Guides to buying your first strap on are easy to find, but what if your strap on means more to you than just fucking? How do you shop for a strap on that doesn’t just fit your sexual needs, but also your emotional ones? For a lot of transmasculine people, this is an key question. My strap on set-up was incredibly important when I was first exploring the relationship between my gender and my sexuality. In fact, the first dildo I ever bought was primarily for strap on use. Being the penetrating partner can be very affirming for transmasculine people, especially for people who desire bottom surgery. Even if you don’t want bottom surgery, a strap on can still be an occasional way to alter your appearance to appear more traditionally masculine. Personally, my strap on is a physical representation of my gender, even if I’m feeling a little more feminine. Masculinity is an important part of me, and expressing that during sex is gratifying. A strap on can make you feel more in control, both of the situation and of your gender presentation. Your first strap requires a bit of thought, and hopefully this guide will help you out.
A lot of transmasculine people want a strap on that will look and feel like their own, which is what I’ll be focusing on in this post. However, that can mean a lot of things for a lot of different people. Consider what your ideal penetration experience would be. Do you want your toy to look like an extension of your body? Do you want to progress from soft to hard as the night goes on? Do you want to feel things yourself? Do you want to ejaculate? Then, if you are looking to play with a specific person, what do they want? Do they like a strong G or P spotting curve? Do they like small, medium, or large dildos? The answer to these questions will inform what strap on is right for you.
If you want a strap on that looks like a part of your body, there are a lot of options! Most good sex shops will have a gender expression section, which will generally contain packers, harnesses, and realistic dildos. If you’re pale skinned, you have a greater advantage in finding realistic dildos, but there are some options for people of darker skin tones as well. For your most basic flesh toned dildo, I would recommend the Pleasureworks First Mate*, because it comes in a range of skin tones and has some detailed veins, as well as being reasonably priced for a body-safe silicone dildo. It’s on the girthier side, so check that your activity partner can accommodate that size first. If you want your dildo to feel realistic to the touch, then I don’t think you can go past the skin-like texture of Vixskin. Vixskin is dual density, meaning there is a hard inner core and a softer outer layer, which gives the dildo a realistic impression when squeezed. Vixskin naturally feels a little sticky, but when covered with cornflour, it really does feel like skin! The Mustang is my favourite dildo ever and has a killer curve. It has incredibly detailed veins and comes in three skin tones. There is also the wider Maverick** if your partner likes girth, however it does not have a vein texture. If you want dual density and balls, the Vixen Creations Goodfella* and Bandit* are your guys. The Goodfella has balls that sit apart from the base, so they will sit on the outside of the harness, whereas the balls of the Bandit will sit behind the o-ring. You can also buy one of the New York Toy Collective Love Bumps*, which will add balls to a dildo of your choice. They are coloured to match other NTYC dildos, but they shouldn’t look to odd on another brand’s flesh tone dildo. Uncut cocks more your style? The Tantus Uncut 1* and Uncut 2 are dual density too, but not as squishy as a Vixen dildo. If those are too expensive, but you still want dual density, go for the Blush Novelties Zullo*. Remember, your perfect dildo might not be flesh toned! This is especially true if you are transmasculine and non-binary, and want a strap on that (if you’ll forgive the pun) straddles that line between traditional masculinity and femininity. I have a gold Godemiche Ambit and it gives me a great boost of self confidence every time I wear it. It’s still affirming for my gender to wear the Ambit, but it’s a bit more exciting than just a plain flesh tone. It’sa perfect peacock cock.
Pack and play dildos are another staple of the strap on world. Pack and play dildos allow you to both pack the dildo in your pants, as well as penetrate someone with it later. The Tantus Pack and Play 1 and Pack and Play 2* are good options, but the New York Toy Collective range reign supreme. They are much more posable than anything on the market, and pack almost flat. The Shilo is their standard size, the Mason** is longer, the Carter** is thicker, and the Ellis* is uncut. They are also dual density, which is how they are able to be moved around.
Realistic dildos are pretty cool, but skin tones and veins aren’t the end of your options. When I was choosing my first strap on dildo, it was important that I was getting some stimulation too, so that I felt more involved in the sex. Dual stimulating dildos came in two styles: ones with clitoral ridges and ones that are double ended. Double ended dildos like the Tantus Feeldoes/Realdoes are meant to be harness-free, with your pelvic muscles holding onto the bulb, but they can still be used with a harness if you need the extra support. In the photo above, my fingers sit where your pelvic muscles would. The Realdoes are realistically textured but only come in a pale flesh tone, whereas the Feeldoes are all non-realistic colours. There are different sizes, like the wider Stout** or the thinner Slim**. I have the regular Realdoe and I like it a lot. If you personally don’t like penetration, but still want to feel something during strap on sex, try one of the Fuze toys. They come with special grooves that are meant to stimulate the clitoris, as well as a space for a bullet vibe. There’s a whole range of Fuze toys to choose from, but I like the pale-to-mid flesh coloured Ultra*, which is like my beloved Velvet, and perfect for people who like to be penetrated with something smaller. There’s also the girthier, uncut Foreman**. There is also a model of the Mustang, the Mustang Royale**, which is meant to stimulate the wearer as well, but I can’t vouch for the effectiveness of this feature.
And finally, something that I am very curious about, the Semenette Pop!* dildo. If you want to be able to ejaculate in or on your partner, the Pop! is a good contender. It has a tube inside and a bulb attached so that you can fill the tube with your substance of choice (body safe, please!) and press the bulb to ejaculate it. This is a really exciting feature, and something I am eager to add to my own collection.
It’s also important to think about what your partner wants! If they like direct G or P spot stimulation, then you will want a dildo with a pronounced curve. Ask what size of dildo they would prefer. Dildos are generally measured by diameter, and usually range from 1.25 inches to 2 inches wide. I find that something around the 1.25 inch mark is good for people who are new to penetration, the 1.5 inch mark a comfortable mid-ground (and my goldilocks size), and 1.75 inches and up are best for people who know for certain that they like bigger toys. If I was planning to use one dildo with a lot of different people, I would probably choose a 1.5 inch dildo because this is a pretty standard size. Don’t just choose the biggest dildo, because that might not be what your partner wants! Another thing to ask is whether they like hard or soft penetration. Dual density toys are softer, so don’t choose one of those if your partner likes ramrod fucking. Conversely, dual density toys are good if your partner is on the sensitive side, because the softer material does not poke uncomfortable spots with as much force.
If all those options are a bit overwhelming for you, I’ve added a handy table for you. Read on for harness options!
They are generally three styles of strap on harness: either one strap (which goes between the legs, like a thong), two strap (which goes around the legs, like a jock strap), or full cover (which cover the genital area entirely, like briefs). I prefer two strap style harnesses because I find they give more control, are less abrasive on my cock than one strap styles, and appear more masculine with their jock strap appearance. However, full cover harnesses are more comfortable for long term wear, which is important if you are planning to use a pack and play dildo. There are also three common materials that strap on harnesses are made of: nylon, fabric, and leather. Some people find nylon harnesses scratchy, but they are very affordable, easy to clean, and vegan. Nylon harnesses, like the Haka* harness, are good for beginners who are unsure if strap on sex is going to be a long term thing for them. For full-cover cloth harnesses, you can either go for a brief or a boxer style, and RodeoH* is the leading contender in those kinds of harnesses. I personally prefer boxer-style* harnesses, as well as boxer style underwear, because briefs feels too much like “women’s” underwear to me. The Spareparts Joque* is a pricer, two strap style harness made of cloth. Finally, there is leather, which has an undeniable masculine air. I don’t think you can go past the Aslan Leather Jaguar harness if you want a leather harness. It’s effortlessly sexy, will last a lifetime, and comes in different colours and vegan options. It complements just about any dildo, and is set at a really natural position, to further give the impression that it’s your own cock hanging between your legs. It also comfortably holds double ended dildos like the Tantus Feeldoes, whereas other harnesses can set the o-ring too high. Make sure that the o-ring that comes with your harness will fit your dildo, or you may need to buy an extra o-ring if your dildo is of an unusual size. Harnesses like the RodeoH* with integrated o-rings can stretch to accommodate larger dildos, but cannot hold anything smaller than the size of the o-ring.
The perfect dildo and harness combo can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first time shopping for one. However, the right strap on set up can do wonders for your gender feels and self confidence. Hopefully you can find something here that suits you, or know how to start looking.
* I have not tried this
** I have tried something very similar to this