SEX TOYS AND PRODUCTS
A Couple's Guide to Trying a Sex Toy
Published: FEBRUARY 7, 2022
Communication, education and taking things slow will ensure a safe and sexy time when using sex toys with a partner.
When many of us think about sex toys, our first thought is likely about the solo endeavor of using a sex toy - especially to masturbate. Penis strokers, wand massagers, rabbit vibrators, and even sex machines might come to mind.
For a lot of us, we neatly relegate certain categories of other sex toys into "couples toys": like sex furniture, impact play toys, kinky restraints, cock rings, and couple's vibrators.
But nothing can be further from the truth. No matter how many people a toy can pleasure at once, any sex toy can be a couple's sex toy! There are lots of ways to use a sex toy in the bedroom together - even something as simple as a dildo.
Using sex toys as a couple can provide:
- Orgasmic pleasure - especially when sex toys can "save the day" when you are dealing with fatigued mouths or fingers.
- An amazing way to get to know your partner's pleasure zones as you see how those toys affect them.
- Hands-free, effortless ways to add more sensation during partnered endeavors.
- A simple way to help close the orgasm gap - and ensure everyone has a great time.
- Beneficial ways to help extend intercourse - or make it faster.
- Reduced pain during intercourse (looking at you, OhNuts!)
- Simulated group sex. You might not be ready for another human being in the bedroom, but a dildo - or a second one - is totally something you'd try!
- Novelty. Trying something new can be as simple as adding a sex toy!
- Quickie benefits. Especially for people who might take longer to orgasm, using a sex toy can speed things up - and ensure everyone still has a great time.
See? Using sex toys as a couple is pretty awesome. It gets even more awesome when you consider that those same sex toys can easily become solo/masturbation use toys - so you're effectively getting a gigantic pool of options with one single sex toy.
Read: What Makes a Good Couple's Sex Toy?
But first, let's dispel a few myths that often pop up when getting a sex toy as a couple for the first time.
Myth: It Will Replace Your Partner
Sex toys do one thing - and they usually do it well: they provide sexual pleasure. They don't provide dates, emotional support, physical closeness, romance, snuggles, amazing conversation, friendship, or help with chores around the house. A partnership - whether romantic or otherwise - is about more than just sexual satisfaction.
Especially for a lot of people, though, their value as a partner might be tied up in how well they sexually pleasure their partner - even if they provide all of these other relationship benefits as well. This can be a tough - but necessary - conversation to have - and you might learn some things about yourself.
Sex toys are just that: toys for sex. They don't replace a partner, and they don't replace anyone you care about. They don't replace those intimate moments that you revisit in your memories, and they don't replace that amazing conversation you had over dinner last week. They just, simply, aren't a replacement for a partner. They can satisfy a sexual urge (which, honestly, can help people avoid getting into bad partnerships!), but they don't replace anyone.
If you feel like the only thing you provide to your partner is sexual pleasure (and this isn't something that was previously negotiated), you might consider sitting down with your partner or a therapist for a conversation about it. Sometimes this can be tied to self-confidence, and sometimes this can be tied to a relationship that's under a lot of stress.
Myth: Wanting to Use a Sex Toy Means My Current Sex Life is Unsatisfying
That just isn't the case. There are a whole lot of reasons for wanting to use a sex toy in the bedroom - and once you realize how many different options are out there, I think you'll actually be surprised that you weren't using them sooner!
Some people want to add sex toys into the bedroom for something new. There's nothing wrong with wanting to bond with your partner over a new experience.
Other people might want to add extra sensation in the bedroom without taking away from the intimate, bonding moments they both already have. For example, nipple clamps can easily add sensation to the nipples - but still leave everyone's hands free for touching one another. The same can be said about panty vibrators - or butt plugs.
Yet others request sex toys as to "solve" a potential bedroom hiccup - and make things more pleasurable. If intercourse goes on long enough that one person is sore, using a vibrator to speed things up can actually make both people happier! If intercourse is so short that one person is generally left unsatisfied, adding a toy to slow someone down - or add extra stimulation to the slower partner - can leave both people happier as well!
Read: United We Come: Synchronizing Orgasms
None of this necessarily means that your sex life is unsatisfying; it just means that you may have found the existence of a tool to make your sex life even better.
Do you find delicious, freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies to be less satisfying if you find out that they were mixed by a baking mixer instead of by hand? Or are you thankful that the person wants to make cookies more often now (something they love doing!) because the barrier of 15 minutes of onerous stirring has been removed? Try to think of adding sex toys to the bedroom in the same way.
Myth: It Will Make "Regular" Sex Less Satisfying
Using a sex toy doesn't make any future sex with your partner any less satisfying. I think it's easiest to understand if you think about it like some of your favorite foods. If you love cake, that doesn't make a hot, spicy curry less satisfying, does it? They're just amazing in their own ways. Even if you get on a kick and crave spicy curry for weeks, it doesn't mean that cake isn't as good - it just means you'll probably get on a craving for cake later on.
The same can be said about sexual pleasure, too. Whether it's using a sex toy, enjoying oral sex, enjoying anal sex, or anything else, the entire spectrum of sex pleasure feels different - and that's a good thing! Some days you might be craving one thing, and some days you might be craving another.
Some people, however, may find that sex toys provide reliable orgasms - whereas partnered sex may not. Especially for people who struggle to orgasm in the first place, wand massagers can be an absolute treasure. This doesn't mean that someone finds partnered sex less satisfying; it just means that you now have a whole new tool that can make sure your partner can orgasm more easily when they're struggling - and that's awesome!
Myth: My Partner Will Choose the Sex Toy Over Me
There's nothing about a sex toy that makes someone choose it for sexual fulfillment. While I can't promise you that your partner won't choose to masturbate instead of partnered sex, I can reassure you that it's a choice they could easily make with or without a sex toy.
If you're finding that your partner isn't currently turning down partnered sex for masturbation, I don't think you have much to fear once a sex toy enters the picture.
Step 1: Have an Honest Conversation about Sex Toys
There are a whole lot of preconceived "ideas" that we all have about sex - and sex toys. If you're a penis owner, you might think that toys built for your pleasure are a joke - modeled after the media's portrayal of them. If you're a vulva-owner, you might think that sex toys made for you are only for use within the very private space of your bedroom.
Getting over these drilled-in ideas means you need to have a talk about how you feel about sex toys, how you imagine them fitting into your sex life, and what issues you think might pop up.
A lot of couples are surprised by the hidden jealousy that pops up when they add a sex toy to the bedroom. After all, it wasn't like they added a person. But all the same, some of our hidden beliefs about sex toys can get transferred onto the existence of a sex toy - and change how we feel about it once it's actually in our bedrooms. Having conversations ahead of time can help reduce some of this - or at least put your fears out in the open so that your partner can reassure them.
I also recommend discussing which sex toy will be used. If one (or both!) partners already have a sex toy, it might be tempting to use that sex toy as a new couple's toy. However, especially if that sex toy has been around for a long time (or during past partners), some people may find themselves more comfortable with the idea of purchasing a new one - just for the two of you. Make this part of what you discuss and negotiate.
READ: Meeting Your Partner's Sex Toy
For some people, this conversation might also look like a back-and-forth negotiation. For example, one partner may feel uncomfortable with the idea of a realistic toy in the bedroom right now - but they're willing to try a playfully-colored bright purple sex toy. One person may be really nervous about sex toys, but if it's a toy both of them can share, they're willing to give things a try.
All of this is part of your open communication and negotiation about sex toys - and how they fit into your sex life.
Step 2: What's Your Sex Toy Goal?
Especially if this is your first sex toy, you're going to feel pretty overwhelmed once you open up your favorite sex toy store's website. There are just a lot of options!