A Guide to Strap-Ons


From the moon landing to the summiting of K-2, history is replete with examples of when human ambition refused to be cowed by the ostensible limits of nature.  Strap-ons are but one more fantastic instance of this, as they allow people otherwise unable to engage in hands-free penetrative sex to enjoy its many pleasures. 

Most people think that strap-ons are uniquely the province of the lesbian community, but in fact they can be used by people of all genders and orientations.  Recently, for instance, “pegging” (when a woman uses a strap-on to have anal sex with a man) has gained significant traction cultural awareness-wise, to the point of being featured in mainstream television and film (lookin at you, Broad City).  Indeed, straight men often use strap ons with female partners to have double-penetrative sex, allow for simultaneous masturbation, offset difficulties with erectile dysfunction and a host of other things, while gay men, bisexuals, transsexuals, and genderqueer folks have all also found manifold uses for harnessed dils.

 Broad City Pegging Scene

 

While we’re touching on gender, just a quick aside-: a strap-on is an inert (typically) silicone implement used for sexual penetration.  Any especial meaning or fetish conferred onto it beyond that is entirely a function of who uses it.  That is to say- while some may enjoy conceptualizing and treating such toys as though they were natural extensions of themselves as a real penis would be, it is erroneous to presume that a woman who uses a strap-on has some sort of latent penis envy or desire to emulate masculinity.  A lesbian who uses a strap-on is no less of a lesbian for it, much as a straight man who enjoys being pegged with one is no less straight. 

But what’s the appeal of using a strap-on over penetrative stimulation with a regular dildo, for example? 

The (perhaps obvious) answer lies in the fact that one’s hands are liberated, to hold someone closer, stimulate other parts of them, masturbate and so on. Strap-ons also facilitate intimacy by allowing partners to give and receive pleasure in new ways, requiring increased verbal and nonverbal communication and connection.

Now that we’ve established that strap-ons can be fun for everyone (who enjoys penetrative sex, that is) how does one go about selecting the right one? 

Essentially there are two principal types of “strap-ons”: 

1) Those that actually require “straps” or harnesses
2) Those that don’t. 

Each has its respective pros and cons.

 

Harnessed Strap-Ons

As one might expect, traditional harnessed strap-ons typically involve two components: a harness and a dildo.  Harnesses are available in a variety of materials styles and materials, including:

  • Three strap / Jock
    double strap strap on
    A type of harness that loops around the waist and each leg for a comfortable fit with great control.  Three straps also mean greater customization of fit.  This style is popular because it also leaves the wearer exposed for additional stimulation


  • Two strap / G-String
    g-string strap on
    This type of harness provides a reasonable amount of control (though, as with the “jock” style, control is improved the thicker the straps are), and fits with one loop around the waist and one between the legs.  While this does not leave the wearer exposed, some enjoy the genital and anal stimulation the middle strap can provide during movement


  • Corset
    corset strap-on
    This type of harness typically cinches together at the sides to provide additional support


  • Underwear/Lingerie
    lingerie strap-on
    This variety of harness has become increasingly popular recently and is designed to fit like a pair of normal underwear.  They are available in a host of varieties from more boxer-brief like styles to more feminine styles. While these are strap free and therefore the simplest to put on, they also offer slightly less support and are less suited to hosting heaver toys


  • Specialty
    thigh strap-on
    A variety of other harnesses including thigh harnesses and even harness masks are available for couples looking to get more creative. Some harnesses have also have built in  internal dils or butt plugs to offer the wearer additional stimulation.

You should always make sure you are selecting a harness that both fits you and the toy you are looking to use properly. Check the size of your waist and hips and the minimum and maximum diameter of the dildo or plug that your harness’ O-ring (which may be permanent or swappable) can accommodate so that the toy will fit snugly without moving around. Beyond matching the harness’ ring diameter, you should also typically look for a dildo with a flared base to keep it secure.

The quick and dirty: In short, traditional harnessed strap-ons provide more support but can be cumbersomewhich can hamper intimacy.  They key, as with anything in sex, is to be patient and maintain a healthy sense of humor when things get tricky.  


“Strapless Strap-ons”

Newer on the scene are so-called “strapless strap-ons”, such as the Tantus Feeldoe or Fun Factory Share (though this kind of toy is now available from a variety of manufacturers in a variety of shapes, textures and …levels of lifelikeness).  Strapless strap-ons typically offer a bulb for the wearer to grasp the dildo internally, rather than needing to secure it by straps. These are fantastic for a host of reasons including that the elimination of a harness makes sex all that much closer with your partner, and the double headed nature of these toys mean that both parties receive stimulation with every thrust (some strapless strap-ons also have slots to insert a bullet vibrator). 

The potential downside of such toys is that they can be weighty and therefore challenging for even the most practiced kegel black belt to hold in (particularly once motion and lube are in the mix, or during anal sex given that the sphincter muscles are much tighter than the vagina).  This problem can be surmounted in several ways, however: first, certain positions are better suited to keeping the toy in (lazy doggy, cowgirl, spooning to name a few) or many actually opt to use these toys with a harness for additional support (while still enjoying the benefits of mutual stimulation).

The quick and dirty: To recap, compared with traditional strap-ons the strapless variety can offer more intimacy and better mutual stimulation, but with typically with less control.

  

Other Pro Tips:

  • Get to know your toy.  The better acquainted you are with how it fits with your body alone, the more comfortable you will be using it with a partner.  Try wearing your toy solo, and learning how snug you need your harness to be, how much lube you need to be comfortable, etc

  • LUBE. Lots of it.  Don’t skimp just to enhance control- you will regret it

  • Angles! Whether you’re trying to stimulate a g spot or a prostate, doggy style with the dil curving downward is the way to go

  • Be patient: Penetration always requires an extreme degree of trust.  Go slow, listen to the cues of your body as well as the verbal and non-verbal cues of your partner. Strap-ons are also more elaborate than most toys, so be patient with yourself and your partner. The payoff is worth it. 

 

Ready to try it for yourself?  Check out our some of our favorites like:

Joque Harness by Spareparts
Joque Harness



Tantus Silk 
Tantus Silk Dildo


Fun Factory Bouncer
fun factory bouncer


Whatcha think?


Please don't be mean :-)


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