Kink in exile

Notes from a kinky nomad

Question

I’m reading some of the blogs linked off Keyheld, “an aggregate for blogs in which male chastity and orgasm denial are the main focus.”  It seems like a lot of these male bloggers are married, many with families, most with otherwise uncomplicated-by-the-risque lives.  My question is, how does orgasm control get into such unexpected and otherwise normal-seeming unions?

I’m curious if these guys (and gals) filtered for “kinky” in partner selection and if not, how they managed to find a match in what I’d expect to be a niche field.

I tried to get more information by looking up volume sales of the CB-6000 just to see how popular of a kink this was and how CB-6000 sales compare to other types of toys, but the internet did not give me the numbers I wanted.  I emailed the manufacture to see what they have to say…not that most people will answer the question “what were your volume sales for 2010?” but it’s worth a try.

So, can you, dear reader, shed light on the matter?

Written by kinkinexile

November 13, 2011 at 8:57 pm

24 Responses

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  1. I think that I can help out here.

    First off, the numbers: I’ve been trying to get sales numbers for years, but the manufacturers have been understandably reticent. I have some estimates that the major online retailers in the US are selling 80,000 to 120,000 units annually of the CB6000 style devices. AL Enterprises, makers of the CB2000, 3000, etc., are the largest selling products. At least one retailer reported a couple of years ago that the chastity devices were the next biggest sellers after dildos and other insertables. Make of that what you will.

    As to the why, you need to understand that “enforced” chastity is a fairly new kink; it wasn’t until AL Enterprises was able to mass produce the molded plastic devices that people could begin to think about it as a kink. Trust me, most home-made devices are clunky, unsightly, and unsuitable for long-term wear.

    The bloggers on Keyheld tend to be older and married/partnered, and not heavily into BDSM, but who are interested in keeping things just a little bit kinky at home. Keep in mind that most of us have kids, careers, busy family and social lives, etc. Nobody started off with a chastity kink; rather, it’s that wearing a device is a way to have a *little* bit of kinkiness all the time. If you’re into bondage (for example) you might only get a chance to scene once a month. Wearing a device means that you can “scene” all day, every day for a week, or even a month.

    I like to refer to chastity as “bondage lite” because for men, the added weight, and feeling the confines of your device when you get aroused are a constant reminder of your play, and it becomes a feedback loop: The more aroused (and unsatisfied) you are, the more aroused you tend to stay.

    It’s a harmless kink that even vanilla-ish partners can enjoy.

    Tom Allen

    November 14, 2011 at 11:11 am

    • Tom, thank you so much for your reply.

      As to numbers I got this reply from the CB-6000 customer support staff:
      “Thank you for your inquiry. Our volume sales is private information that we
      cannot disclose. However, I can tell you that it is a sizable amount and we
      sell thousands of devices each year.”

      You mention that “The bloggers on Keyheld tend to be older and married/partnered, and not heavily into BDSM” I guess my confusion stems specifically from that fact that chastity play, for me, is extreme and very very edgy. This may come as a surprise to the man who not too long ago expressed some trepidation in playing with me sighting “the last time I saw you you beat the shit out of me with a metal pipe” as his biggest worry, but I am very interested in digging a little deeper into what seems to be two very different fields of view.

      I can definitely see the appeal of bringing a little kink into every day life and how it melds particularly well with the kids-at-home/mid career life stage. The biggest draw for me is infusing a little bit of D/s dynamic into my work-heavy, travel-heavy, social justice/egalitarian ethos-heavy world.

      Thanks again for your great feedback!

      kinkinexile

      November 16, 2011 at 8:11 pm

      • It’s possible that when you’re older and married (or otherwise long-term partnered), denial isn’t as much of an issue when it’s replaced by the intimacy. A lot of the people writing on chastity related web boards (and I’m putting in a plug for http://www.chastityforums.com as being particularly vanilla oriented) write about how exploring this kink has led to greater or enhanced intimacy; perhaps it’s just an aftereffect of people being able to talk about their more private thoughts, or perhaps it takes a while for people to become more comfortable doing something less “vanilla.”

        Tom Allen

        November 17, 2011 at 6:56 am

  2. […] I’m skimming my blogroll, and I see an interesting post over on Kink in Exile in which she asks: I’m reading some of the blogs linked off Keyheld, “an aggregate for blogs in […]

  3. I couldn’t agree with Tom more. After a couple of decades of married life the “buzz” was fading. Once the kids were out of the house it allowed for a little experimentation and, I think, in our case, an opportunity to take a really good look at where our lives were heading.

    In the beginning, my wife wasn’t too enamored with the idea as she saw it as “unmanly” but she did like the extra attention I gave her. In the beginning we started without a chastity device, more of an honor system, but made the decision to include a device in our play.

    Since my wife really likes penetration she really enjoyed my “delight” in being set free as I was much harder after a period of denial.

    This has also opened the door for us to discuss some of our other fantasies and desires and made for a much stronger sex-life.

    Ww

    November 16, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    • Ww, thank you for your comment! I’m curious when you were first starting to experiment did chastity play feel like a safer exploration than other fetishes or were you simply more drawn to it?

      I love that you mention chastity play being a springboard for discussions about “other fantasies and desires” That brings up for me the idea that some kinks may be more communicative or communication centric than others so they can be more easily used to build intimacy and open discussions (and might not be well suited to people who aren’t as comfortable talking about their experience with their partner).

      kinkinexile

      November 16, 2011 at 8:02 pm

      • Sorry it took so long. Been out of town. Not so certain it was safer, but maybe didn’t seem so “far out” on the curve and it was something that appealed to me. She is pretty conservative and after the kids left things just kind of settled into a routine without a lot of spark.

        Not certain what really prompted the conversation, maybe an article in a woman’s mag about sex, but over lunch she asked where I saw things going and that began the discussion.

        We stayed there for a while, occasionally chatting and me suggesting different things I thought might be fun and this one generated some questions, mostly about my “manliness” and would she be stripping that away from me. After a few more questions we started with simple orgasm denial as a game with a few rewards thrown in for “good behavior” and things morphed from there.

        She was right as I do become more submissive the longer I’m locked up, but she has begun to understand that it is to her advantage in many ways. I don’t think either of us would say we have a female-led household, nor do we really want to go there but it has led to some conversation about rope bondage and opened the possibility of some types of “control” play that both of us are interested in.

        Ww

        November 20, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    • The “unmanly” thing bothers me. I see it on discussion boards, but I have no idea where it comes from. Mrs. Edge tends to see it as controlling something that is *very* manly, which gives her a little thrill.

      Tom Allen

      November 17, 2011 at 6:58 am

      • That’s where we are now, but my wife has held on tightly to some fairly traditional ideas about a man’s role as initiator ~~ some has been good and other not so good.

        Ww

        November 20, 2011 at 2:39 pm

  4. @ Tom Allen,

    I have never been interested in orgasm denial before, but your post made me want to go out and buy one for my husband right away. 😉

    Firefightrix

    November 16, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    • Please don’t give him my address 🙂

      Tom Allen

      November 17, 2011 at 6:59 am

  5. Oh gosh, do I have thoughts on this. So many thoughts. But I’m also flat-out exhausted right now and can’t muster the energy to write them all down.

    However, I will say that I think Tom is partly correct and partly missing something very obviously key when he says that:

    when you’re older and married (or otherwise long-term partnered), denial isn’t as much of an issue when it’s replaced by the intimacy.

    I call bullshit on the intimacy front, but I do acknowledge an observable (and probably very direct) correlation between the “older and married (or otherwise long-term partnered)” set of people and the prevalence of so-called “enforced” (or otherwise “long-term”) chastity play. In my mind, this is not surprising at all: orgasm control over long periods of time necessarily has a very big impact on one’s daily routine, in ways that are sometimes subtle and sometimes obvious.

    Such play is not as easily negotiated for people who have multiple sexual relationships than those who have only one; a chastity fetish fits into a lifestyle of monogamy far more simply, given today’s cultural frames, than one of chastity and (ethical) non-monogamy.

    Hopefully that made some semblance of sense. Gosh, I gotta sleep.

    Also, I’m surprised no one’s mentioned Kink On Tap episode 7, in which Tom was asked this question directly and he provides a rather cogent answer.

    maymay

    November 18, 2011 at 3:40 am

    • I call bullshit on the intimacy front

      Umm, okay… Let me try to qualify this in a way that makes more sense. And obviously, my experiences apply to me, and may not be universal.

      This may be difficult for you to believe, but at 53, I simply don’t have the libido that I had when I was 23. However, I still have a strong drive for the sensual, so while I don’t crave an orgasm like I used to, I can feel somewhat satisfied with frequent naked cuddlings and other playtimes.

      I think that your observations on why long-term denial works for older partnered makes sense. I’ve heard from people in poly relationships who dabble in orgasm denial, but I never hear just exactly how they work out those details.

      Tom Allen

      November 21, 2011 at 2:35 pm

  6. […] I’m also excited that Tom Allen of Edge of Vanilla shared this article about the makers of the CB-6000, I’m not super excited about the article itself (it’s not very in depth as Tom points out), but I do like that there’s more info just when I’m asking questions about chastity.   […]

  7. She was right as I do become more submissive the longer I’m locked up…

    Oh, Ww, I call bullshit on this incredibly insulting rhetoric and this stupid idea that being locked up makes someone more submissive, too. Maybe you’re reading too much of Denying Thumper’s blog.

    maymay

    November 21, 2011 at 4:47 pm

  8. May, I take your point that “…we do ourselves and our readers a terrible disservice by perpetuating the idea that our fetish is the cause of our submissive desire rather than a manifestation of it.”

    I suspect that when people talk about becoming more submissive the longer they are locked up there are several things at play (and those of you who have done this longer than I’ve had words for it, feel free to call bullshit):

    1) I think there is something to be said for having someone to receive your submission. Yes, _you_ are submissive and that is a state of you, but having a mirror tends to legitimize experience. It’s why people look at each other in art galleries and go “well would you look at that, the Mona Lisa is actually smiling!” not because the other person didn’t see or for that matter read the same excerpt about the smile, but because sharing an experience legitimizes it. Having someone hold your key can reinforce that yes you are experiencing this and so is the other person. You are both looking at this picture, you can both see it alone, but you are humans so you’ll comment about it to each other.

    2) I suspect that having someone holding on to your key for maybe longer than you would necessarily prefer, while it doesn’t create more submission, makes you more aware of the submission you already have. Or at least I kind of hope it works that way, because one very appealing part of this whole exercise, aside from witnessing in-the-moment obedience which is far hotter than I would have ever imagined, is infusing the when-we’re-apart time with some of that scene energy.

    3) While this has been put forth as the “gateway kink” I still think that there is something exceptionally intense, and emotionally connecting happening when someone takes control of your body maybe for a prolonged period of time, maybe against your in the moment wishes. It doesn’t make you more submissive, it makes you more vulnerable. Vulnerability is a beautiful thing, and I think it’s present in submission as well. The problem with chastity = submission is that the math is off. Chastity may lead to vulnerability, submission may lead to vulnerability, chastity does not have to lead to submission; if P implies Q and Q implies R…

    Anyway, be kind to my readers, sharing your personal experiences with strangers can be hard as you know all too well. And before anyone gets any bright ideas, be kind to my pet, I like him a lot and I know your IP address 🙂

    kinkinexile

    November 21, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    • The problem with chastity = submission is that the math is off. Chastity may lead to vulnerability, submission may lead to vulnerability, chastity does not have to lead to submission; if P implies Q and Q implies R…

      That’s correct, Alisa. Thumper’s very silly idea that “Denial + arousal = submission” is the math that was off that I called bullshit on. I see rhetoric like Ww’s (rhetoric that is uncritical, ignorant, and often left unexamined) perpetuates this kind of math, and I find that actively dangerous because it feeds the notion of submissive expression as something that requires a mirror.

      There’s certainly something to be said for a sociosexual expression as requiring a mirror to be legible in social space, but that same idea is called “marginalizing” when applied to the broad swath of lived experiences submissive men like face every day. This marginalization is so embedded in common “femdom” tropes that I find it important to call out such rhetorical bullshit every time I see it, because it has hurt me throughout my life; and it’s still infuriatingly common.

      Furthermore, calling bullshit on the difference between “requires” and “highlights” is a simple, sensible, correct, and important thing to do. Anyone who cannot grok that obvious difference is, in my mind, ignorant (“uneducated”), stupid (intellectually incapable), or both. I don’t have patience for that kind of stupidity. And I’d note also that lack of patience is not the same as lack of kindness, either.

      As to your three points, I think you’re spot-on. I wouldn’t say all three are necessarily at play in all interactions, but all three are certainly common.

      Finally, I’d also highlight once again that the notion of chastity play, when approached from a gendered frame as it almost always is, is a re-imagining and eroticization of the virgin/whore dichotomy in much the same way as “forced feminization” is about sexism and “CFNM” is about female sexual objectification—specifically male orgasm denial is another privilege-reversal fetish that is strengthened if not mainstreamed by the assumption that, during hegemonically-defined sex, men are all but expected to orgasm and women are all but expected not to.

      I believe that’s part of why male orgasm denial is a “gateway kink” and also why I believe so many women-identified people dislike it at first. I mean, after all, it doesn’t take an empath to imagine that many women would viscerally dislike associations with such oppressive gendered bullshit and the fact that many people who identify as men play up that bullshit instead of calling it out is certainly not helping matters, far less helping them get laid the way they want.

      maymay

      November 21, 2011 at 8:13 pm

      • May, I read your comment several times trying to figure out where to respond…I agree that assuming that submission (or really any other gender or sexual identity; remind me to show you my essay on femme identity) requires a mirror is damaging in that it strips submissives of individual autonomy and the ability to find fulfillment without the other.

        I take issue, however, with “Anyone who cannot grok that obvious difference [between requiring and highlighting] is, in my mind, ignorant (“uneducated”), stupid (intellectually incapable), or both.” While lack of patience is not the same as lack of kindness putting someone in the wrong because of how that person self-reports their own experience is, well, precious close. Your points are too good and too important to be lost in hurt feelings.

        I don’t want to make excuses for a belief structure I don’t support (that of chastity leading to submission), and further – and this question is really aimed at Ww – I’m not sure I understand correctly that stripping of manliness is manifested in greater feelings of submission? In both of these cases I think there is underlying social pressure both to perform as men in the 1950’s Marlborough Man sense of the word and a strong tint of sexism as maymay points out.

        I think this comes back down to macro vs. micro. On the macro level orgasm denial does not make men better at housework, and the idea of chastity devices being a great way to punish or control wayward husbands blatantly denies women’s sexual desire and agency. At the same time, I have no difficulty imagining that there is a man out in the world who would perform better at mundane chores if his sexual pleasure depended on it AND feel better/more engaged doing so. (Ok, that’s a terrible example because a solid 50% of the bachelors I know only clean house when their sexual pleasure depends on it, i.e. they have a date).

        “specifically male orgasm denial is another privilege-reversal fetish that is strengthened if not mainstreamed by the assumption that, during hegemonically-defined sex, men are all but expected to orgasm and women are all but expected not to.”

        Yes, though in a “yes but…” kind of way. That makes sense but now help me to the place where men can enjoy this fetish without either belittling their female partners and sidestepping their wants, or further adding fuel to the fire of the virgin/whore dichotomy, and where women can embrace this for its own beauty while neatly sidestepping the assumption that we didn’t want any sex anyway so won’t mind locking our partners up and not having intercourse thank-you-very-much.

        Or to put it another way, we agree on the brokenness of the model you denounce, please help me understand the model you want to build.

        kinkinexile

        November 21, 2011 at 9:23 pm

  9. Or to put it another way, we agree on the brokenness of the model you denounce, please help me understand the model you want to build.

    For starters.

    maymay

    November 22, 2011 at 3:51 pm

  10. That, my dear, is lovely both in image and explanation. Particularly the second link.

    kinkinexile

    November 22, 2011 at 9:24 pm

  11. Didn’t think I would be back here and the temptation is to defend myself over a set of semantics. I apologize that through a poor choice of words I implied that chastity led to my submissive behavior when in fact, I harbored an entire set of submissive behaviors that chastity allowed my wife and I to explore. In addition, it has allowed her the freedom to do the same.

    Let it be said, however, I am not of the belief that one set of behaviors necessarily leads to the other, but, in a safe relationship one can explore and find satisfaction.

    Ww

    November 30, 2011 at 3:05 pm

  12. Ww, thank you for coming back with a clarification. I very much appreciate it.

    kinkinexile

    November 30, 2011 at 11:26 pm

  13. and where women can embrace this for its own beauty while neatly sidestepping the assumption that we didn’t want any sex anyway so won’t mind locking our partners up and not having intercourse thank-you-very-much

    One of my most popular posts on this very topic, written a few years ago, addresses this point (on the micro level, anyway). My wife – who does not self-identify as kinky, BTW – doesn’t enjoy this for the mis-matched libido (which IMO is a variation on the “Women dont’ need sex” trope). Rather, she likes the role-reversal of being in control over something inherently manly.

    Tom Allen

    December 10, 2011 at 5:55 am

  14. […] I’d mentioned in an earlier post, I am utterly surprised by how seemingly normal many of the people into T&D are.  Just goes to […]


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