The Pleasure Activist 

How to introduce a sex toy into your relationship

How to introduce a sex toy into your relationship

Sex toys can launch your sexual routine to a new and exciting level, opening the door to a new world of sexual play and experimentation. If you and your partner are not already there, this can be a very inspiring transition that infuses your relationship with a new vitality. Successfully maneuvering through this transition may come naturally for some, feeling like the obvious next step, but if you have never discussed sex toys with your partner before and are unsure of how they may feel about them, initiating this transition can be a daunting task.

So you've decided that you'd really like to introduce a vibrator or some other sex toys into your relationship but are a little apprehensive about how your partner will feel about it. A lot of your partners' response will depend on their own preconceived notions of what sex toys are for, the manner in which you introduce the idea to them, and most importantly, the level of communication, maturity, and trust that already exists between the two of you as sexual partners.

If you have already had conversations with your partner about sexuality related issues—your turn-ons, sexual histories, fantasies, or simply just the mechanics of desire (how you both like to be touched, etc.)—the discussion of sex toys can be a natural next step. Bringing it up during any of the discussions just mentioned would make a lot of sense and likely be received as just another facet of your turn-on's or fantasies. If you and your lover haven't yet had any of these "mechanics of desire" discussions, perhaps now is a good time to start. How do they like to be touched? How do you like to be touched? What sensations and textures feel good? Are they sexually curious about anything? Ask them if they have any fantasies? Whether or not you are introducing sex toys into your relationship, it is a great idea to have these conversations anyway. It is a good idea to embark on these conversations in the spirit of playfulness. After all, playfulness is key to having a successful long-term sexual relationship.

Unless the element of playfulness is already a comfortable part of your sex life or you already have a pretty good idea of how your partner will react, it's not a good idea to bring a toy in right out of the blue while you guys are all hot and heavy. During this vulnerable moment, this could be jarring to your partner and in turn, their reaction could be jarring to you. Instead, embark on this transition together. Going sex toy shopping together can be a fun and exciting experience in and of itself. And we're not just saying this because we sell sex toys! Of course we would love to be directly part of your new sex toy adventures, but we are recommending this to you because not only is this an effective way of reassuring your partner that this is an adventure that you are embarking on together, but also because shopping for sex toys together at the start of a relationship or at the start of a new phase of a relationship is a well-loved landmark ritual of many relationships that we would not want you to miss out on.

Respect your partner's feelings and respect your own feelings

Introducing a sex toy into your relationship is akin to introducing any extra element into a relationship. It may bring up fears in the other partner that they are not enough for you or that they are inadequate in some other way. Your lover is a living, breathing, and thinking human being and your relationship to them is far more meaningful and sophisticated than any one persons' relationship to any sex toy. Even if the relationship between your lover and you isn't too "serious," your intimate connection and sexual responses to each other are still far more complex than even modern science can account for. After all, the mind is the biggest sexual organ ... right up there with the heart. Does your sex toy cuddle, caress, and kiss you? Perhaps your partner needs to be reminded of this. I sometimes make this analogy: Children love playing with toys, but this in no way replaces the role of their best friend. In fact, toys are a way of playing with your best friend. If it seems that your lover needs this kind of reassurance, perhaps don't use sex toys every time you have sex, but only every now and then, until they really warm up to the fact that sex toys don't take away from your experience with your lover, but in fact, add to your experience with them. If sex toys that resemble body parts (penis, vulva, ass, mouth, etc.) make your partner uncomfortable, there are plenty of non-representational sex toys to play with. After using these toys, they may even come to discover new pleasures to be had with them, or that they even offer them a significant helping hand.

Many women sometimes need a vibrator to have an orgasm. After reassuring your partner that an orgasm is not the end all be all of sex and that significant comfort and pleasure is had in the process of stroking and touching and sweet-talking and bringing pleasure to the other partner, let them know that you would nevertheless like an added lovemaking tool (i.e. a vibrator) to aid in bringing you the orgasmic release that you desire! Any mature sex partner would not only be supportive, but delighted to know that you enjoy sex with them so much that you are actively investing yourself in increasing your pleasure with them.

As is the case with every other aspect of an adult relationship, open communication, patience, trust, sexually mature attitudes, and understanding is key. Of course, this is a two way street and one person can't hold the whole thing together by themselves. Mutual sexual fulfillment is important for most healthy intimate relationships, and overall, the introduction of sex toys into a relationship can be fun and exciting, and sometimes lead to important relationship building discussions. If serious issues do arise out of it, it is likely that the problem is something larger than just the idea of sex toys. A good relationship counselor can help continue the process where your communications broke down. However, this is not a likely scenario. When you introduce your favorite vibe while looking at your lover with your sexy bedroom eyes across the kitchen table, I bet your partner's face will light up with excitement before turning into a mischievous and inviting grin. Playtime!

Ally Booker is a pleasure activist. She is passionate about educating herself and others on cool sexuality related things like communication skills, creating and respecting boundaries, sexual self-determination, destigmatization, gender and sexual expressions, sex toy use and safety, and all the other mechanics of pleasure. You can often find her milling around her Tucson shop, Jellywink Boutique, 418 E. 7th St., (888) 874-6588.

More by Ally Booker


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