Welcome to the Choosing a Toy Guide series. If you haven’t already done so, we recommend reading Choosing a Toy Guide – The Basics first. It provides general information about all types of toys.
Often called strap-ons, harnesses and harness-compatible dildos consist of a harness or straps that go around the waist and between the legs to secure a dildo (artificial penis) to the wearer for use on a partner.
Strap-ons are most often thought of as something used by lesbians. Although it is true that some lesbians use them, strap-ons are also used by men and straight women. A man might use one if he has erectile problems and wants a substitute erection, or he might use them to provide a second phallus so he can perform double penetration on his female partner all by himself. Straight women can use a strap-on so that she can anally penetrate a male partner who has discovered the pleasure available from his prostate.
Things to consider about harnesses:
- What a harness is made from makes a huge difference in it’s performance and longevity. Plastic, nylon, leather, rubber, fabric are all used to make harnesses. The highest-quality harnesses are made from leather, and are the most expensive. Nylon straps (like a backpack strap) are a great compromise between price and durability. For some people it’s more a matter of what they want to have next to their skin than how much it costs.
- G-string or around the thigh? Many people think a G-string harness looks sexier, and some prefer the feel of just a single strap between the legs, but some users want the added control from having a strap around each thigh. Men wearing a harness typically want the around-the-thigh type so it allows space for their own genitals.
- Hard driving or soft? The most common way of breaking a harness is snapping a strap during vigorous thrusting. If you and/or your partner get “enthusiastic,” invest in a high quality harness, or you’ll replace it often.
- Open access or padded? Some harnesses have open crotches, while others have an access hole designed for a second dildo to penetrate the wearer. Other harnesses have a padded crotch that softens the impact of thrusting.
- Size matters (ring size, that is). Most harnesses use a ring to hold the dildo in place. Some harnesses have non-removable rings, so you can only use a dong that fits that size ring. Other harnesses hold the rings on with snaps, so that you can change out the ring size to fit the size dong you’re using.
- Size really does matter (the harness size). The harness should fit snugly on the body, without being too tight. Some harnesses are made for queen-sized users while others are better for a slimmer crowd.
Things to consider when choosing a dildo for your new harness:
- Harness-compatible dildos have flared bases to hold onto the harness by the ring.
- Thickness can be more important than length. The vagina has a lot of nerve endings in the first 1″ to 2″ but relatively few after that. Some women who want that full feeling can get it with a short but thick toy.
- Length may not always be important . . . but sometimes it is. Some women really enjoy the feeling of something bumping up against their cervix while others find it quite uncomfortable.
- Smooth, rippled, or with bumps? Dildos give pleasure from the sensation of being stroked in and out. Some people like a smooth surface while others prefer to feel bumps or ripples on the shaft.
- Want testicles with that? Some dildos are very phallic and include testicles which some people enjoy for their slapping action on a deep in-stroke, while some folks want a generic phallic-shaped dildo that is not realistic looking.
- Some of these toys also belong in the G-spot category because they have an angled or curved tip.
- To vibrate or not to vibrate, that is the question. Some dildos have small removable bullet vibrators. If the bullet dies, it can be easily and cheaply replaced.
- A toy built for two can be twice the fun! Some dildos are double ended and get inserted in both partners at once. They’re best fitted in a g-string harness (unless used by a woman with great control of her PC muscles).