I’ve been wanting to share my sex toy with my boyfriend, but I’m not sure how, as I had previously told him I never used toys, which at the time was the case. How can I bring it up with him when I didn’t seem interested before?
I love this question. It’s one of the most common I’ve heard in my near decade selling sex toys. Before I get into the how, I want to share the most important thing to remember:
I’m going to guess that your hobbies, tastes, and interests have changed since you were a kid. The same holds true for your sex life. What you like and don’t, what brings you pleasure and what doesn’t, what intrigues and repels you—these shift throughout your life and relationship. And thank goodness for that! Wouldn’t life be boring if we never changed?!
Focus on the benefits to you both
Your boyfriend wants you to experience as much pleasure as possible. Toys are one way he can help you do that. In fact, womxn* who use sex toys are three times mores likely to experience orgasm as those who don’t. That’s because toys are designed to stimulate your most sensitive spots.
There’s also the fact that desire is cyclical, especially for womxn: the better the sex, the more you want and are willing to have it.
Lastly, trying new things together causes you both to experience a surge of dopamine, the chemical that gives you that lovin’ feeling early in your relationship. Everytime you indulge your curiosity or explore together, your intimacy and connection deepens.
There are many myths about sex toys out there, most of which stem from our belief that “sex” starts with penis-in-vagina and ends in orgasm. Spoiler: it doesn’t.
A few myths in particular cause much damage. First, that using a toy will “ruin” you. As I explain here, that just can’t happen—and not just because you are perfect, worthy, lovable, and whole, just as you are.
Second, the myth that a toy will replace your partner. And let’s be honest, on some nights, it just might! But toys and partners serve different—but complementary—roles. Toys don’t cuddle you, and they make shitty conversationalists. Your beau doesn’t vibrate and may or may not have the right proportions and angles and agility to stimulate you in a way that leads you to orgasm. On their own, they are both fun. Together, even more so!
Thirdly, there’s the idea that if you need a toy to experience orgasm, there’s something wrong with your or your partner. Again, it’s a load of BS rooted in patriarchal views about what sex should look like. Less than one third of people with vulvas** experience orgasm from penetration alone. It’s less common for someone to not need a toy (or similar stimulation) to orgasm than not.
Give them the info how they’ll best receive it
We all have different learning styles. Some people like to look at the research, others respond better to personal narratives or emotional appeals. You know your beau best, so take a moment and think about how to tell them this is what you want. Still not sure? Here’s how to get the conversation started.
Something else to consider: ask them if they want to be part of the process of picking out the toy. Often, the unknown element of something new scares people more than the new things itself. Ask them if they want to help you pick something out. If they do, plan a sexy date night to visit your local feminist sex shop, browse products online, or get personalized suggestions with a free*** toy consult with me.
Start small and non-phallic
While you know that a piece of engineering can’t replace your beau’s love and cuddles, it may help to choose a toy that won’t trigger this anxiety. Instead of going for a toy that looks like a penis, try something that fits between your bodies (for intercourse) or adds a little extra buzz to other sex acts.
Here are four of my favorite picks:
Fin by Dame Products—this finger toy turns your lover’s hands into a vibrator! It involves them in the process and gives you the extra stimulation you crave.
We-Vibe Touch: the Touch is my all-time favorite sex toy, because of its size and shape. It fits neatly into the palm of your hand and between your bodies in all sorts of fun sex positions. Plus it’s so quiet, you won’t even hear it.
Je Joue Mio: vibrating cock rings are the OG couple’s toy. They’re hands-free, give you the extra stimulation you want and help them stay harder longer. This one is my favorite because it’s stretchy, quiet, and powerful, but also stays put.
We-Vibe Sync: looking for a hands-free option? The Sync is worn by the person with the vulva during intercourse. Its two arms stimulate your clitoris and g-spot, while your partner thrusts. This one is particularly fun since you can control it via remote or phone app (the latter from anywhere in the world with a bluetooth connection, making it ideal for long-distance relationships).
Toys are meant to be played with
They’re called “toys” for a reason! They add newness, variety, playfulness, and pleasure. A loving partner will move past their internalized messages about sexuality and embrace that this is one way for the two (or more!) of you to have a more intimate, exciting, and fulfilling sex life.
*Alternative spellings for “woman” were created as part of the feminist movement to promote women’s independence from men. This current spelling encompasses a broader range of gender identities than “woman,” including trans women and non-binary femme individuals. For more information, check out this great piece in the Boston Globe.
**Using language like this acknowledges that not all people with certain genitals are the gender that was assigned to them based on those genitals. Some men have vaginas, some women have penises, and some people with vaginas identify as neither male nor female
***Consult fee of $65 waived when you purchase toys.