Review: Ouch! Old School Tattoo Style Printed Ball Gag

Content notes and warnings: BDSM/kink content! Gags (including pictures of me wearing a gag), bondage, mentions of impact, mentions of other sensory play, mentions of submissive/helpless feelings. Also mentions of drool.

Image Description: a white nonbinary person with a purple mohawk wearing a 40s-style dress, holding a ball gag (described below)

Believe it or not, I’ve actually never tried a ball gag before! I have a silicone bone gag of unknown manufacture that I bought at, uh, Spencers a few years ago (look, I live in the deep South, you find me a better in-person sex toy shop), and that’s about it. Between my chronic sinus issues/allergies that mean I can’t always breathe through my nose, a small mouth, and a distinct lack of a drool kink, a ball gag has never been a high priority for me. I do like how they look, and they’re a classic Kink Aesthetic™ item, so I always kinda-sorta planned to get one eventually, but nothing really spoke to me enough to actually, you know, buy it.

Betty’s Toy Box recently got in a collection of vintage tattoo-themed kink toys from Ouch! I ordered the Tattoo Style paddle using my Betty’s Bucks as a surprise for my vintage nerd of a spouse. Only a couple weeks later, the affiliate manager suggested I get another toy from the line for review. I love having toys that match other toys, and I realized, finally, here was my opportunity to actually try a ball gag!

The ball gag & matching paddle, along with some unrelated red & black cuffs, on a black fur background.

So: the Ouch! Old School Tattoo Style Printed Ball Gag is another toy with an overly long name, but I’ll excuse it because…it’s cute! It has a hollow plastic wiffle-style ball, an inch and a half in diameter. The bonded leather straps (which go through the ball, making it very secure) are printed with old-fashioned nautical-style tattoos: swallows, stars, diamonds, and so on. The buckle on the back is extremely adjustable, for a huge variety of head sizes and for various comfort levels. (Damien prefers to put me in bondage that I can escape if necessary and so tends to fasten it a bit loosely. That means that I can spit the gag out if necessary, but it can’t fall out without some effort.) It’s also very inexpensive, at $17.99 at the time of this review, which is great for kinksters on a budget or anyone trying out a toy for the first time.

Damien had surgery not too long ago, so we haven’t yet been able to play with the matching impact toy, but we did have a nice, non-impact session. There were candles! There were pleasure wheels! Nipple clamps! And, most importantly: I was gagged, at least to start with.

A white enby with purple hair & a 40s-style dress, bound and gagged, sitting on the floor and looking at the camera.

The small diameter of the ball meant that it fit easily into my mouth. However, I did notice that it had to be centered perfectly on the straps; if it’s off-center, the strap cuts sharply into the corner of my mouth on one side, because the bonded leather isn’t folded over into a neat, rounded seam. I suppose that might appeal if you have a Glasgow smile fetish but is generally not ideal, especially should it leave a visible face mark. Luckily we were able to adjust it so that wasn’t such a problem for me, though occasionally I could feel the straps, they did not press in painfully as long as I was careful to center it.

The holes in the ball leave it very breathable, which is of course the idea. It also sort of left my upper lip dry because of how air hit through the holes when I breathed out, but I was a bit drooly on the bottom—excellent if that’s a kink thing you’re going for! It’s not my favorite, but it wasn’t so drooly that I was actually turned off. (If desired, you absolutely could achieve a dramatic level of drool, though.)

Also, the gag did exactly what a gag is designed for: it prevented me from talking, offering another level of helplessness that is absolutely what I’m looking for with kink. We relied on pre-negotiated hand gestures instead of a safeword, and “uh-huh/unh-unh” sounds when Damien checked in with me.

White enby with purple mohawk & red lipstick, wearing the gag, head turned to the side.

(Incidentally, it turns out that when I can’t talk, I’m even more giggly than usual. Which makes Damien laugh. Which turns into a feedback loop of giggles. It was amazing. It did not, however, prevent them from wreaking havoc on me, which was also amazing. 10/10.)

Damien took the ball gag out of my mouth after about ten minutes, because they needed to leave the room for something…and I discovered that my jaw had locked a little. It didn’t last long, but it was a huge surprise because this never happens to me with my other gag. If I use this again, I’ll have to make sure we have a time limit.

And to be honest, I’m not sure how much I’ll use it again. The drooliness doesn’t do much for me, and the jaw cramp afterwards definitely didn’t do it for me. Also, I really prefer to be able to bite down on silicone or another material with give when I’m playing, and the plastic wiffle ball doesn’t allow for that.

The ball gag being worn around the neck.

But I’m still super glad I own it! I wouldn’t have known if I liked it or not if I hadn’t tried it, and this particular item was about as optimal as possible for me to try a gag of this type. I also really enjoy it aesthetically. The tattoo print appeals to the part of me that loves vintage aesthetic, and also ties into a lot of vintage BDSM and queer imagery, which is something I absolutely adore. And I’m going to be honest: I feel really sexy and cute with a gag in my mouth, and that’s a good, fun feeling. So maybe I’ll be using this more than I thought.

Honestly, buying this toy has reminded me how much I like being gagged! The nameless bone gag is definitely getting more use in the future. I’m almost definitely going to pick up another bar gag, and I may even end up trying out a few other gags.

Are gags not your thing, but you like the look? The Ouch! Tattoo line includes the paddle, as well as a collar, a blindfold, and multiple styles of cuffs! Be aware that bonded leather contains polyurethane but also contains real leather, so if you’re vegetarian, you may prefer to check out some of Betty’s vegan leather restraints, or skip the whole leathery thing and go with nylon–I’m not vegetarian but I find my Sportsheets cuffs ridiculously comfortable for longer bondage sessions.

Close-up of the gag's strap and the matching paddle, showing the nauticle-style tattoo details.

The Bottom Line

If you’re a first-time buyer of gags, if you just want something on a budget, or if the aesthetic appeals to you, then I absolutely recommend this toy! It’s very pretty, the quality is decent, and the price is really hard to beat.

Buy from Betty’s Toy Box for $17.99

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Want more like this? Check out my bondage tag and my budget tag!


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This item was given to me for free in exchange for an honest review. This post does contain multiple affiliate links.

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