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The Curious Couple's Guide to Strap-On Dildos

Some couples find strap-on play exciting and intimacy-enhancing.

Mention strap-ons, and most people flash on girl-girl porn. The actress wearing the harness revels in having a pretend penis and using it for intercourse. Many lesbians enjoy strap-on play, but if you’re inclined to play that way, strap-on sex can be fun for anyone. Strap-ons can add novelty, excitement, playfulness—and deeper intimacy—to any interested couple’s relationship.

What’s A Strap-On?

It’s a sex toy ensemble that includes a harness worn around the waist or hips and a special dildo that fits into it. Strap-ons give women artificial penises right where one should hang, or they give men an extra penis, one that may be firmer and more cooperative than their real one.

Why Strap-Ons Can Be a Turn-On

Why fuss with a harness? Why not just use a regular dildo and guide it where you want it to go by hand? That’s what most dildo users do. But strap-on sex offers a different experience, one that produces a unique erotic connection, and possibly deeper intimacy:

• Strap-ons free the hands, and allow dildo play to be complemented by two-handed caresses.

• Strap-ons invite gender-bending. Women can play at being men, thrusting their hips during intercourse.

• Strap-ons allow men to play at having more than they were born with. Using a small dildo, men feel larger by comparison. Using a larger one, men can fantasize that they’re super-endowed porn stars. (Men who have firm erections may need to make adjustments so that their real one and the dildo don't interfere with each other.)

• In addition, having two penises opens the possibly of double penetration—one in the woman’s vagina, the other in her anus, assuming she’s open to that. (If so, use lots of lube, and start with a small dildo.)

• Strap-ons can also help men compensate for erection problems, providing a way for the couple to experience intercourse.

• Strap-ons provide a unique visual treat that some lovers find exciting, an invitation to let go and get a little wild.

• Finally, strap-ons can deepen intimacy. Many couples don’t talk much about their lovemaking. They just do it. Because strap-on sex expands erotic possibilities and encourages sexual experimentation, couples need to discuss how they want to proceed. Strap-ons encourage lovers to communicate more openly about sex, discussions that many couples find arousing and intimacy-enhancing.

Unfortunately, some curious hetero couples feel reluctant to experiment with the woman wearing the strap-on because of two myths:

Myth: Men who enjoy being anally entered by women with strap-ons are gay.

Truth: Not at all. Gay men enjoy kissing. Is kissing gay? Sexual orientation is all about the gender you want your lover to be. It has nothing to do with what lovers do in bed. Some gay men enjoy recipient anal play. Others don’t. Many 100 percent heterosexual men enjoy having their anuses massaged, fingered, and entered by butt plugs and/or dildos, including strap-ons. Heterosexual men who enjoy recipient strap-on play are not gay. They’re heterosexuals who enjoy receptive anal.

Myth: Women who enter men anally with strap-ons secretly want to be men.

Truth: Nonsense. A century ago, women who wore pants were accused of harboring unconscious desires to be men. Now we know that slacks are just another form of clothing, and that wearing them carries no psychological implications. The same goes for strap-on play. Part of the allure for some women involves the opportunity to play at being “male.” But for others, strap-ons carry no gender-bending implications, just exciting erotic possibilities.

All About Strap-On Harnesses

There are two basic styles: thongs and jocks. Each has advantages and disadvantages. The choice is a matter of personal preference.

In thong-style harnesses, one strap circles the waist or hips and attaches in front to the dildo holder, which hangs down from it. The other strap connects to the base of the front piece then runs between wearer’s legs attaching to the waist/hip strap in back. Things to consider:

• Thong harnesses have fewer straps than jock-style harnesses, so fewer adjustments.

• Some people find thongs more comfortable than jock-style harnesses.

• The strap that runs between the legs provides genital and anal stimulation some people enjoy.

In jock-style harnesses, one strap circles the waist or hips and attaches to the front piece. Two other straps attach to the base or sides of the front piece and circle the thighs, attaching in back. Things to consider:

• Some people prefer this look and find jock-style harnesses more comfortable than thongs.

• The extra strap provides extra support for the dildo.

• The wearer’s anus and genitals are not covered by any strap, an advantage for some.

Harness straps may be leather, nylon, or elastic. Each has a different feel. Nylon and elastic can be popped into washing machines. Leather requires more care but some people prefer that look and feel.

Front pieces are also fashioned from different materials: leather, velvet, stiffened neoprene, and rubber.

Fitting Your Harness with the Right Dildo(s)

Harnesses are typically marketed in kits that include dildos designed to fit that specific holder. However, you might also like to add one or more extra dildos. Some considerations:

• Strap-on dildos have flared, flat bases to fit snugly in the holder.

• Some stick straight out, others curve. Depending how curved models sit positioned in the holder, they may curve up, down, or to the side. Each position allows different erotic stimulation.

• Dildo firmness varies somewhat. Some people prefer very flexible dildos. Others prefer firmer models. Jelly dildos are most flexible.

Tips for Strap-On Enjoyment

• Compared with other sex toys, strap-ons are more elaborate. Straps must be adjusted. Dildos must to be fitted into holders. Take your time. At first, you may feel awkward. Maintain a sense of humor.

Always use plenty of lubricant. All dildos and the openings they enter should be generously lubricated before insertion.

• At first, the inserter should remain still, allowing the recipient to do the moving, engulfing the dildo instead of being penetrated. The rear-entry (doggie style) position works well. This is particularly important when women wear the harness and insert into men.

• Women have little experience with male-style hip thrusting, and should ask for coaching from recipients.

• Strap-ons allow the wearer’s hands to remain free during erotic coupling. Use your hands. Caress your lover all over.

• If men wear the harness, they might alternate inserting their erections (if they have them) and the strap-on dildo into women’s erotic openings.

• If the man wears the harness and the woman is open to double entry, he can insert his penis and the dildo simultaneously into the woman’s vagina and anus.

• When women wear the harness, the holder typically covers the clitoris. Some women enjoy the clitoral stimulation that results when the base of the dildo presses the holder against it. Others miss direct clitoral stimulation.

• Owning a strap-on doesn’t obligate you to use it. Some couples use them every time they make love, but most play that way only occasionally, when they’re in the mood.

Strap-on dildos and harness kits are available from most sex toy catalogues.

If you’ve played this way, do you have anything to add?

 

San Francisco journalist Michael Castleman, M.A., has written about sexuality for 36 years. more...

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