With the exception of a few toys designed specifically for couples, such as the We-Vibe, vibrating cock rings or a strap-on, many "couples'" toys are really just the same old sex toys you might use solo. What’s special about bringing a partner in on the action is that it might enable you to use the toy in new and different ways (we only have two hands of our own after all!). (A strap-on's a great couple's toy. Learn more about how to choose one in Strap on the Fun?)
You Have to Tread Lightly
If you want to use a toy with a partner but have never brought it up before, the time to do it is not in the heat of the moment. Seriously. While some people will see that introduction as super-sexy, it’ll make many other people cringe. Plus, it’s a bit of an ambush. Sex makes us vulnerable. Ambushing someone in a vulnerable position is, well, not very nice.
"I think you’re better off introducing the topic before you take your clothes off," Glickman said. "That way if your partner says 'tell me more,' if they have question or feelings, you haven’t just dumped a cold pitcher of ice water on your sexy Saturday night. It’s better to introduce it rather than pull your vibrator out from under the bed. Because you might be surprised how someone reacts to that."
If you want to play with toys, test the waters with your partner first - by talking it over. (Get some tips on how to discuss and negotiate consent in Yes! Why Consent Is Totally Sexy.)
You Have to Experiment
Sex toy retailers tend to bombard people with sensory adjectives. It’s called marketing, and while Glickman says it generally isn’t inaccurate, it tends to lead to one very inaccurate assumption: That all those words will describe your experience with a toy. You know what they say: One person’s leg-shaking orgasm might be another person’s onerous and unsuccessful attempt at sexual stimuation. That's just the way it is with sex toys because our bodies are so different. (You can read more about that in5 Things to Know When the (So-Called) Best Sex Toy Doesn't Work for You.)
"Nothing works the same for everybody," Glickman said. "If a toy really isn’t any good, they’ll stop manufacturing it very quickly. So, if you’ve seen a toy around for a while, chances are it works for a lot of people."
Of course that still doesn't mean it'll work for you. In order to find that out, you’ll have to try it ... and possibly practice a little at using it.
"Sometimes a toy works and sometimes it doesn’t, but try it again another day," Glickman said. "You might need to try something a couple of times to figure out how to make it work for you."
And don’t assume that bigger or harder or stronger is better. What’s better is what feels best to you. Find out what that is, and branch out from there.
Toys Widen Your Sexual Repertoire
"Sex is a lot like food," Glickman says. "You never know what you’re going to like until you try it. So sometimes it pays to be a little adventurous."
Sex toys are a great way to bring a little adventure into the bedroom, to experiment with new experiences and to share them with your partner. Plus, having a few around can really expand what’s on the menu - and that means you and your partner are more likely to leave the table feeling satisfied.
So bring a spirit of imagination and possibility to your sex play. Oh, and bring some toys too. Just be sure to share. And be sure to check out "The Adventurous Couple's Guide to Sex Toys!"