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04 September 2008

What do (novelty) handcuffs mean to you? When you see them on someone's keychain, or hanging from their rear-view mirror, what meaning do you derive from that?
Not much unless I find them in a dresser drawer and they're padded.
posted by puke & cry 04 September | 22:18
Depends on whether or not they are pretending to be a cop. If not, well...
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 04 September | 22:25
"Dude's rear-view mirror is so busted."
posted by Hellbient 04 September | 22:46
They are always prepared.
posted by rhapsodie 04 September | 23:35
The person is into S&M, would be my interpretation, or at least, bondage.

Might not be correct, but I'd file it away as a possibility.
posted by Riverine 04 September | 23:48
I'd think they were trying to hard to be edgy.
posted by kellydamnit 05 September | 00:08
I think pretty much "stupidity" because my only association with it is bondage, yet I know that a toy pair is of no real use. So having a "symbolic only" pair means what...? That they want you to think they're into bondage? That's not something everyone who sees your keys needs to know. And if they're not intending to send a sexual message, like, if their message is "I'm one edgy chica" then they are again stupid because that is just lame and half the people will misunderstand that message for "I like to be tied up and slapped with a ping pong paddle."
posted by scarabic 05 September | 01:37
I have a pair of earrings made from pink toy plastic handcoffs. My boyfriend gave them to me. I guess they mean that I like bondage, extended adolescence and overt sexuality.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur 05 September | 02:58
That they recently got them as a gift at a birthday party or gift exchange, had a good time, got really embarassed but secretly thrilled, and are showing they are a sport by having them on display.

If I really wondered, I'd ask about it.
posted by rainbaby 05 September | 07:25
What scarabic said.

They think they are kinky and sexy and mysterious, but they are not mysterious, cos they are blatantly advertising it.

Like the high school girls that scratch their forearms with their compasses and go around accidentally allowing their friends to see the "cuts". Boring attention seekers, probably in need of therapy. Real edgy people don't need to advertise with trinkets.
posted by goshling 05 September | 07:53
What rainbaby said.
posted by muddgirl 05 September | 08:02
a toy pair is of no real use. So having a "symbolic only" pair means what...?

Having a toy version of your kink on display does not mean you are just a poser. They may have "real" paraphernalia in a less conspicuous place. Or not. The presence of the symbolic pair tells me only that 'handcuffs' has/d some meaning to the person that is currently unknown to me. I'd probably find it interesting enough to want to learn more about why the person has them. I doubt I would ask them directly, I'm pretty shy, but I'd be looking for other clues during my interaction with them. Even if they are doing it just to be edgy, I'd wonder why.
posted by danostuporstar 05 September | 08:31
Novelty meaning those little bitty thumb-sized ones?

I had them on my keychain because I found them on the ground at a show and thought they were a neat find, plus they reminded me of the show, whatever it was. (I can't remember now. See? Should have kept the cuffs.) Sort of like free found fruit is more fun to eat, free found accessories are more fun to wear than bought ones.
posted by small_ruminant 05 September | 11:42
Bondage, cop wannabe, gag gift--that order might change if they were, y'know, pink plastic with fur on 'em or something.

What everybody said, but especially kellydammit.
posted by box 05 September | 12:13
I think you are all taking this a little seriously. Can't a person have a gag item around as, you know, a JOKE? Cuffing people to fuck them is fun and all, but I think most people who engage in it know that it's also ridiculous, and may be clever enough to self-deprecate.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur 05 September | 12:39
Probably taking it too seriously, but: although I'm not a big fan myself, I'm not sure I see why or how bondage is any more or less ridiculous than any other sex practice.
posted by box 05 September | 12:45
people who engage in it know that it's also ridiculous

Sure, someone can have an item around as a joke, but people who are truly into bondage don't think it's ridiculous (and as box has pointed out, it's not any more ridiculous then anything else). You may think it's ridiculous, but you might want to take a broader viewpoint... lest you inadvertently insult someone.
posted by Specklet 05 September | 14:09
Funny, since I actually remarked upthread that _I like bondage_.

Maybe not "truly," maybe not enough, since I can poke fun at it as well. Or maybe y'all take toy cuffs to seriously as an indicator of when someone "thinks they're edgy". Which is, of course, also insulting to people who have them. Either one.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur 05 September | 15:54
I usually feel like if you're so-o-o-o-o serious about your [fetish|favorite band|hobby|whatever] that you can't enjoy poking a little fun at it or see how, from a certain vantage point it might seem a little ridiculous, then - fine! but don't expect anyone to enjoy hanging around you much, particularly if you habitually steer the conversation in that direction. But if you can't hold back from poking unwanted or unkind 'fun' at someone's harmless self-expression, then same goes for you, too.

I've never seen the toy cuffs you're talking about as far as I know, but I do know that like it or not everybody gets to choose for themselves what manner of things, lesser or greater, they count as important parts of their self-image. And some times you want a little tangible symbol of those things. It's not necessarily about telling anyone about it in particular; it can be just about "quietly saying it aloud." And that can feel awfully fine, sometimes.
posted by Wolfdog 05 September | 17:04
i got my first set of handcuffs from a carny, well, sorta swindled off a carny... anyway, i had a friend hold onto them and she ended up making them the key chain for the photography department's darkroom key of Indiana University, which pissed me off on a lot of levels.
They were real cuffs.
So it seems to me people consider real handcuffs as novelty items.
Having been unwillingly miscuffed by the po-lease (resisting arrest, of course), i have to say no one into bondage wants to risk nerve damage for a better equipped kink session.
posted by ethylene 05 September | 17:12
Well said, Wolfdog.
posted by danostuporstar 06 September | 07:06
If anyone's still reading this -

I consider handcuffs to be the equivalent of a rainbow flag - a not-so-subtle way to indicate an interest in kink. And ethylene is completely correct - handcuffs should not be used for any sort of bondage if the person will be resisting, as that can cause nerve damage. That's what God made leather cuffs for.
posted by desjardins 07 September | 22:56
Sad anniversary. || They did NOT just use graphic footage of 9/11 as reason to vote Republican, did they?