Health

The 24 Best Strap-Ons and Harnesses, According to People Who Actually Use Them

Finding the best strap-on for you is like Goldilocks’ porridge: it’s a bit tricky to find one that’s just right. Like any sex toy, how enjoyable a strap-on will be depends on your and your partner’s, personal tastes. You want a harness that fits comfortably and feels secure and a dildo that looks and feels great for whoever is on the receiving end of the strap-on.

Whether you’re new to strap-on sex or not, navigating the many, many options between harnesses and dildos can be overwhelming.

To help you decide which strap-on to take for a spin, we rounded up a mix of reviewer favorites, recommendations from sex educators, and people who actually use them. Before we dive into the products themselves, here’s what you need to know about buying a strap-on.

What to look for in your strap-on

When buying a strap-on, you’re typically buying two things: a harness and a dildo. You’ll often find beginner kits that include both to streamline the buying process, which can be excellent and affordable starter options. On the other hand, choosing a harness and a dildo separately can mean matchmaking the best fit for your preferences, since there are several factors to consider for each.

For this article, we included both combo kits and individual harnesses. (Dildos are another article entirely).

If you decide to go the mix-and-match route, your sex toy store will likely suggest dildos to pair with your harness. But Babeland sex educator Lisa Finn suggests that sexual partners split the decision. “If you’re shopping for a strap with a specific partner in mind, here’s my advice: The top picks the harness, the bottom picks the dildo,” Finn tells SELF. That way, everyone is comfortable with the strap-on as a whole. She notes that some strap-on wearers may want a say in the look of the dildo to ensure they’re comfortable with it in terms of gender expression, but the person receiving should have final say in terms of size and texture.

For people who are more vers or switch, meaning that they enjoy both giving and receiving, Finn suggests a mix-and-match where everyone has their favorite harnesses and dildos.

Style

According to Ashley Cobb, founder and host of Sex With Ashley and sex-toy reviewer, harnesses typically come in three main styles: jockstrap, thong, and underwear. “[Jockstraps] look like a classic jockstrap, with straps around the waist and over each butt cheek,” she tells SELF. “Thongs [have] a strap around the waist and a strap that goes between the legs and between the butt cheeks. Underwear looks like a pair of underwear or boxers.” There are also less common styles, like thigh, chin, or chest harnesses; suspender harnesses; or strapless strap-ons, which require no harnesses at all.

These less common styles may be good options for people concerned about gender dysphoria. “Some people like thigh harnesses specifically because they want hands-free play but really don’t want to think of the dildo as any kind of phallic object, and having it mounted on their pubis isn’t something they vibe with,” Carol Queen, Ph.D., staff sexologist at Good Vibrations tells SELF. Consider how your strap-on, both harness and dildo, will jive with your gender expression.

Queen says that which style of strap-on you choose can also depend on the size of your dildo. Underwear-style harnesses tend to be very comfortable, but if you want to use a large dildo they probably won’t provide the support you need. If you like a large dildo, she suggests using a harness with straps you can tighten for support instead.

Sizing

The style of harness typically informs the type of sizing available; jockstraps and thongs with adjustable straps usually come in one or two sizes and can fit a variety of bodies, whereas underwear harnesses are sized like similar articles of clothing. Adjustable harnesses might be a better choice if you plan on sharing your harness with a partner or want the option to adjust based on fluctuations in your body size.

Comfort and ease of use

How comfortable and stable a harness feels to wear and use can either go hand in hand or detract from each other, depending on the quality or type of your harness. Cobb says that the two-strap styles tend to have much better stability than the single-strap thong, which might make it easier for beginners to control.

Comfort is a bit more personal. Some people find strappy harnesses uncomfortable and prefer ones that feel more like underwear, whereas others find underwear harnesses restrictive and difficult to use. Certain styles might also lead to chafing, depending on the fit on your specific body. Cobb also recommends looking at how low the harness would sit on your body. “Will it press uncomfortably on the pubic bone?” she says. “You don’t want you or your partner to be in pain while using the strap-on.”

When it comes to actually using your strap-on, sex educator Cassandra Corrado tells SELF that the best way to get used to it is simply by wearing it. Wear your harness around the house while you’re doing laundry or dishes, just to see how it feels on your body. Then, add the dildo. You’re doing all of this before you ever use your strap-on for sex. “Get used to the weight and movement just when you move around your home. Don’t be afraid to be a little silly and practice some thrusts, too,” she says.

Practice makes perfect right? And that’s the thought here. If you practice taking your strap-on harness on and off and practice thrusting with your abs instead of your hips, you can feel more confident the first time you use your strap-on for real—and skip awkward moments like putting your foot through the wrong hole.

Material

You should also take into consideration the material, not only for comfort but for how easy it is to clean and share, if that’s something you plan on doing. “Harnesses can be leather or fabric,” says Cobb. “Leather tends to be stronger. However, it’s a porous material and is not meant to be shared because you can not sterilize it. Fabric or nylon harnesses are quite comfortable, washable, and can be used on multiple partners.”

Fabric is obviously a wide category, so check out the specific material to make sure it’s right for you and your tastes (personally, I can’t use nylon straps without feeling like I’m strapping into my childhood JanSport backpack, so…). And just like any underwear, some fabric is more breathable or better suited for moisture than others. You may also want to consider how heavy your dildo is. “Heavier dildos and lighter materials don’t work well together,” Queen says.

Dildo compatibility

Lastly, you’ll want to look at what’s known as the O-ring—the ring through which you stick a dildo. You want it to be the correct size for whatever size dildo you use with it, so check to make sure the diameters match up. Some harnesses come with multiple O-rings of different sizes that you can swap in and out, while others have elastic O-rings that can stretch to accommodate a variety of dildos. O-rings can either be metal or a softer material like rubber, Queen says. Metal fittings can add to the design of a strap-on harness (imagine a black leather, strappy harness with bright silver fittings. Sleek, right?). But metal is hard. If a harness has metal buckles, make sure they aren’t going to dig into you and your partner. “Lying on a metal buckle… owww,” Queen says. And unexpected pain isn’t always conducive to great sex.

Beyond that, there are a few more factors that might influence your taste as well (such as how a strap-on looks when you wear it or how easy it is to put on or swap out different dildos for more variety), but the above are solid starting points. With all that in mind, here are some of the best strap-ons and harnesses from which to choose.



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