Sex toys can introduce a whole new level of exploratory fun for you and your partner. How do you get over the embarrassment and get to the giggling?
Written by Megan Thompson Aston
There came an age for all of us where we put “childish” things aside. By childish things, I mean our Barbies. Our GI Joes. Our Legos. Our toys. At some point, we lose the imagination it takes to ring them to life and find entertainment with them. We trade them out for our phones. Endless scrolling. Playtime is mostly a thing of the past. Not until we become “sexually active” with either ourselves or a consensual partner.
I know this seems like an odd way to start talking about sex toys, but stick with me here.
For many of us, as we grow older play is replaced with sex. As children, play was how we learned to connect with the world and our environment. As adults, sex can be used as a means of connecting with and accepting ourselves. Our motivation for play becomes more internal. Literally and metaphorically.
1. engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.
When we were children, we didn’t think twice about inviting our playmates to come share the fun of our newest doll, board game, or truck. In fact, we were pretty damn excited to show them off. When we grow up and that interaction is replaced with sex play – shame and embarrassment are introduced. Two elements that were not there when our play was not sex based. The reason here seems pretty clear. There are those in our society that seek to suppress, repress, and shame playful and free forms of sexual desire. In their eyes, sex is something to not be discussed openly, to be feared, and only to be enjoyed (or not enjoyed) for procreation purposes. These people have done everything in their power to introduce negative sexual themes into our subconscious as early as possible. Not to mention adults have a weird way of pushing sexual attraction (mainly heterosexual) for their peers onto children before they’re ready. Much of this sexual propaganda is used as a means to specifically keep women and LGBTQIA+ from sexual liberation.
It’s really no wonder we abandon our toys and imagination as our form of play evolves. We’re embarrassed, ashamed, and even scared to explore the world of sex play.
Because of these reasons and many others, the following points are incredibly important when it comes to exploring sex play (and sex, in general):
- Clear Consent
By building and nurturing these four things, you and your partner will be on the way to introducing a myriad of toys and play into the bedroom.
Why You Should
Simply put, because it’s fun and it feels great! Not only does it feel great physically, but expanding your sex play strengthens the bond you have with both your partner and yourself.
- You and your partner get to learn things about yourself and your own sexuality that you never knew existed.
- They can help to reduce pressure on your partner if one of you finds it difficult to reach orgasm.
- You may be able to have multiple, yes multiple, orgasms.
It’s probably going to be awkward talking about these things at first. Embrace that. Laugh with each other. Giggle. These moments will help you grow as a person. They are fun, playful, teachable moments that spark something completely new inside of you (again, pun intended).
How to Introduce Sex Toys into Your Relationship
This one seems so obvious, but many people have a tough time communicating about non sexual everyday issues. Non-judgmental communication is key. Both partners need to be willing to listen to the wants and needs of the other without bringing shame into the equation. If you’re having a hard time thinking of a lighthearted way to bring up that conversation, watch this hilarious episode of Hot Date with your partner as a means to see how they might feel about introducing sex toys into the bedroom. The full episode is available on Netflix, but here’s a little clip below.
Be Willing To Try New Things
If you’re openly and honestly communicating with your partner, there may be some things suggested that seem a little out there to you. Maybe it never crossed your mind that your partner might be curious about pegging. Try your best to be willing to try new things. If you lead by example in accepting and trying your partners curiosities, they’ll be more likely to follow suit when it comes to your own interests. Embrace the idea and challenge of trying something new. Here’s a great and hilarious clip from Broad City as one of it’s main characters embraces the needs of her sexual partner without shame (even though she’s a little caught off guard). Obviously, the communication could have been better, but this is honestly how some of these conversations are started.
Continued Consent is Important
If your partner starts out open and willing to trying something new, but becomes uncomfortable or doesn’t enjoy the toy or act, be prepared to stop and communicate without anger. Continued consent during the entirety of sex and sex play is extremely important. Sexual exploration can at times be triggering and unleash a lot of repressed feelings, memories, or ideas. At times it can be uncomfortable. At times it can be liberating. It’s important to listen to your partner and watch their body language to make sure they are completely on board with everything that’s happening.
There are many sex toys out there that require the full trust of everyone involved. Toys that involve any type of bondage or anal play can especially require a certain amount of trust in the person who’s playing the dominate role. Trust is also important for communication and consent. If your partner knows they can trust you with their inner most desires, they will be more comfortable with expressing and exploring them. True authentic trust should only be built if the person can in fact trust you. This means trusting ourselves first. Do you trust yourself to respect your partner fully? Will you stop when they ask you to? Can you be responsible with the knowledge of their most intimate desires? Making sure that we are, in fact, trustworthy is the first step in building trust with another.
What and where to buy
When it comes to sex toys, there are some basic things you must know.
- Always buy high grade toys made of non porous material such as silicone or glass.
- Purchase a good cleaner made specifically for anything that goes into the body.
- Buy from a reputable source – Amazon sells many knock off brands made of cheap unsafe material
- Unless pain is the consented goal (as it sometimes is), make sure to buy ropes and restraints made with silky, soft, or fuzzy material to avoid things like pain, bruising, or rope burn.
- Always educate yourself on how to safely use your new toy
Here are a list of toys and kits from Lovehoney, a store I use and trust, to get you and your partner started. I’m in no way affiliated with Lovehoney, btw. This is literally a personal recommendation. Buckle up, Buttercup.
Toys to Get You Playing
Lovehoney Bliss Orgasm Balm – $14.99
There you have it! I hope this inspires you to join in on the fun, help end the stigma, and explore your sexuality.