Aug 022009
 

Sportsheets Vibrating Velvet HarnessThe Sportsheets Vibrating Velvet Harness is composed mostly of nylon straps, so when I touch/look at/wear it, all I can think about is backpacks. It makes me think of middle school, of buying a JanSport to be hip, of adjusting it to hang at just the socially acceptable position, then packing it with school supplies and adorning it with keychains.

Obviously, this is not the best memory to be replaying whenever you’re strapping on a dildo. But replay it does, as I adjust one, two, three, four straps, two around my legs and one around my waist (it fits up to 60″ hips). And I remember, yet again, that nylon scratches as it goes on, and never feels good. It’s not horribly uncomfortable, but it’s certainly not soft. I don’t enjoy the feeling of it against my skin.

Of course, the Velvet Harness looks a lot nicer on a mannequin/mannequin-like blonde model woman than it does on me. On me, a real human, the velvet part bunches up and rests very, very low. Honestly, it looks pretty dumb. It does not make me feel sexy at all. If I adjust the waist strap around my ass instead of my waist, I can get it to sit a little higher, but not by a lot.

The three O-rings for the Velvet Harness (1.5″, 1.75″, and 2″ in diameter) are black and made of rubber. This is all well and good until you go to actually change the O-ring. To do this, you have to unsnap four straps, and the snaps are a complete bitch. There is only a sliver of nylon past the end of each metal snap, so there is nothing to grab onto while pulling. One of the snaps took me a good five minutes to unsnap, and now all the snap straps are fraying at the ends. I can’t even imagine trying to accomplish this task in the middle of a play, let alone with sweaty fingers. Plus, undoing the straps causes them to slip out of their slots in the velvet part.

Basically, you don’t want to be changing the O-ring unless you are prepared for frustration and for the harness to fall into disarray. So, uh, choose your O-ring wisely? And if you’re planning on unsnapping one of the snaps to put a dildo in, have fun trying to keep the strap from sliding out of its slot. Bottom line: no way in hell will you ever look suave changing the O-ring or dildo in the Velvet Harness.

The fact that the O-rings are rubber means they are slightly stretchy, which can be nice if you want to squeeze a dildo through. However, rubber also means less support for each dildo than a metal O-ring would provide. The first dildo I put in the Velvet Harness was the Tantus Sherbet, which promptly hung nearly vertically. I had more success with the Tantus Curve because of the Curve’s hefty base and its curved shaft. Most dildos put into this harness, though, do not look nearly as perky as I hoped they would, and I’m guessing this could cause some issues with penetrating the right spot on a partner.

In a last-ditch effort to save itself, the Velvet Harness comes with a watch battery bullet. Mine was dead (surprise surprise — 75% of the ones I receive are D.O.A.), so I used one that wasn’t. It fits into a pocket in the velvet, supposedly to vibrate the wearer’s clit. As you might suspect, this doesn’t happen. For me, it vibrated too high (go figure, even though the harness was riding very low), and the strength of the bullet left a lot to be desired, especially through the velvet.

The We-Vibe Tango and Screaming O Vooom are better, but really, even a perfectly-placed bullet could not save this harness. Nothing about it worked the way it should’ve. I don’t have to fuck someone with it to know that it would kind-of suck. I’m sure I could get a dildo into an orifice of some kind and thrust sufficiently, but it would not be comfortable, easy, or fun.

Want a better harness? I adore the Joque.

The Vibrating Velvet Harness is available at Smitten Kitten, SheVibe, Babeland, and Good Vibes.

  • Red

    This harness (well, not specifically this set, but the same nylon design is seen in a variety of different systems – mine had a leather pad) is my absolute favorite for its versatility and ease of cleaning. However, I use it without a pad and on double ended dildos (share, feeldoe, nexus etc). I never, ever use this harness with a regular dildo UNLESS I am playing with someone who is not a regular partner. In that instance, this harness is awesome cause it can be washed very easily….or replaced with fresh nylon webbing (or a whole new harness) if that feels like a prudent thing to do.

    Anyways, long comment short, I am sad this harness was not very nice to you!

  • @Red: I’m glad you like it more than I do. Being able to use it with double-ended dildos is definitely a plus, but I’m really hung up on how annoying the snaps are. Do you find them difficult?

  • Red

    Actually, I’ve never had much of an issue with the snaps, and I have had a few of these harnesses. So maybe you have a dud, or maybe my constant fiddling rendered them easier to use?

    I just looked at the price tho. This velvet set with the vibe? Not worth $60. Fork out the extra 20-60 on a quality leather harness 🙂

  • @Red: I really should have mentioned the price, because you are so right. Leather harnesses aren’t much more than $60. I haven’t tried any yet, but I’m guessing I would like them a hell of a lot more.

  • Virginia

    I agree! The snaps on my harness were so difficult to use that after ONE use I tried to change the O-ring and the snap pulled out of the nylon fabric! Luckily, I bought it at Early to Bed here in Chicago and they are so awesome they used a nifty tool they have to put on a different snap to make it functional again but to be honest I haven’t used it but one other time-mostly because of how low it rides, as you mentioned-and I’ve given up on the watch battery vibes all together. I wish I had read this years ago before I dropped the $!!

  • @Virginia: Comments like yours are the reason I review, so thank you so much. I’m sorry you had such a bad time with this harness, and I feel your pain!

  • Lady Alexandria

    The way the straps are…I would also be reminded of a backpack in middle school or high school…that’s “not” good for having sex or feeling at all sexy–it’ll probably put you “out” of the mood rather “in” the mood.

    Things always look better on mannequins than real live humans. But if it looks as weird as you say, then I definitely don’t want to be getting this. I’d like to get one that at least looks “and” feels good–and makes you feel sexy…rather than making you feel like a school kid again.

    Thanks for the review 😀

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  • Selective Sensualist

    Thanks for the heads-up on this one. Like I said on your wonderful review of the Joque, I think that harness will be the one we try when we’re finally ready!

  • summer_anne

    This is my first harness and I thought it was pretty effective, but reading this has me wondering if I’d have better luck with something else that doesn’t ride so low. I only have continuous success with one position so far. I picked this one because of the ‘up to 60″ hips, I’m about 47″ and didn’t want to risk spending $ on something that would be borderline too small. Do you have any recommendations for harnesses that are compatible with larger hips?

  • summer_anne

    Nevermind, I just read your review of the Joque (I’ve been randomly clicking through related links at the bottom of posts rather than going chronologically) and the size B sounds perfect. Thanks for your reviews!

  • Yes, yes! The Joque, the Joque! Or Theo. Whichever style suits you.

  • summer_anne

    Great to know you are still so enthusiastic about this harness after almost 3 years!

  • Elizabeth M

    Do you know if this is the same harness that comes with the Tantus Bend-Over Beginner kit? https://www.shevibe.com/tantus-bend-over-beginner-harness-kit.aspx It looks about identical to the purple one. I’m very interested in that set since it’s a good deal for a harness and a nice pair of dildos, but as my boyfriend and I do qualify for the “beginner” label, I don’t want to make things even more complicated by using a crappy harness.

  • Yup, same harness.

  • Elizabeth M

    Thanks for the fast response! I’ll definitely look into some alternatives, then – probably the Joque.

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