09 October, 2012

A Weak Fantasy

While we have a few pairs of cuffs and a couple of collars, we’ve never really gotten much into the idea of restraints during play. I wanted to try a few pieces out, but I wanted them all to be pretty high quality. I also like my stuff to all match in color and design. For those reasons, I decided to purchase the Sportsheets Fantasy Restraint Kit. The kit is available in black, red, and purple from this sex shop I trust. I had a tough time deciding color and finally settled on the purple kit.
The kit arrived packaged in a plastic box. The front and back of the box have paper inserts displaying models using the kit. The back also lists a bit of information. The kit contains: 1 leather blindfold, 2 pairs of sports cuffs, and 2 adjustable tethers. Information is not provided on where the kit is manufactured. The package is good for storage since it keeps everything in one place. The paper inserts can be removed if desired. If you don’t wish to keep the packaging, all of it can be recycled.
From here, I’m going to break down my review to each piece of the kit. Each piece is different in material and construction.
Leather Blindfold
The blindfold is stated as being made out of leather. This is not entirely the case. The outside material is soft, smooth black leather. Inside it is made of a soft black material, almost like fleece. All of the stitching is done in black thread. The mask has a cut out between the eyes so that your nose is not covered. In the back it fastens with a Velcro strip. Attached to the top strap, which has the fuzzy side of the Velcro, is a small Sportsheets logo.
Between the fleecy side and the leather side of the blindfold is a thin layer of black foam. The stitching is not done right at the edge so you can actually see all three layers of material.
The mask measures 24 inches long from one end to the other. Eight inches of that is the facial portion of the blindfold. The rest of the length comes from the straps, which are each 8 inches long. Both Velcro strips measure 3 inches long. The mask can be adjusted from as little as 18 inches around to as big as 22 inches around while still having a good grip between the two strips of Velcro.
During wear, the mask feels pretty comfortable. The foam padding and fleecy soft material feel good against skin. None of the material feels rough against skin. I did notice I had to move it around a bit to get it to sit on the bridge of my nose comfortably. I was able to see a bit of light at the bottom of the mask, but not enough to actually see anything.
My head measures 21 inches around where the top of the blindfold sits. I actually have a pretty small head. Most hats tend to be a bit too big for me. Men’s size small/medium hats fit me much better than one size fits most. My fiancé, who was the intended wearer of this kit, has a larger head. His measures 24 inches around where the blindfold would sit. Unfortunately, this means he cannot wear the blindfold at all.
I’m not a fan of the blindfold’s stitching. There are a lot of threads hanging off of it. The edge of the material is a bit frayed in some areas, too.
In the packaging, the two tethers arrive zip-tied together. This is easy to cut and separate them.
The tethers are pretty much like a leash you’d buy for your dog. They are made out of black woven nylon. Each tether is adjustable through a black plastic clip. I noticed that if you adjust the length of the tether, pulling on the one end will just slide it back out all the way. This may make it less useful for tethering someone, since they can just pull on one end gently and increase the length of the tether.
Each end of the tether has a metal ring with a metal clip on it. The ring is the kind you’d put your keys on, rather than a solid metal ring. If desired, the metal clip can be removed. The clip is easy to work and is the kind you typically find on a dog leash. They are small enough to clip to each other or to D-rings. I do not currently have a collar that features a D-ring, but the clips do fit on the tiny D-ring attached to my cat’s collar.
The tethers can be adjusted from a length of 4 ½ inches long to 43 inches long, not including the hardware. The metal clip and ring measure 3 inches long.
As with the blindfold, I’m not a fan of the stitching on these. There are some loose threads hanging off of them. The ends of the nylon are frayed as well.
Sport Cuffs
The final piece of this kit is the set of sport cuffs. You receive two sets of sport cuffs in the packaging. Both can be adjusted to fit ankles and wrists. In the packaging, each set of cuffs comes clipped together through the hardware. All of the cuffs have a metal ring attached to them. One cuff from each set has a clip on the metal ring. The ring and clip are the same hardware used on the tethers.
The cuffs are made out of neoprene. This material is used in athletic clothing and in things like beer can holders. The neoprene in my set is purple on the outside and black on the inside. These aren’t lined with any material; it’s just the black side of the neoprene. Wrapped around the entire cuff are the two strips of Velcro, which is black. The top strip, which is the sticky side, is stitched onto a strip of nylon. The fuzzy side is stitched onto the neoprene. A small Sportsheets tag is attached to the nylon on each cuff.
Each cuff measures 15 inches total in length. The neoprene itself measures 11 inches long and 2 inches tall. They can be adjusted from about 5 inches around to 13 ½ inches around without losing the grip of the Velcro.
My wrists measure 6 inches around and my ankles measure 8 ½ inches around. I am able to comfortably fasten the cuffs to my ankles and wrists. During wear, the neoprene feels very soft against my skin. It does not cut into my skin at all. The Velcro is far enough away from the edges of the neoprene to not touch my skin. Pulling at the rings attached to the cuffs does not give me any pain, just the feeling of the material being tugged on. My fiancé’s wrists measure 7 ½ inches around and his ankles measure 8 ¾ inches around.
While the neoprene is soft and comfortable against skin, it will cause you to sweat. I have a waist-trimming belt I use sometimes when working out. It’s supposed to be wrapped tightly against skin so that it causes you to sweat out excess water. Sweating underneath neoprene feels really gross. Even when the cuffs are loosely fastened on, your skin is going to feel warmer and you may sweat. Thankfully, the material is easy to wipe clean and air dry. You may notice little bits of neoprene stuck to your skin after wear if you sweated during use. These easily wash off.
I’d also like to note that the neoprene has an odor to it. It’s kind of light and a bit chemical-like. Airing out the cuffs and spraying them with Febreze will help lessen the odor.
Like the other pieces in this kit the cuffs have some loose threads hanging off of them and a bit of fraying to the nylon.
Each piece in the kit can be wiped clean with a soft, damp cloth. The cuffs and tethers can be submerged in water if necessary, but the blindfold should not be. Submerging leather in water can wreck it. After cleaning the blindfold, you’ll need to wipe it dry with a soft cloth. You may need to condition the leather to keep it supple and free of cracks.
I suggest keeping the kit in the original packaging. Leather needs to be stored just right or it won’t last as long as you’d like. It should be stored in a dark, dry place.
I’m unsure what metal is used to make the hardware. It’s shiny and sturdy. I would make sure that it gets wiped dry after cleaning in case it tarnishes. If it happens to tarnish, it should be easy to remove and replace with new hardware.
Despite the fact that the kit relies on Velcro to hold the blindfold and cuffs on, it’s pretty sturdy. Struggling against the cuffs does not release you. The mask stays fastened on pretty well. It’s a good beginner’s set since it’s so comfortable and easy to use. It’s not intimidating looking so it would be good to introduce a partner to bondage.
I wish the kit included a collar. Most of the photos of the model display the male model wearing a collar with the tethers attached to it. Including one would have made the kit a bit more useful to me. I will be purchasing a collar for my fiancé at some point to use with the kit. As it is, I can only tether him through the cuffs, which limits me to ankle and wrist restraint. I don’t personally have one, but the cuffs and tethers may work well with an under the bed restraint system, depending on what you want to do.
I’m not a fan of the construction of the set. The materials themselves are fine, but how they are placed together is pretty poor. For the price, I was expecting really high quality construction.
Due to the high price and the okay quality of the set, I give it 3 out of 5 stars.



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