1. Sex Toys I Never Thought I'd Try: Spreader Bar

    spreader-bar-first-time

    I have long known what spreader bars are used for, but I have to admit I've always felt a little wary of them.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm partial to a bit of bondage, but there was just something about spreader bars that just felt a bit too intense.

    It was a sex toy that I never thought I'd try – but that all changed when the Bondage Boutique Expandable Spreader Bar and Cuffs Set showed up in the mail!



    spreader-bar-first-time

    What's in the box?

    When you open up the Bondage Boutique Expandable Spreader Bar and Cuffs Set, you get:

    1 x bar, which can be dissembled into three pieces for ease of transport and storage.

    2 x Velcro cuffs

    2 x adjusting pins, which feature oversized O-rings.

    There are no instructions, but putting this spreader bar together is very intuitive. The bar itself comes in three separate parts. The two bars with the O-rings on the end? Those slide over the top of the third bar, the one that's sporting multiple holes.

    You'll notice that you can either make the outer bars meet in the middle, so the bar is 25 inches in length, or you can extend the outer bars as wide as possible so that the total length of the bar is 36.5 inches.

    The two adjusting pins are responsible for holding the three bars together as one, and this is done by inserting the adjusting pins through the holes. When you go to insert the adjusting pins into the holes on the bar, you'll notice each adjusting pin has a little 'dome' protruding from it. Initially, I was like "Um, how am I supposed to insert this pin if this weird little bumpy bit is in the way?" Well, it turns out that if you push on this dome with your finger, it will yield.

    To get the adjusting pins to successfully glide back and forth through the holes when you assemble and disassemble your bar, insert the pin with gentle pressure or press down on the dome with your finger to encourage it through. If, like me, you're a visual learner, you may find it helpful to watch 'How to Use a Spreader Bar' over on Lovehoney's YouTube channel.


    trying-spreader-bar-first-time

    What I learnt...

    The first thing to note is that because the Bondage Boutique Expandable Spreader Bar is made of metal, using it is going to create a small degree of noise. This noise mainly comes from the adjusting pin O-rings jangling about, and the metal clasps that attach the Velcro cuffs to the bar. This noise didn't bother me - if anything it served to enhance the 'restraint' type fantasy I was living. However, if you think the noise is going to bother you, opt for a non-metal spreader bar instead.

    Because I was an absolute beginner, I started out by using the spreader bar at its shortest. I've been told by every yoga teacher I've ever had that my flexibility is terrible for someone my age, so I was not keen to accidentally over-do it! Let me say from the outset that the adjusting pins do not play around. They hold the bar together so securely that I instantly felt confident enough to strain and pull against it.

    The Velcro cuffs were super comfortable. Wide and velvety, they didn't cut into me or cause any unpleasant friction whatsoever. I soon discovered that even though I was a total newcomer to this kind of play, I could actually afford to expand the spreader bar to almost its widest setting. This is because no matter what length you set your spreader bar to, the metal clasps that secure the ankle cuffs allow you some extra wiggle room. You might like this aspect of this particular spreader bar or you might not. As a novice, I found it comforting that I wasn't locked into a completely rigid position.

    I thought what I would enjoy most about using a spreader bar was engaging in penetrative sex, but it turns out that what I liked about it the best was its ability to enhance oral sex. I love being on the receiving end of great head (who doesn't, right?) but because I'm quite a sensitive gal I sometimes get caught in a battle between wanting the oral to continue and instinctively pulling away from my partner. The spreader bar meant that I could enjoy sustained oral sex without my sensitivity shutting down the party.


    Final thoughts

    Bondage Boutique Expandable Spreader Bar and Cuffs Set was a surprising toy – surprising in a good way that is! Because I was a novice, I thought I would have to use the spreader bar on its shortest setting – but that wasn't the case.

    Before the spread bar arrived, I thought I would enjoy using it for penetrative sex the most – but it turns out I loved using it whilst receiving head.

    I felt safe and in control whilst experimenting with this spreader bar, so any trepidations I had prior to using it are gone! My advice to any reader who is thinking about getting into spreader bar play is to first to watch 'How to Use a Spreader Bar' and then take a look at the Spreader Bar category on the Lovehoney website.


    Audrey Andrews is a student blogger for Lovehoney. In her spare time she loves to do craft, but would not advise knitting your own condoms.

    Download UNISEX Student Lovehoney E-Book


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