When people think of chastity belts and devices, the origin of these items seems to be set as being during the so called 'Dark Ages ‘when men went off to war in the Crusades and wanted to keep their women faithful while they were away. This has no basis in fact though and the first actual depiction of a chastity device as a physical object was in 1405, in an engineering type manual of the time. It is believed that this was a fantasy type drawing showing an object of torture by the artist and that the first real chastity device were the ones designed in 1870 as devices to prevent children from masturbating. It was believed that masturbation created some forms of feeble-mindedness, imbecility and even insanity. The device was patented by Henry Tunnessen in 1909. There was a spate of designs filed in the patent offices from this time until around the early 1930s when medical research had established that masturbation was not a cause of mental health issues. There is also some evidence that women in the 19th century wore chastity belts as a protective device to prevent sexual assault but for obvious hygienic reasons, these could not be worn for extended periods of time. These were worlds apart from the chastity devices we now have available.
The history of the chastity device seems to centre around women and children whereas our more modern chastity devices seem to be more focussed on the adult male. Chastity devices today, ranging from leather and plastic to high quality stainless steel devices, are used in many forms of sexual play and are often used within consensual relationships in the BDSM community. These devices are used for enjoyment as well as to prevent masturbation and infidelity. The wearer generally surrenders control of his or her sexual nature to a key holder. The key holder then controls the release of the sex organs for engaging in masturbation or sexual activity, although orgasm denial can form part of this type of relationship as well. This would mean that even though the device is not on the body, the person that had been caged may still not be allowed to masturbate or orgasm.
Orgasm denial and erotic sexual denial are used to keep a partner in a state of heightened sexual arousal for extended periods of time. The prevention of orgasm prevents the release of the chemicals associated with the usual culmination of sex or masturbation, keeping the participant on edge. A cock cage is commonly used to prevent male submissive from being able to stimulate themselves sexually as it prevents a full erection as well as being able to touch the genitals properly. The key holder decides whether to allow release of the sexual organs, often as a reward for good behaviour, and the resulting sexual play can be highly charged and very erotic for the participants. The chastity device can also be used as punishment for misdemeanours.
Some of the forms of play prevalent in the BDSM community based around a chastity lifestyle include sexual games such as tease and denial. In this type of sexual play, the person in control, or the dominant, allows the other participant, usually a submissive to be stimulated to the point of orgasm, without allowing a full orgasm to take place. Sometimes an orgasm can occur even when the stimulation has been removed and this is known as a ruined orgasm. Repeatedly using tease and denial on a submissive generates a psychological need and intense arousal. The submissive is often placed backed into a chastity cage after a session of tease and denial to prevent them releasing their pent up sexual frustration themselves. Sometimes these games include bondage where the feelings of sexual excitement are exacerbated by the feeling of being physically helpless and having no control over the situation. Safe words are generally used in the BDSM community to communicate extreme duress, but in games of tease and denial they are unlikely to be a factor.
Another form of sexual play involving a chastity device or cock cage can be the prevention of genital stimulation for extended periods of time. Some submissive place themselves in this position voluntarily and have key holders that are not always readily available to release them. Total sexual denial is not a barrier to sexual arousal, but it is a preventative to physical genital stimulation and generally the wearer is unable to achieve a full erection or an orgasm while caged. Dominants often use sexual denial as a way of exerting control and creating a feeling of pliability and erotic submission in a submissive. Dominants often use chastity devices on submissive that are prone to masturbation or self stimulation to prevent the release of their sexual tension. This also helps a dominant with training of a submissive by having full control of intimacies as well as the psychological aspect of “owning" the submissive’s genitals and access to pleasure. Orgasm training can also help a person achieve longer lasting erections and prevent premature ejaculation as the submissive builds up a tolerance for prolonged sexual play without orgasm. Some submissive are able to achieve orgasm on demand after extensive training. The submissive is able to give in to his or her craving for abandoning control to another person and heightened sexual arousal, while the dominant generally experiences enhanced sexual arousal from being in control and enjoying erotic power over a submissive.