6 Tips for Introducing Sex Toys to a Partner

different types of sex toys

Adding sex toys to partnered sex can increase pleasure, build connection, and provide fun. 

You may have used toys on your own before but wonder how to introduce sex toys to a partner. It can seem intimidating to bring sex toys into the bedroom when having partnered sex, but it doesn’t have to be! 

Why is it hard to introduce sex toys to a partner? 

If you feel intimidated by the idea of introducing sex toys into your relationship, you’re not alone. There are many reasons why it’s hard to introduce sex toys to a partner. Shame plays a big role. Even though sex is a healthy and natural part of life, many people feel ashamed when considering their desires or focusing on making sex pleasurable. Remember, pleasure is your birthright. There is nothing negative or wrong about owning your sexuality. 

Some people misunderstand the role of toys in the bedroom and, therefore, might get upset or offended at the idea of incorporating them into sex. They might worry that they do not satisfy you sexually or that their performance isn’t good enough somehow. There are also many people out there who don’t realize that clitoral stimulation is necessary for almost everyone with a vulva to experience orgasm. 

Incorporating toys can help to close the orgasm gap, which is the discrepancy between penis owners who experience orgasms during partnered sex and vulva owners. It is far more likely for folks with penises to experience orgasm during partnered heterosexual sex than for folks with vaginas. 

blue partner

So, how can you introduce sex toys into your relationship? Here are 6 things to keep in mind. 

Have regular talks about sex

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Communication is key to a good sex life. When you make it a habit to talk about sex with your partner, it will be natural to talk to each other instead of shying away from issues when they come up. It will feel like a normal part of your relationship to talk about any sexual issues or desires because it is a normal part of your relationship. 

Sex is a normal and essential part of relationships, and so is talking about it. Talking about sex shouldn’t just happen during sex or right after. Try to incorporate sex talks in your everyday life when you’re not emotionally activated by the setting or feeling extra vulnerable. Remember, even if it’s a little awkward at first, you can handle having an awkward conversation. It won’t last forever, and you will get through it. It will likely even bring you closer together! 

Don’t be critical or apologetic.

Remember, using sex toys is nothing to be ashamed about toys. Wanting to use a toy in your partner’s presence doesn’t mean that they don’t satisfy you in the bedroom or that you aren’t having a good time. It also is nothing to apologize for, so don’t feel the need to apologize when bringing this up with your partner! It’s okay to ask for what you want, especially in bed. 

If you’re unsure how to frame the conversation, try focusing on your experience. Use “I” statements, like “I’m interested in exploring how using a sex toy can provide both of us a different type of pleasure,” or “I find that intense vibration helps me to orgasm, and using a vibrator during sex can help,” instead of saying something like “Well you never get me off anyway, so I want to use my vibrator,”. 

Framing it in terms of your own experiences and feelings will lessen the opportunity for disagreement because it’s hard to argue with someone’s emotions without being incredibly dismissive. 

Explore on your own first 

You might feel more confident going into the conversation if you’re comfortable with a particular toy first. Feel free to explore on your own with toys before bringing them into partnered sex. See what you like and don’t like regarding materials, textures, sensations, and ease of use. Also, many toys advertise themselves as couples’ toys, but a couple can use any toy. Keeping this in mind when shopping for sex toys to use as a couple can significantly expand your options. 

woman holding her toy

Share a meme

For couples who don’t have a habit of talking openly about sex, it might be hard to get your foot in the door of this conversation. If this is the case for you, try sending your partner a meme or a post on social media that talks about using sex toys with a partner. You can gauge their response to see how a full conversation will go. It might also open up more areas of conversation to share ideas and suggestions based on social media posts. Maybe even keep a saved folder on instagram for things you want to show your partner to inspire conversation. 

Be safe

It’s always important to keep safety in mind when using sex toys. Do your research ahead of time and buy toys made from body-safe materials like silicone, glass, stainless steel, or wood. Buy from reputable companies to ensure you’re not getting a knockoff or something made from unsafe materials. 

Another way to be safe when using sex toys is to use lube and lots of it. There are lubes for every occasion and sex toys, so exploring what works for you can be fun. Lube can make everything go a lot smoother and feel more comfortable for everyone, which is essential for anal play. Make sure to use a lube that is compatible with whatever sex toys you buy (don’t use silicone lube and silicone sex toys together, as it can degrade the toy). When in doubt, do some Googling or ask a sex toy retailer for advice on what to use. 

Make sure to clean toys between partners or to use condoms on toys that multiple people are using. Use a new condom for each new person! Use hot soapy water to clean toys unless otherwise indicated by the retailer. 

Finally, be especially careful with anal toys. Anything that’s going into a butt will need a flared base to ensure it doesn’t get lost inside anyone. 

two people lying upside down

Have fun

Remember, sex is supposed to be fun and enjoyable. So should using sex toys! After all, they’re called sex toys for a reason. Try your best to have fun when incorporating sex toys into your sex life with your partner! If any awkwardness comes up, it’s okay to name it and move past it. You can explore and play together to find what’s fun and pleasurable for you both. 

Sex and relationships are essential parts of life. If you’re looking for support with either, or both, working with an experienced sex therapist can give you new insight into your needs and how to communicate them and help you practice working through shame or purity culture. Get in touch with our office today to learn more about working with our sex therapists.