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SEX TOYS AND PRODUCTS

How to Build Your Own, Customized Strap-On Kit

by MISTRESS KAY
Published: OCTOBER 8, 2021 | Updated: OCTOBER 15, 2021
Presented by KINKLY SHOP
Good strap-on sex comes down to communication - and well-chosen gear.

Welcome to the fun world of strap-on play and pegging! Now that you're here, I want to make sure you have the best experience possible. Step one for fun and pleasurable strap-on play is having the right gear. You don't need the most expensive gear out there, but you do need gear that works for you and your receptive partner's needs. Frustrating gear doesn't make for a fun time.

So how do you get the best gear? Well, you choose your gear instead of picking from a pre-made package! My goal here is to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. I know it can be scary when you check out a retailer to find thousands of options, so I'm here to help you narrow those options down - and pick the best strap-on harness set for you and your needs. So let's get started, OK?

Selecting a Strap-On Harness

When it comes to strap-on play, the harness is the most important part. An uncomfortable or droopy harness will impact your scene - and your enjoyment of strap-on play. We want your experience to be as amazing as possible, and that starts with the harness. Here are the things you should know about strap-on harnesses while looking through a list of strap-on harnesses to buy.

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Strap-On Harness Styles and Designs

Strap-on harnesses usually come in three basic designs. These names are based off of the strap style that holds the harness onto your body. While every hip harness will encircle the hips as the strongest anchor point for keeping the harness on, where the rest of the straps fall is what differentiates the different harness types.

A single-strap harness has a single strap that runs between the legs (and against the genitals) - much like a thong. Like the Sportsheets Bare as You Dare harness:

single strap harness

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A double/jock-strap style harness has two straps that run between the legs (and usually fall into the crease between the pubic area and the thighs) and run underneath the butt cheeks before hooking back up to the hip straps - much like a jockstrap. Like the Spareparts Joque:

jockstrap style harness

Finally, the "panty" style harness is just that. It's a wearable panty with very little in the way of straps and buckles - but it has a built-in O-ring in the front that's designed to hold a dildo. Like the Spareparts Sasha:

panty style harness

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So which type is best for you? In an ideal world, you'd get to try them all out before you made your final purchase. In the real world, well, that just isn't how it works (unless you have some amazing kinky friends!)

If you're looking for the most comfortable for all-day wear and the most familiar to use, the panty-style harnesses are probably your best bet. They feel like (and behave) just like a pair of underwear - which is pretty familiar for almost anyone.

However, panty-style harnesses have the smallest size ranges, usually have built-in O-rings (which limits the variety of dildo sizes you can use), and may not offer as much dildo contact during pegging. Depending on the fit, most users find that the dildo gets pulled away from their body during most thrusts.

Want more contact with the dildo? A double-strap/jock harness may be your best bet. The two straps help hold the dildo more firmly against the body, which means the dildo will contact your clitoris and other pleasurable areas more often. However, these harnesses have more straps (which may seem more formidable to a first-time user), and some people don't like the more "masculine" appearance of the harness. Some people also complain that all of the straps around the genital area can block access to the wearer's genitals while wearing it.

Your middle ground is the single-strap harness. It's easy to step into and go right to town, but it doesn't offer as much toy contact for the wearer as a double-strap harness. It also offers the ability for the strap-on giver to use internal toys of their own - which might be attached to the single, between-the-legs strap of the harness.

Strap-Ons and O-Rings

Harnesses come in two varieties: either with built-in O-rings or interchangeable O-rings. O-Rings are the rings that hold the dildo in the harness. When the ring is too large, the dildo might be floppy and move around a lot. If the ring is really too large, the dildo might come out entirely. When the ring is too small, the dildo just plain won't fit.

Built-in O-rings are harnesses where the O-ring is, well, built-in! Usually, it'll be a stretchy type of rubber that's been sewn into the fabric of the harness. This ring will stretch a little bit, but it won't go too far outside of its O-ring's diameter. Luckily for us, most retailers will list the size of the O-ring on the product page to help you figure out whether your dildo will fit.

A person slides a dildo into the O-ring on the Anal Explorer Kit

Interchangeable O-rings are just that: O-rings that can be changed. You can purchase more O-ring sizes at a sex toy store or, if you're the crafty type, O-rings can be found at hardware stores. (Just make sure it's extremely smooth or you might slice holes in your dildo when you put it on!) Most interchangeable O-rings are held in by a system of snap buttons, allowing for a quick and easy change.

This is where having an idea about your potential dildo's width is helpful. If you know you'll likely want a dildo that's over 2 inches in width, you'll want to be careful about purchasing built-in O-rings. Some built-in O-rings can stretch that far - but not all! If you think you'll always stick to toys with a diameter under 2 inches, you can feel safe buying that built-in O-ring - and never have to hassle with the annoyance of changing out the rings.

It's also worth considering how often you'll want to change dildos mid-session. While a built-in O-ring will require you to pull-down the harness and slide the dildo out of the interior of the harness, you'll be able to leave the harness in place while switching out a dildo in an interchangeable O-ring harness. Why? Most interchangeable O-ring harnesses have the snaps and O-rings on the front of the harness. This means you can unsnap and switch out the dildo without having to move an inch of harness fabric.

O-rings are easily interchangeable depending on the size of the dildo.

Strap-On Harness Sizing

Like any piece of clothing or any harness, your potential strap on harness has a specific size. Luckily, since manufacturers want to ensure their harnesses fit wide varieties of shapes (so they don't have to make 10 versions of the same harness in slightly different size variations), most strap-on harnesses are very adjustable.

Single-strap and double-strap harnesses are going to be the most adjustable. Since they are made up entirely of straps, their design really allows for adjustability to be built right in.

On the other hand, panty style harnesses behave like a pair of panties - which means their adjustability is a bit more limited. Most panty style harnesses are made from stretchy material (which can help), but panty style harnesses can't quite offer the same level of stretchiness that strappy harnesses off.

If you're plus-sized or especially tiny-bodied, you might want to pay special attention to the listed sizes that the harness will fit. Most harnesses run between 30 inches and 64 inches. In almost all cases, the "inches" refer to the hip measurement - since hip harnesses encircle the hips. If your potential strap-on harness is particularly high-rise or low-rise, make sure to take measurements on that specific area to ensure that the harness will fit on your body at that spot.

Some sites, like Kinkly Shop, allow you to specifically filter your search by what sizes the strap-on harness will fit. For adjustable-style harnesses, the biggest factor is limited material. This means that most harnesses will use "fit up to" for its sizing language - since that means there's enough material to fit people well-underneath that measurement.

If you're especially small, remember that you can always cut off extra strap material you don't need if it's bothering you.

Pick a Dildo for Your Harness

OK, we've got the "hard part" out of the way. The strap on harness makes the largest difference in the wearer's enjoyment of the strap-on activity and, to be fair, that's what's important here. Sure, the receiver should definitely enjoy the experience too, but if it was all about the receiver, you could just use your hands to push the dildo in. We want this to be so enjoyable that the dildo wearer will want to strap on the dildo instead of just using their hands - and that's where that good strap-on harness you picked will come in!

That being said, picking a dildo is mostly about the receiver. While the wearer should enjoy wearing the toy (and having a good, supportive harness for the toy size will contribute to that), the receiver should be able to comfortably receive penetration with the toy - and enjoy its shape. When you're shopping for a dildo for strap-on sex, here's what you should keep in mind:

The Biggest Factor: Dildo Width

The width of the dildo makes the largest difference in whether it will fit in your potential strap-on harness - or fit into your partner! Make sure your dildo's width fits into your harness or the fun will stop before it even gets started. Ensure that your dildo's diameter is slimmer (or the same) as your strap-on harnesses O-ring. That way, it'll fit into the harness.

Of course, the dildo needs to fit into the receiver, too! Especially if you're playing anally, it's important that your receiver be able to comfortably take the size of the toy. Because the wearer has no sensation in the strap-on cock, it's easier to hurt the receiver during penetration if the receiver can't comfortably take the size of the dildo.

This means that dildo width should be your starting point for shopping - above all else. Start by narrowing down your dildo choices by their widths or diameters then start selecting your favorite options within that size. (I offer some tips on figuring out what diameter is a good starting point below).

Luckily, most sites (Kinkly Shop included), offer toy filters that allow you to only shop specific sizes. This makes it easy to see the dildos that would work for your needs at a glance - and it helps you avoid getting distracted by toys that aren't a good fit.

It's also important to note that any dildo you plan on using in a harness will need some type of flared base. Most dildos you'll see have a noticeably wide base; we call that a "flared base". This helps anchor the dildo into the harness so it doesn't go flying out as soon as you start having sex. A flared base dildo doesn't always look so standard and plain, though. Many realistic dildos include testicles that function as that "flared" base.

Limba Flex dildoThe Limba Flex dildo has a flared base that allows it to fit nicely inside an O-ring - and against the body.

Dildo Length

Despite "dildo width" being the biggest limiting factor to most beginners, usually dildo length comes up in discussion first. Ever heard something like "I can take 7 inches!"? I have, many times. For some reason, especially for people interested in receiving a pegging, length seems to be at the forefront of their minds while sizing a dildo.

While most people find width their limiting factor, length does matter, though. Especially if someone is new to pegging or strap-on sex, it's very possible to have a dildo that's too long. It's generally not as limiting for most beginners as width it, but it's still an important factor.

Essentially, this has a lot to do with internal anatomy, but both the vagina and the butt have areas you can "bang into" if you insert too deeply with a semi-rigid object. The vagina has the cervix. The butt is a bit more complicated. You've probably heard that you need flared toys to play with the butt because there isn't a set "end point" to the butt like there is in the vagina.

This is true. However, about 6" inches inside of the bum (varies by anatomy), the anal canal has a sharp curve in it caused by the pubo-rectal sling. The angle this creates varies from body to body - and also depends on what position you're in, too. This angle can be very gentle - or it can be even more intense than a 90-degree angle.

Essentially, if someone's angle is very gentle, they might be able to take long dildos with ease; there will be very little material for the dildo to "bang up" against. If someone's angle is very extreme, though, even a 5" dildo might be too long.

If someone's angle is particularly extreme, I'd recommend investing in a set of OhNuts. These nifty rings essentially being penis limiters. This ensures you can use the dildo width and length that the harness-wearer is into - but you can also ensure that penetration is always comfortable for the receiver too. This allows the thruster to thrust with abandon without worrying about harming the receiver. I promise, poking up against the wall of the colon with a dildo just doesn't feel good.

OhNuts

Dildo length can also be particularly important if either partner is thicker in body size. If the wearer has thick thighs or a squishy tummy, the thickness of your body might reduce how skin-to-skin you can get with your partner. At the same time, if the receiving partner has thicker thighs or a squishy booty, this also can make dildo length a deciding factor. Since the external body parts that the dildo needs to navigate through are larger in size, it means you'll probably need more dildo length in order to get deeper penetration.

Now you have the basic gist of determining size when purchasing a dildo.

A Simple Dildo Sizing Trick

Presumably, if you're getting ready to try pegging or strap-on sex, you've probably used your fingers to penetrate before, and if you haven't, it's a good idea to start! Luckily for us, your fingers can be a quick "cheat guide" to figure out what dildo size you should go with.

Just insert your fingers to the place where you normally enjoy playing - then pull them out and use that point to measure around the width. For sanitary reasons, I'd recommend using an old, throwaway ribbon. Just wrap it around your fingers at the point where they were inserted, and there you go: you now have a good idea of what diameter is a good, comfortable fit for you!

Dildo length can be a bit harder with fingers. I'd recommend trying to insert your longest finger (just it, by itself) and try some finger-banging. Do you notice any discomfort when the finger is entirely inserted? I not, you're probably good-to-go on getting a dildo of that length. Since most of our fingers aren't particularly long, this isn't a great test, but it's better than nothing. (I know my longest finger is only slightly longer than 3".)

If you've never used fingers, I recommend giving it a try now - before you pick up a dildo! If you're uncomfortable with that and just want to move straight into a dildo, look for a dildo that's about 5" in length and 1" (or less!) in diameter. Any of these toys can be a great start if you're not sure what to pick for your first dildo:


Remember: you can always buy another toy if the current toy you purchase is too small. Until that new toy comes, you can still enjoy playing with your too-small toy and enjoying the sensations. If you purchase a body safe dildo that's too big, however, you won't be able to play with the toy at all, and you'll be left with a useless paperweight until you've done enough anal stretching to find it a comfortable size.

So, all things considered, err on the side of "too small"! At least you can still play with it then!

Dildo Material

When shopping for a dildo, you should take the material into account too. If your toy isn't marketed as "phthalate-free", consider moving on to another choice, or at least cover that dildo with a condom before play!

Check out our guide on sex toy materials. It's worth reading to get a basic understand of materials before you make your final purchase.

At the very least, understand that toys that can be sterilized (like a waterproof dildo) are less likely to retain an anal scent after play. For me, that's all the selling point I needed to ensure that my pegging toys are pure, body-safe silicone.

You should make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for care for your dildo too - it'll help it last longer!

Vibrating Dildo? Or Not?

A number of strap-on dildos are available with vibrations. Vibrations can be fun; not only will the receiving partner feel the sensations, but depending on the toy you choose, the wearer can also feel the vibrations against their own body!

A Dildo's Looks

Not only does your dildo's appearance change how the dildo feels, but it can change how you feel about it too. Some dildos look extremely realistic (with testicles and texture and different skin tones) while other dildos are made in solid, bright colors with no realistic detailing.

You should choose a dildo that works best for you - and talk between the two of you to ensure it's a toy that turns you both on. You might be surprised to find out the receiver hates any realistic toys - while you were in-love with the thought of having your own realistic penis.

It also could be surprising to find out that your receiver thinks your favorite design won't do much for them sensation-wise. Open communication here is best!

Remember: part of the awesomeness about strap-on sex is the fact that you can have any dick under the sun. ANY one. Huge and thick? It's doable. A fantastical vibrating dildo? Done. A silicone dildo that cums? Yep, that's doable too. This wide, huge open opportunity is amazing, so don't be afraid to experiment with shapes that pleasure the receiver and the wearer.

Okay, but What About Strapless Strap-On Dildos?

It's my personal opinion (and entirely my personal opinion!) that beginners should shy away from the strapless strap-on dildos. While they can be a hot fantasy (and something to explore down the road!), strapless strap-on dildos add multiple new things that you need to manage on top of your harness and dildo - like lube and comfort for the dildo wearer, ensuring the angle is right, picking a harness that works for a strapless strap on dildo, and keeping the dildo slid inside the wearer's body. It really is more things to manage!

Not to mention, most strapless strap-on dildos have thicker dildos attached to them. This means that they're not usually very beginner-to-anal friendly.

Consider sticking with a standard dildo now - and getting a strapless strap-on dildo down the line. (Y'know, like my favorite, the Strap-on-Me Vibrating Bendable Strapless Strap-On). They're much more fun to experiment with when you already have a handle on the strap on harness and dildo side of things.

Strap-on-Me Vibrating Bendable Strapless Strap-On dildo

Don't Forget about Non-Hip Harnesses Either

If you've spent this entire article thinking a hip harness isn't for you, don't feel like you don't have any other options. While they're not as commonly talked about, there are lots of ways to strap a dildo onto a body - and you don't have to "settle" for a harness that goes around the hips if that isn't sparking joy!

Instead, there are things like the Sportsheets Thigh Strap-on Harness. Using the power of easy-to-use Velcro, this allows you to simply strap a dildo onto the thigh - zero hip involvement required.

See?

GIF shows a person placing the Sportsheets Thigh Strap On on a mannequin leg. The person adheres the velcro straps together and twists the mannequin to show the finished set-up.

It may not be your jam, but if it might be, I wanted to let you know.

But ... There's Nothing Wrong With a Strap-On Kit

OK, I get it. I know I touted the benefits of buying the harness and dildo separately, but there's no reason you have to. You might be in a hurry, you might just honestly find a strap-on kit that seems perfect, and you might just prefer to take the stress out of the decision by letting someone else choose the items for you. Now that you have all of this information, you're going to make a better, more-informed decision about any particular strap-on set-up you choose to buy - whether it's a kit or not.

Let's take the Sportsheets New Comer's Strap-On Kit, for example.

Sportsheets New Comer's strap-on kit

Designed specifically for people interested in pegging who don't want to fuss about the details (and want an affordable, one-stop-shop to get both a dildo and harness), the Sportsheets New Comer's Kit Special Edition makes everything as simple as possible. The included, slim O-ring ensures that your beginner-sized dildos don't slide out. The velcro refastening system means you never have to hassle with snaps - when (or if!) you decide to upgrade to large dildos and O-rings.

Plus, the adjustable design of the strap-on harness means it fits a huge range of body sizes. The New Comer's Special Edition Strap-on Kit fits all the way up to a 72" hip. Need it a bit slimmer? It adjusts down much, much smaller too!

Plus, it comes with a super-slim, beginner-friendly dildo designed just for those new to anal pleasure (or those who love super-slim vaginal dildos!) It's 5.25" in length with a super-slim diameter.

While it probably won't be your "forever" strap-on kit, it gives a great starting place to learn what works and doesn't work for you before you invest in a more-expensive BDSM kit.

It helps you answer questions like:

  • Do you need/want padding underneath the dildo for your comfort?
  • What about padding on your back? Is that something you need to help support your body?
  • How important is an interchangeable O-ring to you?
  • Is nylon a comfortable material for your harness?
  • Where do you like your strap-on harness to sit? Is this a good resting point or would you prefer it higher or lower on your body?

There are also other strap-on kits available out there too. Take these for example:




Remember: if you fall in love with the dildo or the harness but aren't in love with the other part, you could always come back and pick up something you're more-likely to love for the part of your kit you weren't into!

When you're ready, you can now take your amazing, strap on kit and expand your knowledge even further. Let us help you with some of our fantastic articles like:

Happy shopping, and enjoy some amazing strap-on sex!

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PRESENTED BY

Photo for Mistress Kay
Mistress Kay

Mistress Kay has a fondness for all things sexual. With a house that's quickly running out of room for all of her reading and vibrating pleasures, she spends her free time reading, writing, and learning about the sexual universe with her partners. She can be reached at Kinky World.

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