Keyholder – Playing the key role

Author: KatKristall
A to Z | Roles


WWhat does Keyholder actually mean?

A Keyholder is a person who controls access to and exit from a locked object. In BDSM, this key often pertains to a chastity belt, a collar, or something similar. This object is usually worn on the body of the submissive person and is locked and unlocked with the key. So, the term is quite literal.

What we most often encounter in BDSM is the role of the keyholder in conjunction with chastity. The keyholder has the key that closes the lock to the chastity belt, which in turn prevents access to the genitals. Without consent, this chastity belt cannot be opened and stimulation and/or orgasms cannot occur. A keyholder does not necessarily have to be dominant; subs can also keep each other closed. The active part determines how long and under what conditions this happens. The keyholder(s) sets the rules according to mutually agreed criteria. A related term is orgasm control.

What does a keyholder do?

The role you play as a keyholder is very dependent on the relationship between top and bottom. Sometimes the key is just a symbol of belonging that is more everyday-friendly than a bulky chastity belt, collar, or other BDSM symbols. A key is a subtle sign that is still a strong reminder to the bottom when seen. On Vanillas he often makes an inconspicuous, romantic impression. Worn on an anklet or on a bag, it is a casual tease in everyday life.

The tasks of a keyholder depend on the lock to which the key belongs. If he unlocks a chastity belt, then it is important to open it regularly, at least for hygiene purposes, and to maintain an intensive bond with the chastity belt. A keyholder role usually only arises with prolonged or regular chastity. But it can also be attractive to give up the key for a short time, such as the evening of a party or a session. Here you decide on the time and type of orgasm and pleasure.

If you receive the key to a collar, lockable bracelet or something similar, you will probably hold the key in your hand more often. Here it serves as a counterpart to jewelry, the wearing of which indicates one’s status as a sub or serf. For permanently worn objects, the key is a memory. For the fact that as a Dom you have the same conscious responsibility as the person who is permanently marked in everyday life. During a session, docking is a clear symbol of the onset of the power imbalance between the parties. This disappears again when you unlock it. Equality will be restored. The ritual is a communal coming down.

A keyholder does not have to have any other function or be in a sexual relationship with the wearer. All you have to do is keep the key safe and make it harder to access. While the keyholder may hold a position of power, he or she does not necessarily have to be dominant. It can also be fun for an evening to pass the key during a play party. 

What roles is a keyholder related to?

Since the types of play of a keyholder can vary greatly, there is overlap in execution with most other dominant roles such as Dom, Daddy/Mommy, Master/Mistress, and Sadist. Most of the overlap is with people who prefer dominance and the degrader. However, all kinds of people can develop a preference for keyholding.

Who matches with a keyholder?

Many submissive roles such as bottom, sub or serf, where the psychological component is emphasized, harmonize well with keyholders. Some keyholders also like to be challenged by a Brat or to shut down a Little. Keyholders with a sadistic streak get along well with masochists.

How do I know if I am a keyholder?

Your favorite character from Lord of the Rings was Frodo, Bearer of the Ring? Controlling other people excites you? Do you like to restrict the sexuality of your counterpart? Then maybe you are a keyholder! The thought of having the key in your hand and deciding whether to open or close makes you tingle with joy. Feel free to try it!

As a keyholder, it is important that…

…you deal in detail with the wishes and needs of the people who want to submit to you and respect boundaries. Ask your bottom about his or her wants, needs and ideas. Encourage him or her to express them clearly. If you hold the only key to someone, you have a responsibility to that person. So deal with it rationally and sensibly. Remember that a penis cage needs to be cleaned regularly. In any case, there should always be a spare key that is stored well. Possibly even in the immediate vicinity of the closed person, but without his or her knowledge. In an emergency situation, the belt or collar can be removed even if you are not within reach. As a keyholder, you should not be unavailable without prior agreement. Also plan exception scenarios for unforeseen situations.

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