The Sex & Mischief range of toys by Sportsheets is a collection of bondage toys aimed at those who are new to bondage, or who enjoy lighter BDSM devices. The S & M Spread The Love Bar is a nice introduction for anyone who’s looking into spreaders but want to err away from the standard cold steel bars and leather cuffs. This small non-adjustable bar means that you are limited to having your feet or arms spread a set distance; although some may feel this detracts from the fun compared to using a more advanced bar, if you are new to dominating, it will mean that you won’t be pushing your submissive past their limit. The soft velvet cuffs also reduce chafing, meaning it’s perfect for those with sensitive skin or who dislike pain.
The spreader arrives in a large recyclable cardboard box – you could easily slot at least four of the devices into the box. The packaging has two black and white images of a model cheekily wearing the bar strapped to her legs; there are no images of the model being fully restrained by the device. There’s a variety of black and grey text printed onto the packaging, including a seductive erotic story, painting a scene which you and your partner could re-enact if desired.
The product is made from a polypropylene material with an internal carbon fibre bar. The bar is 13.75 inches long; however the box says it’s meant to be 15 inches long and an inch wide. The bar is flat rather than rounded and is covered in a strong spunlace fabric which has a slightly rough texture. Sewn into one side of the bar are four cuffs, these cannot be removed from the bar or positioned in different locations. Two of the cuffs are stitched into either end of the bar, and the central cuffs are 5 inches apart from each other and 4 inches in distance away from the end cuffs. The cuffs are made from non-stretchable and extremely soft velvet. The cuffs are all the same size and can be adjusted via Velcro straps, starting at a minimum of 5.5 inches circumference, to a maximum of 11.5 inches. When opting for the smaller setting, remember that some of the cuffing will double over when wrapped around. When using the toy’s cuffs in the larger settings, from 9 – 11.5 inches, the underside of the Velcro strapping will not be covered by the soft velvet fabric. The Velcro strapping seems fairly good quality. Due to all the cuffs being the same size you can freely choose which ones accommodate your wrists or ankles – or even bedposts – opening up a whole range of position and restraint possibilities.
When using the restraints my lover and I first tried strapping my legs into either end of the bar, and then bending forwards my wrists were restrained in the two central cuffs. In this position my lover was able to easily hitch my knees up for deep penetration, or flip me over onto my front where my buttocks would be hoisted into the air while I rested on my bosom and chin. Due to the bar’s length I was still able to close my legs to some extent. My lover wasn’t able to use the bar to forcefully flip me over, and had to gently grapple my body into their desired position. When using the bar restrained this way, on my back facing my lover, the bar denied my lover access to my face and neck However he was still able to thread his arms through the bars and my tangle of body parts to grope my bust, buttocks, and nether regions.
Cuffing my wrists to the two outer cuffs and my ankles into the central cuffs gave my lover slightly better access to my bust whilst lying on my back. When using the restraints like this it limited access to my nether regions, making penetration cumbersome.
If your submissive is flexible enough you can restrain them in a hog-tie position whilst on their front. Simply flip your submissive onto their front and position their ankles towards their buttocks. You may wish to cuff one wrist and ankle in first, and then hook the remaining limbs up. You can choose which body part you assign to which cuff depending on how flexible your submissive is, and how wide you wish to part their thighs.
You can also just use the restraints purely as ankle restraints or wrist cuffs, or if you wish to be slightly more adventurous hook one or two of the cuffs to a stationary object before confining your sub. If you have a barred bedstead you may be able to place the spreader behind the headboard and thread the cuffs through the gaps, further limiting your submissive’s movements whilst cuffed.
Throughout, I found the Velcro and stitching strong enough to keep me restrained, even during the most passionately determined struggles. The luscious velvet stroked my skin smoothly and didn’t cause any irritation. I found that in certain positions I was able to use my contortionist abilities to free myself from the Velcro, but generally this led to being punished by my dominant – I probably attempted this more than I should’ve as I enjoyed his wicked glare and grin of satisfaction when I was suitably admonished.
When washing the cuffs I recommend wiping them over with a damp cloth. Remember to leave them out to dry before putting them away – you don’t want them to become mouldy during storage.
Overall, if you are looking for a restraint system that’s slightly more restricting than standard cuffs, and offers the option of restraining a submissive in various positions, without being too intimidating, then this restraint system is worth considering. This spreader bar isn’t as extreme as others on the market, and unlike some, you are limited by its length. But don’t let its shortcomings put you off, for such a basic spreader bar it is still exceptional when compared to a lot of other restraints.