Sex toys and products

Want to Buy a Harness? Read This First

by Kinkly
Published: MARCH 6, 2014 | Updated: JUNE 30, 2020
Asking yourself a few simple before buying a harness can make for happier humping.

A couple years ago, I got a request for an advice piece on how to choose a harness for strap-on sex. I didn't have to do much research before it became apparent that a 500-word blog post was not going to be enough to encompass all that goes into this important sexual tool.


So, two years, hundreds of harnesses and multiple orgasms later, Queerie Bradshaw’s Guide to Choosing a Harness is finally live (and free to download by clicking here).

Kinkly asked me to share some of the top things I learned from making this guide, so here they are.

Before You Buy

Before you pull out your wallet, ask yourself the following questions:


Are you going to pack and wear this harness out, or are you going to only use it during sex?

Different harnesses serve different purposes, so knowing what you hope to do with a harness can help narrow down the multitude of choices. Underwear-style harnesses are the more comfortable option for public wear, but a jockstrap-style harness will give you a sturdier fit in the bedroom.

Do you want something more masculine, more feminine or somewhere in between?


Thankfully, the options are plentiful these days, so pick something that makes you feel sexy, whether it be a lacy, satin, femmier piece, or a rough-and-tough leather one.

Is harness sex something you’re hoping to have frequently or something you want to do once in awhile?

The cost of a harness can range from $15-$250 dollars depending on the quality of the material and craftsmanship. If you’re just looking to have one night of fun, there are lots of comfortable, inexpensive products to choose from (usually nylon and rubber), but if you’re looking to strap it on frequently, buying a better-made, more-durable harness is a worthwhile investment (leather is the most durable).


What kind/shape/size of cock are you going to want to use in the harness?

Most harnesses have a ring of some sorts that holds the dildo/cock in place. Some rings are interchangeable for any size, but others only fit specific sized toys. Also, harnesses made out of cloth aren’t going to hold up a heavy cock as well as a leather one would. Knowing what size of a cock you want to put in your harness is an important step in figuring out what kind of harness you’ll need. (Get more tips and style recommendations in Strap On the Fun?.)

During the Purchase

Don’t be afraid to try the product on in the store. A good sex shop will have products on display, and you can also call a shop to have them help with your choice. If you’re purchasing online, make sure you get a measuring tape and measure your body where the harness is going to hit.


Most manufacturers have sizing guidelines, so be sure to follow them. A good fit makes all the difference with a harness.

Before Sex

There is always awkwardness in trying something new, so having a sense of humor is the best advice I can give when it comes to strap-on sex, and really, sex in general. You’re going to feel like a pubescent boy, so just go with it: run around the house doing "the wiggle dance," shove your cock between couch cushions, (consensually) put it in your partner’s ear ... whatever helps you to get used to it and feel comfortable.

Get your giggles out as much as possible now and you’ll feel more comfortable when it’s time to put the harness into action.


Getting Down to Business

Start simple, don’t go for the full Kama Sutra in one night. Missionary style can be surprisingly exhausting and difficult to maneuver. Try switching to something like doggy style or cowgirl, where it’s easier to see what you’re doing.

If you’re the one receiving penetration, it’s important to guide the harness wearer. Let them know what they are and aren’t doing right, and remember that this is new to them, so have some patience with your pleasure.

Harness Care and Cleaning

It is very important to keep your harness clean to avoid bacterial infections and other STIs. Cloth harnesses can be thrown in the washing machine, but leather harnesses are a bit trickier to clean.

Good luck - and happy humping! (Afraid to try a strap-on? Check out 7 Big, Fat Misconceptions About Strap-Ons.)


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