The stocks were originally a device used for public humiliation, punishment, and torture in the middle ages. The stocks are similar to the pillory and the pranger, as both consist of large, hinged, wooden boards. The difference is that in the stocks, the boards are placed around the legs or the wrists, whereas in the pillory they are placed around the arms and neck. However, the terms can be confused and many people refer to the pillory as the stocks.
In the stocks, an offender's ankles would be placed and locked through two holes in the centre of the board. Either before or after this the offender would have his shoes and socks removed, exposing his bare feet. Typically, a person confined to the stocks would be subjected to a variety of abuses, ranging from paddling and tickling of the feet to being stoned to death.
Stocks are used occasionally in bondage scenes but the position that the stocks hold the submissive makes it more difficult to punish or sexually "abuse" the slave than other more common bondage positions. To get around this problem it is possible to buy stocks specially designed for BDSM play which expose the captive in a much more sexual manner.
- www.toys4lust.com: US company making a number of different variations of the basic design.