You Need Help: Real Talk About Your First Strap-On

Do you know how many questions we get about sex? Formspring, emails – hell, I’ve even been facebooked! More than once! But at least the last time I answered a question via facebook, I figured that the answer could spark a potentially meaningful conversation about sex. Talking about sex is something that we don’t do enough, as a society. So we’re going to start answering a few more questions about what we do in bed. Welcome to You Need Help: Sex EDition. Disclaimer: not everyone answering questions will be a medical professional. These are our opinions. These articles about sex are to promote conversation, so if you agree or disagree with what we say, please feel free to leave it in the comments. Discussion, much like sex, is a healthy part of life. And as always, You Do You. Or someone else.


 

Help! I just got a strap-on and it turns out I’m not so skilled at using it (yet). How do I learn? Straight porn? Practice? (Don’t worry, we’re planning on practicing.) I’m also really in my head for strap-on sex; it’s all new. Any advice?

Congrats on the strap-on! I would say there’s nothing in the world I like better than strap-on sex, but I say that about every sex act I enjoy. It’s really really fun, though. And practicing with the new dick is fun.

It’s sometimes hard though, and not in the punny way. You’ve now got this appendage that you’ve never used before. It’s attached to your hips, which is unlike any other appendage you have, and it requires a specific muscle set to be able to control it the way you really want. This is a muscle set you really won’t have unless you’ve been fucking with something like a strap-on. You also can’t feel what you’re doing with it the same way you can feel with your other appendages. And, when you first strap-on, the act of it can feel a little silly because, as you mention, you get in your head. I had all these same issues with strap-ons when I first started using them – here’s how I counteracted all those thoughts and expectations I weighed myself down with.

Start by getting acquainted with your brand new dick by yourself, without anyone else (partner included) present. There’s a certain amount of comfort that just comes from having it on and knowing what that weight feels like, knowing how your movements affect where it goes. Wear it while cleaning the kitchen, for instance. If you have a waterproof harness, shower with it on.

And most importantly, masturbate while wearing it. There’s an element to this that isn’t just comfort, but mental connection. When one is mentally connected with one’s dick, one may experience a certain amount of feeling with it. Not the same way you can feel with your fingers or your mouth. It’s more of a brain feeling. And masturbating with it helps facilitate that mental connection. Grab some lube and see how you like it touched. See what about it turns you on. And it could be that you discover that you need a little extra stimulation – some harnesses have a place for a bullet vibrator right in the front. Check to see if you have one of those harnesses. If you do, see how that feels for you as well. Really the big thing about getting acquainted with your new friend is that you want to get as comfortable as possible while wearing it. Get down with your bad self.

Yes, porn helps in the inspiration department, but not as much as one would think in the practicality department. It’s nice to see what kind of sex acts or positions other people enjoy taking part in, but because everyone’s body is vastly different, you may not get the kind of how to you’re looking for. You also may not necessarily need to watch straight porn – I find that I don’t care for most mainstream straight porn. And for getting inspired with my strap-on, I’d rather see people who are actually using a strap-on. Try Crashpad. There are a few scenes that explicitly deal with strap-on sex – this one between Jake and Wilder, for instance.

Then, of course, there are the how-to’s and step-by-steps. Babeland has a ton of events in their Manhattan, Seattle and Brooklyn locations. Keep checking there for a strap-on-related workshop. Smitten Kitten paired up with Queer Porn TV (that’s Courtney Trouble, folks! Sexy!) to bring you two how-to videos. Sinclair Sexsmith has an entire tag on their site entitled “Butch Cock,” which is full of sexy stories and sex advice alike. These how-to’s can serve to make you more comfortable, but nothing is a substitute for good ole fashioned practice.

Please be super communicative when doing anything in bed, especially if you’re new at it and it’s your first time or first few times. One of the major things that jumped out at me was that you said you don’t seem to be skilled at it yet. How do you know? You could be rocking their world. When you’re using a strap-on with someone else, both parties have to be unabashed about what they like, how they like it, how fast, how hard, how deep, etc. While you may experience some sensation, you’re not going to be able to feel reactions the same way you would with your fingers and mouth. The best way to learn how to fuck your partner with a strap-on is from your partner. So let them know that it’s okay to say exactly what they want – it won’t hurt your feelings, it’ll just help you learn. Also know that you’ll probably be really sore after your first few times doing this: there are muscles you don’t have yet that you’ll be using to control where this dick goes. So even if you start out really, really slowly (recommended! Please start out really, really slowly) it still requires muscles you didn’t know you had.

Did I mention to start out really slowly? Please, insert slowly. Fuck slowly. Slow and steady wins the race.

A few more thoughts:

YOU NEED MORE LUBE THAN YOU THINK YOU DO.

Actually, so does everyone for almost every sex act ever. Use a water-based, glycerin-free lube. If you haven’t been using lube, go out and get some. I like Babelube, Maximus and Liquid Silk. Sometimes people think they aren’t good at something or that they can’t do some sex act when all they really need is moar lube.

SOMETIMES IT’S NOT YOU. IT’S THE HARNESS.

If you feel like you don’t have a tremendous amount of control even after a lot of practice, know that not all harnesses are created equal and that different people prefer different harnesses for their bodies. For instance, I love my RodeOH, but I get tons more control with my Spareparts. That could be different for you. And I’ve tried to use a broken harness at least once in my life and let me tell you, that shit does not work – check to make sure everything is connected as it should be. It could also be that your harness isn’t fitting you correctly – harnesses usually need to be tighter than one might think on their first go, and some harnesses do stretch a little during sex, so try tightening up and see how that feels.

BASIC POSITIONS ARE BEST FOR BEGINNERS

When you’re starting out, I wouldn’t go straight for the rockstar positions. Some that I find easier to work a dick with are:

– one partner on all fours, the dick-wearer on their knees behind them

– traditional missionary position

– both partners standing, one bent over the bed/desk/chair/dresser/other person, the dick-wearer fucking from behind

– any blow job position at all. Strap-on blow jobs are super hot.

– In any or all of these positions, try circling your hips instead of only pumping them straight in and out – try other motions, too. Mix it up.


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Staff Writer for Autostraddle, Part-time Faculty at The New School (teaching digital storytelling), Managing Editor for Scholar & Feminist Online at Barnard Center for Research On Women. Follow me on Twitter @AEOsworth or on Instagram, also @AEOsworth.

A.E. has written 542 articles for us.