Men Explain Why Wearing a Chastity Cage Turns Them on
Oct 10, 2023
When we hear the word "chastity" we probably think about the Middle Ages, and the metal cages that men would supposedly force their wives or daughters to wear to protect their "virtue." In fact, there’s some debate among academics about whether chastity devices were widely used during this period, or even if they existed at all.
But today, chastity devices are certainly real. There are literally hundreds of products to choose from on specialty websites, from metal devices with a lock and key, to smart devices that can be controlled via an app. Chastity kink is a broad spectrum, ranging from foreplay, where a person might abstain from sex or be locked up in a physical device for a short period of time, to a full blown lifestyle, where the (literal) keys to a guy’s sexual freedom are controlled by a partner for days, weeks, or even months at a time. Almost all of these devices are for men. So while chastity may have started out as a way of containing and controlling female sexuality (or, at least, as an elaborate cultural joke about controlling female sexuality), today, chastity has taken on a very different meaning.
Early in 2021, chastity kink hit the headlines by way of a rather unfortunate hacking story. Some guys wearing smart chastity devices connected to apps received threatening texts from hackers who were literally holding their genitals to ransom. For people unfamiliar with chastity kink, this story raised a lot of questions. Not least: why the hell would anyone want to lock their genitals in a cage, app controlled or otherwise?
For a lot of men, gender norms can lead to huge pressure to behave in certain ways—and a kink like chastity can be a safe escape from that, says Gigi Engle, a certified sex educator and author of All the F*cking Mistakes: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life. “It comes, in part, from a desire to give over control, to escape from your role," she says. "One of the reasons this kink is so popular, but still taboo, is that we’re afraid of that dynamic, we’re afraid, still, of female control and dominance.”
Tom*, 37, from Idaho, discovered chastity by accident while browsing a porn site. He quickly realized he was interested in taking a more submissive role during sex, and that relinquishing control could be a great release. The kink seemed, to Tom, like the perfect way to explore those things, but it took him a couple of weeks to work up the courage to tell his wife. At first, she wasn’t sure what to think. “I did a horrible job trying to explain myself, I was so nervous and nothing I was saying was coming out right," Tom remembers. "She told me to let her think about it.”
Eventually, they started discussing it more, and Tom even bought his wife a book on the subject. Now, Tom says exploring the kink has brought them closer together. “Our relationship is better and stronger than ever and I don’t think we’ve ever been happier or more in love with each other," he says. "Chastity has given me a greater appreciation for what women go through and deal with in a male dominated world.”
This subversion of traditional gender norms can be appealing to women, too. Shira is a professional domme and a “keyholder,” meaning she keeps the keys of the chastity devices of a number of her male clients. She also enjoys the kink in her spare time with her partner. She appreciates that the kink challenges patriarchal ideas around sex—that it gives the control (literally and psychologically) to the woman.
“We live in a society that tends to quiet or shame a female-led relationship,” Shira says. “We all know the phrase ‘who wears the trousers,’ right?”
"There’s also the masochistic thrill of not being able to get off.”
Giles* wears a chastity device almost every day. “In normal life, it’s a comforting presence and a reminder of ownership, like a wedding ring,” he says. He also says that not being able to orgasm, or even use his penis during sex, makes sex better. “It’s unbelievably sensual, plunging me into an open ended plateau phase. There’s also the masochistic thrill of not being able to get off.”
It might seem like a contradiction, but fans of male chastity explained how abstaining from sex, or taking their penis out of the equation, has made their sex lives better. That's because "sex" doesn’t just mean penis-in-vagina anymore; they’ve gotten creative and discovered new ways to experience pleasure.
Christian says he’s had to shift his focus to other erogenous zones. “My nipples and ass have become more sensitive, as I couldn’t stimulate my penis so other zones felt the desire for gratification," he says." I’m able to better understand the female desire for ‘touch before sex.’”
Katie*, who is in her 30s and a scientist working in Germany, was introduced to chastity by her now husband, who was interested in the kink but hadn’t actually tried it out yet. “I was the one who bought him his first plastic device from an online shop because he was too shy,” she explains.
Chastity takes the pressure off their sexual relationship, and because Katie can feel more relaxed, she now enjoys sex far more. “The surprising side effect of our chastity is that we have sex more than ever. We use a lot of toys and we both love it,” she says. “He was always submissive, but now that he is locked in a device there is no pressure for me to please him.”
Opening up about a desire can be difficult, particularly if the desire goes against common social standards and you’re not sure how your partner will respond. "I think you have to make a calculation," says Kenneth Play, a sex educator and founder of the Sex Hacker Pro video series. “It’s okay to do that math and weigh up your desires against the potential stigma level. I think people need to think about the worst-case scenario, and play through how they might feel if their partner does respond badly.”
And what if that worst-case scenario comes true (i.e., a partner balks at the idea)? “I think we can consider ourselves very lucky if we have a partner who completely accepts us, but it’s important to remember that forcing compatibility can be harmful, too,” Play says. He adds that if a partner isn’t interested in exploring a kink with you, you could discuss opening the relationship up to other people, or talk about finding a compromise that you are both comfortable with.
Tony* and his wife combine male chastity with an open relationship, a dynamic that Tony says works for them both and has saved their sex life. His wife will go on a date with a boyfriend, and then come home and tell Tony all about it. “I live vicariously through her,” he explains. “Why? Because the sex is good. There’s no stress over poor performance, no frustration. She is completely satisfied, and so am I.”
In one of Tony's first experiences with chastity, his wife had been out with friends when she bumped into an ex and went home with him. "When she got back, she had me undress and unlocked my device and told me all the details while giving me a hand job," Tony recalls. "When she told me how she felt, I became her—I felt what she felt. It didn’t take long, and I was about to orgasm. After, I was satisfied; I was empty; I was done. That’s how it started. The sex for me is great. I never want this to change.”
Shira was keen to explain that chastity kinks aren’t just about sex. They also tap into some of our most fundamental needs and desires: intimacy; vulnerability; and trust. “All kinks, including this one, are about going into a space where you won’t be shamed,” she says. “And kudos to those who do it.”