’ve been berating him for his pictures for the last week, he’s been on occasion messaging me asking what my problem is, and why I’m so irate over his pictures.  I keep explaining over and over that his pictures are inappropriate for the group.  But he just doesn’t get it.  Too, up until yesterday, I was pretty much the only one in the group (of over 4,000 people) who has said anything negative.  Usually there are comments like “Nice” and “Wish it was me”  and so on.  I suppose many people are just too polite to mention that he’s not following the rules of the group.

Late last night, someone in the group had ‘liked’ my comments and observations, and then the offending pictures disappeared by this morning.  I had found one of the original posts by the Admin and asked if she was interested in sharing duties as Admin, if she was feeling overwhelmed.  I never got a reply from her, so I guess she feels that she’s got a good handle on the situation.  Which is fine, it’s her baby, let her deal with the brouhaha.  Also this morning, someone posted a series of pictures that were dead on with the topic of the group, so not only did I thumbs up it, I also commented thanking her for posting it.  She replied while I was at work, and I answered.  She hasn’t replied to that reply, but that’s ok.  I posited some theories about Gor, as her username started with ‘Kajira’, and I have some knowledge of the Normanian universe.  Read the books at an earlier time in my journey.

Chained-together20180627_233225.jpgThe few pictures that I’ve posted to the group have been well received, and even now a couple of months later, people are still commenting and liking them.  So I know I, at least am on the right side of the angels.  I really didn’t want to leave the group, as the topic is something I’m very interested in.  Just want it to be good for everyone there, without being tainted by either bad apples, or clueless figs.

Haggle or no haggle

Reading Time: 5 minutes

As I’ve mentioned more times than I care to count, I love shopping for BDSM toys.  But I also like a good bargain when I can see one, or create a deal from someone offering something that they no longer have a use for.  About 90% of the time, I pull the trigger and manage to come away with something useable, and acceptable in price to both sides.  Today, that didn’t happen.  I’m a bit sorry it didn’t, both for me and for the seller, but sometimes you just can’t come to an agreement on price.

This all took place on Fetlife, where I tend to haunt the Kinky Items for Sale and similar groups for bargains.  This morning I happened to notice a new post from someone in NY saying that they’re in the midst of spring cleaning and want to part with some of their toy collection.  “Great!” I think to myself.  “Let’s see what they’re offering.”

It’s a small list, but at least there are references to pictures on their profile.  Anymore, people who list items forget that a picture really is worth a thousand words.  There’s so much more to see in a picture of what you’re offering than you can accurately describe in words.  I click over to their profile and look over the proffered pictures.  Already I can see there are interesting items that I might have an interest in.  A pair of heavy leather padded restraints with locking buckles, a pair of interestingly designed wooden paddles, that are described as being made from tiger maple.  Hmm, never heard of that type of wood before.  But maple is a hardwood, and anything that’s crafted from it will be hardy and sturdy.  The last item was a quirt, or what some might call a dragontail.  The seller was calling it a mini-whip, in that it only has two ‘tails’ off of the main belly of the whip.

Of all the prices that the seller was listing, about the only one that seemed out of whack was the padded cuffs.  2 wrist cuffs for $100 seemed a bit much.  The nice part about the listing was that the seller did seem interested in haggling since she put at the end of her listing in larger red type OR BEST OFFER.  That to me suggested that she wasn’t quite as firm in her preferences of price than she was listed originally.  It’s good when there’s wiggle room. 

I thought to myself about how much I should offer for all the items I was interested in.  When I mentally tallied up what she was asking, I found it to be $180.  I thought $150 might be acceptable as a counter-offer, and since I was going to be paying for the shipping, that might add in another $10-15 to the price.  I typed up a message through Fetlife’s communication system, sent it off and went about my day.  About 2 in the afternoon I checked my messages and sure enough, there was a reply.  Though not quite the reply I was expecting.  She didn’t seem to think much of my counter-offer.  She stated that all the items I was interested in were going to be $200, not $180 like she’d listed.  Eh?

I thought about the reply before writing back.  It could be that she’d added in the shipping and came to the total of $200 that way, or maybe there was some other hanky-panky going on.  In my reply, I reiterated that she’d clearly stated prices and that there was wiggle room in them when she’d stated that best offers would be accepted.  However, if she wasn’t interested in being flexible, then I wasn’t really interested in overpaying for her used items.  Popped off the message and had a reply within about 20 minutes.  She confirmed that the price she’d quoted had included the shipping.  No wiggle room, she was being firm.  Too, she informed me that she had originally paid $300 for the cuffs, so she believed she was making someone a good bargain.  Personally, at that point, I honestly believe someone had sold her some magic beans if they charged her that much for 2 locking leather restraints.  No matter what sort of leather they might be made of.  None of which I’d mentioned to her, I didn’t wish to be rude.  I made my final reply saying I was no longer interested.

All in all, I think I made the right decision.  Don’t get me wrong, I really would have liked to have everything I originally mentioned, but the prices were just too out of range for what I would feel comfortable paying.  Yes, there have been times when I’ve overpaid for items, but as I recall, it was because of who had made the items in question, they were established artisans so the prices might have been considered a little excessive by some, but as with things like a painting by Picasso, you don’t get it for a song, you get it for what the market will bear.  Even if the finished product is basically canvas and ink.

Better luck next time!

Almost forgot.  I did a little research on tiger maple and discovered it’s not anything really special, it’s a by-product of red maple, just sometimes how the striations are in the wood when it’s cut.  It’s also called ‘flame maple’ because of the stripes.  So in theory, I could make my own paddle with the woodworking tools that my father left me.  Something to be aware of.  Interesting factoid.

Hit and Miss

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Even though it’s been a good 8 months since I last played actively in BDSM, I’m still shopping for good bargains on toys.  Fetlife, Craigslist, Facebook (occasionally) and eBay remain good places to find items that others no longer need/want, new items from (online) storefronts at discounted prices, and items that can be repurposed if possible into additions for my toy collection.

Of course, when you do your shopping online, you run into occasional problems in descriptions, some are vague, others claim to be bigger or smaller than they actually are, so you have to be careful in what you’re offering, or agreeing to pay when the seller asks a certain price.

This week I purchased two steel restraints from two different sellers on eBay.  One is an established company down in Texas; Cuffstore.  They sell BDSM items mainly that are imported from Pakistan.  The steel restraints are generally stamped with the acronym KUB, which stands for ‘KUBind Industries‘ and they’ve been around for many years.  Fortunately, there are several US-based companies that do the importing from them, so one doesn’t necessarily have to deal with customs or items that are either lost in shipping or detained at the border.  Shipping internationally isn’t as easy as it used to be, due to changing political climates and so on.

The other restraint actually came from someone that I knew in passing from the old days on Compuserve.  (Small World) He has a fledgling business where he builds extremely pricey spanking benches.  He calls them ‘The Spankmeister‘.  I only managed to recognize who he was from the name that he used on eBay, it was unique and it caused me to remember him. Now I purchased a one-off spanking bench from someone in Oklahoma on eBay about 20 years ago.  As I recall I paid something like $65 for it, and another (don’t quote me) $40 in shipping as it came by bus.  Yes, it was placed on a bus in the luggage/storage bay and I picked it up at the local bus depot.  This fellow prices his bench at a staggering $1500 (USD) and claims that it’s worth every penny.  I have friends that received a prototype of his original design, they painted it purple (her favorite color) and it’s probably still sitting in their house in NH unless someone else is living there now.

Getting back to the topic, both of the restraints were delivered in the mail yesterday while I was at work. Upon coming home, I opened them, looked them over, did a little marveling at how they were constructed and so on, then tried them out. On me. Since I don’t have a model available to try things out on, and my girl is 3 states away, I tend to do my testing out with myself as the model. I figure the circumference of my wrist and/or ankle (depending) is in the same neighborhood as my girl, so if it doesn’t fit me, it’s unlikely to fit her. The KUB restraint is constructed a little differently than the black one, it has an oval shape that better accommodates the wrist, so it fits me ok. When I went to secure the black restraint, I discovered it’s about a 1/2 inch too small. Won’t come together without pinching my skin. Too, it doesn’t have the oval shape of the other, it’s merely a circle. As I’ve mentioned to my girl on multiple occasions, if something is too large, there are workarounds to pad her limbs to make it snugger. With steel, if it’s too small, that’s it…it’s too small. Of course, it can be repurposed into something else, like a spreader bar, or hung on the wall of the playspace for decoration, so it’s not as if I’m going to sell it. (Sorry nijntje)

Either way, I figure they’re both a good investment. I didn’t pay over and above what one would for similar products, and it should give me the sufficient happiness factor that I was aiming for when I initially made plans to buy them. Of course, the proof in the end is how well they work on my girl, since that’s who’s going to be wearing them for the majority of the time. So yes, there will be revisitation on this issue.