A Beginner's Guide To Strap-On Systems

Image: iStock

There’s a lot of buzz about strap-on play right now. With the general (and wonderful) climate of increasing openness about all things sexual, both women and men are wanting to explore their play options. Strap-on play is a fun, hands-free way for a person (either male or female) to penetrate a sexual partner (again, either male or female) with a dildo. ‘Pegging’, where a woman penetrates a man, has especially grabbed lots of media attention recently, but strap-on play is great for any combination of partners, and for both vaginal and anal stimulation. Here are some tips to help you get started.

And it’s not just about physical sensation, of course: there’s a strong psycho-sexual element to strap-on play, too. The dildo-wearing partner might enjoy being in a more dominant role than usual, for example, while for a woman pegging a man, there’s the whole thrill of turning the traditional penetration role on its head.

Dildos comes in all shapes and sizes, as well as vibrating or non-vibrating styles, so your choice in that department is down to individual preference. The component of strap-on play that’s less commonly thought about, however, is what holds the dildo in place – yet this is actually the most fundamental factor of all. The dildo-wearing partner needs to feel really comfortable, and the dildo needs to be held ultra-securely so it’s like an extension of the body. Then the wearer can focus on what they’re doing, rather than worrying and being put off their stroke. Chafing straps or slipping dildos are a sure-fire mood-killer! On this note, it’s a great idea for the wearer to try on the kit alone first, to decide whether they feel confident to progress to using it with a partner.

The good news is that there are three main strap-on styles to choose from, so you’ll definitely find something that works well for you.

Briefs, boxers and thongs

Worn just like ordinary underwear, these simple options are great for beginners. The main difference to everyday undies is an O-ring – essentially a hole – at the front through which a flared-base dildo is worn. The undies must fit snugly to keep the dildo in place, so check sizing before you buy. There’s a wide choice of styles available, including cotton, lacy, sporty and latex, and they’re generally unisex. Most fabric styles are machine-washable, too.

These options usually come with a dildo included, but you can swap in another dildo of your own as long as it’s also the right diameter to fit the O-ring. Some undies are also cleverly designed with bonus features, such as little pockets to hold bullet vibes.

Strappy harnesses

This classic strap-on option offers the most customisable fit, thanks to adjustable straps which fit around the hips and under the bum. Most harnesses are fully size-adjustable from extra-small right through to XXXL, making them the perfect choice where both partners want a turn at penetrating. Another bonus for many fans is also that the wearer’s bum is left bare.

Harness straps are often machine-washable, or at least wipeable, and some are also elasticated for a snugger fit. While most strapping is plain, some styles offer extra visual appeal such as ribbon-tied corset backs.

All harnesses have a ‘plate’ at the front which sits over the pubic area and features a system for attaching the dildo. The classic O-ring is by far the most popular option, although some manufacturers have their own bespoke attachment system (which limits you to using their dildos). Many designs let you swap in different diameters of O-rings, so you’re not limited to just one girth of dildo. Handy kits such as the Lovehoney Beginner’s Unisex Strap-On Harness Set come ready with a set of interchangeable O-rings. And as a bonus, the Lovehoney kit lets you add a bullet vibe to the back of the harness for extra buzzy fun.

Strapless strap-ons

Yes, the name is an oxymoron, but it’s the simplest way to describe a particular type of harness-free, double-ended dildo. Designed for women to wear, the dildo has a second raised, bulbous part, called a ‘pony’, which fits securely – and pleasurably – inside the wearer’s vagina. Her internal muscles grip the pony tight, so that she can move her pelvis to penetrate her partner with the main dildo part. Some people love the natural feel of these toys and the freedom of going strap or undies free, while others feel less secure about the dildo staying in place. As always, it’s down to personal preference, plus probably a bit of practice.

One strap-on essential that none of the products come with is lube, but you’re going to need lots, so stock up before you get started. For anal penetration it’s vital that you lavishly coat both the dildo and the anus with good-quality anal lubricant before you start. Vaginal penetration, too, will need a generous squeeze of water-based lube to keep everyone feeling slippery, sexy and satisfied.


Helen Self is a blogger and sex toy expert who writes for Lovehoney Australia.


Comments

Be the first to comment on this story!

Trending Stories Right Now