How to approach using sex toys with your partner for the first time

Toys are your teammates – and damn good ones at that.

Having sex with your partner is an amazing and exciting thing, but sometimes you may feel like you want to spice it up a little.

After all, there’s nothing like a new sensation coupled with you and your partner’s favourite position to add a little extra oomph.

But if you’ve not ventured into the world of sex toys together, it can be a bit tricky to know how to bring it up with your significant other.

Some people are also more comfortable discussing sex and what gives them pleasure than others are, which is fine. What’s not great, though, is if awkwardness stops you from expressing your desires and your needs aren’t met.

That’s why we spoke to Durex’s sexpert Alix Fox on how to incorporate sex toys into your intimate life with your partner – long term or short term.

Toys aren’t your rivals

Some people can feel intimidated by sex toys; maybe they feel it makes them a bit redundant, but that’s not the case at all.

They are a supplement to your sex life, and using them together can be a massive turn on.

Alix told Metro.co.uk: ‘Toys are your teammates, not your rivals.

‘Some people can feel threatened by sex toys because they do things like vibrate or rotate at speeds that tongues, penises or fingers simply cannot achieve.

‘Folks can worry that their own bodies are somehow going to be upstaged by a gadget, when in fact toys can increase your skills as a lover by extending the repertoire of ways you can bring your partner pleasure.’

However, no toy can replace the intimacy of skin-on-skin contact, and Alix recommends thinking of them as ‘complements, not competitors’ in the bedroom.

She continues: ‘They’re tools you can use: you wouldn’t feel emasculated if you had to grab an axe to cut down a tree because it wasn’t possible with your bare hands, right?

‘Instead, it’s more impressive to learn to wield that tool like a pro; whether you want to chop timber or set your partner’s hot spots alight, using the right apparatus the right way is the fastest route to successfully starting a fire!’

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It’s okay if bringing it up feels awkward

According to research by Durex, a third of topics like sex toys and masturbation as taboo, so bringing the subject up can feel awkward.

‘Referring to a podcast you’ve heard or an article you’ve read – like this one – can be a good ice breaker,’ recommends Alix.

Or, if you don’t just want to slip it into conversation, how about exchanging a sex toy as a little naughty gift this Christmas?

Alix adds: ‘Gifting your partner a sex toy could be a great way of introducing some buzz to the bedroom.

‘The Durex Slim Silicone Vibrator can be ideal for newbies, and it’s waterproof for easy cleaning and bathroom-based fun.

‘I’d wrap it along with a bottle of Durex Massage Lube: not only is it excellent to use along with the vibe, but it means your partner has the option of just sharing a sensual massage with you if they’re not ready to leap straight into experimenting with toys together.

‘That way, your present won’t accidentally feel pressurising; you wouldn’t want your lover to feel obligated to try a toy in order to be polite since you purchased it for them.’

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Blindfolds can be beneficial

If the conversation goes well and you decide to try out that toy you bought, there’s a fun way to get comfortable with using it.

‘If your lover’s up for it, get them to wear a blindfold while you use a toy on them,’ says Alix.

‘The benefits are twofold: it can help heighten their anticipation and awareness of the toy’s sensations, amping up the intensity, and it can allow you to figure out what you’re doing for the first time without feeling embarrassed that you’re being watched if you fumble or stumble.’

Don’t blame, shame, criticise or apologise

Alix says: ‘In some circumstances, the stakes can feel higher when suggesting to a long-term lover that you’d like to introduce toys, as you may fear they’ll assume you’ve been finding sex with them boring, or perhaps that you’ve been fibbing about how satisfied you are.

‘When broaching the topic, remember my advice: Don’t Blame, Shame, Criticise or Apologise.’

She recommends avoiding statements like ‘you’ve been struggling to make me orgasm lately so let’s get a vibrator’ or ‘I’m sorry if you think I’m weird but I’ve been thinking about trying cock rings’.

Instead, emphasise the comfort and trust you feel in your partner, highlighting how this makes you excited to try new adventures with them.

‘If their reaction is mixed,’ adds Alix, ‘useful questions to explore their feelings constructively include “Can you share what makes you feel uncomfortable, and why?”, and “What might make you feel excited, or more relaxed?”.’

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Break a bedroom rut

Just by adding a sex toy into the mix, what seems ‘usual’ can become a whole new sexual experience – and what’s even better is there are countless toys to choose from.

There will be some you like and some you don’t like, and that’s totally normal – not everything will have the desired effect for you and your partner. Either way, switching things up can help you get out of a rut.

Alix says: ‘It can be common for long-term lovers to fall into familiar patterns.

‘For example, they have a go-to sexual position they know works for them… but there can be a fine line between such old faithful moves being reliable, versus becoming stale.

‘Adding a sex toy to the mix can be an easy way of adding novelty to those classic favourites. You could try incorporating a buzzing cock ring into intercourse, like those from the Durex Intense range, as an instant dash of spice.’

Additionally, a cock ring can aid stronger and longer-lasting erections, and buzzing options are available to add another new sensation to the mix.

You’ll be back in your groove in no time while still, as Alix says, ‘framing it as “saucy playfulness” rather than “trying to fix a problem”.’

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