When we think of “chastity” we often think of women. More specifically medieval maidens in castle towers wearing underwear-like armor kept like animals by barbaric husbands. When we think of male chastity, the mental image gets a bit foggier. It’s not a topic that commonly surfaces in popular culture.
During the Victorian era of England, a boom of inventive chastity devices was meant to “cure” male masturbation and wet dreams, driven by puritanical and religious pressure to de-sexualize people. These moral arguments butted up against the science of the day. Male chastity devices became a home remedy often prescribed by doctors.
Fast forward 150 years or so and the male chastity business is booming for completely different and very kinky reasons. Male chastity, the locking up or caging of the penis, plays a large part in many BDSM relationships. A dominant partner “holds the key,” both literally and figuratively, of their submissive partner.
People of all gender identities and relationship dynamics can and do enjoy chastity, and it’s much more common than you might think. Chastity also features heavily in many FemDom relationships – think 50 Shades but with the cisgenders reversed – and it can be a significant symbol of devotion and submission.
The Penis as Power
Our culture is phallocentric in many ways, meaning that it focuses on men and their penises as symbols of power, especially when it comes to bodily autonomy and pleasure. A perfect example is how we discuss sex, by default, as PIV (penis in vagina). Because of this phallocentric world view, the concept of denying a man his penis, a body part that our very culture measures his worth by, is a major power move. What’s even more powerful, is that many men want to have it locked away.
So how does one go from a fantasy or a fleeting thought to broaching such an atypical conversation with an intimate partner? How do you ask your partner to lock up your (or their) penis?
Communication is (Lock and) Key
All puns aside, the short answer is: just talk to them about it. Like any kink, the concept of chastity can bring up strong feelings in people, including confusion, insecurity, and revulsion. It can also spark curiosity because it is a lesser-known and sometimes misunderstood kink. If your partner is generally sex-positive and receptive to new things, or if you’re already in a power dynamic relationship, it may be a very simple request. If the topic is brand new to your partner or it’s not a kink you’ve shared before, the key to that conversation will be preparation and authenticity.
Do Your Research
Before you suggest to a partner that chastity is an interest of yours, learn all you can about it. They will undoubtedly have questions about what it entails, questions about safety, and why it is that you are intrigued by it.
What Does It Mean to You?
You don’t need to do a psychological deep-dive and look for deep-seated reasons for an interest in chastity. There’s nothing wrong with pursuing a kink so long as everyone involved is on the same page and consents. Practicing RACK (Risk Aware Consensual Kink) is essential. “It sounds fun!” or “I’m interested in experiencing more/less control in our sex life” are valid reasons. Just make sure you’re as clear as you can be on why you want to engage in chastity. This helps your partner understand and answer any questions they may have.
Being a Keyholder
Every iteration of chastity will be slightly different from the next, the same way that every relationship is different. Asking someone to be a keyholder can be a big step. Not everyone is excited by the power it holds or the sense of responsibility that comes with it. Generally, keyholders are decision-makers for when and why the device gets unlocked. Regardless of who is “in charge,” the person locking up should have emergency access to a key at all times for safety. Just like using a safeword, unlocking for reasons of health and safety should always be acceptable.
It’s Not for Everyone and That’s Okay
Just like any other kink, male chastity is not for everyone. If your partner responds negatively to the idea, give them space to process and shelve the topic for another day. If they are absolutely not interested, you must respect that. Perhaps there are other ways to satisfy the same needs or curiosity that are more appealing, or perhaps they simply don’t want to participate. What is not okay is belittling, shaming, or name-calling each other for interest (or lack of interest) in a kink.
Locking Solo or Part-time
If you’re single, or your partner isn’t interested in the day-to-day of chastity, locking solo or part-time is an option, one that many folks opt for. Locking up can help increase the anticipation of pleasure and provide an erotic sense of helplessness or submission. You can do it a few minutes at a time, just for a playful evening, or as an ongoing part of your life and relationship. There is no one “right” way to participate in or enjoy male chastity.
Whether you want to be under a partner’s control or you want to have more control, a locked penis is a clear and definitive way to experience power dynamics. But it’s not the only way. Risk awareness and consent are paramount, as is communication. If you can align those factors with a willingness to try something new, male chastity can be a fun, erotic, and bonding experience.
Have you ever practiced male chastity, as a man or with a partner? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments!