Pleasure Activist 

Strapping Strap-Ons! Part II

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Keep in mind that not all dildos are harness-compatible. They require a wide flat base that acts as an anchor and is held securely in place by the O-ring of the harness. There are a couple exceptions to this rule.

One of the advantages of strap-on sex is that one can easily change out the size, shape, and density of the dildo to cater to the receptive partner's particular tastes. When shopping for a dildo, try not to let your eyes get too big for you or your lover's actual comfort zone. If unsure, it's best to err on the side of too small rather than too big. Too large of a dildo can be painful. Also, keep in mind that a large squishy dildo will feel quite different than a large firm one. Other factors include curves, textures, and girth as well as length. It's not uncommon to have several different types of dildos in the toy box for various moods and appetites.

Other than the gear and accessories of strap-on sex, two other pieces of the equation are the safety, comfort, and pleasure of both the "receptive" partner and the "pitching" partner. The same rules apply to strap-on sex as any other kind of penetrative sex. That is, when trying anything new, start slow, communicate, and pay attention. Let the receptive partner guide the speed, rhythm, angle, motion, depth, and dildo size until the "top" becomes more fluent to the receptive partners preferences.

Any sexual position one usually enjoys with their partners while engaging in non strap-on sex can be recreated in the context of strap-on sex. If one is reversing roles with their partners, however, slight adjustments will have to be made to account for body proportion differences. That is, your boyfriend's cute tush may be too high for your pelvis in standard doggy style, but may be just right if he's laying flat with his hips hoisted up by a cushion. Perhaps he's also a bit too high for sex while standing ... until you throw on a pair of heels!

An aspect of strap-on sex that some folks may find mystifying is the pleasure of the harness wearer. For many, the simple act of strapping one on, and seeing a rigid dildo extending out from their pelvic area is enough to arouse a type of energetic genital connection. In the context of Western science, this can possibly be attributed to brain plasticity and mirror neurons. For example, 90 percemt of amputees experience some form of sensation in their missing or "phantom" limbs. In the mid-90's, neuroscientist Vilyanur S. Ramachandran mapped out the brain activity of a group of amputees. He discovered that the neurons that were hardwired to connect certain parts of the body to specific sensations can migrate so that one still experiences sensations in a body part that one no longer has when, in fact, a different part of the body was actually being stimulated.

This can be tested using a mirror. A mirror image of a limb will frequently be experienced as the actual limb. You can also try this at home by throwing on a strap-on harness and sensually circling the head of your dildo. For some, a realistic looking dildo helps with this type of physical connection, while others may be uncomfortable with representational dildos and would prefer a hot pink glitter glam dildo. Regardless, an empathic sensation via a strap-on dildo only goes so far. Fortunately, there are several other ways to provide mutual stimulation during strap-on sex.

Specially designed two-way dildos are a great way to experience simultaneous pleasure. These are different than the classic "double dong" type dildos that are straight across. First of all, these dildos are not harness compatible and so cannot be used very well in the strap-on sex thruster/thrustee dynamic. Two-way dildos that are designed for strap-on sex are angled so that they can be inserted into the vagina (or ass) of the wearer while still seated at the correct angle to provide thrusting power to your lover. Some of these two-way dildos are advertised as "strapless", implying that one's pelvic floor muscles alone can hold the dildo in place without the aid of a harness. However, this is not true for many people or at least too distracting. That said, they can be used with a harness and they still serve the fabulous function of connecting lovers. Well-designed two-way dildos made of a pure and dense silicone transfer vibrations well so that one can often feel their partners body around the other end of the dildo.

One drawback to two-way dildos is if partners have different preferences in terms of size and material because essentially, both partners would have to share that one dildo. In that case, another great option are special sleeves designed to connect two different dildos together. Some harnesses come with this sleeve. While not quite as ergonomic, this is still a harness compatible work-around that allows partners to customize their end.

Adding vibrators is another great way to add stimulation. Again, some harnesses come equipped with specially placed pockets for little vibrators. Vibrating cock rings are another effective way to add some hands-free vibrating stimulation because cock rings can also be used on dildos! Just like harnesses and dildos, not all vibrators are created equal. Some may be too weak, while some others too strong. Part of the fun is exploring until you find what's just right.

Ally Booker is a pleasure activist, passionate about educating herself and others on sexuality, communication skills, sex toy use and safety, and all the other mechanics of pleasure. You can often find her at her Tucson shop, Jellywink Boutique, 418 E. 7th St.

More by Ally Booker


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