While most of my posts are geared toward vagina/clitoris owners, this one is directed more toward their penis-possessing partners. 1 You see, I’m an advocate of using sex toys not only for solo masturbation, but with partner(s) as well. Unfortunately, I have learned that making this happen is not always easy. I’ve seen my partners have a variety of reactions to the suggestion of adding toys to the bedroom repertoire, and sadly, most were not positive.
Given the lousy state of sex education in this country, the number of people who learn about sex from bad porn, and the way many sex toys are presented/marketed, it’s easy for misunderstandings about toy play to occur. I set out to write a single post sorting through those issues, but realized a couple thousand words in that one post isn’t going to do it. This introduction is for partners who may be feeling confused, apprehensive or nervous about getting acquainted with their partner’s toys.2
The first time I handed a realistically-shaped vibrator to a partner, he held it in two fingers at arm’s length as though concerned that it might bite. 3 He made a half-assed attempt at pleasuring me with it, and was clearly relieved when I suggested that we abandon the endeavor. Based on my experiences, and a few helpful/hilarious anecdotes from friends, I’ve compiled a list of common worries that surface at the mention of sex toys… and hopefully, I can help them seem less daunting.
Worry #1 – I must not be satisfying her, she thinks I’m lousy in bed.
That’s most likely not the case. Think about ice cream. You like ice cream, right? We know ice cream is pretty damn delicious all by itself…but sometimes, you want to make it even better, change things up. You add hot fudge, whipped cream or sprinkles. You put it on a warm brownie or a slice of pie. You pair it with cake at a birthday party, or make it into a whipped concoction with candy bits. Doing those things doesn’t mean that ice cream is inadequate. It’s human nature to try making a great thing even better. Those toys… consider them sprinkles for your sex life.
Worry #2 – I am kind of (or completely) weirded out at the idea of playing with a disembodied phallus.
First off, it’s distinctly possible that your partner’s favorite toy is not closely modeled after a penis. It might be a cute little clit vibe, a massager like the magic wand, or an abstract shaped vibrator. And if it turns out to be a dildo, it’s likely that it may be stylized, brightly colored and look nothing like the equipment of any man on this planet. Before you get too worried, ask about the tools she’d like you to work with.
Once you know what you are dealing with, if the toy totally freaks you out, tell her how you feel. Make an offer to go shopping together for something you’ll both enjoy. There are plenty of toys out there that can accommodate both your partner’s tastes and yours. If you need some help getting started, here are my recommendations:
- Lelo toys, while pricey, are bright and beginner friendly. The Mona 2 is one of the most versatile vibes out there, and Mia 2 is good if you want a smaller clit vibe.
- We Vibe’s Touch or Tango would be great choices for powerful clit stimulation in a small package.
- Many Tantus dildos are phallic without being overly realistic. I’d lean toward Flurry, Echo or Vamp for couples new to toys, but there are lots of great choices.
- Vamp Silicone makes gorgeous dildos in a wide variety of colors. You also get to choose between their firm, shiny regular silicone and squishier Softskin.
Worry #3 – I have no idea what she expects me to do with this thing.
If you’re new to sex toys, you may feel slightly lost when you contemplate adding them to your sex life. It’s sort of like sitting down at one of those fancy dinners where there are entirely too many utensils beside your plate. You’re convinced you’ll accidentally use something wrong and doom yourself to eternal shame. Even a small, relatively simple clit vibe raises questions: Which setting? Patterns or straight buzz? Direct or indirect stimulation? During intercourse, or only as foreplay?
There’s no simple answer to this, no book of Proper Sex Utensil Etiquette to consult. But there is a way to crack the code: communication. Before you get going, ask about her preferences. And when you’re in the moment, ask lots more questions! The learning/teaching process can turn into some seriously arousing pillow talk… here are some of my favorite things to hear:
- “Do you like it when I ________?”
- “Would you like me to ________?”
- “Do you want it faster/slower/harder/deeper?”
- “Will you show me how you do it?”
Once you’ve got an idea of what works, keep the conversation going. For me personally, hearing how much my partner loves watching me get off with my toys is a huge thrill. As you get more comfortable, don’t be afraid to experiment a little bit. Continue asking questions and use her feedback (verbal or otherwise) as your guide.
Worry #4 – She must think my penis is too small.
Speaking as a woman who likes her big fat dildos, I can honestly say that my partner’s size has never been my reason for wanting to crack open the toy box. It’s been about different sensations, about variety, about fun… and occasional experiments with double penetration. If you’re worried that bigger insertable toys will leave her unable to appreciate your charms, then I direct you to this post for education on the magical elasticity of vaginas.
Worry #5 – If she’s got sex toys, why does she need me?
I blame bad sex toy marketing for this one. We hear about “battery-operated boyfriends” and toys that purport to be “better than the real thing”. We even have toy manufacturers offering to set reviewers up “on a date” with their products. Everywhere you turn, sex toys are personified and presented as replacements for men.
No matter how fabulous a dildo is, it does NOT feel exactly like the real thing. No matter how many toys I own, I still crave the feeling of my partner hot and hard inside me. Even the remarkable Vixskin pales in comparison. Furthermore, a partner is a whole lot more than a penis. My toys don’t have a heartbeat, fingers, lips, a tongue4 or a sexy voice. Toys don’t cuddle with me when we’re through, and the post-coital conversation is lousy.
The bottom line? Your partner is asking you to use sex toys because she wants you to give her orgasms. She wants to get off with you, to share her pleasure. I hope you won’t let pride, nerves or obnoxious marketing tactics get in the way of taking her up on that offer.