At first, the word “chastity” seems out of place in a sex column. Indeed, Christian chastity in particular traditionally entails sexual abstinence (or protection from rape), specifically before and outside marriage.

The historical association with chastity is steeped in problematic meaning. Kink turns history upside down —instead of a tool meant to prevent temptation, the modern chastity device plays with temptation and uses it as a tool of submission.

Currently, most chastity belts are used in the BDSM (Bondage/Discipline, Domination/Submission, Sadism/Masochism) community to dominate a submissive partner, teasing them by preventing erection and touching.

Today, worldwide purchasing demand for penis chastity devices surpasses chastity belts for vulvas — in fact, recent popularity and internet access has led to a wide array of options for those interested in a little erotic denial.

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Nice R.A.C.K.

Of course, varsity-level kink requires varsity-level R.A.C.K.— risk-aware consensual kink. Using physical devices attached to power and control in the bedroom are varsity-level kinky tools, which entail both emotional and physical risks.

All participants should educate themselves about devices and risk. Urologists recommend keeping the device on for no more than four to six hours, so don’t sleep in a chastity cage.

Blood restriction toys in general should not be worn for more than thirty minutes at a time, so a boner (i.e., restricted blood flow) should get some breathing room every once in a while if getting flaccid proves difficult.

Kinksters call this a “scene” for a reason — they have a script, too. Scripts require a discussion of desire: how do we want to be teased with a chastity device? No matter the script, each scene begins with consent — discussion of boundaries, permission and a safe word.

Power play in kink sometimes mirrors abuse apart from consent, so “consensual non-consent” means an understanding that “no” does not mean “no,” rather a safe word does. No one should ever be in a sexual situation where they cannot stop all activity, whether “vanilla” or kinky. And no one should participate in kink because they feel pressured. Discuss safe words ahead of time, and pick something that wouldn’t come up during a scene, either in the physical space or prewritten script.

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Cool Cock Cage (links NSFW)

(NSFW = Not Safe For Work. Links contain real genitalia modeling products.)

Popular chastity devices enclose the penis, making erection uncomfortable or impossible, preventing masturbation and other forms of sexual activity.

A chastity cage usually consists of a ring that fits around the base of the penis attached to the cage portion by a hinge or pin and secured with a lock. Kinky “keyholders” and subs alike use all sorts of materials, including plastic, leather and stainless steel. Plastic allows visibility, leather is aesthetically appealing to many kinky folks and steel provides both security and temperature contrast against the warm skin of an erect penis.

Cages include a hole at the tip for urination, but stimulation should be impossible. Some cages twist or bend the penis to add a little pain to the pleasure denial or come with testicle weight attachments and other additions.

In terms of cost, chastity devices range from $20 to hundreds of dollars, and those truly invested in being chaste purchase custom-fitted toys. Toys shaped to fit genitals exactly improve fit and decrease likelihood of discomfort. Remember the FDA does not regulate sex toys, so research companies and different materials extensively before buying.

If you really want to lock your honey down on Valentine’s Day, introduce the topic of chastity devices outside the bedroom, where there is no pressure to engage in or think about it immediately. Talk about orgasm denial at breakfast, and introduce the desire as a fascination adventure to embark on rather than something shameful or strange. After all, nothing is stranger than sex.