Gags

Gag enthusiast Kitty Denied tests out a ball gag harness from Bitches Love Leather and discusses all of the details that make their unique spin on a classic design something any gag fetishist can appreciate.

A few years ago when I fell in love with the black and gold theme I slowly started replacing all my gear with matching sets that were all black leather with brass hardware. The only thing that was missing was a black and gold gag harness. I figured that should be easy enough to make so I started reaching out to various bondage stores that make custom items to see if I could commission one and was told over and over again that it was impossible. Seriously? I eventually gave up on the idea and figured I was just gonna have to hassle the Discerning Specialist to make me one to complete the super specific look I was after. I had to suffer through like 2 years of not having a matching gag harness to go over my hood, and I’m sure everyone feels really bad for me :p

About a year ago a company called Bitches Love Leather reached out to me and asked if I would try out one of their gags and do a review on it. I checked out their Etsy store and was immediately impressed by their craftsmanship just based on pics alone. All their designs look well thought out, and they pay attention to all the little details I tend to judge so harshly. All their gags lay nicely on the models and they definitely looked like a place I would shop. I was particularly intrigued that they use garment leather and curious how the softer leather would translate into real life play.

So, needless to say, I took advantage of this opportunity with one stipulation - I needed mine to have brass hardware. I fully expected them to say no because I didn’t see any pics with brass, but they replied yes without any hesitation! I was shocked! I gave them my preferred ball size/color, and shipping info. I was expecting them to write me back in a few days and say “sorry.. this hardware doesn’t exist.”... but then less than a week later I had the gag at my house! It was like Christmas!

STRAPS
There are lots of things that make this gag harness special, but I’ll start by talking about the straps. I fell in love the minute I got it out of the box because the straps are so soft and supple and it really sets it apart from other gag harnesses. It has a lovely broken in feeling, that just begs you to try it on.

I was a little worried at first because I suddenly remembered they didn’t confirm any sizing info with me, but they totally nailed the size! If you order one you’ll have the option to pick strap sizes and such.. For reference: Small/Medium (S/M): Fits crown sizes 21-24 inches, Medium/Large (M/L) Fits crown sizes 23-27 inches. I was impressed they nailed the size and seem to have their sizes fine tuned in general. Granted, the straps are adjustable so they are more forgiving than something like leather pants, but they could have messed it up and gave me something with a bunch of excess strap to deal with, and I would never stop complaining about it.

I noticed right away was that the straps have a tiny bit of stretch to them, but they aren’t flimsy and they don’t have as much stretch as I had anticipated knowing its made with garment leather. The teeny bit of stretch makes the straps lay nicely over the face and the softness of the leather eliminates any possible sore spots.

The straps are not as wide as my other gag harnesses, so it doesn’t have a super bossy bondage feel to it, but I personally love the slimmer straps. They give it a more refined and almost feminine quality that’s missing from a lot of bondage gear. That being said, if big bossy straps is your thing I’m fully confident that you can request wider straps and they would make it for you.

   

I really love their strap placement. There’s a lot of adjustability in all the right places. For example,the side straps can be worn behind the ears, or on front of the ears So you're not limited to just pig tails, or a ponytail. I always wear the straps behind the ears, but the fact that they can slide is also nice for wearing over a hood where my ears aren’t necessarily an anchor. No matter where the straps end up, they are secure and work perfectly to keep the ball stuffed in my mouth where it belongs.

The edges are folded and sewn down on both sides which adds to the strength but still allows you to enjoy the soft flexibility of the garment leather. The spot where the edges meet in the middle on the underside is held in place with glue which keep them laying flat, and I’m impressed at how neat and clean they are with the glue. At this point in my evaluation I’m literally looking for any possible bit of glue or a thread so I can find SOMETHING to complain about but I was defeated.

I thought for sure that after some good use the glue would wear off and the little edges in the underside would curl up, I’ve played with the gag for like 10 months now and they’re still glued down as well as they were on day 1. Worst case scenario, if the glue DID wear off, everything is measured so perfectly and that the edges could never fold in a way that could be seen from the outside while using it. It’s just another one of those little details that how much thought has been put into the design..

The garment leather makes the gag really comfy to wear in general and I think this is a fantastic idea. I can make it super tight and there are no sore spots or pinch points. For me personally, the length of time I can wear the gag is only limited by the size of the ball. I was a greedy slut and chose a 2” ball, so I can wear it for like 30 minutes and then I start looking at the clock, but that’s only because of the ball size. I’m confident in saying that this gag harness is comfortable for any length of time you desire you’ll never have any sore spots from the leather.

Most of these gag harness styles don’t seem to address the obstruction of view. I love that the nose straps are tapered a bit at the point where they touch each other on the O-ring so the straps lay nicely across the bridge of the nose and the cheeks at a perfect angle that doesn’t obstruct my view or hide the sad faces I that Sir loves so much.

The center strap that’s joined to the O-ring on the forehead and extends over the crown of the head is a little wider than the other straps and that’s perfect for giving some more support to the D ring at the top of the head and makes a good connection point for more bondage.

Right out of the box I was thinking to myself that chin strap could be a little longer, but after playing with it for a few months I’m super happy with how exact the sizing is. It fits perfectly, and to be honest, if it was any longer I would probably just complain about the slack.

I can tell that even the stitching has had a lot of thought put into it. The type of thread they use is appropriate for the thickness for the leather, and the length/spacing of the stitches is perfect to give a little bit of support to the leather and keep the folded edges secure.. The stitches are even and consistent and they make the strap feel sturdy and balanced. I even went through to feel where the little burned edges of the thread are and they’re all on the outside. I have nothing I can complain about.

Another customizable option is stitching color.. You can have red, black, white, purple, pink or blue stitching which is really nice if you’re looking for something specific. I’m really pretty impressed with all the options they give for customization!

The strap that goes through the ball is a nice width, and there's no pain at the corners of my mouth which is something that always bothers me with another gag harness I have. The softer leather seems to be nicer to the corners of my mouth, and I notice that the height of that strap makes a difference too.

The straps met all my expectations, and they are just as awesome as I imagined they would be. I can tell BLL has been testing this design for awhile, and the end result is a soft and comfortable gag harness that lays beautifully, but still has the strength you would expect from any piece of bondage gear.

HARDWARE
Maybe it’s my metal fetish or my gear fetish or just me being a picky cunt, but I think hardware is a big deal. I’m really specific about the hardware I like. Obviously, I like brass hardware, but I have specific opinions about locking buckles and how things lay- hence my choice of buckles on collars and cuffs.. I’m very pleased with all the hardware decisions BLL made with my gag. The general quality of the hardware is great! It's the same quality hardware I would expect on one of my super expensive purses. (ie: They haven’t changed color or chipped)

The buckles are roller buckles so it's easy to slide the straps through and pull them sexy tight. The tips of the straps are finished with a small rivet at the end that holds the folded edges together, but also serves to make it easier to thread the softer leather through the buckle. The rivet gives it a finished look, and it's another little detail that's not lost on me.

Since the leather is soft they use eyelets instead of just a hole on the strap. The eyelet placement is perfect and it gives lots of sizing options. This is nice for layering over hoods or blindfolds.

   

I did finally find one thing to kinda complain about.. I had a stray hair or 2 manage to get in between the eyelet and the leather, but I don’t have any real solution to that. I’m really grasping at straws here to find something negative to say at all. So here it is- one time some hair got pulled out.

Their design includes a total of 4 O-rings, one on each cheek, one between the eyes and one at the crown of the head. They all work together to make the fit nice and flexible, without any pinching where the straps meet.

The D-ring placement is nice because they work as strap keepers as well as connection points for whatever bondage you have in mind. The D-rings are attached in a way that gives them some stiffness in how they are positioned. They stay in whatever position you put them in, and I think that’s pretty useful considering the leather is so soft and supple. I like that if the D-ring is not being used for a connection point I can thread the strap through it and fold it down and it will hold the excess strap in place and keep everything neat and low profile. Whatever position you put the D-ring in, it stays. This is especially nice on the chin strap.

The D-ring on the top is reinforced and sturdy enough for predicament bondage. The D-ring doesn't flop around, and the leather strap is wider than the rest of the straps and strong enough for rigorous play. I had wondered if once the leather gets all warm from me wearing it if the D rings would loosen up and get floppy, and they never have. They are as stable as they were since I got them.

BALL
BLL offers 4 ball sizes to choose which give you a lot of options depending on your goals for play, and what you can tolerate.

Small (1.50" / 38mm diameter) I think this size would be good for people with known jaw issues and preference for a really small ball. I suppose there’s a scenario where a beginner that’s super freaked out by gags might appreciate a small ball like this, but if that’s the case, I wouldn’t recommend starting with a big ol’ gag harness in general.

Medium (1.75" / 44mm diameter) This is a pretty standard size and I think most people will find this to be perfect. The fact that these balls are a little softer than most means that even someone that gets a sore jaw pretty easily, or someone that’s a beginner will tolerate this ball easily. Half the fun of a ball gag is having one that actually gags you and fills your mouth so you def don’t want to go too small.

Large (2.00" / 51mm diameter) This size is perfect for experienced people that are specifically looking for something a little more challenging than what you may already have in the closet. My ball is the 2” and it’s perfect for me and my play style, but I would not recommend this size to everyone. I wanted a ball that gave my mouth a more full feeling, and this size is perfect for that. I also knew that this wouldn’t be the gag we choose for super long term sessions so I was a little more bold and went with the larger ball. I don’t regret this decision at all. That being said, it limits the length of time I can wear it. About 30 mins is as much as I need with this one. The larger ball doesn't seem to increase the amount of drool like I thought it would, but it definitely makes talking impossible. I love it!

   

X-Large (2.25" / 57mm diameter) This size would be good for big boys, masochists, and cam girls that want more views from the gag fetishists. I haven’t tried one this big, but assuming I could even cram one in my mouth I’d probably only be able to wear it long enough to get some pics.

When I got my gag out of the box and looked at it closely I noticed right away there were some teeny imperfections on the ball. There are some teeny air bubbles. They were super small- the largest one is maybe the size of a pinhead. It also has a slightly more matte finish to it than the other gags I have. I thought that was odd because all the balls I have all have that super shiny machine- made finish. I did note right away that there were no tears in the ball where the strap goes through.

I was super happy because every goddamn ball gag I have has some sort of splitting, chipping or tearing where the strap is inserted (except the really hard rubber balls). It’s usually something you can see right away when it's new, and if the ball is on the softer side you can see it get worse over time. Seriously.. Go check your collection and I guarantee the ball is split at the seam. While this is annoying, it never gets bad enough to actually split the ball or for me to declare it to be a problem and retire a particular gag in my collection. I just find it irritating that split corners seem to be the industry standard, and nobody has ever said “Hey.. What’s up with this?” or addressed it. It feels as if the ball is an afterthought for a lot of designers. Even the expected firmness of the ball can be a bit of a surprise at times.

After my initial inspection of the BLL ball I didn't think about it much until after I had it for many months and had played with it as hard as I was ever going to play with it. I was giving it a final look before writing this review and that’s when it really struck me that this ball is different than any ball in my collection. I was fully expecting there to be some tears in the corners, but there's nothing! It looks brand new! There wasn’t even a teeny chip. I couldn’t quite figure out why this one didn’t have any splits so I got out all my gags with balls and looked at them, and I finally figured it out… the BLL ball has no visible seams! All the balls on my other gags have seams, and this is invariably the reason why splitting occurs. If you look super hard at the BLL ball you can kinda maybe see a teeny indent where there’s a seam somewhere deep under there, but there’s definitely no line in the ball at all.

I was mesmerized, and I needed to know what kind of witchcraft they’ve been using on these balls to make the seam vanish, so I went to the Etsy listing to see what the story is it says, “The gags and their colorant are handmade from food-grade platinum silicone and are 100% non toxic.”

Mind. Blown. They’re HANDMADE? Do these guys seriously MAKE the balls, too? This started a little back and forth between me and Sir because I just never heard of anyone doing that and he seemed to think they still had to be machine made somehow. So I talked to BLL directly, and they confirmed that they hand make the balls too! It opened up this whole new concept to me that if you really care about what you’re making then you won’t use a shitty ball that splits, you’ll problem solve and make a better one yourself.

   

So the end result is a completely handmade silicone ball that’s odorless, tasteless, and 100% bodysafe. It has a teeny bit of squish to make it forgiving on the mouth, but it’s firm enough to always keep its shape. Most importantly, its super durable and won’t rip. Just the amount of pulling I did on the strap trying to make it tell me its secrets would have put big rips in my other balls let alone all the playing I’ve already done with it over the past few months. I’m not even bothered by the teeny little air bubbles. They don’t affect the feel in the mouth, and as far as I’m concerned they give it an artisanal feel that goes along perfectly with the rest of the craftsmanship and custom options. I don’t think most people would notice any imperfections at all. I’m really quite impressed with the ball.

Oh, and as if you didn't have enough customizable options, you can choose the color of the ball as well. It comes in red
black, white, pink, purple, and blue.

As for cleaning, just some regular soap and water is fine. Maybe since there are some air bubbles you might want to hit it with some alcohol if its a shared ball, but I have no evidence that germs can hide in there any easier than they would hide in the tears of a regular ball all the other chumps use. As with most silicone it can gather dust and fur (the hazards of having a fur fetish) but that’s easy to rinse off before the next use and I consider that a non issue..

WHAT’S IN A NAME?
Alright, so I HAVE to address it… The name company name. Bitches Love Leather.

I think “Bitch” is a word with a lot of range.. I can call a girlfriend a bitch and it’s just a friendly thing, but if some random dude calls me a bitch them’s fightin’ words. Even if my Dom called me a bitch I might pause be like, “seriously?” It’s just not a word that I use a lot for play and it can be a bit polarizing.

Since the word bitch is the first thing that greets you and it’s left up to the reader to interpret what this means, and the result could be anything from a term of endearment to a flat out insult. To me, its a word that suggests they have some familiarity with you and some authority to call you a bitch which is a little cringey.

  

Before I had a chance to actually chat with them and find out they are amazing people I found myself thinking… Wait.. Do they think I’m a bitch? Why would they call me a bitch? Do they think all women are bitches? Do they hate women? Sadly, I think the name makes you pause and focus on what their intent may be instead of jumping right in to shop for bondage gear.

After having spent a lot of time talking directly with BLL I can say for sure they have no hostility towards women and have the best customer service you could ask for along with the highest quality bespoke gear at more than reasonable prices . I just wish the name reflected that. I can see “Bitches Love Leather” being a tagline to a campaign or a line of gear, but not necessarily the name of the whole company. The good news is that the quality of their gear is makes the name become an afterthought.

To be fair, I don’t expect bondage gear companies to be perfect at all things, and I’d rather they fall a little short on brainstorming names than fall short on the design. You definitely won’t forget the name, and that’s probably the goal.

I don’t want to end on a bad note, so let me reiterate that other than a cringey name, and that one time some hair got stuck in an eyelet, this gag is amazing and I recommend it to everyone. Literally everyone. Usually, I’m able to say which people may or may not like an item, but I can say for sure that anyone looking for a gag harness will appreciate this fresh take on a classic design. The quality is outstanding, the prices are unbeatable, the customer service is amazing and customization options let you create something that’s one of a kind for you and your sub.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/BitchesLoveLeather

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