Sex toys can be a tricky subject to broach in a relationship. An innocent item intended to add a little excitement to your sex life can spark a partner’s insecurity and a novel’s worth of internal monologues.
A partner may interpret the suggestion as insinuating that they cannot sufficiently please the other, but this is rarely the case. The solution to this misguided notion is a shift in perspective since many sex toys weren’t invented to replace a partner but rather work in tandem to enhance a sexual experience, whether solo or partnered.
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As a sex educator, I often tell people to think of sex toys as tag-team partners. After all, toys can do things that people are physically incapable of. For example, penises can’t naturally vibrate. However, a vibrating cock ring can turn your penis into a vibrator. See where I’m going with this?
Sex toy usage rarely goes over poorly. A survey of 1,000 men and women ages 35 to 55 from sex toy company We-Vibe found that 52 percent of couples use sex toys to spice up their relationship. The survey also found that 50 percent of couples who use sex toys report having better communication about sex and other subjects, compared to 29 percent of couples who don’t indulge in these sultry playthings. Moreover, 30 percent of couples who use sex toys were also better at giving direction and asking for what they want in bed, compared to the 17 percent of couples who did not.
This means sex toys not only spice up your sex life but strengthen your relationship in other equally important ways. So check your ego and hangups at the door, get your hands on some of the fantastic sex toys below and explore new levels of pleasure together.
Things to Consider
Partner(s) Comfort Level: As we all know, sex can be a sensitive subject for some. And trying new things can be scary. Long before you pull out your wallet, you're going to want to assess what you and your partner(s) are comfortable with — after all, you want all parties to be equally invested and, more importantly, to feel like you've all had a say in what kinds of toys to try (or not try).
Preferred Type(s) of Sex: While this goes hand-in-hand with the above consideration, it still needs to be said that your comfort with different kinds of sex and preferences therein will often play a major part in which sex toys you and your partner(s) will utilize. Some folks want to simply augment things they're already doing. Others may want to expand into new activities. But whether you and your partner(s) are fairly vanilla or highly experimental, make sure you know what kinds of sex you want to embark upon before choosing your toys.
Type of Apparatus: There are a lot of different kinds of sex toys. And each has its own unique applications. Dildos, for instance, are made for penetrative sex and can be used for both vaginal and anal stimulation. Cock rings, on the other hand, are more of an aid, as they are intended to attach to a penis. There are also internal and external vibrators for penetrative sex and outercourse, respectively. And that's only the beginning. Figuring out what kind of device you want (or at least knowing what categories you're interested in potentially trying out) will help you narrow down your search.
Unpowered vs. Powered vs. Remote-Controlled: The breadth of sex toy categories is pretty huge, including everything from simple dildos to futuristic, high-tech mechanized rigs (and everything in between). Figuring out what route you want to go isn't as simple as just knowing what style of apparatus you want. Now, there are battery-powered, rechargeable vibrators and even ones that offer remote controls and smartphone apps (both for simpler overall operation and for long-distance play). It also needs to be said that the format (traditional unpowered, powered and remote-controlled among them) will also affect the price. A silicone dildo will cost you far less than the latest and greatest tech-forward sex toy.
For a more male-centric selection of goodies, check out our guide to the best sex toys for men.