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Although known widely as Stocks, most “stocks” are actually Pillories as stocks consist of placing boards around the ankles and wrists which bind and hold these immobilised. Most historic references to stocks appear actually be to Pillories. 

In the pillory the boards are fixed to a pole and raised off the ground with the boards placed around the arms and neck, forcing the punished person to stand. Freedom of movement of the lower torso also meant that damage to back muscles was avoided. (After all, it was a mild punishment, not designed (prior to BDSM) to hurt but to humiliate.

Pillories come in all shapes and sizes but the characteristics are that:
1. the victim must stand  &
2. head and wrists are restrained

In many cases for BDSM, legs are also restrained, although this wasn’t the case in medieval times and later times.

Some consider the pillory an example of torture and victims may be insulted, kicked, tickled, spat on, or subjected to other inhumane acts in pillories, although as it was public and victims were clothed and usually filthy from being pilloried with rotten food and hose-dung, sexual molestation was uncommon and would have been considered a very serious crime.

Public punishment in the stocks was a common occurrence from around 1500 until at least 1748, and the pillory were especially popular among the Puritans, who frequently employed these for punishing the “lower class”; however although widely used in BDSM today for sexual humiliation, there is no evidence that this occurred in earlier times.

In modern BDSM, Pillories are height adjustable and it is not uncommon to restrain feet or legs.

There were also Finger pillories often went by the name of “finger stocks”.

Public stocks were typically positioned in the most public place available, as public humiliation was a critical aspect of such punishment. Typically, a person condemned to the stocks was subjected to a variety of abuses, ranging from having refuse thrown at them, tickling to paddling, whipping of the unprotected feet (bastinado).

A modern forced-sex pillory where the “victim” is unable to see who is  taking advantage of her.

Other variants include pillories where the victims head is enclosed in a box.

The lower the head and arms the more the arse protrudes and the easier penetration becomes as the vagina is more exposed and angle of penetration improved.

 Today many BDSM beds have “stocks” inserts or built-ins allowing them to be used from on he bed as stocks or from outside the bed as pillories.