Autostraddle Strap Week 2021 – All Images by Demetria.
In this series, two babes chat through both sides of one strapping topic — sharing personal narratives with you on their perspective at this point in their queer story. Next up — Do you only need one strap or is variety truly the spice of life?
Demetria Blooms, Author
Pisces Love Choices
“The type of strap I choose to use during sex could depend on the day of the week, the positioning of the planets in the sky, or even the temperature in my apartment.”
As a Pisces, one of the moodiest zodiac signs, I like having choices. What I desire sexually can change from day to day. Having a collection of straps with a variety of sizes, offers me, someone, who loves both getting strapped and strapping equally, honor my moodiness and the sexual preferences of whoever I’m fucking that day. The collection of sizes gives me the versatility to adapt to the sexual energy of the day without the pressure of feeling like I have to settle for a one-strap size for every occasion.
Having choices in strap size is also deeply shaped by the fact that my vagina is not meant for bussing it wide open all the time. Although Urban Dictionary says otherwise, I think bussing it wide open can mean being penetrated by a large and wide strap OR a smaller sized one. The type of strap I choose to use during sex could depend on the day of the week, the positioning of the planets in the sky, or even the temperature in my apartment. I can go from craving a four-inch-long dildo to squeeze my pussy around to wanting to strap up with something very wide because my partner wants to feel the stretch.
I started growing my collection of sizes as a way to give my vagina a break from larger-sized dildos and explore what pleasure could look like outside of just taking a big strap. My collection started after a brief period of hooking up with people who were extremely attached to their super-sized straps. Back then I was convincing myself that I needed to buss it open often despite how stressful it was on my vagina to endure back-to-back sex sessions with a large strap. A caring sex partner started to change my mind after insisting we used something smaller when they noticed my discomfort during penetration. With concern on her face, she told me “Today doesn’t have to be the day we use that.”
This partner had been growing her collection of straps for years and that day I sorted through the large pile of dicks to find one that resonated with me. I eventually explored more sizes in her collection as our relationship grew. I had my top three favorite sizes; a 4 inch, a 6 size inch, and the occasional use of the 12. I was deeply inspired by the ability to be able to choose the size I needed for my pleasure that day and started growing my own collection once we parted ways.
There’s a Black American proverb that says “If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.” This means if you are generally prepared for whatever could possibly happen, you will be okay. Having a collection makes me feel like I “stay ready” when it comes to having a size that people already feel comfortable with and have options for them to choose from if they are interested in exploring. I appreciate that I don’t generally have to run out to my nearest sex shop, or order a new strap online whenever it’s time to transition into a new sexual relationship. If big wide straps are your things I got that and if you’re into smaller ones I got that too! I usually have what I need in the second drawer of my nightstand.
What I love most about my collection of sizes is that it serves as a tool for sexual empowerment for me and the people I choose to have sex with. It allows us to speak up, making sure everyone is heard and acknowledging that the satisfaction we seek isn’t going to be one-sided. It reduces pressure and pushes selfishness of any sort to the side. An assorted collection presents a multitude of opportunities for pleasure and I’m always ready for whichever one I, or my partner, chooses.
Courtney Garrett, Author
“After experiencing it, alongside a rousing performance from me, they quickly agree it’s the only one we need.”
I found the perfect strap-on at the age of 26. Yes, you read that correctly — perfect. It fits me like a glove or should I say, I fit it like a glove? Masterful and expertly crafted, my eyes brighten and glisten every time I behold it. I’d write a jingle about it a la that one episode of The Jamie Foxx Show — but I’m no vocalist. I didn’t find it while roaming through my local sex shop, while perusing online reviews, or even as a suggestion from a friend — this beauty came to me one chilly fall evening after swiping right.
I was a fresh-faced NYC transplant exploring newfound levels of adulthood. My eyes were wide and the gap between my sexual escapades was growing even wider. If you’ve ever been single and dating, then you know how tragic the dating scene can be, add in being a Black queer woman whose friends are 98% straight and the task becomes all the more dreadful. Remember Whitney Houston during her Lifetime Achievement Award speech at the 2001 BET Awards? Replace the names she rattled off with dating apps and you have my experience. I was on every single one and was growing tired of getting no play whatsoever, and then jackpot. I matched with a charming older West Indian woman who was a little mysterious and had BDE. We met for tea and afterward, she and her backpack came over to my place and what followed was a top-tier sexual experience.
It was my first time experiencing this piece of lesbian lore. Strap-ons making their way out of backpacks was real? I couldn’t help but laugh. I was a baby queer new to the scene and I didn’t think people actually roamed the city with straps at the ready. My laughing fit quickly ended after she came out of the bathroom and strapped to her was 6 inches of curved, girthy, glory — also known as the VixSkin Buck. From the audible gasp upon its entry, I was hooked. Buck filled me up and caressed parts of me that I didn’t know existed.
I never understood the hype around straps before this experience. What I knew of them were all rainbows, bright colors, and no texture. At the time my sole experience had been with cishet men. So, when I thought of penetration a bag of Skittles wasn’t what I had in mind, but The Buck — my Buck — was different. The tone of the chocolatey goodness and ridges in the form of perfectly placed veins so realistic you’d swear you could feel its pulse. Once I gained the confidence (and consent) to try my hand as a top I got off seeing my partner have the same reaction to VixSkin strap-ons as I did. They would be in pure ecstasy and yearning for more just as I was that fateful fall night. I realized then that my sexuality was mine to shape. The possibilities were endless. I could express my queerness how I saw fit. I can’t imagine my sex life without it. There have been times where a partner introduced me to a different strap. Some were better than others still none felt as if they were made just for me. Since then, I’ve established with every lover I’ve had that Buck is the only one for me. After experiencing it, alongside a rousing performance from me, they quickly agree it’s the only one we need.
Finding and connecting with the VixSkin felt like queer divine timing. I was breaking down the layers of my newly found queer identity, and finding freedom in releasing stigmas and fears that I once had with my sexuality. For others, settling into your queerness may come from moments that many may deem more conventional, but I found mine in the form of the perfect strap I happened to stumble on while swiping right. I tested others through the years, trying to fit into the narrative of variety being the spice of life but — I always come back to my first love, My Buck. It’s always given me (and my lovers) everything we need, nothing else has come close so there is no need for a drawer filled with straps that will only collect dust. So in the end, all you need is one strap — or whatever it was that Nas said.