Strap-ons can be kind of intimidating, right? Those harnesses look pretty bad-ass (not to mention the dildos they're designed to sport!) There are also a lot of misconceptions about strap-ons, the biggest one being that they aren't for straight couples.

Well, I'm here to tell you that the strap-on has evolved, and there's now a large range of toys here to suit just about everyone. Having worked in a sex shop, I’ve been amazed to discover the assortment of choices and the extremely imaginative minds of the creators behind these products. Plus, a whole lot of couples can find enjoyment in using one.

Want to strap-on on the fun? Here we'll take a look at the basic types of toys to keep you and your partner oh so strap happy.

'Ol Faithful: The Traditional Harness

The traditional harness is the original style that you may be familiar with. The wearer puts the harness on like they would a pair of pants and the dildo sits on the pelvis. The harness can be adjusted to match the wearer’s height, pelvis length and body width. This type of strap-on is great for beginners because it's simple and easy to use.

Double the Fun: The Double Penetration Harness

Doble penetration harnesses are made with the both the wearer and receiver’s pleasure in umind. They work much like a traditional harness except that there is an attachment on the inside of the harness designed to pleasure the wearer as well. A second dildo, vaginal or anal plugs, and vibrating bullets are some of the attachments that can be found on the inside of a double penetration harness.

Double penetration strap-ons may also have a second dildo attached on the outside of the harness, allowing the receiving partner to enjoy both anal and vaginal penetration at the same time. Double the fun! (Interested in anal? Read What You Need to Know About Anal Sex.)

Love & Light: Hollow Attachments

Some strap-ons include or may be used with a hollow attachment that allows a penis to fit within the dildo. This type of harness is great for men who want a temporary extension of size, or who have trouble with erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation. Even for men who do not have any of these issues, a hollow harness can be used as a fun foreplay tool; being inside your partner but without feeling that full sensation can be a huge tease.

Fancy Free: Strapless Wonders

Strapless strap-ons do not have the traditional harness that you pull on and secure in place. These toys are usually shaped like a wishbone. The vaginal muscles are used to hold the shorter end of the toy, while the length of the toy is used as a penis. One benefit of this form of strap-on is that the false penis sits at a more natural part of the pelvis. The wearer also gets a great Kegel workout during play. Strong PC muscles are needed to keep this toy in place. If you're a newbie, start off with a lighter model and slowly move your way up. (To learn more about exercising your Kegel muscles, read For Better Orgasms, Flex This Muscle.)


One-on-One Fun: Solo Strap-Ons

Solo use strap-ons allow the wearer to use the toy with or without a partner. These types of harness can be attached to large objects or furniture to allow for solo play. Attach it to a chair, have a seat and rock your world. Or, attach one to a pilates yoga ball. If all yoga balls had dildo attachments I would have started using them ages ago!


One-of-a-Kind Treasures: Specialty Strap-Ons

Harnesses aren't just for the pelvic area. Face strap ons, which include the mouth, chin and forehead area are popular, especially in S&M play. They allow penetration in conjunction with other forms of stimulation such as oral sex. There are also attachments made for the thigh area and other body parts, which opens up a whole new range of position possibilities.

Gag harnesses are also popular; one side is a gag or plug that fits into the wearer’s mouth, while the other side features a penetrating attachment for the other partner to play on.

Discreet Dildos: Strap-Ons in Disguise

Strap-ons that allow a dildo to be attached to panties or male underwear are great for people who want to use the toy on the go, or for those who don’t want a traditional harness lying around. This type of strap-on is easy to hide; you can detach the dildo after use and put the underwear in with the rest in your drawer. (Find out what you can get out of sexy lingerie in The Lingerie of Our Lives: Why We're Fascinated With Underclothes.)


Time to Strap on the Fun?

You might assume that strap-ons are for someone other than you. In fact, they can be great for anyone. They can be used as foreplay to warm things up and for full-on intercourse when things get really hot. Be as creative as the product’s designers and find a way that strap-ons can work for you. As long as you use a lot of lube, keep an open mind and choose the right harness/dildo combo for you, don't be surprised if this becomes your new favorite toy.