What is a Ball Gag For? The Purpose and Uses for Ball Gags

When you think about a ball gag, images of leather clad lovers yielding whips usually are the first thing that come to mind. But what is a ball gag for? A ball gag definitely has its place is sex play for some people and for others, not so much. However, if you’re curious about what ball gags are used for and why, you’ve wandered into the right blog.

I am going to explain everything I know about ball gags, which admittedly, wasn’t much until today. Therefore, I’ll expand on ball gag information by sharing some interesting tips, quips and discussions I dug up while researching this fascinating sexual kink. So, hang onto your thigh-high leather boots, this is going to be a fun discussion on ball gags.

What is a Ball Gag?

To start, the simplest question to answer is, “What is a ball gag?” A ball gag is a ball, usually made of rubber or silicone, that is attached to a scarf or strap. The ball is placed in the mouth, behind the teeth then secured behind the head either by tying or via a buckle of some type.

Do Ball Gags Make You Gag?

Indeed, the name would certainly lead you to believe that a ball gag would make you gag. However, in this case, the word gag means to quiet, stifle or stop speaking or talking. But there are cases in which a ball gag would make the wearer gag and wretch. For instance, I know people who cannot brush their teeth without triggering their gag reflex.

So, in that case, sure, a ball gag could cause you to gag. Consequently, if you have a touchy gag reflex and want to try a ball gag, there are different types you can try that are smaller, shaped differently or don’t have a ball at all. We will touch on that a bit more later. But ultimately, ball gags do not make you gag.

What is a Ball Gag Used For?

What is a ball gag for? Photo of KUKALE Silicone Open Mouth Gag Ball with Chinese Style Floral Jacquard Ribbon
KUKALE Silicone Open Mouth Gag Ball with Chinese Style Floral Jacquard Ribbon

During my research into ball gags, I couldn’t find a great deal of history on them, especially under sexual circumstances. But from what I did gather, ball gags started centuries ago as a means to keep a patient quiet and give them something to bite down on during surgical procedures.

Ball gags and other various types of gags have also been used for hundreds of years to humiliate and quiet someone held prisoner, tortured and beaten. Yikes.

Unfortunately, how they went from medical and torture devices to something used in sexual role playing is a mystery. But what we do know about what ball gags are used for is this: they are currently used to quiet a submissive partner during consensual sex. Sure, there is much more to it than that and we will get into the reasons in the next paragraphs.

But the key word here is consensual. So, let’s keep that word in the front of our brains as we dive further into the ball gag discussion.

Why Do People Use Ball Gags?

People today use ball gags as a part of sexual role playing, primarily during BDSM. They use them for various reasons which depend entirely on that person’s sexual desires.

According to Jessica Tucker, Professional Dominatrix and BDSM Writer at AlphaWolf ‘s Dungeon, ball gags serve several purposes in a BDSM relationship.

“People may wear gags for a variety of reasons. Some people derive erotic pleasure from a gag, either in a submissive or dominant role. When combined with other physical restraints, the wearing of a gag can increase the wearer’s sense of helplessness and anxiety level within a BDSM scene by rendering them unable to speak during sexual activity, which some people enjoy.”

She also points out that the wearing of a ball gag can be done as a means of punishment and control. In addition, some fetishists become sexually aroused by the sound of a partner being gagged and some enjoy the drooling that happens as the ball gag is worn for an extended period of time.

What is BDSM?

Let’s pump the brakes before we go any further and explain exactly what BDSM is.

BDSM is a combination of abbreviations; B/D stands for bondage and discipline, D/S stands for dominance and submission and S/M represents sadism and masochism. But you don’t have to be into all of those things to enjoy a BDSM lifestyle.

I can say with confidence that many people have dabbled in BDSM by using handcuffs, blindfolds and ball gags. Some people may love a smack on the bottom during passionate sex. However, that doesn’t mean that you are a hard-core lover of BDSM. Rather, it means you enjoy certain aspects of the lifestyle.

Ball Gags Aren’t Always About Sex

I can imagine your head is spinning right now, especially if this is your first time getting your toe wet in the world of dominant and submissive sex. But don’t jump to the conclusion that wearing a ball gag or wanting a partner to do so is 100% about a sexual kink.

Because it’s not.

Further, you might be surprised to learn that many people who practice some aspects of BDSM, don’t have sex or become aroused at all. Does that surprise you? It certainly surprised me when it was thrust into my face one night, many years ago.

During my many years selling sex toys directly to clients in a home party plan setting, I experienced some interesting things and I learned a great deal. One night, I was setting up for a young lady’s 21st birthday bash (hosted by her mother). And as I tidied my selection of dildos, vibrators and sexual potions, there was a knock at the door.

I heard a man’s voice and my hostess screaming at him about where he parked, why he came to the front door and that he needed to start over. She slammed the door and stormed through the house to the rear, where the kitchen was situated. I assumed it was an ex or some other man that had ticked her off.

I continued setting up my display until I was summoned to the kitchen. I rounded the corner and my chin hit the floor.

There sat a huge man, sharply dressed, tied to a kitchen chair and staring at his lap. My hostess took his chin between her forefinger and thumb, raised his face to hers and spat, “A lady has entered the room, you may speak to her.”

Just Call Me Mistress

I was addressed as “Mistress” from that moment on and it only grew more and more strange as the evening progressed. My hostess presented the gentleman to myself and the ladies whom had gathered for the party – he was dressed only in tiny, black bikini undies and a studded dog collar and crawled on all fours wherever he went.

The thing that still sticks with me today is the thump, thump, thump, thump sound his knees made against the wooden floor as he crawled from room to room.

His rear was target practice for a well-aimed fly swatter and he crawled around licking shoes, hanging onto ankles and even enjoying a snack from a dog bowl. At the end of the evening, the gentleman went about cleaning up the party, doing the dishes, dusting, mopping and removing the trash. He then wrote my hostess a check and left.

Unknown to me, my hostess was a part-time Dominatrix.

And, apparently, this towering hunk of a man was the CEO of a fortune 500 company and spent his days telling everyone what to do. He was the go-to decision maker for everything. And, in order to destress from his high-powered position, he let it all go – and I mean everything – including his power.

He derived satisfaction from being completely and totally submissive, helpless and overpowered.

And that’s when I got it.

I finally understood that the leather-clad, kinky people who liked being tied up, gagged and completely dominated didn’t always do it for sexual gratification, but to be able to release their domineering daily life or vice versa.

So, wearing a ball gag isn’t always a sexual thing. It’s a submissive act – a means to feel controlled or a way to control your partner. And, as long as it’s done in a safe, loving and consensual environment, wearing a ball gag can be satisfying in many ways.

Are Ball Gags a Perversion?

Thank you, Fifty Shades of Gray! If you have seen the movie or read the series of books, then you already know that ball gags are not a sexual perversion. On the other hand, to the vanilla sex crowd, the opposite could be said. But, here on this blog I don’t judge and feel that anything sexual a person does with a loving partner and in a consensual manner is a beautiful thing.

Yes, it may be considered a little kinky or even a fetish. However, ball gags and the use of ball gags between consenting adults is in no way a perversion.

Do I Have to be Into BDSM to Use a Ball Gag?

Absolutely not! Just because you try a ball gag, or even enjoy using one doesn’t mean a Dominatrix will show up at your front door, snap a whip at your feet, crown you a leather-daddy and ask for $150 in BDSM membership fees. It means you simply enjoy a little excitement and diversity when it comes to sex.

Why Do Submissive Partners Like Ball Gags?

Aside from personal preference, the feeling of being helpless and out of control, there is a neurological reason some submissive partners may like using ball gags. According to one scientific study, using a ball gag actual lowers the wearer’s empathic response to pain.

During the study, submissive BDSM females were shown a series of photographs depicting pain. While wearing a ball gag, the subjects showed a lower empathetic response to the most painful photos and a higher response when the gags were removed. The scientists concluded that this was due to the fact that the ball gag restricted facial movements.

Further, the actual ability to react to painful-looking photos relied greatly on the subject’s ability to move their face in response to each photo. Therefore, during BDSM play, especially play that involves painful stimuli, wearing a ball gag lessens actual pain and possibly increases sexual pleasure. So, this may be the reason some submissive individuals like wearing ball gags.

Are There Different Types of Ball Gags?

Has all of this ball gag talk gotten you a bit curious about the subject? If so, you may be craving a bit more detail on ball gags. So, rather than sending you into the abyss of the internet, I am going to try and answer more of those questions right here. And yes, there are different types of ball gags.

First, you can find ball gags with different sized balls. These size differences allow for comfort, less jaw cramping and help with those of you who may have a sensitive gag reflex. Second, some ball gags are designed with holes in the ball. This feature allows for easier breathing which, in turn, reduces drooling.

Finally, ball gags come in all sorts of designs. For instance, you can find them with leather straps with buckles or with soft, silky ties. There are also ball gags that are attached to more detailed bondage applications like collars and handcuffs. Therefore, if you’re curious about trying a ball gag, know that there are many types to choose from. You just need to shop around.

How to Use a Ball Gag

The first and most important thing to know when using a ball gag is to discuss it with your partner and gain their consent. Whether you are the one who wants to wear the ball gag or you want your partner to do so, discuss it, get that consent then explore a new sexual horizon.

Aside from that, using a ball gag is simple; just place the ball in your mouth, pull the strap around to the back of your head and close it by using the buckle or the tie. But keep in mind, you’ll want to have a safe word, or in this case, a motion that signals your partner and informs them you want to stop.


What kind of writer would I be if I didn’t try out the very thing I’m writing about? Here, I am sporting the lovely Ronghua Temperament Vintage Rose Necklace, which I thought – for a ball gag – was quite beautiful. It did have breathing holes in the silicone ball, which made it very easy to breathe. It was comfortable, didn’t hurt my jaw at all and no, you couldn’t understand a word I said – just ask my daughter whom was helping me try and take decent photographs. The one downfall I found was that I drooled like a St Bernard. Which you don’t even realize is happening until you feel it dripping down your face. Not my thing, by any means, but I can see the intrigue and purpose behind using a ball gag.

How Can I Use a Safe Word When Wearing a Ball Gag?

Safe words are so important when it comes to using a ball gag or enjoying any other type of BDSM play. Since submission and pain usually go hand-in-hand with this sort of sexual exploration, signals can easily get mixed and, “Stop!” may really mean stop. Therefore, it’s important to find a word that doesn’t exactly fit with what’s going on, like pumpernickel or Abercrombie.

Kangaroo will work.

Or, maybe a word that means something to the two of you like pickles or Armageddon.

But this whole safe word thing got me thinking…. If I am using a ball gag, I won’t be able to actually articulate words, then what do I do if I can’t breathe or my jaw is aching so bad, I may never eat again?

According to the folks with experience in BDSM and ball gags in particular, there are ways to signal your partner to cease and desist so you can take a break. The first suggestion is to hold a handkerchief or ribbon in your hand that you can wave or drop if you’re in distress. Also, you could use a dog’s squeaky toy to alert your partner that it’s time for a break.

And again, my brain wandered and I pondered how to do those things if gagged, bound and lying on my back. Thank goodness, I was able to find these suggestions:

  • Blink in a predetermined pattern.
  • Nod your head or shake it from side-to-side.
  • Hum a certain tune like, “Happy Birthday.”
  • Tap on the headboard or floor using fingers, hands, elbows or feet.

Finally, whomever is playing the dominant role in your sexual scenario does bare some of the responsibility. You must know your lover’s cues, their body movements and reactions. That way, you’ll be able to recognize if your partner is in distress and having a difficult time. Again, when using a ball gag, it’s all about consent, trust and feeling safe with your partner.

Do All Women Like Using Ball Gags?

First off, using a ball gag is neither a male or female preference. People of all genders and identities may or may not enjoy using ball gags. Most importantly, as discussed before, obtaining your partner’s consent to try a ball gag is paramount. Additionally, some people may enjoy using ball gags during certain sexual activities – for example anal sex – but not like using them for others.

Final Words – Well, Muffled Noises – on Ball Gags

Ball gags are used for sexual play to enhance a submissive role and keep the wearer from being able to talk. And contrary to the name, they aren’t created to trigger your gag reflex and cause you to wretch. That is, unless you are sensitive to gagging. Ball gags are a way to explore one aspect of BDSM with your partner and try something new.

And while ball gags may not be everyone’s cup of tea, they are an inexpensive and creative way to add a little spice to your otherwise typical sexual routine. Just remember, trying something new, especially if it falls into that kinky category doesn’t mean you’ve gone to the dark side and will suddenly have the urge to join a swinger’s club.

It simply means you are curious, adventurous and willing to try something new and exciting with your partner. So, shop for a ball gag, a set of tie downs or a simple blindfold and feather and see where it takes you and your partner.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *