Review: Scandal Corset Cuffs

[Description: A pair of Caucasian hands with red and black nail polish, wearing a pair of red and black corset cuffs. The cuffs’ chain is looped through a rusty metal hook and the hands are flat against a brick wall.]

cw: light bondage, a non-explicit mention of an intense kink scene, consensual crying

I tried on the Scandal Corset Cuffs almost the moment we received the package, and they fit perfectly on my thin wrists. I played a little with the chain, pulling it taut, then relaxing and letting it go slack again. “It seems pretty sturdy,” I said as Damien helped me back out of them again.

“Put them on me,” they said, “my wrists are bigger and I want to see if they’ll still fit.”

I helped to Velcro them into place. They fit them, with minor adjustments, just as well as they’d fit me. And, also like me, Damien fiddled with the chain.

“You’re right,” they said. “This is really sturdy. It could probably even withstand this—”

They snapped their wrists apart, hard.

And the chain broke and fell off.

“…Oops.”

It was an easy fix—the two jump rings that attached the chains to the clasps on either end had bent out of shape, and all it took was a pair of jewelry pliers to put it right back as it was supposed to be.

This introduction may sound like a count against the Scandal Corset Cuffs. But Damien in particular was delighted. Despite our kink life being a few years old, bondage is a somewhat more recent development. This is in no small part because Damien read Gerald’s Game at an impressionable age. If you’re not familiar with it, the basic premise of the novel is that a woman is handcuffed to the bed, and then her husband dies, leaving her trapped. (There’s, uh, a lot more to it than that, but that’s the relevant part.) Damien is, therefore, extremely anxious about restraining me and then somehow being unable to help free me. So, the fact that the cuffs broke under extreme stress was reassuring to them, and not an issue for me—I’m not inclined to struggle much in bondage.

But let me back up a little.

[Description: The black and red corset cuffs framed by a natural loop in a tree trunk, the chain hanging off the top of it.]

Scandal is a line of bondage equipment produced by CalExotics. It’s a low price and seems geared, generally, to people newer to kink. Its trademark is the recurring design detail of black and red brocade fabric. I find the whole line very pretty, and the other Scandal item we own (their bullwhip) is very sturdy and well made, especially for the price, so I asked SheVibe to let me review the Corset Cuffs.

As per the name, these cuffs feature a corset design laced with black ribbons. They’re very elegant and decorative. They’re only my second pair of cuffs (see above re: Damien’s bondage anxiety) but they’re by far the prettier of the two. The pieces all seem sewn on very well, with no signs of fraying after several uses. And the chain only broke when someone was actively trying to break it—other repeated use has produced no signs of damage. The ribbons do like to come undone a little, usually in storage, but that’s pretty standard with slippery ribbon. (Damien likes to make a bit of a show of retying them when they put them on me. I swoon.) Also, they were packed flat for arrival, and are inclined to go back to the same level of flatness if not on active duty, which is handy for storage, though a little annoying for photography.

The most important thing to note is that these cuffs fasten with Velcro rather than clasps. You can adjust the size pretty well, both by rearranging where the Velcro meets and by adjusting the corset ribbons. The chain, which is pretty lengthy, features lobster claw clasps on either end, which makes it easy to remove.

Basically, this is the perfect pair of cuffs if you have Gerald’s Game-induced anxieties. A person in bondage can easily escape in an emergency, by pulling apart the Velcro, unfastening the clasps, undoing the ribbons if you have the time, or—as Damien proved—simply by Hulking out.

[Description: The Scandal Corset Cuffs laying in an opening in a mossy brick wall. One cuff is laid open to show the Velcro fastener, and the other is still closed.]

Obviously, these are not cuffs for someone who likes to struggle a lot, or who wants to be bound extremely securely. While they can take a little bit of strain, a great application of strength is just a bit much for the chain. Replacing it with a different chain or a double-ended snap hook would eliminate that issue, but, of course, it’s still an easy set to escape from by nature of the design. If you’re trying to tie up Houdini, you’re obviously going to want something sturdier and with less Velcro.

But honestly? I’m not an escape artist. I’m not even an escape hobbyist. I’m obedient, because that’s my style of submission, and if my dom says I’m going to be restrained, then restrained I shall remain! For me, the cuffs do what I want them to do. They remind me that I’m not the boss here.

I have pretty small wrists, but the cuffs fit very snugly on me. I can’t wear collars due to sensory issues, but the way I feel in these cuffs is a lot like how other people describe play collaring: the cuffs feel secure, and like a constant reminder that I’ve given up control, at least while I’m wearing them.

The first time we tried them in a scene, I kept grabbing onto the chain in the middle to ground myself. The chain is smooth, without any rough edges where the links are fastened. The scene was intense, and I couldn’t grab onto the pillow or anything but the chain, and that just made me feel more helpless and vulnerable to whatever Damien wanted to do to me—which was, of course, the goal of the whole enterprise. Even knowing that I could break free of them, they gave the illusion of powerlessness that I wanted. And yet whenever I saw them, they were so pretty and elegant, and I felt like they were a bestowed gift as well as a tool of helplessness.

(Also, I cried during the scene, which was neat. We love some emotional catharsis around here.)

[Description: The cuffs with their chain pulled across two nails in a brick wall, over the top of an arched opening in said wall that shows the trunk of a magnolia tree through it.]

When we were done, Damien brought in an aftercare snack, helped me sit up, and took off the cuffs.

“Is it weird that I miss wearing them?” I asked, rubbing my wrists that suddenly felt incomplete, somehow.

“No,” they said, “of course not. You’ve just been through a lot together.”

And so we had.

So, these are cuffs I’d recommend to beginners—partly because of the ease of use and comfort, and partly because bondage equipment gets expensive and at $25.99, these are a pretty good first foray into a collection. They’re also cuffs I’d recommend for anyone a little anxious about bondage in general, or someone who just wants some lighter equipment, or something pretty without breaking the bank. Would more experienced bondage aficionados enjoy them? Look, I dunno. It depends on what you’re looking for. But they definitely give me a lovely, adorned subby feeling, and they work the psychological trick of “look, you’re helpless now,” so take that as you will.

These are not, however, the cuffs for you if you’re looking for something extremely sturdy. If you’re someone who wants to be able to struggle and yet not get anywhere, you’re gonna want to look for a different set.

[Description: Queer Earthling in a striped sweater, kneeling, smiling at the camera while her wrists are bound in the cuffs. The chain is looped through a rusty metal hook and her hands are against the brick wall behind it.]

The Bottom Line

We’ve been through a lot together, so I might just be a bit emotionally attached, but I think these are great. They’re sturdy enough for my basic needs, they’re well put together, and they’re really inexpensive. If you’re looking for a simple but pretty pair of light bondage cuffs, these should fit the bill pretty well! Just, you know, don’t try to yank them apart with your full strength, Damien.

Buy from SheVibe for $25.99


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This item was provided by SheVibe in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

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