Our Sexpert, Malaika Salaam is here to answer your anonymous sex questions you can't ask your doctor.
Q: Is using a strap uncomfortable, with all the buckles and such?
Answer: It can be... Because of all of the buckles and such. I swear these things are made by men and no, I don't mean man-made, but made by actual men with actual man hands and/or machines with nary a bit of understanding for the female anatomy (mostly). But I digress.
I am assuming that what this question is referring to is a harness for the strap-on dildo, the part that actually houses the dildo and in combination creates what is referred to as "the strap." And in that case, again… yes, it can sometimes be uncomfortable.
The basic fits; single-strap harness, two-strap harness, low-rise harness, and thigh harness each have their benefits and their drawbacks. Here is what to consider:
Single-strap harnesses fit like a G-string.
Benefit: They give you more control (ease of use)
Drawback: The G-string fit may be uncomfortable, you need to be extremely hygienic to avoid cross-contamination, you will need to remove it or at least pull it to the side if you want to be on the receiving end of genital stimulation (see again hygiene). And quite simply, it may just be uncomfortable as hell to wear, causing friction with the motion.
Two-strap harnesses straps fit around the legs.
Benefits: More like wearing panties-- you know if you’re into that sort of thing -- but with all the middle part taken out: so really more like assless chaps. Tend to be a more comfortable fit than a g-string. You don’t have to take them off to be on the receiving end of genital stimulation.
Drawbacks: They take a bit more practice (the getting into part, especially if it’s a midsex transition).
Low-rise harnesses can fit like a two-strap or a full panty.
Benefits: Keeps the base of the dildo on the pubic bone, giving you more control. They can also provide pressure on the clitoris.
Drawback: You will need to take it off to receive direct genital stimulation.
Thigh harnesses fit around the leg (or a chair seat or pillow).
Benefits and Drawbacks: They often work best when the person on the receiving end controls the motion. I honestly just look at this like more or a solo mission or getting your leg humped…so there is that.
Strapless the larger end is worn in the vagina and the longer end is used to penetrate the other partner
Benefit: Sense of closeness due to the absence of harnesses, strap, buckles etc. Mutual vaginal (or anal stimulation). Requires use of vaginal muscles to hold dildo in place.
Drawbacks: Requires penetration of both parties. Requires use of vaginal muscles to hold dildo in place.
Additionally, you want to consider the size of the harness, make sure that it fits your frame. There are a variety of harnesses on the market that accommodate women as small as a size 00 up to super plus (22+). And consider the material, plastic tends to be more forgiving for buckles than metal, snaps over Velcro (to keep things in place) and snap fit fasteners for tightening the whole thing up (the plastic things that click together to lock, I Googled). And, the internet is your friend (sometimes) and is filled with DIY suggestions for customizing your harness to your comfort.
I highly suggest asking lots of questions at your local retailer (some will even let you try on- the harness, not the dildo… cause eww nasty) and finding the best fit and comfortable for your pleasure.
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