Sex toys are everywhere, and I’m not just saying that because I’m a pervert who sees them everywhere. You can buy some awesome pervertables — everyday items adapted for sexual uses — in kitchen, dollar, hardware and pet stores. And that’s just scratching the surface.
“The most common example of this is a belt,” says Dan Madden, also known as Master C’s slave Dan. “Belts are not designed for beating people, at least not in this day and age. So when you pull off a belt and you slap someone on the ass with it you’ve now perverted that for another purpose.”
The sheer novelty of perverting an everyday object for sex play may give you a thrill, but pervertables have other advantages too. Madden, who will be offering a workshop on pervertables at the Northern Ontario Conference on Kink, notes that pervertables can be hidden in plain sight — perfect for younger folks who live with family.
“If grandmother comes out and she sees a set of wooden spoons in your living room or in your bedroom, she’ll probably just figure you need to move them to the kitchen,” says Madden.
Plus they’re inexpensive. “For people getting into the scene… they’re not sure if they want to pay a lot of money for specialized leather, rubber or whatever toys,” says Trevor Jacques, a sex educator based in Toronto who also offers workshops on pervertables. “Going to your local kitchen store or dollar store and finding something tactile is pretty darn cheap by comparison.”
Janet Hardy, also known as Catherine Liszt or Lady Green, puts it more bluntly. “Just because you’re broke doesn’t mean you don’t get to have a sex life.”
But the benefits of affordable pervertables go beyond bringing sex toys to the masses. “A lot of them are inexpensive enough to discard if they get fluids on them,” adds Oakland-based Hardy, author of 21st Century Kinkycrafts, “so they’re a safer sex strategy.”
Hardy has also found that an original pervertable can get you noticed, and isn’t it always fun to be the only one with a cool new toy? But remember, adds Hardy, “if you go back to the same party a few months later, you’re going to see more of them.”
So how do we know a pervertable when we see it? “You go into a kitchen store or you go into a hardware store like Canadian Tire, go to Toys R Us,” says Jacques. “Just look at the toys and imagine what kind of sensation they would create if they were applied to given parts of the body, be it a nipple, a muscle, genitals — anywhere.”
Jacques suggests looking for things that “will tug, will pull, will flap… it’ll feel warm, it’ll feel cold, it may have an interesting shape. It’s really all about textures and how our skin might react to it.”
Jacques notes that if a bottom is wearing a blindfold they may easily mistake something as innocuous as a fork tine for the edge of a knife, for instance. Plus “if you’re using a bright pink or blue feather duster on somebody it kind of takes away from the big butch macho element that you have going at the time,” he points out.
On the other hand sometimes that incongruity can be used to advantage. “Sometimes you can use the pervertable for humiliation… because they were trying to feel butch and you put some frou frou little thing on them,” says Jacques.
Just remember that pervertables are, by their very nature, not designed for sex play. Be aware of the possible risks — if an adapted toy were to break or splinter while in use, for example — and plan accordingly.
Hardy recommends resources like her book or the internet to spark the imagination. “Normally what people do is they make things exactly according to directions the first time or two,” she says. “Then they start to improvize based on their own desires and what materials they have available.”