How many people have thought about bringing a sex toy into a shared bedroom encounter but have then not known where to start with the conversation?
Stigma has long held us back from accessing the full potential of sex toys in relationships, due to the suggestion that all our fulfilment should be achieved from the other person – or let us be honest, from a singular penis (thank you Patriarchy!). Therefore, the desire to use one suggests an inherent failure in either your partner’s sexual capability or your ability to sexually achieve. It is so so SO important to remember that sex toys are both excellent wellness tools, but also, toys! It is in the name – they are supposed to be fun and exciting.
Starting the conversation can seem daunting, like your entire relationship is riding on it. Begin by taking a deep breath! Having this conversation will make any other “Big Scary” conversations feel easier. Aim to have your conversation in a neutral space, keeping it light, open and receptive. Try asking them their opinions on toys, if there is anything they wish to try or anything they have enjoyed previously and what they may like to try exploring with you. Make it clear there is no pressure associated with this. Be prepared they may not be ready or may not want to try at all, and that is ok! Consent is the most important thing. If that is the case, ask them if they would be ok
re-discussing it with you in the future. If your partner has worries that you wanting to use toys means they are not good enough, remind them that toys are designed to create sensations that cannot be created by any human. For those of us wanting to achieve maximal pleasure, a sex toy is an additive to our sex lives – not a replacement.
There are plenty of ways that toys can be used in relationships. For womxn and those with vulvas who struggle to orgasm from penetration alone, the introduction of a vibrator to penetrative
penis-in-vagina sex can lead to mutual orgasms. Butt plugs can be used as an introduction and subsequent training for further anal play. It can also allow for dual stimulation. Choose a toy together, which is a fun bonding exercise. It can help you each figure out what you want to use and how. When you decide it is time to try, make sure you have everything ready before you start. You want to have the toys/lube/condoms/anything within easy grabbing distance, so there is no awkwardness or surprise mid-play. You also want to figure how to turn your toy on and off (if it does) to stop delays.
All sexual interactions should be about mutual pleasure but if things don’t seem to work out, remember why you want wanted to try sex toys in the first place. Because sex is fun, and you want to make it even more fun! Don't take it too seriously, and don't see it as the be all and end all - sex toys are great, but enjoyable sex with your partner is most important. So please don’t worry if something goes wrong! Try again another time, try using the toy differently or try something else. Sex should be about playing, learning and exploring to achieve your maximal pleasure.
Have fun exploring!