Many people have their opinions about sex toys. The number of myths is endless, and few know how many sex toys are available beyond the rabbit vibrator, butt plugs, and dildos advertised by erotic media.
Stepping outside what filtered mainstream society has taught its viewers about sex toys and sex toys for couples, there’s an opportunity to experience pleasure beyond the heteronormative penetrative sex script.
Sex toys can help make space for pleasure and intimacy beyond, or in unison with, penetrative sex or oral, and toys invite couples to have a sex life that continuously explores each partner’s evolving arousal.
How Sex Toys Can Enhance Intimacy
There are various reasons couples of any genders and dynamics may want to incorporate toys in sex. Toys are a way to expand the sexual repertoire and experience different sensations and physical pathways to arousal and climax. Through solo work, toys can help people be more attuned with their bodies.
By understanding your own body, people can gain power over their pleasure, and through understanding your body, communicating sexual guidance to a partner can be more manageable. Toys can also help learn a partner’s body, their arousal responses, and how to stimulate their erogenous zones through partnered play.
Sex toys can aid heterosexual couples in closing the orgasm gap (i.e., the discrepancy between men and women having orgasms. Typically between cis-men and cis-women). Various studies have collected data that shows roughly 65% of women in heterosexual relationships achieve orgasm while their male partner reaches an orgasm 95% of the time, compared to women in same-sex relationships, who achieve orgasm 81% of the time.
Toys such as clitoris vibrators, clitoris suckers, and spot stimulators are toys made to stimulate the clitoris. With roughly 36% of people with vaginas achieving climax, clitoral toys can be a good starting place for couples.
Toys for couples often have the option of remote-controlled vibrators that can stimulate the prostate, anal glands, and vaginal and clitoral glands inside the vaginal canal. These toys can be operated from a Bluetooth remote that remains connected up to a number of feet or yards away or by a Bluetooth app for couples who may be states or oceans apart.
Remote controlled sex toys can create the space for couples to sexually multitask. For example, if a couple uses a remote controlled prostate massager, everyone’s hands are free for manually stimulating other areas or for the other partner(s) to receive penetrative sex.
Remote controlled and Bluetooth couples vibrators can be used as an avenue for those in long-distance relationships. Long distance relationships can make intimacy and staying connected tricky depending on the geographical distance. Phone sex, video calls, and exchanging solo sex tapes are all amazing ways to maintain intimacy through distance. Using remote controlled sex toys can help the partners feel one another’s personal touch and feel like their partner is using a toy on them because that’s what’s happening. Partners can be on the phone, texting, or on a video call and still experience their partner behind the sexual wheel.
Toys for All Types of Sex
When thinking about what toy to get for yourself, your partner, or everyone to enjoy, try understanding the intended purpose, what each person is looking for, and what each partner may be willing to explore.
Toys for Vaginal Stimulation
- G-spot stimulators: vibrators designed with a curve to target the G-spot (Grafenberg) more easily inside the vaginal canal.
- Dildo/vibrating dildo: penetrative toy that comes in various shapes, colors, girths, and lengths.
- Clitoral suction toy: through a small cover placed over the clitoris, uses air suction to stimulate the clitoris. It can be used while a partner is stimulating the vaginal canal or other body parts.
- Bullet vibrator: a petite sized vibrator that offers softer, more delicate precision touching. Most frequently used to stimulate the clitoris, the bullet vibrator can be used to stimulate any erogenous zone.
- Rabbit vibrator: a dual action toy that combines a dildo for vaginal canal and clitoral stimulation. While the silicone shaft penetrates the vaginal canal, the vibration shakes the rabbit ears to stimulate the clitoris softly.
- Double-ended dildo: a silicone shaft up to 16-inches or more in length, able to penetrate two orifices simultaneously. Double-ended dildo’s can be used to penetrate two vaginal canals or vaginal and anal canals simultaneously.
Toys for Penis Stimulation
- Cock ring/vibrating cock ring: works like wrapping a rubber band around a finger; placed at the base of the penis, or the testicles as well, preventing blood from leaving the penis, resulting in a girthier and longer-lasting erection and increased sensitivity. The addition of vibration not only stimulates the penis but also stimulates the partner’s penetration.
- Tenga Egg: toy typically made for masturbation made from ultra-flexible material that can slide up and down the shaft of the penis. It can be used during various forms of partnered play, or can be used to sexually multitask.
- Wand vibrator or massager: vibrating or massager toys can be applied to the head of the penis (most sensitive area), shaft, and testicles.
Toys for Anal Stimulation
- Prostate massager: an insertable toy designed to stimulate the prostate (p-spot). The prostate massager can be used on its own or in unison with other sexual activity like penetrating their partner or receiving oral sex, etc.
- Anal beads: multiple balls in ascending sizes, made to be progressively inserted into the anal canal, removed, and reinserted. Anal beads can be inserted and removed at varying speeds during anal sex, and sizes can vary.
- Butt plugs: a short insertable toy to penetrate and remain inside the anal canal, utilizing the flanged end to prevent the plug from getting lost in the rectum.
- Dildo/Vibrating dildo: penetrative toy that comes in various shapes, colors, girths, and lengths. When inserted anally, can stimulate the prostate and anal glands.
- Double indulgence vibrators: vibrating dildo with a second dildo attached at the base to penetrate both the vaginal canal and anal canal
- Double ended dildo: as previously mentioned, a silicone shaft up to 16-inches or more in length and can penetrate two anal canals simultaneously.
Using Sex Toys to Explore Erogenous Zones
Erogenous zones are areas on the body that are sexually arousing when stimulated appropriately. There are some universal erogenous zones like the clitoris, lips, penis, testicles, neck, and nipples to name a few. Other zones can include the inner thigh, ear lobes, the wrist, toes, and more. People are unique in their erogenous zones and what defines appropriate stimulation, so exploring these zones in a safe space of curiosity and consent can be worth trying.
Sex toys like nipple clamps, anal beads, vibrations, or toys made with different textured materials or features can stimulate the various zones a partner may enjoy being touched. Massage and vibrating toys like magic wands and bullet vibrators could be used on external zones like the mons pubis, around pubic hair, the neck, and other areas.
There are toys couples can use for sensory play for zones like the inner thigh, back of the neck, lower back, butt, and other non-genital areas. Toys like feathers, floggers, using manual touches or lubricated massage oil touches, and materials like silk can be used for sensory play on erogenous zones.
Talking to Your Partner About Incorporating Sex Toys
Despite being in a more sexually open, inclusive, and explorative social world, there remains a lot of stigma behind bringing toys into a couple’s sex life. As a collective group of people, negative associations like vaginal toys are equated to a partner’s performance inadequacy, possible sexual dysfunction within the recipient partner, and even notions that the current sexual dynamic is boring or not good enough.
Sex toys can spice things up to expand the sexual repertoire, giving space for each partner to explore their sexual senses and pleasure beyond penetration and experience intimacy in newfound ways.
When introducing toys to a partner, a few things are worth keeping in mind. Preparing to debunk myths about toys and the negative connotations associated can be beneficial. Being curious not just about expanding your own sexual experiences, but your partner’s as well reiterates toys being mutually beneficial and setting a tone of “we” rather than “I.” If it’s your first time looking for and using toys, consider starting small and at least intimidating to allow all partners to move at a comfortable pace.
When embarking on any sexual exploratory journey towards discovering what feels good, remembering to brief, have consent, trust, and debrief afterwards is an integral part of any experience to ensure all partners feel safe, comfortable, and have the ability to be present in the moment.