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By Sunny Megatron
Sensory play, predicament bondage, impact scenes! There are so many sensations and play techniques to explore in BDSM. Too bad acquiring a gear collection versatile enough to try it all is so expensive. Even worse? Saving up your hard-earned cash to buy that pricey toy you’ve been eyeing only to discover it’s not that great after all.
Good news! You don’t need a closet full of expensive toys to get the most out of kink. Pervertibles are all around you and they’re the perfect alternative for budget-friendly BDSM. A pervertible (or pervertable) is a household or ordinary item repurposed (i.e. perverted) for kinky fun. Think of it as pervy-upcycling. Not only are pervertibles excellent for unleashing your creativity, using them supports eco-conscious sustainable consumption too.
In the BDSM community, it seems as if pervertibles are in every kinky toybox. Kinksters take pride in showing off their creations and swapping ideas too. I asked my followers to share how they DIY BDSM. Yes, THAT Tonya responded, “At least 50-60% of my toy bag is pervertibles… my favorite [store] aisle is the kitchen aisle! Spatulas, spoons, cutting boards…”
While hairbrushes and wooden spoons are common, pervertibles can be as limitless as the imagination. But before we get to the good stuff, let’s talk about the potentially not-so-good stuff.
Would you rather repurpose an unused charcuterie board that’s collecting dust in your pantry or shell out $65 for a wooden paddle made for BDSM? A no-cost kinkcuterie spanking scene seems like a no-brainer, however, buying kink-specific gear has advantages. The most important? Safety.
Specialized kink gear isn’t priced to only cover manufacturing and materials costs. What consumers pay also buys reassurance, durability, and the designer’s professional expertise. Manufactured products, including many artisan items from small businesses, are designed to withstand extreme use. They’ve also likely been tested extensively both during development and by buyers in their own BDSM scenes.
Charcuterie boards for serving meat, not smacking it. There is a chance that no matter how well you’ve scrutinized an impact pervertible it will break and injure you or a partner. This happens often as some of the kink enthusiasts I anonymously surveyed can attest.
One of the most popular BDSM consent and safety frameworks is RACK. This stands for Risk Aware Consensual Kink and is an alternative to SSC (Safe, Sane, and Consensual). In a nutshell, RACK acknowledges that nothing we do in BDSM is guaranteed 100% safe. Even if we’re as cautious as possible and do everything right, something can still go wrong. Many refer to riskier elements and edge play scenes as “RACK activities.”
The best rule of thumb is to approach pervertibles play as a RACK activity. This means doing your due diligence to be as safe as possible and sharing safety considerations and details about what you’re using with partners so they can make informed decisions about engaging. We all have different risk profiles so what may be too dangerous to one person might be perfectly fine to another.
Putting your pervertibles through pre-scene stress tests plus having basic kink & sex safety knowledge is a must. Contrary to what the memes tell us, not everything can be a dildo, even if you’re brave enough. Bone up on body-friendly materials and safer sex techniques. Even familiarity with the phrase “without a base, without a trace” can save you a trip to the ER.
It’s important to have some BDSM 101 know-how under your belt too. Sometimes what we assume is harmless isn’t. For instance, using a necktie, scarf, or looped leather belt for bondage can be deceivingly dangerous. So can using zip ties or any type of knot or device that gets tighter when pulled. Nerve compression, including handcuff neuropathy, can happen quickly and is sometimes permanent. Bondage-related nerve damage is also one of the most common injuries among experienced rope enthusiasts. As much as I love recommending repurposed items, for folks without bondage training or a solid grasp of nerve anatomy, I advise only using restraints designed for BDSM. Padded velcro release cuffs are often inexpensive and do the trick.
Lastly, always consider medical issues and allergies when using pervertibles. Sometimes we overlook potential contraindications in unfamiliar contexts. For instance, someone with a latex allergy may be accustomed to bringing it up when discussing condoms in kink negotiation. But making sure the squeaky dog toy they’re chewing on during a puppy scene doesn’t contain latex may slip their mind.
Regarding safety, this respondent summed it up well, “With any pervertable, there’s risk and reward. Always get consent, and understand the ramifications of every item you use.”
"Putting your pervertibles through pre-scene stress tests plus having basic kink & sex safety knowledge is a must."
Looking for more ideas? Check out:
Now that we’ve put safety first, it’s time to get creative! When looking for pervertibles you don’t have to go further than your own backyard. The kitchen is one of the best rooms in the house for secret kinky treasure. Cutting boards, spatulas, potato chip clips, edible items, and ice cubes are all ideal for kink scenes. Not only is repurposing existing items the most accessible option for those with financial barriers, it’s also very discrete.
“I love finding things that can be reused. Not only are they fun and inexpensive, they can be hidden in plain sight. If you have to be stealth-kinky for some reason, that’s wonderful.” There are also benefits to using the wooden spoons from the cupboard for spanking – “They provide a great memory when you use them as they were meant to.”
If you prefer dedicated items, no need to break the bank. Try some of the kink community’s low-cost favorites:
If you’re new to pervertibles, coming up with options may take a little practice. It can help to zero in on a particular play style first – impact, sex, pinching and poking, sensory deprivation, etc. and search only for items in that category.
Another fun way to get your creative juices flowing is by turning kinky brainstorming into a game. Ask a partner or kinky friend, “if I gave you 50 toothpicks, 4 shoestrings, 2 plastic straws, and a bucket, how could you use them in a BDSM scene?” Because this isn’t something you’re actually going to do, you have no constraints. You can propose the most ridiculous scenarios. Not only does this exercise make for hilarious conversation, it’s also a fun way to get accustomed to thinking – and kinking – outside the box.
Incorporate these pervertibles into your scenes or use them as inspiration for your own deviously ingenious ideas.
Wooden clothes pins are a kinkster’s best friend. Use them on nipples, labia, testicles, lips, underarms – virtually anywhere. Packs of 50 can be found in most dollar stores and with that many, the possibilities are endless! Try making our namesake, a Zipper! How? Clamp a row of clothespins to flesh, join them all with a piece of string, and PULL!
If clips intrigue you, don’t stop there. Chip and hair clips are excellent for naughty bits too. If you’re traveling, check your hotel closet. Trouser hangers can give you a pinch in a pinch.
In for a little predicament play? Place a raw egg in your sub’s mouth during an impact session. The harder you swat, the more they must resist clenching to avoid breaking the egg. If you live in the U.S. it’s important to note that consuming raw, unpasteurized eggs is a salmonella risk. Alternatively, and for a less extreme experience, you can use a hardboiled egg stopping to inspect it periodically during your scene for cracks.
Along the same lines as the egg gag, the bottom holds a harmonica or kazoo in their mouth. If they breathe heavily enough to make a noise, consequences await. The top can use pain, humor, tickling, or other means to wear down the wearer’s resistance.
If punishment or sadomasochism is part of your dynamic, kneeling on uncooked rice can be ideal (or awful depending on who’s doing the kneeling). Not only is it deceptively painful, but when the sub is finished they can be assigned cleanup – picking up the rice one grain at a time with tweezers. Kneeling on pencils, pebbles, or Legos has a similar effect.
Not for the faint of heart, this harmless-looking little hose is a brutal tool. Known for leaving very heavy marks, PVC tubing is typically (and sparingly) used by experienced players.
Yes, I’m talking candy. These sweet little treats double as wicked little whips perfect for striking soft flesh like the breasts or insides of the thighs. Pain sluts may want to skip the Twizzlers and go straight to the Red Vines. They’re the most brutal of the two and have been known to leave welts. If you’re crafty and have time on your hands (or need a time-consuming task to assign to your s-type) it’s possible to braid peel-and-pull licorice into a fully functioning flogger.
If you enjoy psychological kink, get yourself a tally counter. Imagine all of the things you can count! Each time your bratty submissive talks back or your service sub has a misstep – click! Remind them of all the punishments (or rewards) they’re wracking up. Use it to count spanks, orgasms, or any naughty thing worthy of keeping track of.
With their resemblance to bear claws, meat shredders (also known as pork pullers) look like serious business. Best for sensation play, you can run them gently along the skin for a sensual experience, heat them up or cool them down for temperature play, or dig in for a little pain. Careful not to get too rough because they can break the skin.
These are just a few of my favorites – and there are so many more! Ginger, slingshots, meat tenderizers, capsicum cream, rubber bands, credit cards, and I could go on. Hopefully, this short list piqued your curiosity. What else would you add? Tweet us and let us know.
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Sunny Megatron is an award-winning BDSM & Certified Sexuality Educator, Certified Relationship Coach, and media personality. She’s the host and executive producer of the Showtime original television series, SEX with Sunny Megatron, plus co-hosts AASECT Award winning American Sex Podcast and Open Deeply Podcast. Sunny was also named XBIZ Sexpert of the Year 2021 and is Editor-in-Chief of Zipper Magazine.
Known for her one-of-a-kind build-your-own-adventure approach to sex, kink & relationships, Sunny coined the BDSM community catch-phrase, Kink is Customizable™. In her sell-out workshops, her unique brand of “edutainment” seamlessly combines her humorous lecturing style, interactive exercises, and the latest sexuality research. Sunny’s passion is helping others overcome shame and find power through play and pleasure. Currently, she’s working on her first book, “Customizable Kink: A Strategic Guide to Adult Play.”