You write as a female in a heterosexual relationship with a man, but I will try to answer this in a way where the advice could be used by any gender or sexuality. You also stated that your partner has no issue with the ideas of you using sex toys, and that this is purely your own concern. You are also very happy with the sex life you are currently enjoying (lucky girl!).
People use sex toys for various reasons – as a masturbation aid either alone or with a partner; as a sexual wellness aid such as vaginal dilation or pelvic toning; or as an additional aid to sex with a partner/s.
Note that I carefully use the word ‘aid’. They help a process along. And they can be incredibly helpful and beneficial, too.
As a Masturbation Aid
Using them as part of your solitary masturbation, you can learn about what works for you and your body without worrying about taking care of a partner. This means you can focus on how your body responds, what works and, more importantly, what doesn’t. Do you like penetration? If so, where (anally/vaginally)? Does how you enjoy it change depending on your mood/time of the month (if you follow a female hormonal cycle)? Do you like pinpoint stimulation on particular areas, or do you prefer a gentler, more sweeping sensation which slowly builds? By learning about how your body works, and what it likes, you are more empowered to instruct someone else in how to do it. How could this not benefit your close sexual encounters?
As a Sexual Wellness Aid
As a sexual wellness aid sex toys and vibrators can be a godsend. Those struggling with Vaginismus often find using small vibrators or dilators helpful in learning to relax the tense vaginal muscles, which is often a learnt response from a previous painful experience (read Emmeline Peaches account of her experience here). Vaginal weights and toners in the form of love eggs and kegel exercisers can help the pelvic floor muscles strengthen after trauma such as childbirth, strenuous exercising such as running, or a simple genetic inheritance of a weak pelvic floor (yes, you can thank your mother for that one!). They also have the added benefit of helping to provide stronger orgasms as a result of stronger muscular structure and contraction, so you win on that score whether you are orgasming on your own or with a partner. Does your partner have a penis? You will be able to clench down onto that bad boy harder too – he will have nothing to complain about, trust me!
Sometimes certain medications reduce our libido or ability to orgasm – this has happened to me and is a common side effect of drugs such as antidepressants. Using sex toys can help you achieve arousal and/or orgasm when your physical reactions feel pretty much numbed to even the most expert touch from you or your partner. In this way they can help you maintain a sexual relationship at times when you may fear all is lost.
As a Sexual Relationship Aid
And then there is the use of sex toys as part of a healthy sexual relationship with someone else. 75% of women are not able to achieve orgasm through penile penetration alone (we can assume a non-vibrating dildo or strap on will give the same result). Some men don’t orgasm during penetration either, preferring to masturbate to finish off. Do you think they don’t enjoy sex? Of course they do – but they will use fingers, tongues, and possibly toys to aid them on their way (see, it’s that word ‘aid’ again!). Showing a partner how to use a toy on you can be actually very sexy. And have you ever heard of forced orgasm? Many a sex toy has been used in achieving this!
I once spoke to a heterosexual couple about the sit on vibrator The Ruby Glow. I explained how it is fantastic if she loves to watch pornography, as she can sit on it and grind away whilst using her hands to tease her body, breasts or neck as she chooses. He gulped, took a steadying breath, and said ‘Yeah… I would LOVE to watch that, too…’. So do not fear making them a part of your sex life with a partner!
But can I become addicted to my sex toy?
In short – yes you can. You can get used to quick and easy orgasms and may find yourself struggling to then respond to lighter, more gentle touches from yourself or your partner. Most of us of a certain age (over 30) will remember that episode in Sex and the City where Charlotte becomes addicted to her rabbit vibrator. The key is balance and not seeing orgasm as an ultimate goal to sexual contact. There is so much to enjoy other than a few moments of ecstasy.
If you do find yourself becoming desensitised, or craving your quick and reliable fix more than sex with your partner, then you need to consider taking a break from your battery operated device (or rechargeable/mains powered, for that matter). Reconnect with your body and experiment with things you learnt with your vibrator. Love g-spot stimulation? Ask your partner to use their fingers to stimulate you internally whilst going down on you, or whilst you use your fingers on yourself. Use lube to change how contact with a finger or tongue feels on your sensitive areas (seriously, lube is seriously underrated and changes the slightest touch into something else).
Sex Toys vs ‘Real Life’ Sex
Wow, the power of sex toys. Some rumble, some pulsate, some even have a sex mode which takes you from teasing foreplay through to (hopefully) climax. Some don’t vibrate at all but create a delicious weight or resistance to push or squeeze against. Some have weights which shift about as you move.
But what sex toys can never do is recreate human contact.
You know, that stroke of fingers over your skin, teasing through your underwear. A hot mouth sucking through fabric. A pinch. A slap. Hands running gently through your hair before gripping tightly…
If you love the human physical contact of sex with your partner, using sex toys won’t change that. Just be sure to voice what you have learned and share it with them. In fact, you may learn more about what you like, and add a new dimension to your play as a result.
And remember also that not everyone actually uses sex toys, or feels the desire to do so. Do what feels right for you at all times and you won’t go wrong.
Love Ruby x
This is not medical advice, and comes from personal experience and education.
If anyone knows who came up with the featured image please let me know so that they can be credited. Sex and the City was produced by HBO.