If you are familiar with the Liberator line of sex gear, then you know, more or less, what you are in for. Their pieces are generally easy to use and are often a cross between chic bean bag chairs and useful sex furniture. In a word, they are often functional and pretty (to a point).
I once owned a Liberator Wedge, which was fabulous in theory, but because of its bulk and size, it rarely got used for its intended purposes; living in San Francisco does not afford itself to a lot of space. Having said that, it did exactly what it promised, offering a firm yet cushiony goodness to any sexual activities that require a bit of height or physical adjustment. It’s easy enough to clean, as the covering is removable for the wash. However, I usually like to throw a towel or pad over the top to save myself the hassle of unzipping the tightly bound sheathing and trying to restuff the piece later. Putting a barrier on will not keep you from having to wash it, but will reduce the need to do so. In any case, I digress… or do I?
I received the Obéir Spanking Bench from the fine folks at Good Vibrations to give it a whirl. The Obeir is not unlike the Wedge, as it is soft, cozy, functional and pretty. It is also not unlike the wedge because of its cumbersome girth and its inability to be used for anything other than its intended purpose. Admittedly, I have used both of them as leg props, with some success, for ease on my weary back. The Wedge is much more useful for this purpose because of its lower height.
The Obéir is pretty enough and practical enough, but really, just barely enough. Yes, it has detachable bondage straps that are made of fabric and Velcro, but it’s easy to free oneself from them. And they also are long enough to allow the bottom (the spankee, the one on the bench) to freely flop around. Ease of freedom and movement may sound like a clever and safe idea, but not with real bondage. Unless you put mitts or vet wrap around your bottoms hands and they happen to also be a 90 pound wimp or passive doll, almost anyone, and I do mean anyone, can escape this thing. So it’s not really about the restraint — unless your bottom is very “good” and will not try to escape. Further, it rocks over. No matter what size person I have tried it with, they hold their “restrained” hands on the floor to secure themselves and the piece from toppling over. Not super useful.
I had a few friends try it out also, and although we all find it to be aesthetically pleasing, and somewhat functional, its use does not make up for the space it takes, especially in San Francisco. If you want to create a swinger, kink light effect in your home, the Obeir could go nicely with adult decor. And if you have enough space to store it between uses, that could appeal to you. But, if you are seeking more utility and less clutter, learn to bind your partner over the bed or a couch. You will save space and get the job done!