Desire into Discourse: What is Chastity?

WARNING: NSFW content ahead.

To be chaste is to refrain from extramarital sexual intercourse, and the word ‘chastity’ is often associated with celibacy, self-restraint, virginity, and abstinence. Yet that’s not all it refers to. To understand chastity in the way it is perceived in the 21st century, we need to look at chastity from a historical perspective.


Chastity devices allegedly came into use somewhere between the 16th and 18th century in the form of belts to prevent women from being raped and/or to prevent temptation and infidelity in marriage. It is a commonly perpetuated myth that in the medieval period when knights went crusading, they locked their wives in a chastity belt to prevent infidelity while they were away.


Medieval chastity device
An alleged medieval chastity device.

There is no evidence to show this actually occurred in that period, and there are no chastity devices that can be confirmed to be from the medieval era. In addition, chastity belts were not fit for lengthy and uninterrupted wear as constant contact of genitals with the metal could cause chafing and infection. A number of women’s chastity belts were created, but many experts believe they were more a metaphorical symbol of the morals of chastity or an early form of satire (making chastity belts may have been the 16th-18th century’s version of a Betoota Advocate or The Onion article) rather than something women were actually forcibly locked into.

Chastity cartoon

While there have been some devices and garments made recently to prevent women from being sexually assaulted, chastity is something that has evolved rather drastically. Chastity devices have in more recent years become increasingly popular as a part of BDSM play and consent based Domination/submission relationships. It is also much more common for men to be locked in chastity than it is for women.


What is chastity play then? Why do people do it?


Chastity play and arrangements generally take place within a D/S context where the submissive gives control of their genital pleasure over to their dominant. This is part of a broader fetish of orgasm control and denial which includes: jerk off/masturbation instruction (where your partner can only get off when given permission by you and can only do so exactly as you tell them to); edging (taking your partner to the edge of an orgasm and then stopping stimulation/not allowing them to come); and ruined orgasms (where you get your partner to the point of orgasm, then stop stimulation or do something else which leads to the orgasm being more frustrating than pleasurable).

A chastity device

In chastity arrangements, the submissive partner is not allowed to masturbate, have intercourse or do anything that could lead them to orgasm without their dominant’s permission or instruction. The submissive will generally have their genitals locked in a chastity device which physically prevents them from being able to do these things – the dominant locks the submissive’s genitalia in the device and then takes the keys. Chastity appeals to a variety of different people for various reasons. Some men say they simply enjoy putting someone else in charge of when they can and cannot pleasure themselves as it makes it more enjoyable and intense when they do get the opportunity. Others like it as a way of showing their devotion and loyalty to their dominant partner and how it increases their affection for their partner. Some like it for the humiliation they get from it. Others like it for a combination of many of these reasons and probably some other reasons too. Some like long term arrangements where they are challenged to wear the device and forego sexual pleasure for days, weeks, or even months. Others like it as part of a play scene and might only be in chastity for an hour or two.


Key holders often enjoy the feeling of total control over their sub’s/partner’s sexual gratification and the extra layer of intensity this power exchange adds to the play scene/relationship. I have a preference for long term chastity arrangements where a submissive is really challenged. My chastity sub really wanted to go above and beyond to show his loyalty and dedication to me by remaining locked in a device and giving me the key – putting me in complete control of when he is allowed to receive pleasure by penile stimulation (if at all). I felt powerful when I held his keys and I taunted him playfully about how I’m allowed to do what I want while he has to remain locked up and unable to achieve any sexual pleasure, except for the constant psychological reminders of the control I have over him when his erection is prevented by his cage.

How do I shop for a device?


Shopping for your first device can be hard. You need to ensure you get one that’s tight fitting enough so you can’t get out of it easily; but more importantly, you need to get one that fits comfortably and is not so tight that you’ll end up in unnecessary discomfort or pain. There is a lot of varying advice on how best to measure yourself so it can be hard to know which is going to give the most accurate measurement for the best fit. Also what material do you go for – Metal? Soft silicone? Hard plastic? Well, that really comes down to a matter of personal choice and what is most comfortable for you. There is no right or wrong. I would definitely recommend going into an adult shop in person the first time so you can have a look at the devices and get some advice in person. Once you’re confident about your sizing, it’s easier to then purchase future cages online. However, if you are unable to or unwilling to purchase at an adult shop in person, then look up all the advice you can – and to adapt an old saying to fit this context: measure twice (or three or four times) and cage up once! You can check out this guide here for more tips.


Sounds like fun, but what if I don’t want to commit to wearing a device long term?


The biggest part of a chastity arrangement is the mind state, mental commitment, and open, honest communication. If someone really wants to get out of a device they’ll find a way. Silicone and plastic ones can be cut open with good scissors and it’s not unheard of for someone to take bolt cutters to a metal one (but please don’t ever do that – you could lose your dick!) Yes, many do love devices as a physical extension of their mental commitments but they’re not always necessary. Willpower and discipline are the best chastity devices you can get!


I’m a woman interested in being in chastity… are female chastity devices still a thing?


Yes! While it is more talked about for men, orgasm control and denial is definitely something women can be on the receiving end as well. Again, it’s all really about your state of mind – it’s possible for anyone with any genitals or gender identity to allow someone else to be in control of your sexual pleasure.

A female chastity device
A female chastity device (source)


No device is needed however, if you would like a female chastity belt they do exist. While they are not as widely available there are a variety of places that do offer them. It is recommended to start with a cheaper one to begin with and see how you feel in it and if it’s something you want to explore more, you can find some custom ones too.


In summary, orgasm control chastity is something that can greatly enhance a couples sex life, be fun to experiment with in play, or increase a bond between a dominant and submissive. Expensive devices aren’t always necessary as self control and will power are really the key to effective and enjoyable chastity arrangements, although devices can be of benefit to some as they provide a physical reminder of the covenant entered into. Just remember if buying a device for the first time that you should take your time and find something that fits nicely and comfortably first and foremost. You can feel free to experiment with different devices as you become more experienced.
Also if you have any other questions about chastity, or comments, stories or anything else you want to talk to me about, please tweet with the tag #DesireIntoDiscourse in your tweet or tweet @_Mistress_Ava.