What advice would you give someone wanting to add toys to the bedroom for the first time?
And the follow-up to that is, how can you be safe using toys with multiple partners?
So this is a question I get predominantly from people who are cisgender, straight, and monogamous.
The reason being, that most queers have used toys in the bedroom already.
Folks who are trans usually have used toys at some point.
So most of the time, this question is one that is presented by folks who are cisgender and straight and therefore, kind of more still in a mainstream dating model.
And in a mainstream dating model, there is an idea that your sex toy and your partner are in competition with each other and so the more you enjoy your sex toy, the more threatening it is to your partner.
In particular, this tends to be manifested as if the woman in a straight relationship has sex toys, that is a threat to her male partner because under cisheteropatriarchy, we have decided that the most important part of a man when it comes to relationships is his genitals.
And like that’s sad as fuck.
I’m going to tell you right.
Look, I have recently started getting more involved on Tumblr.
I’m not going to tell you my handle because I’m only there for pervy stuff and none of you all need to see my nudes.
But it is interesting to me when I receive messages from cisman, particularly straight man, the ways that what they think to offer are almost always centered on their penis.
And like look, don’t get me wrong.
I love a good dick.
I am here for a good bio cock.
I am here for a good silicone cock.
But there is so much about you that can make me cum that has nothing to do with your penis.
So I think that part of the hesitation around involving toys during sex is about this feeling of threat or competition where if a woman wants to bring in a toy, it means the man isn’t good enough.
His dick isn’t big enough.
He is not fucking her well enough.
That’s not at all what it’s about.
The reality is that for some people, it is – they aren’t going to have an orgasm unless they have very particular kinds of stimulation.
Or for some people, they just find it super freaking fun to play with toys in addition to a friend.
When you were a kid, you and a friend could run around playing make-believe outside or you could play basketball.
Deciding to play basketball doesn’t mean that playing make-believe is bad or inadequate.
It just means that sometimes you want to play basketball.
So when you are looking at introducing toys to the bedroom, it’s important to have a conversation about it with your partner to just check in on what comes up for them when they think about there being toys in the bedroom.
Are they feeling nervous or intimated?
Are they scared about it?
Are there things that they are just not really open to?
Are there things that sound super fun and hot for them?
And then find high-quality toys that use body-safe materials.
So this is going to get into the how can you be safe using toys in multiple partners.
One thing that has become much more commonly talked about over the last decade or so is the kinds of materials that companies use to make adult toys.
Adult toys, at least here in the United States, are treated as novelties.
They are not regulated.
They are not tested.
They are treated as novelties in part because in many states, it is illegal for you to buy them unless they are novelties.
So because of this, for many, many, many years, a lot of sex toys were made with materials that can leach unsafe chemicals into your body that can cause significant irritation, even cancer in some cases.
And so, it is really, really, really important to know what materials your toys are made of.
In addition, the porosity of the materials or how porous it is, affect how easy it is to clean the material.
So if you think about in your kitchen, a cutting board made of bamboo versus a cutting board made of plastic.
A plastic cutting board, you pop in the dishwasher, it gets real hot and soapy, everything dies.
You’re good to go.
If you have a bamboo cutting board, you wash it really well but it’s porous.
The fibers of the bamboo want to suck in moisture.
They want to suck in things.
And so over time, it can become infected with bacteria or fungi.
It can get moldy.
There are a lot of things that can happen.
And so, when we are looking at sex toys, you want to find toys that are made of high-quality nonporous material so that tends to be glass, metal, silicone.
And you want platinum-grade silicon whenever possible.
Now for a while, there were not very many toys available at reasonable price points that are made of high-quality body-safe materials.
But now, there are.
Now, you can find a lot of options of toys made of body-safe materials at a wide variety of price points.
If you look at my website, my gifts guide that I made around the winter solstice has a list of a bunch of different kinds of toys at different price points and all of those are made of body-safe materials.
If you are buying from a reputable supplier of adult toys, so something like SheVibe or Spectrum Boutique, you can almost always find information on the materials the toys are made with and most of those kinds of stores will either stock only body-safe materials or be able to let you know if there are toys there that they would recommend, being more cautious about not sharing between partners or using some of barrier with them in order to prevent any kind of problems with leaching or other issues.
The other thing I would say about things to know before you introduce toys is that there’s a huge world of different kinds of toys that you could use during play with your partner.
I think a lot of people have this idea of like it’s either no toys or all the way to the other side, bananas, everything toys.
And there are so many options.
You can incorporate whatever you want.
If what you want is just a vibe for your clit, there are hundreds of options for you.
If what you want is a little butt plug or a medium butt plug or a large butt plug, there are so many options.
I recommend b-Vibe’s products.
They are fantastic.
B-Vibe is so great.
I love their Rimming Plug in particular.
That Rimming Plug, amazing.
Cannot get better.
There are also things like dildo, strap-on harnesses.
There are strap-on harnesses that have one hole for a toy and one hole for a bio dick so you could double penetrate your partner alone.
There are toys that sheaths that can go on the outside of a bio dick so you can have a larger cock for a night.
There are so, so, so many options out there that are toys that you can use.
And I tell people in general like be wary of places that advertise toys as like for men, for women, for couples because what’s the difference between a dildo that goes in a vagina and a dildo that goes in a butt?
They are the same thing like there’s no – something that goes in a hole is something that goes in a hole.
Something that buzzes is something that buzzes.
Toys aren’t gendered.
Toys aren’t specific to very particular anatomies with very few exceptions.
And so think about what kind of experience you want with the toy and shop for that rather than looking at genders or couple toys.
Some of the more common couple toys are things like We-Vibe Sync which is a u-shape with a vibrator on each tip so that you put into someone with a vagina and they have one on their G-spot and one on their clit.
Those toys are fine.
The toys that are marketed for couples usually totally fine toys and you can use any toy as a couple.
There is no law against using a “for her” dildo as a couple.
There is no law against using a “for him” toy with a partner.
Things like cock rings are toys and they can be great so you can stay hard, super long, and not have to worry about it.
There are also really weird wild toys out there if you want to do strange things and have fun with it.
My favorite toy that has been around the last couple of years is the balldo, which is a silicon sheath that you put over testicles to turn them into a dildo.
And like I don’t even know how that would work but I’m fascinated and I can’t wait to try it someday.
So yeah, if you are looking to adding toys, have a conversation with your partner.
If either of you is having fears or insecurities about it, talk about those.
Find ways to be honest about it, to reassure each other, and then talk about what kinds of experiences you might want to try.
It’s helpful here to create an environment where it is thought of as like an experiment rather than something with high expectations.
The idea is to see what it is like for us to use this toy.
It is not we are going to have the best night of our lives, because the first time you are using toys especially the first time you are using any particular toy, there’s going to be a learning curve.
It’s going to be kind of awkward.
You’re probably going to laugh at some point.
Sometimes it gets weird because you don’t know how to make things happen, that’s OK.
The goal is to see, do we like this?
Do we enjoy it?
What might we change next time?
The goal is not hottest sex ever the first time we use a toy.
That’s just a ton of pressure to put on yourselves.
And the thing is, the more pressure a sexual experience has, the less hot it usually ends up being because you’re just trying so hard to make it work.
So yeah, low pressure, high possibility, play around with an experiment, low expectations, talk about it a lot, and get a variety of things if you can.
The thing about a lot of toys especially if we are talking the insertables, the size of insertable that you are going to enjoy, the shape of insertable you are going to enjoy, you may have no idea until you try it.
A lot of people, the first butt plug they get is like the little small, small butt plug.
The problem is, for most folks, those small size butt plugs aren’t big enough to keep themselves in a butt because there is not enough of a difference between the width of the plug and the width of the stem.
So just try some options, right?
Don’t get the most expensive toy right away.
Just because it’s more expensive doesn’t mean it’s better necessarily.
If you can find a nice local education-rooted sex shop, strongly recommend going to one of those and talking to people about it.
You can let them know like, “We’ve never used toys before. We are thinking about using some toys, Here’s stuff that we’re into. What would you recommend?”
People at those stores are so happy to talk to you.
They are not going to think you are weird.
They have heard a dozen weirder things today.
It is so hard.
People who work in the realm of sexuality, it is so hard to find something you can tell us that weirds us out or makes us think that you’re strange because believe me, there’s so much out there.
It’s a huge world.
But yeah, go talk to some people.
Try a bunch of different things.
Give yourself spaces to experiment.
And if you want to use toys with multiple people, again, make sure you’re getting body-safe materials that are sanitizable.
The great thing about a silicon dildo is that as long as it doesn’t have any electronics in it so no motor or anything, you can just boil it and it will be safe to use.
Boil it for 10 minutes, make your little pot of dick soup and you’ll have a dildo that is completely sanitized, ready to use with the next person.
You can also run it through the dishwasher with no soap on the top rock and that will also sanitize it.
Clean it first.
And you don’t need to buy expensive toilet cleaners, just use soap.
Soap is soap.
Don’t use a highly abrasive soap.
But if it’s OK for like your hands, it’s probably fine for your toys.
If you are using toys with multiple partners, if you are inserting stuff, it’s usually safer to put a condom on it because even if you can sanitize it, most people don’t clean their toys as thoroughly as they think they will or as thoroughly as might be good for them to clean them.
So put condoms on it.
Use a barrier.
Wash between people.
You should generally wash your toys as soon after using as possible so that stuff doesn’t get stuck on it or seep into it.
Even if it’s a body-safe material, if you are leaving stuff on it for a long time, that’s going to be harder for you to clean off.
And just let people know if you use a toy with multiple people.
Some folks have stronger feelings about that than others.
Some people don’t want you to use a toy on them that you’ve used with other people.
Some people don’t care as long as you wash it between folks.
So just make sure that you let people know whether the toy that you are going to use with them is one that you have only used alone or if it’s one that you’ve used with other people.
And again, just like – just have fun with it.
In an ideal world, we play with toys because playing with toys is fun.
And that’s when you’re 2 years old, when you’re 20 years old, when you’re 90 years old.
So just try some toys.
See what feels good.
See what you like.
See what you enjoy.
Don’t worry about it having to go any particular way.
And give yourself some space to try something new.