If there’s one thing you have trouble describing to your best friend, it’s the taboo sex toys you used in bed last night. So many of my girl friends giggle at the very thought of using sex toys, and yet, if we happen to pass a store that sells “adult toys,” we can’t help but browse the aisles “just to take a look.” But in reality, using sex toys is no laughing matter; they’re an O-matter.
The initial thought of using toys during sex may be a turn off to some. Perhaps it’s because the first things that come to mind are vibrators, beads, handcuffs, and other intimidating objects. But sex toys shouldn’t be intimidating; they should be increasing your sexual appetite and satisfaction. “Toys give you control and provide extra stimulation," says Hilda Hutcherson, MD and sex expert. And, of course, “they can make you orgasm like crazy, if used right,” says Boston University student Olivia Wireck.
So how do you make the move into the world of sex toys? Start small. The toy most recommended by sex experts is the vibrator. Hutcherson suggests that if a large dildo is too threatening, try something else. “A finger-puppet vibrator slips over any digit, looks totally nonthreatening, and still gets the job done.” And the best part? The guy is still involved, so there’s no threat of him feeling replaced.
Is it weird to use toys when you are dating someone? No, as long as your partner is comfortable with it. Many people think that sex toys are for single people, and lose purpose when they find a partner. Not true! In a 2010 study reported on WebMD, “sex toy use was less common among women not in relationships.” According to Wireck, sex toys have their uses “both with myself and with a partner.” Try not to think of toys as a replacement for a partner, but as a supplement to your sex life. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.
What happens if you boyfriend doesn’t approve? Contrary to popular belief, not all men are into the idea of using toys during sex. It always depends on the person. Dr. Gerard Leleu, sex therapist for SoFeminine.co.uk, says, “it is very important to speak about it with your partner. You might be surprised by his reaction! Asking him to use it on you or as an additional stimulant can be empowering and pleasurable.”
Wireck agrees. “I think it depends on the person you are with and how they react to toys,” she says. “I will always want to use a vibrator or dildo when I’m by myself, but if my partner is not so crazy about them, they take a backseat.” Everyone has different turn ons, but not everyone is always in touch with these turn ons. Try buying a non-intimidating, low-priced toy, and using it in bed one night. Both you and your partner might discover that toys are definitely your style, and want to keep exploring. If not, no worries; at least you tried something new.
Sex toys also have the potential to spice up your long-term relationship. “Toys tend to put the “oomph” back into long-term relationships,” says Dr. Hutcherson. One great thing about being with someone for so long is that innate comfort in the bedroom. However, that can be both a blessing and a curse. “There is nothing wrong with experimenting with new things together as a couple; it can be fun and exciting and bring you closer together,” says Wireck.
But remember: like with anything, too much of anything is never good for you. “It's important that the sex toy remains a toy, as its name indicates. It shouldn't become essential for your lovemaking sessions,” says Dr. Leleu. Find something that is fun and pleasurable for both partners, but don’t feel the need to break it out every time you fool around.
According to Hutcherson, there are many positive uses for using sex toys besides the goal of an orgasm. “If you don't have a steady partner, toys help your body remember how to respond. If you're menopausal, not sexually active, or taking some form of estrogen, toys can help with blood circulation. “You've got to prevent your vagina from shrinking and getting dry—a dildo is fantastic for that.”
Even some colleges and universities are getting swept up in the sex toy sex toy craze. At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln during the “Be the Change Week” in March of this year, the LGBTQA Resource Center hosted a “Sex Toys 101” workshop. During the workshop, students listened to speakers discuss different types of sex toys and suggestions on how to use them.
Need some sex toy suggestions? You could always try light bondage with a scarf or strip of fabric in your room. For the more adventurous, find a cheap pair of handcuffs. Large shopping websites such as Amazon.com offer a wide selection of vibrators, dildos, and cock rings, and give the added benefit of subtle shipping. Contraception companies like Trojan Brand also offer a multitude of products. If these aren’t cutting it for you, find an adult store in your area and check out their selection of sex beads and balls; they may be intimidating, but it may also be the best night you’ll ever have. As Wireck says, “although having a boyfriend to do the work for me is nice, sometimes it’s fun to sit back with him and experiment. I guarantee you’ll never forget it.”
Photo by CNNhealth.com