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Having recently launched my own bondage sex toys collection, beginning with the Fantasy by Cara Sutra Beginner’s Bondage Kit, I was too curious and it was too good an opportunity to pass up when this product was offered free of charge in exchange for a review.

Chemist Direct contacted me to offer me one of their adult products or sex toys to review. After a look through their 18+ range, I settled on this bondage kit from the 50 Shades of Grey Official Sex Toys Collection. I admit I was curious to see what was in it, how it would compare in my opinion not only to my Fantasy by Cara Sutra Beginner’s Bondage Kit but also to the other bondage sex toys and sets in my collection. The set was sent quickly and discreetly, with a professional looking note enclosed and safely packaged to  ensure it was kept in pristine condition.

If you’re a regular Cara Sutra reader, you’ll know that I tested out quite a bit of the 50 Shades of Grey Official Sex Toys Collection already, as well as the Sensual Care Range. Overall I like the products – probably more so than the books! It’s true, many of them are rehashes of existing products developed by the originating company Lovehoney, such as the glass dildo, the supersex bullet and the classic vibrator. As with any huge brand, the related merchandise is presented in relevant colours and the Fifty Shades collection has the Fifty Shades of Grey logo on sewn tags or branded on to the item itself in some case. As such, they’re great gifts for anyone who is a fan of the best selling erotic book trilogy, or those excited about the upcoming 50 Shades of Grey film (which going by the viral marketing seems to be happening a lot closer than next February. Calm down, dear).

First Impressions

The packaging is the same as the rest of the Fifty Shades of Grey range: a glossy card outer in the range colours and containing product info, over a lidded black box embossed with the Fifty Shades of Grey logo which contains the items. I liked that you have two ways to store your set, either in the box or the included satin storage pouch – or both.

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There’s a little leaflet with the set which gives you an idea of how to use the items and sets the tone for your bondage themed playtime.

The shimmery grey satin is a nice highlight against the black of the items in the kit and each item has the Fifty Shades of Grey logo on a stitched on tag to let you know that you’re using an official product.

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What you get

In the box you get 4 satin soft ties, or restraints, which fasten using the double D ring method. If you’ve ever had a belt with two rings on you’ll know what I mean. Slip the tapered end through both then double back through just one, then pull to desired tightness.

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There is a small handbag sized paddle (yep, a real measurement for paddles, honest*) which is the silvery grey on one side and black on the other. There’s also a black blindfold which is lightly padded and has two elastic straps to hold it to the intended’s head.

The items all fit into the storage pouch which is emblazoned with the Fifty Shades of Grey logo and ties neatly at the top with drawstrings. I like that you can either chuck this under the bed, hand off your bedpost or other hook, or easily throw into a suitcase to travel with.

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*not really

During use

The four restraints are easy enough to use and quite long so there’s enough to tie around the wrist or ankle as well as tying the other end around the bedpost or wrapping in a fist. It would have taken him quite a while to fasten each restraint to each of my ankles and wrists then each one to a bedpost, even if we did have bed posts which we don’t. What we do have is an underbed restraint kit which has trigger clips on a strap to each corner of the mattress. Not exactly convenient for this satin tapered end type of restraint, but he demonstrated that he could tie it through the trigger clip loop if needed.

What we preferred though was to use just one of the restraints around both my wrists and for him to hold my arms up out of the way while we had sex.

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Each satin restraint has the logo stitched tab attached near the metal D ring. I must note that after removing these soft ties from the box I noticed that two of them had a couple of strands fraying along the side. After a few uses they were fraying even more and the other two had started to come apart at the stitches too. They’re not the best made soft ties in the world and this is a part of the kit that needs an upgrade, in my opinion. Right now it’s just a strip of black and silver satin fabric lightly stitched together and definitely not the best quality satin in the world.

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The paddle is small in size compared to what I call full size paddles, but it’s a striking implement and as such leaves a surprisingly intense impact when used. Of course it helps that my man is used to wielding a paddle (or anything similar that happens to be lying around). The size of this paddle means it’s light and easy to hold and use, even if you were new to spanking and the like. The rectangular shape lends itself to covering a good area over the buttocks of backs of the thighs, and the slight contoured handle makes using it comfortable. There’s a hanging loop at the end which means you can hang it from the bed or other hook between uses. There is also the logo stitched tab to the side of the handle.

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The blindfold feels like satin covered foam, to give it a padded feel. There are two slim strips of elastic attached to help it fit more securely to the intended recipient’s head, and there’s a logo stitched tab to one side of the blindfold.  It does keep out light well enough with the usual weak spots around the nose. It’s comfortable to wear but feels more like a simple sleep eyemask to me than a kinky blindfold for BDSM purposes.

Measurements

Paddle length, with handle but without the hanging loop: 12.5 inches

Paddle’s spanky bit length: 6 inches

Paddle width: 2.5 inches

Restraint length, each and without the ring: 51 inches

Restraint width: 1.6 inches

Summary

Overall this is a well presented kit that will no doubt give bondage beginners a thrill, especially if they are fans of Fifty Shades of Grey. For me it’s an incredibly tame gathering, but I can see how those who have never considered bondage before would get a lot of spice from these items.

I feel that for the quality and choice of the items in this kit, the usual price of £54.99 for the set is a little overpriced. You do get a lidded box and a storage bag which are great additions, and of course you’ll be paying some for the Fifty Shades of Grey brand name.

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It’s an indisputably romantic introduction to bondage and some would question whether romancing up sex into a kink version really had any connection to traditional BDSM at all. The items in this kit are soft, playful and don’t pose any intimidation or threat in a physical way. There is barely the essence of any power exchange or control at all – a mere hint if you have a good imagination. I prefer my bondage items to be fastenable, louder, more confident. I want the clunk click of metal whether a buckle fastening or trigger clip or padlock. I don’t need frills and soft storage pouches and items which can be mistaken for everyday objects like sleep masks and ties; I have no qualms about being proud of my BDSM accessories such as collars, ball gags and thick, durable restraints. As such this is a cute kit to own but I feel that I enjoy bondage in a different way to those who would get more out of this kit.

One for true beginner’s to bondage and those who seek to just inject a little spice into their sex life. Fifty Shades of Grey fans will no doubt love it. The restraints would benefit from a better material and finish. If you’re after your own set to play with, you can buy the Fifty Shades of Grey Beginner’s Bondage Set here for £34.99 at Chemist Direct (on sale, usual price £54.99).

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