Buying your first sex toy is often a right of passage for a lot of women. You've thought about it, you've done your research, you've made a short-list of contenders, and you've finally (after much deliberation) decided on 'the one'. Now you wait, excited in anticipation for that knock on the door, and the handing over of that inconspicuous package... many deliciously satisfactory nights later, you couldn't imagine life without it.
There are a myriad of reasons why sex toys are beneficial for our sexual and mental health. They help us explore our bodies, they help us discover 'hot spots', they boost our confidence, they encourage sexual liberation and - above all - they make us feel great.
We have an intimate relationship with our sex toy so, understandably, introducing them to a partner can be a little daunting. More often than not, we all go through a similar process of elimination, asking ourselves questions like;
Should I use sex toys with my partner?
Most people associate sex toys with solo use, but do not be mistaken, sex toys are amazing tools that can enhance pleasure for you and your partner together. There are a spectrum of couples toys designed to stimulate different erogenous zones for both of you during foreplay and intercourse.
If you find yourself struggling to climax, toys can help get you there faster and easier. On the other hand, if you find yourself going on autopilot in between the sheets, toys can help bring fun and excitement back to the bedroom as you and your partner explore your curiosities and discover new sensations. Not to mention, the more you know your bodies, the more sexually empowered you will feel!
What will my partner think of my toy?
Your partner will most likely feel overwhelmed if a toy is introduced out of the blue, so ease them into the idea by starting a conversation. Getting this conversation started is often the most challenging part of introducing toys into your relationship.
Kate Moyle, Psychosexual Therapist & Co-Founder of Pillow App For Couples advises;
"Don't be afraid of sex toys, or think that they have to be used as a replacement for a partner. Commonly people feel threatened by the idea of introducing something new to the bedroom, but if it is openly talked about then they should be approached as something fun and new to be tried together. I recommend that both partners try sex toys on each other - vibrations produce pleasurable sensations that can be used head to toe and all over the body and you shouldn't miss out by just focusing on the parts of the body normally touched in sex."
For many, insecurity and shame makes communicating fantasies and desires awkward. If your partner knows you're not usually one to talk openly about these things, the simple act of mustering up the bravery to talk about it in the first place can show your partner how you feel safe and comfortable with them, enhancing intimacy. At the same time, you may fear coming off as sexually unsatisfied and hurt your partner's ego by wanting to try something new.
The reality of the matter is, even though you might think that your partner will feel threatened or put off by the addition of toys, most partners will actually feel excited by it.
How should I start a conversation with my partner about sex toys?
As Kate says,"Talking about sex outside of the bedroom is the best way of improving sex inside the bedroom". With or without sex toys in the equation, it is important to foster a positive conversation around sexuality and pleasure with your partner to have a healthy sex life. Open communication, with a hint of fun and lightheartedness, will be key when introducing the idea of toy use with your partner.
To start things off, you might want to share an interesting article or video you found about couples and toy use.
When expressing your own needs, it's only natural for partners to respond defensively if you highlight negative issues in the bedroom (i.e. I have difficulty climaxing and really need this). Be thoughtful and frame your needs in a positive, aspirational way to avoid hurting your partner's ego (i.e. "I get really excited by the idea of using this with you." or: "I really like it when you...")
Remember to keep the conversation two sided. You never know, your partner may be interested in trying something new too! Engaging in open conversation presents a beautiful opportunity to create a whole new level of intimacy and trust with one another.
Will my partner think I'm replacing them?
A lot of our customers get worried that their partner will view Crescendo as a replacement - but that's never the case! There's nothing quite the same as an intimate night of caressing... it's really important that we all understand a sex toy is never a replacement, but rather an enhancement.
If you use a toy for solo play, you can talk about your experience with your partner. Maybe you already use a vibrator and your partner doesn't know. Sharing this information will increase intimacy. If you want to take it to the next level you can try mutual masturbation, this way your partner can see familiarise themselves with toy use and see how you use it on yourself.
There are endless toys out there with with different uses. Introducing toys into the bedroom can be the beginning of a new chapter of exploration in your relationship and there's no need to rush to advanced level. To start, try a personal massager that can be used during foreplay, clitoral stimulators for her (and him), penis rings with vibrators for extra stimulation or even some lubes.
Use this as an opportunity to shop around together. Take time to do your research to find the right toys. When you think you're ready, you can shop online for added privacy, or take a trip to a sex store together.
Fostering a space where you can freely discuss your desires and feelings is key to a happy, healthy sex life. Communication will always enhance sex life. Sex toys can act as the key to jumpstart these honest conversations. The very act of opening up to your partner and eventually exploring your curiosities together, unashamed, can help build a trust and closeness like never before!