For a set of restraints, the Sportsheets Under the Bed Restraint System seems to make a dangerous declaration: fuck bedposts. Having never tried restraints until now, and lacking bedposts, I have no problem with this statement. Especially because this system convinced me that an alternative method of restraint is not only possible; it may be preferable.
At first it freaked me out that the only instruction included with the Under the Bed Restraint System consists of two diagrams on the back of the plastic clamshell package. I quickly realized, however, that the restraints are stupidly simple to set up. It’s as easy as lifting up your mattress and tossing the restraints underneath — or threading them under the bed frame, if you want to get intense. This part of the system is H-shaped and consists of a connector strap and four 60″ straps. Each limb strap flops out from between the mattress and box spring, ready for a cuff to be clipped onto it.
As with the Vibrating Velvet Harness, also made by Sportsheets, the straps are made of nylon (a.k.a. backpack strap material). This is an asset, in this case, as it makes tightening and loosening the straps as easy as adjusting backpack straps. Accordingly, the straps can extend far onto the bed, or they can rest tightly at the very edges, depending on your preference. The restraints fit my queen-sized bed fine, and they can even work on a king.
Each cuff is made of a soft, felt-like material with a velcro closure; there is a dog leash clasp for securing the cuff to the keyring of a strap. Why this sounds confusing, I do not know. It’s as easy as — no, easier than — clipping a leash onto a dog’s collar. The cuffs will fit any appendage under 14″ around, and they are quite comfortable. I, admittedly, have no other cuffs to compare them to, but they are soft and non-abrasive. Sure, the velcro hangs off, but you can snip it to your liking if it really bugs you.
But do they properly and effectively restrain? Yes, they most definitely do! Unless I absolutely thrash in the restraints, my mattress does not budge — and I feel very tied down. Now, these cuffs are secured with velcro… meaning they can be escaped from if so desired. But if this is a problem, the cuffs can be replaced with higher-end cuffs, such as leather locking cuffs. The ingenuity of this system is in the under-the-bed straps, anyway, not in the cuffs.
Since the cuffs unclip from the straps, they can be also used in a multitude of ways sans straps (a hogtie, for example).
When playing ceases, the straps (and even the cuffs) can be thrown under the mattress for complete concealment. The reason for doing this is obvious, especially if you have kids, but I also recommend it for those with cats/dogs/anything with fur. I made the mistake of leaving the cuffs just hanging out of the bed and onto the floor, which lead to them being covered in cat hair (easy to remove with a roller thingy). One of my cats also apparently has great aim, because he puked directly on one of the cuffs while it was on the floor.1
But a little cat puke will not diminish my love for the Under the Bed Restraint System. Easy to install, easy to hide, easy to dissemble, easy to transport — all of that in addition to freakish effectiveness and innovation. The Under the Bed Restraint System straight up rocks.
- I put the soiled cuff somewhere to remember to wash it, and now I can’t find it — so I can’t currently report on washing. I’m hoping it will be okay to toss the cuffs in the washing machine. [↩]