Strap-on sex refers to a wide variety of sexual activity that includes strapping on a dildo—usually with some sort of harness. The benefits include, but are not limited to, the ability to add extra appendages to your lovemaking, enabling more intimate body-to-body contact, and experiencing simultaneous genital pleasure.
Many folks assume that this style of sex is "lesbian" sex. Incorrect. Not all lesbians engage in this type of sexual activity, and the largest market for strap-on harnesses are, in fact, heterosexual couples. Many people of all genders benefit from this form of play.
Benefits From Strap-On Play
"Pegging" is both a useful and limiting term that refers to heterosexual couples who "reverse roles". The woman enjoys being the penetrative partner while the guy enjoys being on the receiving end. Some of the added benefits to this type of play (other than the pure physical fun of it), is a chance to explore different fantasy scenarios—even if it's just as simple as what it feels like to orgasm with a cock, and it can expand our level of empathy. The partner on the "receiving" end may begin to really appreciate the fact that the slightest change in size, speed, angle of thrust, or level of lube can make the difference between pleasurable, annoying, or painful. While the partner on the "giving" end, may begin to appreciate the level of athleticism or artistry involved in providing the kind of pleasure your partner desires.
"Pegging" is a limiting word because of its gender and sexual orientation specificity. Really, any cisgendered woman who so desired could benefit from strapping one on whether it is in a heterosexual context or not.
Many men (including transgender men) also enjoy the benefits of strapping on extra dicks! Either for the purpose of having an extra one to provide double penetration, or to use instead of their own either because of erectile dysfunction, orgasm timing discrepancies, a chance to try out different sizes, or to explore fantasy scenarios.
Harnesses come in many styles, materials, sizes, functions, and quality. If you're just starting out you may not (or may) want to buy the Cadillac of harnesses. That said, it's best not to go for the cheapest novelty level harness, either. Many of them are poorly made, uncomfortable, and may not give you the chance to really experience what strap-on sex is like if you're too busy feeling uncomfortable with scratchy straps digging in to the wrong part of your body, losing control of the dildo that is not fastened securely, or having to constantly retighten straps with subpar hardware that doesn't actually have a grip. While there are plenty of reputable online retailers, there are also even more sketchy ones. Besides, it's a good idea to handle the material, try on the fit, and talk to a knowledgeable person beforehand.
Harness materials include leather, nylon, rubber, fabric, etc. Leather is warm, soft, and conveys a classic look, but may take a little more maintenance. Good manufacturers make comfortably soft nylon harnesses, but the lower-end ones can sometimes be stiff and scratchy. Nylon is usually a lower price point than leather and can be thrown in the wash. Rubber is easily wiped down and sterilized, has a great fetishy look, and is vegan. Many of the fabric harnesses resemble underwear, but with an "O-ring for the dildo. They are easy to slip on and off, can be thrown in the wash, and are available at a wide price range—depending on quality and features.
Adjustable strappy harnesses come in single-strap (worn like a thong), and double-strap (worn like a jock strap). Single-straps tend to anchor the dildo a bit more securely, the center strap can provide extra stimulation for vulvas and perineums, but leave the wearer's genitals covered up, and may be uncomfortable on some butt cracks. The double-strap style exposes the harness wearer's delicious ass, pussy, and/or testicles, for some other added play. Adjustable harnesses can fit a very wide range of people, can be adjusted to fit more snuggly, can be shared between partners of different sizes, and you won't run the risk of growing/shrinking out of it. If this is the style you prefer, look for ones with adjustable "O" rings in order to accommodate dildos of various sizes. After all, one of the benefits of strap-on play is choosing the size and shape you want at the time you want it!
Join me at Jellywink this Sunday for my Strap-On Sex Magic For Everyone Workshop! We'll pass around several harnesses, discuss pros and cons, tips and tricks for optimizing pleasure for both partners, and more! Reservations are required! (https://straponplay.eventbrite.com)
Ally Booker is a pleasure activist passionate about educating herself and others on sexuality, communication, boundaries and all the other mechanics of pleasure. You can often find her at her Tucson shop, Jellywink Boutique, 418 E. 7th St.