Sex is exciting and fun and (we hope) always interesting and never a boring routine. But when we’re having sex with the same person forever, sometimes we crave bringing a new element to the mix. That can mean anything from trying different locations or positions or dabbling in domination and submission. But another fun and new element to add to your bag of tricks may be introducing sex toys into the relationship — and bedroom.
But how do you even begin to go there?
For starters, broaching this conversation is a lot easier when you already have comfortable communication about sex — so if you don’t, start working toward that right away. Starting a conversation about bringing sex toys into your relationship can start simple, by speaking up in bed when you like something that’s happening. It can be general — “I love when you touch me like that!” — or very specific by adding some erotic language if you feel like it. Doing so tells your partner what works for you and gets both of you accustomed to speaking up.
“Asking your partner what they like best sexually lets you add your own favorite things to the conversation. Asking your partner if there are any sexy things he ever wanted to try lets you say, ‘I’ve always wanted to play with sex toys together!’ says Carol Queen, Ph,D,, Good Vibrations staff sexologist and curator of the Antique Vibrator Museum, and author (with Shar Rednour) of The Sex & Pleasure Book: Good Vibrations Guide to Great Sex for Everyone.
Many partners will think this is sexy fun right off the bat. If not, the discussion might yield other things to explore. Trying new things together is a good space to start when adding toys to your play. “When partners don’t immediately welcome toys, sometimes this means they are ‘jealous’ of the gizmo and it has not occurred to them that they might enjoy it, too,” says Queen.
It is also sometimes the case that partners don’t fully understand your sexual response and don’t know how important arousal-building activities are to your enjoyment. These partners, quite frankly, need a little sex ed.
“You could introduce them to the notion of the orgasm gap, which stems from too little understanding about how central the clitoris is to (most clitoris-having) people’s pleasure,” says Queen. “Or you could simply start sharing more detail about what works best for you and what you’d like more of.”
Sometimes it’s a good strategy to get your partner involved in choosing toys. “I don’t mean send them out to get one for you. I mean visit a sex store like Good Vibrations or Babeland together or cuddle up on the sofa or in bed while you look online and compare options. This normalizes toys, gives you plenty of opportunities to talk about sex and toys, and can be sexy fun to do together,” says Queen.
If you can get comfortable talking about sex, you are going to have an easier time being openly communicative in your relationship. This is true whether in a new relationship or in a new marriage.
“Using sex toys in your marriage doesn’t mean you aren’t having good enough sex; it actually can enhance the experience, especially if you plan on having sex with the same person for the rest of your life!” says Kelley Kitley of Serendipitous Psychotherapy (kelleykitley.com), . Kitley suggests the couples she works with start small with something like lube. “If I’m working with a female client who wants to introduce toys, she’ll first start with bringing lube home from the grocery store. Yes, it is sold at your local grocery store in the feminine hygiene section!” says Kitley. “It’s easy to test out even in a non-sexual moment by rubbing some on the top of the hand just to try it out. This may immediately get both of you in the mood.”
After a few times and once this becomes more comfortable, often a clitoral stimulator or cock ring can be the next best step. “It’s easy to use, and women can also use this to educate their partner that 80 percent of women climax from clitoral stimulation versus penetration, so there’s no shame in wanting to enhance the experience,” says Kitley.
Bigger certainly doesn’t mean better, so be mindful of any of your partner’s insecurities. “Couples can browse the internet together in the privacy of their own home and have toys delivered to their doorstep for a more confidential approach than shopping at a sex store,” says Kitley.
Bring up the idea of using sex toys when you’re outside of the bedroom and both in a good, non-judgmental mood. “The stigma around sex toys is finally fading away, but there are still fears that bringing it up will insult one’s partner,” says sex expert Antonia Hall.
It’s important to stress that sex toys are not a replacement for a partner and wanting to use them doesn’t mean anyone is doing something wrong. “Studies show sex toys enhance sexual experiences for couples,” says Hall. “Whenever both people are experiencing pleasure together, it helps foster the bond between you,” she says.
Another conversation tactic is you may want to mention an article you read about toys and it sounded like a fun idea. “Most women need clitoral stimulation in order to climax, so adding a toy can really increase the likelihood that she’ll be fulfilled,” says Hall, who shares she loves the Rianne S Bella toy for couples, because it’s a body massager as well, which is a wonderful addition to foreplay and can be used on one another, then added to intercourse for her pleasure. You might also want to try a couple’s vibe, so you can share the vibrations.
In the end, remember sex is only a positive experience if both partners are getting the same pleasure and excitement out of it. If toys aren’t for your partner, find something else that is. But if they are, have fun playing!