Rant Break: On Sex Toys “For Couples”

If you’ve shopped for sex toys, you’ve probably come across the “for couples” category on one site or another.  The term is often used to refer to vibrators that are designed for hands-free use during penis-in-vagina sex 1.  Think of We-Vibe, Dame’s Eva, or Lelo’s Tiani.  And while those wearable devices are perfectly lovely options for some couples, the naming convention (and a significant portion of the ad copy) implies that the rest of the wide universe of sex toys is off limits for sharing.  They suggest that other vibrators would be an intrusion, an unwelcome distraction from intimate moments.

Unfortunately, real life use doesn’t always live up to the ideal.  I’ve read a fair number of “couple vibrator” reviews in which the devices failed to stay in place, didn’t align with the user’s anatomylimited position/technique options or were downright painful for at least one of the parties involved.  When sex bloggers have issues like these, we write them into our review posts and go on about our lives.  We’re frustrated in the moment, but we know the flaw lies within the toy, not our bodies or the idea of using sex toys with a partner.  Those with less confidence and/or experience, however, might be put off of further experiments.  Women in particular might feel they’re “broken” if orgasms don’t happen by the book.

grumpy ninja

Were it up to me, the notion of labeling specific sex toys as “for couples” would be put into a rocket and launched directly into the sun.  The fact is that ANY sex toy can become a “couple toy”.  All you have to do is use it with your partner and poof…it is transformed!   This is potent magic, because it opens up vast new worlds of possibility.

For example, handheld vibrators offer greater control, you can move the vibe as needed to fit your tastes and positions.  You’re free to explore vibration across multiple erogenous zones, not exclusively your genitals.  Handheld vibes also available in a larger variety of shapes and power levels… and generally speaking, vibes not labeled “for couples” are more affordable.  Sizewise, you can get anything from a tiny, finger-sized Tango to a Magic Wand.  You can go with something insertable if you wish, or stick to purely external stimulation.  THE POWER IS (literally) IN YOUR HANDS !!!!

Perhaps even more astonishing is the idea that couples’ sex toy options don’t end with vibrators.  Many of my dildos have seen couple action 2.  Sometimes I use them myself while my partner enjoys the visual, or he uses them on me, or we experiment with double penetration.  I’ve not yet had a partner who is interested in pegging, but harnesses are a couple toy option too.  Butt plugs and prostate stimulators can easily be used during sex, cock rings (with or without vibration) can add new sensations.  And if your tastes run in that direction, impact toys and restraints certainly qualify as couple toys.

If you really want your mind blown, consider that masturbation sleeves or strokers can also be used for partner play.  During one of my pregnancies, penetrative sex was off the menu due to complications.  I was also frequently nauseous, with a ridiculously sensitive gag reflex that nixed even the thought of blowjobs.  The sleeve, whether positioned between my thighs or wielded by hand, was a welcome guest in the bedroom rather than an intrusion.  And because he enjoyed the feeling and I liked the visual, it didn’t go into full retirement when my vagina was finally cleared for active duty.

Personally, my advice for introducing sex toys into the mix with your partner(s) is to start with the ones you know you enjoy.  If you’re both new, talk about what direction you want to go and explore it together.  Don’t let marketing or labels limit your options, follow your desires wherever they might lead.


  1. Because apparently all couples involve one penis and one vagina, and no one ever has sex in a group larger than two people
  2. Yes, including the exceptionally large and/or unusually shaped ones.  I have been blessed with open minded, fun loving partners.
1 Comment
  • Dangerous Lilly
    December 12, 2015

    So people ask me, now and then, to write up a post for couples vibes. They want recommendations. *I* want to rant, just like this. FUCK THESE STUPID VIBRATORS. They are buying into the “coming together” fairytale, the “well, if it’s small enough and we don’t notice it enough then maybe it’ll seem less like I’m a failure as a woman for not being able to come from vaginal penetration alone and he won’t feel threatened by the vibrator” bullshit.

    The requests for reviews on these toys is endless. ENDLESS. I hate them and the very reason for their existence. Just fucking change what you do, when you do it, how you do it. Change your sex to work around a vibrator, rather than expecting a vibrator to work around your sex.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *