That Funny Feeling Is a Fetish




I think I had the notion I was into bondage as a kid watching the Dukes of Hazard or Batman getting tied up or in some state of peril. I ignored those feelings I would get seeing them for a while until I got to college recently and started lightly exploring bondage-type things during hookups.

I’ve noticed from some of your articles on the advocate that you like gags. I find myself being turned on by the looks of them but not knowing how to introduce it into play. It seems weird but I feel much more embarrassed asking a guy if I can gag him than I do enquiring if they want to be tied up.

What do you suggest as far as introducing it into play? And if you have any other helpful pointers like the ones you prefer using and how you got into them.

Hi gag fag,

I first noticed my gag fetish with Batman too — specifically, Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever (1995). Chris O’Donnell as Robin was my first celebrity crush. In the film’s climax, Robin is tied up and gagged with duct tape. I remember rewinding those seconds of him squirming and that muffled “mmm mmmm” sound he made and not understanding why it affected me the way it did.

The young protagonist of Dunston Checks In (1996) gets tied up and gagged in a bathtub. The villain (Rupert Everett) pulls open a strip of Duct tape and puts it over the boy’s mouth. The kid squirmed and mmm mmmmm‘d too — weird, indescribable turn-on.

I did not understand what I was feeling, but I knew I was responding to these scenes differently than I was supposed to. Later, I wanted my friends to wrestle me on the playground and clamp their hands over my mouth. Once, at a pool party, I convinced the other kids to tie my hands behind my back with balloon ribbon.

My earliest trigger was Captain John Smith in Disney’s 1995 Pocahontas. Smith gets captured and tied to a pole in Pocahontas’ village. After that, I don’t know how many stuffed animals I tied up — with tape, with my mother’s bathrobe tie — until, I later learned, my parents asked a child psychiatrist if this was normal. Adopted kids are prone to erratic behaviors and I did some of the classic ones, and I think that’s what the psychiatrist told them: “He’s adopted. It’ll pass.”

It didn’t pass. My kinks have always been with me, just as it seems they were always with you. They’ve existed in us since before we had the language to define them. You might have a difficult, maybe even embarrassing time introducing your gag fetish to your hookups because it comes from a deep, intimate, vulnerable place — it comes from childhood. So many embarrassments, shames, desires, and erotic triggers happen in childhood that later become our kinks. You probably feel a little childish embarrassment over wanting to be gagged because it comes from such a personal place. It can be frightening to reveal such a deeply personal thing to someone, especially someone who might reject you for it — or worse, someone who may laugh at it.

There is no easy way to tell guys about your fetish. You just have to do it, and you should probably do it before you’ve met in person. Selecting who to tell — who to look for – will partly depend on where you’re looking. Recon is a gay app for men into kinks and fetishes, so a Recon guy is less likely to judge. There are various gay kink websites and chatrooms but Recon is, to my knowledge, the most popular one. With Grindr and Scruff, you should grow accustomed to presenting exactly what you are looking for ASAP and blocking or ignoring the ones who aren’t interested. Learn to present your wants without apology. Rejection can sting, but every time it stings a little less until you grow numb to it.

If you’re talking to guys about bondage, they’ll probably be fine with gagging, since bondage and gags go together. If you’re looking to just use gags without the additional accouterments of bondage (cuffs, rope, etc.), that simply requires communication. That communication will be awkward until you get better at it. Like all sex things, you just need practice.

No one is an effective kink communicator in the beginning, and talking about kinks and fetishes often is embarrassing and a little silly in our first years exploring this kind of sex. That improves with time.

There are countless different gags out there: ball gags, bits, butterfly gags, head harnesses, inflatable gags, muzzles, ring gags, and so on. Most gags perform one of three options: filling the mouth, sealing the mouth shut, or keeping the mouth open (for people who like watching their subs drool, and who may want to stick things in an open mouth, like a penis).

I don’t like open-mouth gags. I like things clamped over my mouth and sometimes stuffed in my mouth, so I love head harnesses, muzzles, and inflatable gags. Ball gags do very little for me because they do not, in most cases, keep people from being able to talk — they just look hot. But more than all these, I love good, classic duct tape — or better yet, vet wrap (bandage wrap), which makes a great gag or blindfold without ripping out hair.

You may hope to strip the weird feelings and embarrassment out of introducing your fetishes to potential playmates, but embarrassment is part of the whole erotic package. Fetishes are born of fear and discomfort, phobias and paranoia. Some experts have even suggested that fetishes are psychological responses to things we would otherwise be repulsed by. I don’t think that’s always true, but some embarrassment, some nervousness, some sense that you’re revealing something strange and exciting, is completely part of the thrill. Keep it.

Love, Beastly 


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