Gay Harness Guide 2023: Top Styles & Brands
Harnesses & Gay Culture
The harness is an iconic and traditional gay accessory with an origin in the leather and fetish communities of the 1960s. Harnesses grew in popularity through the 80s, which many leather enthusiasts attribute to the historic artwork of Tom of Finland.
Harnesses are trendier now more than ever. Even during the past few years alone, tons of new styles and brands of gay men’s harnesses have emerged.
In addition to their use as a kink/sex accessory, gay men wear harnesses at all sorts of events.
This guide covers all the basics including common types of men’s harnesses, what materials they’re made from, all the most popular gay harness brands, unique styles, and how your harness should fit.
So whether you’ve never worn a harness before or you’re looking for new style inspiration, I have plenty of ideas to share with you.
Different Harness Types and Materials
The traditional gay harness is made of leather straps connected with metal hardware like buckles, snaps, and rings (called “grommets”) in a style known as a “bulldog harness.”
Now referred to simply as a chest harness, it’s constructed in an H shape, accentuating the shoulders and framing the chest.
100% leather harnesses don’t come cheap and are often considered an investment in gay fetish gear. Fortunately, plenty of imitation leather options are available at a fraction of the cost. They’re often better for first-time buyers, anyway.
Many types of harnesses today are made of elastic materials, making even more intricate designs and color variations possible. For example, rubber and thick-strap neoprene harnesses resemble leather ones but offer more flexibility.
This flexibility can be ideal as part of a circuit party outfit for comfort while dancing but may not always offer proper “function” when things turn sexy.
As society embraces queer culture, harnesses don’t always have to be designed for masculine-presenting gay men anymore either. Many new styles implement components with a feminine flair.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, here are the best and most trusted brands to buy your harness from.
Popular Gay Harness Brands
Addicted Fetish is one of my all-time favorite gay brands, and their harnesses strike the perfect balance of quality and price.
Born in Barcelona, Addicted is known for flashy yet tastefully branded gay underwear, clothing, and fetish accessories. Each Addicted harness has a perfectly placed AD logo on the front.
Mr-S-Leather is one of the world’s best gay harness and leather gear brands. They’re the real deal, crafting high-end true leather harnesses.
Solidly constructed with the finest materials, these come with a correspondingly luxury price tag. But the quality of these harnesses is well worth the price.
Most of Mr-S-Leather’s harness styles come in several sexy bold colors and are easy to pair with matching accessories like attaching jockstraps, armbands, and body extension straps.
The X-back neoprene harness is another one of my favorites for its overlapping back straps and clean look.
Mister B is interestingly one of the only gay harness brands that sell rubber chest harnesses. If you’re around water, no material will be more resistant than rubber.
You might just have to add one of these to your list of gay pool party essentials!
The Slick Harness is one of Andrew Christian’s latest styles and it looks super sexy, especially when paired with the separately sold Slick Shorts.
Garçon carries some of the brightest elastic gay harnesses you can find. They’re great for guys with slimmer body types because the extra wide bands really stand out.
I personally love Garçon’s Ocean Circuit Harness, which you can buy along with a matching jockstrap.
TOF Paris has taken elastic harness design to a whole new level, with dozens of products to choose from.
Their collection includes adjustable suspender harnesses, shoulder harnesses, and even an all-new hoodie harness. One of my absolute favorites though is the TOF Paris circuit leg harness.
Rough Trade Gear
I think the Bulldog Metalsmith Harness is epic too, featuring custom metal plate hardware.
Gay Harnesses on Amazon
Gay harness brands on Amazon are popular for being inexpensive, available in all sorts of color variations, and shipping quickly. For first-time harness buyers, Amazon is a fantastic way to try a few options to find out what fits best.
This chest belt harness by a brand called Comebuy is one of the best adjustable harnesses on Amazon. It’s inexpensive and has hundreds of stellar reviews—a perfect choice for harness newbies.
Their neoprene shoulder strap harness is worth a look too, which comes in seven color variations.
More Gay Harness Styles
Endless other unique gay harness style variations are out there. But since they’re often sold by smaller gay clothing or fetish brands, finding them can be a bit cumbersome.
Not to worry though—here are some more stylish suggestions to help you stand out from the crowd.
Torso and Body Harnesses
Charlie by Matthew Zink’s body harnesses are both elegant and sexy at the same time. Carefully crafted in New York City, it’s easy to see how they command such a luxury price point.
All their waist belt harnesses uniquely feature attached straps and come with gold, silver, or black hardware. Charlie’s Stallion Belt Harness is constructed with a back buckle and antique silver hardware.
Light-up and glow harnesses are all the rave, especially at evening pride parades and afterparties. Some of them use reflective strips, while others are true battery-powered apparatuses. Nothing attracts more attention than something shiny!
If you prefer minimal harness styles without any bands or straps across the chest, check out Garçon’s Espanola Shoulder Harness. The extra thick bands really pop, making them easy to see.
Harnesses by Skull & Bones are also minimal but in a completely different way. They feature chic brass hardware with specialty thin-strap printed leather styles. Their brown leather harnesses are one of my all-time favorites—I think they’re so chic.
Sex Party Harnesses
Harnesses worn at sex parties need to be extra kinky. Mister B’s Leather Slave Harness is an ultra-tough and modern apparatus that covers the whole torso and connects down below to a removable cock ring.
For those who love playing rough, a leather neck harness with an attached strap is easily one of the most hardcore types of harnesses. Depending on how you want to use it, the strap can be worn on the front or the back of your neck.
A choker-style harness is a less-extreme alternative since the band around the neck connects to the chest straps instead of a dedicated pull strap.
How A Harness Should Fit
Harnesses should generally have a snug fit around the upper torso without being too tight. Straps that are too tight will restrict movement and irritate your skin. A size that’s too large will look awkward and slide around on your body.
For those worried about potential discomfort, starting with a neoprene or other elastic-type harness may be best.
If you’re buying your first harness, choosing a highly adjustable style is best. Pay attention to sizing guides when purchasing your harness. You’ll need to know your chest measurements to do so.
If you aren’t sure, grab a body measuring tape. Or, if you have some string and a tape measure handy, you can get an estimate this way.
Remember to measure around the widest part of your chest. This is typically where the tape rests just below the armpits. Don’t let the tape droop or sit at an angle while measuring.
Is Your Harness the Wrong Size?
If you have a harness that’s too big or too small, there may still be hope for making it fit correctly.
Creating a new notch in the harness for the buckle allows you to adjust the fit of the harness even further than what’s existing, so long as there’s enough material to do so.
The cheapest and quickest way is a good old hammer and nail. Give that nail a good ol’ whack, but keep in mind not to damage the surface beneath it.
If the nail you’re using isn’t sharp enough, you can start the process of creating the new notch by twisting the end of a knife in the new hole’s position.
To do this more properly, grab a leather hole puncher online. Get one that comes with multiple hole punch sizes to correctly match the other holes on the strap of your harness.
Trim any excess strap with a cheap pair of leather scissors, which will be sharp enough to also cut through fabric or plastic elements of the harness.
Gay Harness Accessories to Complete Your Look
Depending on where you’ll be sporting your latest harness purchase, a few well-chosen accessories can take your outfit to the next level.
If you tend to play rough, you may need to get wrist straps with proper hardware to attach to.
Pairing your harness with the right jockstrap is essential at any underwear party or fetish-themed event. Most importantly, keep the balance of your outfit in mind.
Harnesses with brighter playful styles or thinner straps tend to pair better with regular jockstraps or colorful booty shorts.
Fans of anonymous play and puppy play love pairing gay harness looks with a matching dog head mask. These come in all sorts of colors and often include matching shoulder straps.
Light-up wrist bands are the easiest and least expensive way to easily complement any colorful or glow-themed harness. I’m not talking about those snappable glow sticks from childhood—these are modern and much sexier!
Taking Care of Your Harness
If you’ve invested in a quality harness, you’re surely going to want to make it last.
Leather harnesses need to be carefully cleaned and cared for. Never use any harsh cleaners on a leather harness since they can cause over-drying and subsequent cracking.
A simple leather care kit is all you’ll need. These consist of a gentle cleaner followed by a leather conditioner that will help to soften the material.
Elastic harnesses don’t require as much care and are often machine washable. Just be careful not to put them in the dryer! High heat will degrade the material’s elasticity and likely shrink the garment.
For even more harness style variations and unconventional designs, check out wolfyy’s gay harness idea list on Amazon.
For destination ideas and inspiration, browse wolfyy’s full list of gay travel guides.