Strap-On 101

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I’m a Strap-on Queen. Once I discovered getting to be the penetrator during sex, I fell in love with the experience. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being the penetratee as well, but I took to strap-on fucking very quickly and enthusiastically.

Since I talk about it so much, I’ve had a lot of questions from readers asking about strap-ons. And although I’m mostly just an enthusiastic amateur, I’ve had a fair amount of experience using them and thought I’d walk through some of the basics for people who are looking to get strapped for the first time or those who’ve used them a bit but never quite been satisfied by their experiences.

There are a lot of variables and it may take a bit of experimentation and finessing to find the best combo(s) for you, but we’ll start with harnesses.

You’ve got a lot of options with harnesses as far as price and quality go. Like so many other things to do with sex toys, you definitely get what you pay for. You can get an extremely cheap nylon strap harness and use it for good sex but the experience of it against your skin and the stability of the o-ring for your dildo may be questionable. If you’re really not sure if strap-on sex is your thing, this can be a way to test your theory, but a bad experience with cheap equipment might turn you off entirely.

My faves all-around harness are the underwear style RodeOhs. They come in a ton of different styles from sporty cuts to lacy styles to crotchless to jocks to boxers. I couldn’t decide what style totally represented me so I’ve ended up with 3 pairs to cover all bases. You just slip them on–no worries about straps & positioning–then chuck them in the washer when you’re done. The simplicity and ease mean I’m not hopping around for 5 minutes trying to get placement right; I am all about getting back to the sexytimes as quickly and efficiently as possible. They work well with most dildos except those larger than 1 3/4” diameter.

There are cheap underwear-style knock-offs out there and I bought a pair to wear with my packer dildo. It was a good reminder of ‘you get what you pay for’ because the cheapo ones stink. Literally. They smell like chemicals. I’ve washed them 3 times and it still lingers.

For those who want a more classic harness, there are many beautiful, drool-worthy, work-of-art leather and vegan vinyl options. There are also some washable fabric and vinyl versions that can be great starting points as well (i.e. Joque by Spareparts) with velcro straps to position easily, so those can be a good option. I have a couple leather harnesses and although I love the way they look, they’re more work to maintain, which is a hassle unless you find the process of caring for leather goods enjoyable and meditative (I do NOT).

I also find the process of dealing with finding the perfect strap lengths to be inconvenient since I often share harnesses with other people and can’t just ‘set it and forget it’. They also sit low on the hips (by necessity) and as a curvy gal, I always have to get over the desire to want to pull them up to a more flattering position to avoid muffin top. Although they’re so pretty, I’m not convinced I’ve ever truly felt like I’ve had my leather harness positioned exactly perfectly and I find that distracting.

That said, there’s the advantage that you can often swap out the O-ring for different widths of dildos, which is great for adding variety. You have to decide if you get a harness with a ‘pass through’ so you can use insertable (“strapless”) dildos like the Feeldoe or one that has a fabric or leather behind the O-ring which needs to be used with a flared-base dildo.

An accessory I’ve found essential for when I’m using flared-base dildos is a ‘driver pad’ which is a bit of padding that goes between the dildo and my pubic bone. My pubic bone is really prominent and I get terrible, painful (but worth it!) bruising from fucking anytime I use a dildo that isn’t insertable. This inexpensive pad was an excellent investment. It doesn’t save me from all bruising but decreases the pain significantly and I don’t wince every time I zip up my jeans for 3 days after sex.

When it comes to dildos, you’ve got an essentially infinite number of options and it really depends where you want to stick your dildo as to what you’re going to pick to start. If you’re going to be fucking pussies, and are looking for a single unit (heh!) to start, go with something pretty moderate. Remember, most bio-cocks aren’t monstrosities and when you’re in the sex-toy store, you’re going to lose your sense of scale, you’d be surprised how many times I’ve come home with something thinking it was moderate and once I’m out of the store, discover I’ve got outlandish cock in my bag. It’s fun to have a couple behemoths, if your play partners are size royalty, but they might not get used as much.

If I had to give up all but one of my dongs (please, no!), I’d stick with my Fuze Tango. It’s insertable with nice g-spot stim for me, has a reasonable 6 ¾” insertable length for my partner, and a spot for a bullet vibe. It’s not cheap and might be intimidating as a first purchase, but it is definitely my most versatile and is my go-to cock.

If you’re wanting your dildo for delivering awesome anal sex, and your partner is a beginner at receiving, you’re likely going to want a slimmer cock to start, but you don’t want to go tiny and short. There needs to be enough length that when you’re doing the pull back part of the thrust, you’re not exiting and re-penetrating every time (unless your partner likes that). Especially since you don’t have the physical feedback of a bio-cock, it takes some experience to feel how much you can do with this. A long, thin(ish) cock will serve you better so you can thrust without worrying about falling out.

For pegging we started with the slim Fuze Nova then moved onto Tristan Taormino’s recommended Vixen Mistress. My partner Flick found the very narrow Nova to be less comfortable than the larger Mistress since the narrow shaft can create a “pokey” sensation and he found being a bit more dilated made for more comfort during thrusting. He suggests that guys not be too skittish with dildo size, something modest but “cock-sized” is probably more comfortable than the smallest one you can find (and warming up those muscles to receive is, of course, essential). We have used my fave Tango as well now that we’re both more experienced and comfortable, and for some people, it would probably be a fine starting point for anal.

Now that we’ve got the equipment sorted, there comes the physical act of fucking with a cock. This is completely unlike movements done while receiving cock. My best advice here is that you need to embrace that it is going to be awkward. Where do you put your legs? Where do you put their legs? What’s the best angle for hips in this position? How do you find the best leverage for thrusting?  If you go into this expecting a smooth, effortless experience, you will be disappointed. None of it comes naturally and you just have to have a sense of humour and adventure to go with figuring it out in every new position with every partner.  

You should also know that you’re going to discover tiny muscles in your groin and hips that you’ve never felt before. Thrusting is really hard work and you’re going to be sore the next day until you build up strength in those very specific fuck muscles. I could barely walk the day after I strapped on for the first time, but every wince was a wonderful reminder of the previous night.

Happy Fucking!

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About Author

Kat is a sex-positive, geeky, Canadian, pansexual, deviant, slutty, feminist pervert who came to ethical non-monogamy 21-years into her relationship with her husband. After a quick toe-dip to test the waters (and hours of obsessive reading and podcast consumption), they dove in and she almost can't imagine they ever lived any other way. Labels never give a totally clear picture, but she considers herself non-monogamous and polyamorous, though she occasionally swings. She's also a podcaster and audiobook narrator. onthewetcoast.com @WetcoastKat on Twitter.