An armbinder is a device for binding someone's arms behind their back. It differs from simple cuffs in that the arms are secured at more than one point along their length. It is often used as a synonym for monoglove but there are many other designs of armbinder.
Types of armbinder
Armbinders are most commonly made of leather, but other materials such as rubber, canvas, and metal are also used by manufacturers. Arm binders are often visually striking but can be problematic when used in real life play. Any binding that sits above the wrist will have to be well designed if it is not to slide back down the arm. This is because the arm naturally tapers from the shoulder to the wrist and unlike the wrist the elbow does not have anything to prevent the binding sliding over it. A common method is to attach the upper bindings to a strap which passes over the shoulder and across the wearer's chest, thus providng an anchor point for the harness.
When worn, armbinders can become uncomfortable very quickly and can make the wearer's hands numb. This tends to limit the time that they can be worn for, in some cases just a few minutes. One of the problems with buying arm binders for use in bondage play is that in many cases the more striking the design the less wearable it will be. Having a sub's arms tightly bound behind then is a very erotic image which explains why arm binders are so popular; however, the reality of wearing then can be very different from the fantasy. For this reason it is strongly advised that wherever possible you try before you buy. Armbinders can be expensive mistakes.
One of the more successful designs of armbinder is the arm muff. This works by binding the arms behind the wearer with the elbows at 90 degrees, a wide leather muff holds the forearms together, straps then attached above the elbow preventing the arms from being withdrawn. Because the elbow is bent, this prevents the straps from sliding down the arm and makes the device very effective in preventing escape. Because the shoulders and elbows are not stressed, the device can be worn for a considerable time. The effect is similar to a box tie.