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Six Tips for Purchasing the Perfect Strap-On

Because they ain't cheap, and your pleasure is important.


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Credit: Greg Rakozy

I stared at the wall of options, then looked at my girlfriend.

 

“Do we want blue and curvy? Purple and long? Black and latex? Clear crystal? Vibrating or non-vibrating?” I asked.

 

“Whatever you want, honey,” she smartly replied.

 

“And what about the harness….leather, nylon, small, large, big hole, little hole?”

 

Her blank stare told me everything I needed to know. We were in over our heads. But I refused to ask for help, or walk out of the store empty-handed.

 

“Blue and nylon it is!” I shuffled up to the register to purchase our item, then concealed it in a brand-less floral shopping back before leaving the store.

 

Unfortunately, our lack of knowledge and experience in strap-on purchasing resulted in a tattered nylon harness held together by a dog leash and a stolen rubber O-ring a week later (another story for another day).

 

Our purchase had also been a mood-killer of sorts since the damn thing took nearly twenty minutes to put on! “Honey, are you done yet? Can you find the leg holes? Are the straps tight enough? Want to cuddle instead?”

 

After three weeks of strap-on struggles, we realized we needed help, but “Do you use a strap on, and if so, can you give us a little advice?” Isn’t a conversation starter for social gatherings.

 

To our delight, our friends are freakier than we expected. And when they’re tipsy and relaxed, they’ll share almost anything.

 

“We need help,” I told a friend one night. “I’ve dreamed of being with a partner who would enjoy using a strap on, but we can’t figure out what to buy.”

 

After being lectured about our use of a dog leash to replace a broken nylon strap which had been cut  with scissors out of frustration because the straps were too long, we got some sound purchasing advice.

 

That night, we went online and selected a new harness - one that was compatible with our current dildos. The harness arrived a few days later and the difference in our experience was well worth the investment.

 

Now we feel like strap-on pros! Perhaps we’re being a bit cocky (I had to throw in a dildo joke somewhere).

 

Since I consider it my civic duty to make sure others don’t waste valuable time shopping when they could be strapping it on, I thought it important to share our newly-discovered wisdom.

 

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Here are six things to consider when purchasing a strap on:

 

Size

Here’s the good news - while men are stuck with the size they are born with, women can have any size they desire! In fact, we can have as many sizes as we’d like! Sorry men…we’re just that lucky! Our suggestion? Buy two to three sizes to see which dildo fits you best. And depending on how you plan to use your strap on (perhaps you enjoy it in the rear), it might even be important to have both large and small options.

 

In addition, make sure to find a harness that fits you. A loose strap-on means a floppy friend. A snug strap-on means forever fun. If both parties plan to wear the strap-on, and you are each different sizes, make sure the harness is adjustable to fit each body size. Otherwise, purchase two separate harnesses that accommodate the same accessory attachments. 

 

Shape and Color

Although this might be an insignificant tip, consider the shape and color of both the dildo and harness. Each may add to or take away from your experience. First, look at shape. Do you want a dildo that resembles an actual penis, or do you prefer something less realistic? Do you want a g-spot curve or do you prefer something straight?

 

Second, consider colors. It truly doesn’t matter if your harness or dildo matches the underwear you just threw on the floor. But, if for some reason it does, pick your favorite color, or get one of each! Adapters and harnesses are available in nearly every color of the rainbow. Our only suggestion…avoid a red dildo. It’s just not sexy.

 

Features

To vibrate or not to vibrate? That is the question. If you choose to vibrate, keep in mind that when you purchase a vibrating attachment, you have to consider where the batteries are stored. It’s not very romantic holding onto a battery pack while getting your freak on.

 

Also consider the harness style. Some are low-waisted while others sit up higher. Some harnesses fit like a g-string, while others have straps that grab each buttock. There are also some that are strapless and instead insert into both partners. We’ve found that we have more control with the double buttock strap construction, but everyone has a preference. Buckles or adjustable nylon straps? Both are effective, but we find that buckles are more easily adjustable in the heat of passion. Not to mention that they seem to slide on and off more easily.

 

Material

This is probably the most important component of the strap-on-buying experience. Consider both the material of the harness and the dildo when making your purchase.

 

The dildo goes inside of you, meaning that any latex sensitivities need to be considered. Years ago most dildos were made with latex, or plastic. Although there are some starter kits that are very effective and safe, like the one made by Pure Romance by SueZie, if there is a serious sensitivity issue, you might prefer to stick with a silicone or glass adapter. As for the harness, nylon is simple enough to use and very easy to clean, but leather is often more comfortable, user friendly, and controllable.

 

Ease Of Use

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to wear a strap-on. Unfortunately, that’s how we felt during our first go around. Heed our advice and look for a harness that can easily accommodate several dildo sizes and is simple enough to slide on and off within a minute or two. If your partner is falling asleep while you adjust your floppy friend, then it is time to look for a new strap-on.

 

Budget

Obviously, this decision is up to you and your partner. However, what we can tell you from experience is that if you purchase a low end unit, the odds of replacing it within the first six months is highly likely.

 

So the choice is yours. You can either buy a basic kit for around $30, or purchase a set for up to hundreds of dollars. Our suggestions? Start somewhere in between. Our new leather harness was $100 and our set of 3 interchangeable dildos around $70. We’ve not once regretted the purchase.

 

There are several places to purchase affordable strap-on sets. If you’re “priming” to go, Amazon has a large selection of toys, some with FREE next day delivery! If you can’t wait that long, head to your nearest toy store, but be prepared to pay more.

 

With four months, my partner and I have purchased three strap-on sets and spent hundreds of dollars in an attempt to find the right set for us. Hopefully, with the tips provided above, you’ll avoid wasting money and time in your purchasing process.

 

 

 

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