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What Are Strap-on Toys?

Medically Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on June 28, 2021

Strap-on toys are dildos that you can wear with a harness. 

Sometimes you can buy both pieces together as a set, but you can also purchase them separately. Many dildos are compatible with a wide variety of strap-on harnesses.

When one person uses a strap-on with another for anal penetration, it’s called pegging. People with vaginas can use strap-ons with each other for penetrative sex. People with penises can use one to give someone with a vagina double penetration. There are also special harnesses designed to let you penetrate someone with your foot.

Why People Like Them

Some people enjoy strap-on play because it allows them to experience penetrating a partner in a new way.

Some people with vaginas enjoy the role reversal of using a strap-on with someone who has a penis.

Some people with penises enjoy getting penetrated anally because of their prostate gland. Stimulating this gland through anal play usually feels good. People with vaginas can enjoy getting penetrated vaginally or anally with a strap-on. 

Some people also enjoy performing oral sex-on a strap on.

Sometimes strap-on play is part of a game of power exchange, in which one partner, usually the one wearing the strap-on, is dominant and the other is more submissive. 

Myths About Strap Ons

Only Lesbian Women Use Them

Anyone can use a strap-on, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation or that of their partner. There are strap-on harnesses for people with penises and people with vaginas.

Men Who Like Getting Pegged Are Gay

Men of all sexual orientations can enjoy anal penetration. It’s just another part of the body that can receive pleasure, like the penis or vagina. 

You Can't Use a Strap-on Alone

You can use one even without a partner. There are special strap-on harnesses for beds, chairs, and other pieces of furniture that you can use for solo pleasure. You can also use a special harness for your foot to use on yourself in a kneeling position.

Care and Cleaning

The care instructions for your strap-on harness depend on the material and model you choose. Some harnesses are fabric and can go in the washing machine. However, a leather or latex harness requires special care. Read the packaging or reach out to the manufacturer of your harness if you are not sure how to clean it.

The material of your dildo also determines how you will clean it. In most cases, you can wash them with soap and water. You can boil non-vibrating dildos made of glass, stainless steel, and silicone to fully sanitize them.

Clean toys after each use to keep bacteria from growing. Then, store them in the original packaging, in a plastic storage box, or in a satin bag to keep dust and dirt off them. 

Show Sources

SOURCES:

Kinkly: "7 Big, Fat Misconceptions About Strap-Ons."

Refinery29: "Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About Pegging."

Self: "14 Strap-Ons and Harnesses That Will Get the Job Done."

Self: "How to Clean Your Sex Toys So You Can Use Them Safely."

Stylecaster: "3 Women and Femmes Discuss the Appeal of Strap-On Sex."

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