Beginner's Guide to Strap-On Sex

A strap-on is a harness worn around the waist with a dildo attached to it. The main benefit of using a strap-on rather than holding and thrusting a dildo is that it leaves your hands free to touch and caress your partner more, while delivering penetrative stimulation.

Often considered a sex toy for couples, strap-on sex can be enjoyed by lesbians wanting to experiment with larger items for penetration and heterosexual couples that may use it for pegging – when a woman anally penetrates a man – or, if using a hollow strap-on, the man can have sex with his partner using a different shape or style of cock.

Anatomy of a Strap-On

There are several parts that make up a strap-on set:

How to use a strap-on - Harmony Store

Harness

The strap-on harness is the main bit that's worn around the hips, slipping over the legs and will either be crotchless – with fastening straps running around the thighs to leave the wearer's crotch area open – or designed like a G-string or thong with a gusset.

Getting a good harness is a key part to satisfying strap-on sex. Finding one that fits and feels comfortable to you is really important. Ideally it needs to be able to fasten tightly and securely, so that it doesn't slip in the middle of the action and throw you off your rhythm. For this reason many strap-on harnesses come with adjustable waist and leg bands that let you tighten and loosen as required. This is also handy if you plan on both you and your partner using the harness as it means you can have just the one and adjust it easily for whoever is wearing it.

Harmony Leather Harness £49.99 Harmony Leather Harness £49.99

Strap-on harnesses can be made of many different materials, including leather, latex, nylon webbing and sometimes even faux fur. Which material your harness is made of will come down to personal preference and what you think you'll find comfortable, but it's also important to consider hygiene. With lubricant and natural fluids bound to come into contact with the harness, it's important to think about how you'll keep it clean: with sanitising wipes and sex toy cleaner, or if you specifically want one that can be put in the washing machine for quick and easy cleaning.

Part of the fun of strap-on sex is that you have the opportunity to play with a range of different dildos. While we'll get onto dildo choice in a minute, in terms of picking a harness that allows you to use it with lots of different strap-on dildos then the harness needs to have popper front panel that lets you remove and change the sizes of the O-rings.

Strap-On harnesses we recommend

Packer Gear Briefs, £24.99

Sportsheets Latigo Leather Harness, £34.99

Harmony Leather Strap-on Harness (3 colours available), £49.99

Linx Metal Trilogy £6.99
Linx Metal Trilogy £6.99

O-Rings

An O-ring is a circular metal, silicone or rubber ring that slips over the strap on dildo and fastens it to the front of the harness. Most harnesses come with at least one O-ring already, making it easy for you to attach a strap-on dildo. However, as long as you have a harness with an interchangeable O-ring option then you can choose rings with bigger or smaller diameters. This will give you more versatility, because the O-ring needs to snuggly fit around the base of the dildo and, not surprisingly, dildos come in a wide range of sizes.

O-ring sets we recommend

Pocket Pleasers Rubber O-Rings, £4.99

Linx Trilogy Metal Ring Set, £6.99

Sex & Mischief Nitrile Silicone Set, £9.99

Strap-On Dildos

Strap-on dildos either have a realistic penis appearance, or they'll be designed as non-phallic. The beauty of strap-on dildos is that there are so many to pick from, so you can have a different sexual experience every time. Pick from different materials like silicone, rubber or even glass and they can come in a range of shapes, sizes and even textures.

Sportsheets Please Silicone £24.99 Sportsheets Please Silicone £24.99

If you're new to strap-on sex you might want to begin with a small, thin strap-on dildo. Not only will the smaller, lighter dildo be easier for the wearer to control, but it may also feel more comfortable if the receiver is not used to penetration or pegging. You may decide to Increase girth and length as you become more experienced and desire something bigger.

One design feature all strap-on dildos have in common is a flared base. This allows them to sit flat against the harness and be easily anchored by an O-ring.

Beginner strap-on dildos we recommend

Sportsheets Strap-On Silicone Dildo Please, £24.99

Fun Factory Amor Mini Silicone G-Spot Dildo, £29.99

Tantus John Doe Silicone Realistic Dildo, £49.99

Three Beginner Strap-On Sets to try

Rather than shopping for a separate harness, O-ring and dildo, it is sometimes easier and more cost effective to buy a strap-on set that includes it all. Here are three beginner strap-on sets that are ideal for when you want to test the waters without breaking the bank.

Sportsheets New Comers Strap-On Set, £32.99

Fetish Fantasy First Timers Strap-On Set, £44.99

Tantus Bend Over Beginners Silicone Set with 2 Dildos, £54.99

How to use a strap-on and get the most pleasure out of strap-on sex

Whenever a new sex toy arrives it's tempting to dive straight in and give it a go. But if you don't fully know how something fits, looks or works then chances are it could ruin the intimate moment if you're trying to figure it all out mid-session.

Get the most out of your strap-on sex experience by following these simple tips for a more pleasurable first (second, and third) time.

Get to know your strap-on

If having a dick is a new experience for you, then before jumping between your partner's legs, spend time getting to know your strap-on set up one-on-one. From a practical point of view trying on your strap-on before the big moment means you'll be familiar with the harness and how best to adjust it for the perfect fit.

From an erotic viewpoint, the most powerful sex organ is the brain. While you can't feel your strap-on in an anatomical way, you can learn to imagine the sexy sensations and build up a connection with your strap-on. Think about how you would like it to be touched, kissed or sucked. Would you want it done differently or the same way as your partner touches your other erogenous zones?

While the wearer may not get much physical stimulation out of their strap-on – unless it vibrates or the harness includes an internal plug for the wearer – it can provide a lot of sexy arousal through your state-of-mind. The better you know your new appendage, how it moves, the weight, the texture, then the more likely you are to deliver very satisfying stimulation when with a partner.

Communicate with your partner

Communication during any sex act with a lover is important, but if penetration or pegging is something new to your sexual repertoire, then it's even more important to communicate during strap-on sex. The harness wearer won't be able to feel the sensation they're like you can with the mouth, fingers or penis, so you should ask whoever is receiving how it's feeling. Perhaps you need to go slower, or the dong is too hard, or the position not comfortable. The more you know, the more satisfying your experience will be.

Practise your thrusting

Maintaining a rhythm when thrusting isn't as simple as it might seem. If this is a movement you're not used to, then you may find it tiring when doing it for a sustained length of time. Spend some time practising your thrusting and don't worry if you find it tricky the first few times when with your partner. Practise really can make perfect.

It's also worth bearing in mind that 'thrusting' doesn't mean going at it like a jack-hammer. Dildos can feel a lot firmer than an actual penis and may not bend as easily. Going slowly will allow your partner to adapt to the sensation, as well as give you the chance to build up a steady, maintainable tempo.

Lube up

This is especially important if your pegging, because the anus isn't self-lubricating. Make sure you use plenty of water-based lubricant on the dildo and insert slowly.

Even if you're not using your strap-on for anal sex, lubricant can help ease unwanted friction between the dildo and your partner, providing extra satisfying glide. Just remember to clean the harness as well as the dildo after play.

Need more help and advice?

If you feel confident and ready to put together your perfect strap-on combination, then head to our Strap-Ons section to find a harness and dildo to your tastes.

Alternatively, if you have extra questions you can email our customer services team enquiries@harmonystore.co.uk or visit us in our London stores, where our trained Sales Assistants will be able to talk you through our range of strap-ons to help you find the perfect set.

For more information on strapless strap-ons, read our guide on guide on How to use a Strapless Strap-On.

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