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Sex With a Strap On: The Politics of Penetration

What gender dynamics and stereotypes are exposed and undercut in sexual role reversal?

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Weirdly, I never felt truly confident strapping it on until I started using them on dudes. It always seemed kind of silly—a femme with a dick. I certainly never felt like a dude when I strapped, more like a wayward unicorn. A hot one though. An empowered unicorn. I associated power with masculinity, but I never felt masculine. I asked Seth if riding the brown caboose made him feel like he was giving something up. He said, “I don’t feel powerless. In my mind, whoever’s getting off the hardest is the one who’s most empowered, ultimately.”

Taking a man dirt-roading for a change isn’t just a fuck, but a mind fuck, and a powerful one at that. As one of my friends put it, “Topping someone much bigger than you as a woman is amazing. I may never beat you in arm wrestling, but I can fuck you in the ass. Can you imagine a 6'5" man with those legs up in the air? Beeeauuuuutiful.”

Seth owned his own dildo and strap-on, which was not only convenient, but a testament to his dedication to the craft. As soon as he brought it out, I became suddenly nervous. In all my years of fucking women with strap-ons, I’d had many flubs, faux pas, and episodes of even hurling dildos across rooms out of frustration. Also, even though I’m happy to take the reins in the sack whenever necessary, in my heart of hearts, I like to be taken, not the other way around. But Seth’s longing and experience as a receiver put me at ease, (it also didn’t hurt that I was several vodka gimlets deep at that point) and as I stepped into the harness and tightened the straps, the familiarity and breathlessness came rushing back. I lubed up the modestly-sized dildo as he readied himself on his back, knees hugging his chest to make room for me. The first shock of contact, of connection, is always exhilarating, and when it happened, I felt him stiffen slightly, then push back into me, emitting a soft, wordless sound. I went slowly at first, listening for his exhalations and murmurs of “That feels so good.” There’s nothing sexier than that first audible or physical release of inhibition, and I felt myself flush at the sound of his voice, the giving and the taking that was happening all at once. I angled slightly up toward him, held onto his outer thighs to steady myself, and in that small gesture, I heard his breath quicken, which in turn made my movements quicken as well. In that moment, he looked up at me, appreciative, contemplative maybe, and pushed the hair out of my face, which had swiftly become dampened with sweat.

I tried to keep my focus on his words, his movements, but I was also too turned on to really pay much attention. I felt both amazed and overwhelmed at this steamy subversiveness, something that rarely existed in my normal, day-to-day life.

None of the men I fucked ever felt ashamed or weird about it afterward. Indeed, they seemed to relish the opportunity to explore. It’s not very often, after all, that men are allowed to be sexually vulnerable. Admissions to even having such a desire often lead to the tiresome stereotype of closeted gayness. I asked Seth over beers recently if anyone ever assumed he was gay or bi because he liked strap-on sex. “I’m sure they do,” he said. “But I don’t talk about it publicly that often…just to reporters, and the entire Internet.”

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