Handcuffs and leg cuffs

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Figure 1. Typical metal handcuffs

Figure 2. Toy pink fluffy handcuffs

Figure 3. Leg irons
© Raimond Spekking / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0 & GFDL

Figure 4. Thumb cuffs, with hand cuffs behind
© Raimond Spekking / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0 & GFDL

Figure 5. Hog-tie with hand- and ankle-cuffs
© Raimond Spekking / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0 & GFDL

Handcuffs and leg cuffs consist of two solid metal bracelets connected to each other by a short chain. Figure 1 shows a common type of handcuffs. Figure 3 shows leg cuffs (or leg irons) attached to a submissive's ankles over a pair of jeans.

The metal bracelets are locked on to either the wrists or the ankles and require a key to release. Handcuffs and leg cuffs (also known as leg irons) are intended to restrain a person and/or limit their ease of movement. For example, someone wearing handcuffs can't easily drive a car, prepare food, or do anything involving manual dexterity. Someone wearing leg cuffs can, at best, shamble instead of walking or running.

Commonly used by police, they form a part of the standard equipment of many bondage enthusiasts. They are quick and easy to attach, and are quite secure and generally fairly safe.

Some bondage and metal bondage enthusiasts will have three or four pairs of cuffs which they use as a quick way to attach a submissive to something. For example, you can attach a submissive's arms and legs to the four corners of a bed very quickly using hand- and leg cuffs. Instead of using the cuffs to bind the ankles or wrists to each other, the cuffs are used to attach ankles or wrists to anchor points at the corners of the bed.

Hand- and leg cuffs can be used in a variety of situations and scenes. Figure 5 shows a hog-tie done entirely with two pairs of handcuffs and a pair of leg cuffs. This is very quick to do, and very quick to undo when you're done.

Slightly less common, but very effective, are thumb cuffs as shown in figure 4. These are fitted snugly below the interphalangeal joint on the thumb and won't slide past the bony joint. They can also be used on big toes.

Figure 2 shows a pair of pink fluffy handcuffs. These, and other fluffy varieties of cuff, can be found in adult toy shops. They can't provide any serious restraint, but can be a titillating introduction to bondage or kinky sex for some. They are usually of poor quality and are good for only a couple of uses. They may jam and require a screwdriver or pair of pliers to open.

In some jurisdictions it is illegal to own or carry handcuffs and leg-cuffs without a special license or unless you are a law-enforcement officer.