Dear Ty

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Dear Di,
Is there any sort of restriction on the size of the strap-on couples can use? My girlfriend and I have watched many videos online to give us ideas on how to enjoy them to the max, but some videos show extremely large strap-ons! Are they real and more importantly, are they safe? How about fisting? Is it safe as well?
—Crazy Couple

Dear Crazy Couple,

First of all, I would like to commend you for doing some at-home sex studying. Research is important before trying anything new in bed with your partner, especially when your sexploits have the potential to injure your partner.

Using any large toy will require the hole it’s entering to be stretched. Vaginas lend to the insertion of large objects better than anuses, however if anal play is what you’re after, it is doable.

Let’s start with vaginas and toys. A finger or two in a wet pussy is a great way to start off before penetrating with a penis or any kind of strap-on. Always ensure the vagina is well lubricated before insertion. Generally, natural lubrication will occur if the vagina is aroused, but when a large toy is involved, be sure to use plenty of lube. For vaginal play, water-based lubes are a must, as oil-based lubes are likely to cause yeast infections and other problems.

Anal play with strap-ons and other toys is quite different. Because the anus is not made to stretch as much as a vagina—your poop and infants tend to differ in size—it’s very important that gradual stretching is practised before penetrating with a large toy. Start with one finger, then two, then three, and work your way up with different toys. Venus Envy—the U of O’s neighbourhood sex shop—carries a plethora of butt plugs available in different sizes. Buy three or four smaller ones , and then gradually increase to a size comparable to the strap-on. All the sales associates are informed and incredibly easy to talk to if you have any questions.

Most importantly—with any anal play—use an oil-based lube at each level of penetration. Don’t be afraid to let loose with the lube, since the anus doesn’t self-lubricate. If a surplus of oil-based lube isn’t used, there could be major anal tearing. This is incredibly dangerous and painful, and can cause long-term problems.

Vaginal and anal fisting should be approached as if you are using a very large toy. Remember that a fist is quite large and therefore the appropriate size of toys for pre-stretching may differ when your strap-on is used.

It is also important that nails are cut short and that hands are disinfected with soap and warm water when vaginal or anal fingering and fisting take place. If both you and your partner have decided you’re comfortable with fisting, use a thin, disposable glove. Small, almost undetectable tears in the anus and vagina are likely to occur, and STIs can be easily transmitted.

Lastly, listen to your bodies. If something hurts or you don’t like something your partner is doing, tell them to stop or slow down. It isn’t a race, and the more nervous or uncomfortable you are, the less lubricated your vagina will be or the tighter your anus will be.

Hopefully I penetrated the strap-on question to your liking, Crazy Couple, and please remember to use condoms or other forms of STI and pregnancy prevention if there is any oral or genital play or genital-anal insertion.