In BDSM, a ball gag is a sex toy consisting of soft ball and head straps. The wearer puts the ball into his or her mouth, then uses the straps to prevent it from coming out of place. This can be erotic for both partners – the gag provides a visual stimulus while limiting the submissive partner’s speech, adding to a sense of submissiveness or helplessness.

Most ball gags are made from silicone, plastic, or rubber. Because the gag can prevent the wearer from breathing normally through the mouth, these toys aren’t recommended for people with respiratory issues or medical conditions that might increase the risks of asphyxiation. Partners should agree on a non-verbal signal to use in place of a safe word (this will allow the submissive partner to indicate that he or she wants to stop sexual activities).