Hello MKE SEX,

I’m in the market for a new harness for the first time in more than a decade. I have a new partner and I just don’t like to bring old toys into new relationships. My girlfriend will be responsible for selecting a dildo or two (or three!), but since I’ll be the one wearing the harness I want to pick it out myself. I’ve always used the regular kind with a bunch of adjustable straps. It worked fine, but it was decommissioned a while ago. I just never replaced it. I’ve been looking around a little, and I’m really curious about the new-ish underwear style harnesses. How do they compare to the traditional ones? Do people like them? I don’t want to skimp in terms of quality, but I don’t want to spend money on something I just won’t use.

Thanks!
Strapping Sweetie

Dear Sweetie,

Congratulations on the new relationship! What a super fun reason to need a few new toys. Let’s dive right in and figure out what will work for you!

Pros: The underwear style harnesses are really great. They’re easy to put on and take off, and you can throw them in the washer between uses (skip drying them to make them last longer). They have a fixed o-ring that can accommodate a lot of different sized toys, too. The ones made by RodeoH are cotton (mostly cotton, anyway). The ones made by SpareParts are mostly nylon or rayon. Underwear style harnesses do a great job, too. They’re smooth and not binding. Another thing I love about underwear style harnesses is the versatility in terms of gender presentation. For masculine folks, there are boxer brief styles like this and this, and brief styles like this and this. And for folks who like it femmy, there are frilly panty styles like this and this.

Cons: The fixed o-ring means that you can’t change it out if you want a toy that is bigger at the base than two inches. Also, they’re plenty supportive for most penetration, but if you and your partner are into very vigorous or fast thrusting they can present a slight issue. The underwear doesn’t hold the toy quite as snugly to your body, so there can be a slight delay if you really get going with both speed and depth. This won’t affect everybody, but it’s good to know if there’s a high likelihood of that pounding motion during sex.

If you decide to look at a traditional harness with all of the straps, they have their own pros and cons, too.

Pros: Traditional, adjustable harnesses can be cinched up to provide support wherever you need it. And because they adjust at several different points on the body, you can really fine tune the fit. A lot of jock style harnesses are leather, and lots of folks find that super sexy. This one is great, and the leather is so soft and buttery. The ones with nylon straps (like this and this) can still be thrown in the washing machine, too, which is nice.

Cons: For people who don’t have a lot of experience, they can feel weird to put on the first few times. It can take a few tries to step into them and get the straps adjusted smoothly. And while some people really love the look of a jock-style, other people feel like it’s just too much accoutrement for them. Leather harnesses can’t go in the washing machine either. You have to wipe them down and spot clean them as necessary. Not a very big deal if you’re only using it with one partner. But if you’re seeing multiple people or you change partners, you can’t technically get the leather completely clean from an STI prevention standpoint.

Curious about cunnilingus? Anxious about anal? Do you have questions about queefs or problems with your prostate? Lucky Tomaszek is the education coordinator at The Tool Shed: An Erotic Boutique, Milwaukee’s only mission-driven, education-focused sex toy store. Send her an email at mkesex@gmail.com and she’ll get back to you with an answer.

About The Author

Lucky Tomaszek
Contributor

Lucky Tomaszek is the education coordinator at The Tool Shed: An Erotic Boutique, Milwaukee's only mission-driven, education-focused sex toy store. Most mornings you can find her balancing her cat and her keyboard in her lap, working to make the world a smarter, safer place for people of all genders and orientations.

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