A sexologist’s guide to trying sex toys with your partner



Your sex life will thank you.

Telling your partner about your desire to experiment with sex toys can be as daunting as having to get up in front of a large crowd and make a speech. The increased heart rate as you stumble over your words, the sweaty palms as your eyes dart across the audience searching for a sliver of validation, and the anxiety-inducing limbo following your talk, unsure if the crowd will cheer in delight or just stare at you awkwardly.

Luckily, it’s 2021 and talking about sex toys has become as casual as discussing your skincare routine – it’s just another type of self-care, right? Gone are the days of vanilla sex and non-existent orgasms, instead, sex toys have become a common bedroom ornament (often literally) for both you and your partner.

For more advice on spicing up your sex life, head to our Life section.

But as much as many of us love divulging intimate details to our friends, opening up to your partner can sometimes be an anxiety-inducing experience. Maybe you haven’t been together for long, or you have and you’ve just never ‘experimented’, or maybe you’re just having casual sex and are wondering if it’s worth introducing sex toys at all. Whatever it may be, know that you’re not alone.

To answer your queries, I spoke to Laura Miano, a sexologist and the founder of sex toy concept store Posmo, who revealed that the perfect time to discuss experimenting isn’t actually during sex.

Approaching ‘the talk’

For couples who have never mentioned sex toys before, Laura advises easing into the conversation. Her tip? Mention that you saw an Instagram post about sex toys and it made you think about trying one for yourself. Coming prepared with some facts about why sex toys can be great in the bedroom can also help your partner see the benefits.

When and where you choose to start the conversation is important to consider, too. “Finding a time outside of sex can be great, perhaps over dinner or when you are free from distractions. This way communicates that you are serious about bringing a toy in and gives you a chance to discuss concerns that your partner might have. You can also discuss it after sex, when you are having a post-sex debrief. Something like ‘You know what would have been really fun to try when you were doing X – a sex toy!’” Laura says.

Worried that bringing up sex toys will make your partner feel like they’re not enough? Laura opposes this mentality. “This is a total myth. Introducing a sex toy can be pleasurable for both parties, even if one person doesn’t receive stimulation from it. If you enjoy your partner getting off, then you can reap the benefits from the toy too!

“The mentality that ‘your partner isn’t enough’ is super performance-based (the arch-enemy of pleasure-based sex). I encourage partners to explore sex from a pleasure perspective, not from an ‘I should be doing X, I should be doing Y’ point of view,” she explains.

Is it worth introducing them with a casual partner?

If your sexual relationship is a little more casual, there’s nothing wrong with exploring your curiosity here either. But Laura recommends implementing some safety measures to keep both partners healthy.

“It is okay to use sex toys during casual sex however I would only recommend using toys that are non-porous and avoiding those made using crystal, jelly and string-like anal beads. It is also paramount that you wash the toys thoroughly with scent-free soap before and after every wash. If you are using someone else’s toy, make sure you wash it yourself before consenting to it. You can also cover your sex toy with a condom for extra protection,” she says.

If you do use a toy, make sure to focus on pleasure, rather than on the toy itself. In Laura’s words: “You don’t have to make a big fuss about the toy. The less you make a ‘thing’ of it, the more it will seamlessly slip into your sexual experience”.

Which ones should I be buying?

So which gender-inclusive toys does Laura recommend? “For vulva-penis or vulva-vulva couples, I would recommend the We-Vibe chorus as it provides pleasure to both parties. This toy sits inside the vagina and hooks around to the clitoris, vibrating at both ends. Such an incredible toy! For penis-penis partners, butt plugs like those from Love Plugs can be a great place to start,” she says.

Lastly, if you’ve opened up to your partner and they’re against the idea, don’t give up yet. Sex toys can be fun to use during sex but Laura says they’re also a great addition to masturbation. Masturbation is a great way to explore sex toys and I encourage you to view it as equally as important as partner sex. This is your self-care time, baby!”

Check out Laura Miano’s sex toy concept store, Posmo, here.

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