Bound by diamonds wrist cuffs by Cal Exotics - review by Luscious Lily

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A Prop At Best

With the Bound by Diamonds collection, Cal Exotics was trying to make a pretty set for the beginners interested in testing the bondage waters. Unfortunately, the result was a poorly designed, poorly made set of cuffs. They are uncomfortable, with sharp, unfinished edges that chafe. The ribbon fastening does not stay put. The "Diamonds" are very cheap rhinestones better suited to toddler dress-up than adult sex accessories. At best, these are a prop, and a mediocre one at that.
Published:
Pros:
Non-threatening, nickle-free hardware, easy to clean and store.
Cons:
Uncomfortable, poor-quality materials, poor craftsmanship, chafe and loosen at any struggle.
Rating by reviewer:
1
extremely useful review

Use

The Bound by Diamonds wrist cuffs are a lackluster attempt at making a glam, yet unintimidating set of cuffs for beginners. In the photos on the box, they do indeed look sexy. Unfortunately, in person they are not so wonderful. The "diamonds" are very cheap plastic rhinestones, stuck to webbing that was left raw and completely unfinished. The satin ribbon used to hold the cuffs closed won't hold against even the slightest struggle. The unfinished edges of the PVC are sharp, and chafe uncomfortably. Heck, the PVC itself that makes up the body of the cuffs is just plain uncomfortable, sticking to the skin, trapping perspiration, and chaffing all over the place. I cannot bring myself to recommend these to even beginners just trying out bondage for the first time; while they might give the suggestion of restraint, they will probably turn the users off of such play because they just aren't well designed.

These cuffs do have some slight potential for use in psychological bondage. Since even shifting position is often enough to loosen these cuffs, the restrainee can be told that they are not allowed to struggle enough to loosen the cuffs... or else!

As can be seen on the packaging, these can be used well in photography, as long as you stage your shots right. Make sure not to close in on the cuffs too much, though, or their lack of quality will become glaringly obvious.

Design / Craftsmanship / Material / Size / Fit

The stock description provided by Cal Exotics makes me wonder if we're even talking about the same product:

"An exquisite collection of seductive fetish gear hand-crafted in soft supple patent leather, then adorned with lustrous white crystals"

This collection is far from exquisite. The body of the cuff is a double-layered rectangle cut out of PVC, with the edges left completely unfinished. They are slightly sharp all around - I can and have used the edge of the cuffs to scratch an itch. And left a red mark behind. The stitching is tight and mostly clean, though the ends of the thread were generally just left to hang, instead of being hidden.

A satin ribbon both ties the cuff closed, and serves as an attachment point for the little bolt clasp and D ring. The cut ends of the ribbon have been heat sealed to prevent fraying - unexpected, given the quality of the rest of the product, but nice. The ribbon is threaded through slits in the upper layer of the cuff. Like the outer edges, these slits are unfinished and let you see the back of the bottom piece of PVC.

Across the bridges of PVC where the ribbon threads are "diamonds" from which the set derives its name. These "lustrous white crystals" they mentioned? They're about the same quality I remember seeing on the jewelry my little sister played with when she was 3 years old. The base is a coarse, plasticized netting, with a black plastic ring on each intersection. In each ring is a little plastic "gem." It's made in large rolls, and can be quickly cut into various shapes for use as sparkly dress-up sparkles for a kid too young to be trusted with stuff they might swallow. Generally, when it's cut, the ends are covered or finished in some way. I guess that little bit of extra work was too much to expect.

The PVC itself is patent leather. It's shiny, it's slick, and it's not the most comfortable thing to have directly against your skin for very long. It will trap any perspiration and quickly begin to chafe. And? It smells. When these cuffs first came out of the package, they just about threw me into an asthma attack from the smell. After a few days, the smell had mostly dissipated, but even now, three weeks later, it still lingers.

The sizing is one plus. I'm a bit of a bird boned gal, and often have trouble finding cuffs small enough, especially for my wrists. These managed to fit both me and my much larger-boned boyfriend without a gap. Another plus? Those two bits of hardware are nickle free!

Otherwise, the design and craftsmanship of these cuffs left a lot to be desired. They just end up coming off as a cheap novelty.

Performance

This is where these cuffs fall completely, totally flat. The instant the restrainee begins to pull against the cuffs, that pretty satin ribbon begins to work its way loose. Should you go to re-tie the cuff tighter, you'll find that not only are the cuffs looser, but the knot you tied has tightened so much you'll be spending the next ten minutes trying to work it out.

Should you persevere and manage to get them to stay put, other problems arise. Because the clasps and D rings are threaded through the ribbon, pulling against the restraints puts pressure on the slits in the PVC. After minimal use, they have begun to distort, and in one place even to tear slightly. Also, the cuffs begin to chafe very quickly. Between the slick patent leather that sticks to the skin, and the sharp, unfinished edges, I had angry red marks on my wrists when I took these off. I hadn't struggled much, and we'd only left them on for 10 minutes.

The only arena where the Bound by Diamonds cuffs managed to even approach a passing grade was as photography props. In low lighting, with some careful positioning, I was able to get a few nice shots.

On the plus side, they looked kind of cool when I left them tied around the posts of my bed. If you have a thing for BDSM-themed interior decorating, these might just be the product for you! Wrap them around your bedposts! Your chair legs! Your tables! Your lamps! Use them as curtain tie-backs! Roll them up and use them as door stops! The possibilities are endless!

Care and Maintenance

If nothing else, these cuffs area easy to care for. The body of the cuff can be wiped down with soapy water, then wiped or rinsed clean. Lay them flat to dry. If the ribbon gets gunked up, you can unlace it from the cuff and toss it in the washing machine and drier. They're not picky about storage, either. Just toss them in wherever you have space. Just be aware that they may pick up smells from anything around them.

Experience

The first time we tested these on me, I ended up with red, abraded patches from the edges rubbing against my skin. When we tested these a second time, I insisted on wearing a pair of opera gloves under the wrist cuffs, and a pair of cute knee socks under the ankle cuffs. They're that uncomfortable. If you like that kind of sensation, fine, but I like my cuffs to be comfortable. I want to be able to struggle against them at least a little bit without hurting myself or the cuffs. If I want to play with pretty, non-functional cuffs, I want them to be comfortable and not interfere with enjoying sex. These failed in either category. They're a prop, and not a very good one.
This product was provided free of charge to the reviewer. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.
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Comments
  • LicentiouslyYours
    This line of products doesn't seem to be working for many which is too bad because I like the idea of sparkly pretty bondage. Plain leather and steel gets a little mundane sometimes.
  • Luscious Lily
    Definitely! I was really, really hoping these would be cute and useable. I absolutely loved the idea. I've definitely got a weakness for sparklies, so if they redesigned these with better materials (and a better design), I'd be first in line to try again.
  • NuMe
    Very good review!
  • NuMe
    Very good review!
  • Luscious Lily
    Thanks Newme!
  • seaofneptune
    I haven't heard much about this line that was good - I'll probably stray away from it. Thanks for the great review!
  • Luscious Lily
    Thanks, seaofneptune! Definitely avoid this line. If you want pretty bondage that's actually nice and usable, BootyParlor has some new stuff coming that's much nicer. No sparkles, though.
  • Sir
    I do not like reading the reviews of this line - they make me so upset because the line looked so cute! It's such a shame that the wrist cuffs did not work for you.

    Even so, great review! I wish that Cal Exotics would improve these.
  • Luscious Lily
    Thanks, Sir! I can honestly say I think I hated writing this one as much as you did reading it. I had such high hopes for this line, because you're right, they do look cute in the pictures! I'd be really happy if Cal Exotics improved these, because they're a nice idea.
  • Sammi
    Great review! It's really too bad this line isn't better.
  • Luscious Lily
    Thanks Sammi!
  • Lustful Dreams
    Awesome review. I have both the wrist & ankle cuffs and I'm at a loss of words for these things... worse is not only do I have to review the wrist ones, but then again the ankle ones. Just looking at them I know this one is going to be tough. Great GREAT review though.
  • Luscious Lily
    Thanks eternalamour, and I'm very sorry you have to put up with these things. Look at it as a challenge, I guess...
  • Xavier7
    They're pretty cuffs, for sure. Maybe they'd make better bracelets.
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