The Ring Gag

copyright 2005 by Pat Powers

It's no surprise that the ring gag hasn't showed up in damsel-in-distress scenes on TV or in mainstream movies. The ring is basically a sex toy -- and it looks like one. They're useless for rendering a captive silent, and what's more, they're for the most part useless for the very thing they're apparently designed for -- to facilitate oral sex with the mouth forced open by the gag.

Don't take my word on this -- ask a bondage model who's actually worn them.

""O ring gags are just too small to accommodate a normal-sized cock," says Lorelei, bondage model, filmmaker and all round fun person on her site's bondage discussion board.. "Maybe if you had a three-inch cock they might work, but the inner diameter of most rings is just too small. And large rings distend the jaw too much. Maybe if you found a 6-foot 9-inch woman with a Julia Roberts mouth, it might work ..."

We at Al, and we daresay, most of our readers and members -- feel that having your cock shrunk down to less than a third of its normal size is too great a price to pay to make ring gags work.

Others who have actually used O-ring gags in their play report that when bare metal rings are used, there's a danger of chipped teeth during horseplay or if, say, the O-ring wearer sneezes.

O-rings which are plastic or lined with leather are much safer in that respect, but the inner diameter is even smaller, hence even less useful for oral sex.

So, what good are O-ring gags? Once again, ask an expert, in this case, gorgeous bondage model Darla Crane, who's also known to drop in at Lorelei's discussion board now and again.

"I personally love ring gags! Being bound and having my mouth held open like that gives me a verrrrrry sexy feeling of vulnerability," Crane says.

Crane pretty much hits the nail on the head here -- it's how O-ring gags make the wearer and her partner feel that makes O-ring gags so popular with bondage fans. And it's how O-ring gags make women look that makes them so popular in commercial bondage imagery.

Vulnerable. The mouth forced wide open and held that way. There's nothing quite like the sight of a sexy woman bound and wearing an O-ring gag, staring helplessly at her captor. Maybe drooling a little. Or a lot.

Of course, the same factors that make O-ring gags so sexy in the bedroom and in commercial bondage imagery also make them extremely powerful dramatic tools for mainstream movies or TV shows.

I should say, a potentially powerful tool because no one in mainstream has ever used one. I'm not sure exactly why not. Certainly, the same cultural osmosis that has brought ball gags into the mainstream -- very slowly, to be sure -- should operate to bring O-ring gags in. In fact, more so. Because I'm sure the appeal of ball gags for mainstream filmmakers is their visual drama. Ball gags really pry a woman's mouth open and occupy it, much more so than cleave gags or tape gags.

And the dramatic potential of O-ring gags is even greater, so great that it's hard to understand why they haven't been used. A woman in the clutches of an evil captor with her mouth pried open by a ring gag. She is helpless, and the ring gag clearly implies that the captor plans to put something in her mouth. What might it be?

Probably his cock. But it COULD be something else. Maybe food. Maybe foods like they eat on Fear Factor -- live worms, bull testicles, etc. Whatever it is, it's NOT likely to be something the damsel would want in her mouth.

( Here's a link to a bondage toy supplier that carries a LOT of gags, with pics of them in place on a cute female model. Go to the "bondage toys" department, then to "gags" and you'll find pictures of ring gags starting on page 6.)

But suppose the villain DOES want to do something villainous with that open mouth. How about this? He not only secures the damsel in a ring gag, he secures her head so that she can barely move it. Then he s-l-o-w-l-y lowers a live venomous snake or insect into the damsel's open mouth, taunting her as he does so that if she just remains calm and does not scream, there's a 50-50 chance the snake or whatever will crawl out of her mouth, rather than down her throat. The camera goes in for a close up at her desperately staring eyes as the snake writhes in her mouth. She's helpless to close her mouth or spit it out, and the ring gag also inhibits swallowing (because her mouth is held open) so she can't close her throat either. All she can do is try to remain still while it crawls around inside her mouth. Nasty. And it's a well-known metaphor for oral sex as well. Covers ALL the bases! (Needless to say, don't try this at home, period.)

Actually, what the captor does or does not put in the damsel's open mouth is almost beside the point. The power of the visual image of a damsel so helpless, so exposed and so vulnerable is sufficient to ramp up the drama all by itself. This is why I find the lack of damsel in distress scenes in mainstream that use ring gags puzzling. They're so visually dramatic and so new to mainstream audiences -- how can they not be used?

Well, I just don't know. But considering the VERY slow speed with which the also-visually-dramatic ball gags have made inroads into mainstream films -- there are still only about a dozen ballgag scenes out there -- I'm not holding my breath waiting for ring gags to supplant tape gags as the mainstream evil captor's gag of choice.

Still, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see a ring gag make its first appearance in the mainstream in the next year or two.

(Editor's note: Over the last three years, no O-ring gags have made any appearances on TV or in mainstream movies.)