Differences and choices

I have been in the Steelheart a lot lately. Since April 1 (an admittedly arbitrary stake in the ground) and through yesterday, I’ve been kept for a total of 3,192 hours and out of a device for only two hours and nine minutes (not counting the moments in between devices as one comes off for maintenance and the other goes on). That’s a total kept percentage of 99.94% of the time over about four and a half months. Of that, the Steelheart has made up nearly 80% of the time. Two thousand five-hundred and four hours.

But, in that period, I was in the Evotion 8 only 28 hours. And I’m in it now as the Steelheart required its twice-monthly vinegar soak and I had to be in something and that’s made me reflect on how the two devices are different. Even how my “top three” compare: Steelheart vs. Holy Trainer vs. Evotion 8.

The Holy Trainer is basically a mass market consumer device. It’s like the Android phone of male chastity. It’s a solid choice for most people who otherwise have no idea what they’re doing and/or basically just want to lock up a penis as efficiently and with as little fuss as possible. And I say none of that to be any kind of knock on it. It’s a great device. It gets the job done. Simple to use, well made and thoughtfully designed. But ultimately, even in its plethora of available colors and the text “inserts,” it still kind of feels like the same phone the other guy has but in a spiffy case.

New to male chastity? Don’t want to spend a ton or care about it being made to personal specifications? The Holy Trainer is your go-to. Simple choice.

The Steelheart is totally different. It’s not mass produced and injection molded, it’s hand crafted. You can see the hand of its maker all over it. The machines he used to drill and polish and weld. And the way it works to contain its contents is ingenious but also…cobbled is the best word for it. Again, I don’t knock it for that. I love that it’s that way. And of all the devices I have worn, I (and Belle) still think it’s the dead sexiest. It does everything I feel a chastity device should do, even though it clanks like an assembly of spare parts from a chain link fence installation. The Steelheart is a device that could have been made in 1980 or 1969 or 1943. It’s totally analog.

Ultimately, the Steelheart is “home” for me. It’s my safe place. It makes me complete. Highly polished steel is just so fucking dreamy.

The Evotion 8 is a different beast from both of the others. Unlike the Holy Trainer, the Evo 8 is totally bespoke. It is made to my personal and exact specifications. And unlike the almost steampunk analog vibe of the Steelheart (even the name, upon consideration, is steam-punky), the Evo 8 feels incredibly digital and modern. It’s something that can only be from today: 3D printed and intentionally designed to keep as securely as possible a penis. Period.

And that’s the thing that strikes me every time I put it on. The contents of the HT are kept, but can always back out and I know it. It’s doing a good enough job but it requires I go along with its limitations. The Steelheart is amazingly secure, but its contents still move around in there and can feel very penis-y, if you get my meaning, and it makes noise and stuff. But the Evo 8 holds its contents perfectly. Zero movement. Absolutely secure. It’s so functionally what it is. Even the way it sits more forward, it seems almost proud of how well it does its job. It isn’t trying to be sexy, it’s just keeping a fucking penis from getting long and hard and being played with. And it does that with incredible experiential efficiency. You can tell when it’s doing what it was designed to do that that is exactly what it was designed to do. In that way, it can feel like the most severe of all of them.

Even the color of the particular one I wear leans into its Matrix-y sheen. Matte black and as much obviously made by a digitally exact machine as the Steelheart is made by a man’s imperfect hands.

So where am I going with this? Well…here. None of these devices are inherently better than the others. And none of them are perfect. They all have their own personalities and I feel the need for each of those at different times. Right now, I’m really getting off on the Evo 8’s cold efficiency. But I also know in a week or so I’ll be craving the warm steel again. And some day I’ll be in a situation where the Holy Trainer is called for.

Differences are good. It’s nice to have choices. Said the queer polyamorist.

Kept

Time really has lost all meaning. I was about to start this post with “the other day, Tom blogged…” and then, when I went to get the link, I realized “the other day” was like more than four months ago. That’s either cabin fever or old age or a combo plate of both. Anyway.

The other month, Tom made this great post about definition and terms related to chastity and denial. Like, what does “permanent” mean? And then, in further discussion, what’s a good term to use for the whole practice of what we do? I’ve often resorted to saying things like “chastity and denial” because they don’t always go together. And if the practice (which Tom suggested should be called “erotic orgasm denial”) is called whatever it is, what word should guys who are locked and denied use to describe themselves? What’s the right adjective? The right verb?

“Chaste” is often thrown around but the obvious problem with that is those of us who are locked and denied, usually, are not chaste. Belle and I have had more and better sex since the penis was locked up than before. “Chaste” means to abstain from sex and that’s the fucking opposite thing that happens while in chastity.

Of course, chastity is the root of the problem because it conflates access to genitals and ability to have sex. It has a very PIV bias. Chaste comes from chastity (or maybe the other way around) so the mess is predictable.

But what I want and have wanted for years and years (this blog and my chastity are now solidly into their thirteenth year) is a single, different word to encapsulate what Belle and I and, apparently, millions of others are doing by locking up one or the other penises in a relationship. One word that isn’t literally wrong or totally made up or just dumb sounding. And then, a word that I really like came to me.

Kept. Belle keeps the penis from me. She keeps me from masturbation. She keeps me from orgasm when I want to. She keeps me at a heightened state of sexual arousal. She keeps the key. She keeps total control over the penis and how I get to enjoy sex. I am kept.

I just…like it. I like how it feels. I like how it sounds. I like the protective nature it implies. The connotation of care. Of benevolent control and discipline. I am kept in this place, mentally and physically and emotionally, because it makes me a better lover and partner and person. Because it is what I need.

When the folks at Holy Trainer reached out to me and offered the new fourth version of their device for me to try out and review, they also offered to customize its “cartridge” (the part of the base ring that receives the lock). I wasn’t aware of this as a thing they did, but you can have image or words put on the device. The first and only thing that sprang to mind was “kept.”

And at first, I was like whatever. I did it because they offered and presumably wanted people to know it was an option when I reviewed it and posted the inevitable multitude of pictures of it locked on me I am apparently unable to stop doing. But I have to say, every time I look down and see KEPT looking back up at me…it’s a soothing, comforting thing. It centers me. It’s powerful.

So yeah. Kept. That’s me. Maybe it’s you. But I like it and will be using it from now on to describe who and what I am. I am kept. By Belle.