Add a Buzz to Your Sex Life: Introducing Toys

The first time I ordered a sex toy I was 19. It was a vibrator from Good Vibrations in San Francisco. I can remember not knowing really what I wanted but scanning their pages for days until I got up the courage to place an order.

The first time I went into a sex shop it was also in San Francisco in the Castro district. I went in to peruse with a friend who ended up leaning on a massive carved dick accidentally while the shop owner asked if he was looking for VHS cleaner. We were very confused why someone would need VHS cleaner from a sex shop. Oh so young an naive!

Now, I walk into the stores to chat with friends, see what they carry, and look for new and unusual toys with the same feeling I have walking into a book shop. But it took time to get there. If you are new to the whole sex toy thing, here are some tips!

Getting Everyone On Board

So, you want to add a toy or two to your sexy time? Yay!!!! I am all about the toys. However not everyone is so fond of incorporating non-flesh attachments into sex. In fact, there are a lot of people who are really uncomfortable with sex toys! My current partner is one of those people

Before you bring new toys into your play, talk to your partners to see how they feel about toys. Some people will be all excited and gung-ho to go. Others may be tentative. Some may be outright opposed. Find out where they stand before you show up with a new toy.

How do you do this? Ask. Its pretty simple. Depending on your communication style and level of comfort, you can simply ask during a conversation how your partner feels about adding a toy. Or text. Or email. Or however you clearly communicate. The more specific you are, the better. Asking “how do you feel about sex toys” may get a different response than “How would you feel about using nipple clips on me next time we have sex?”

Many men, especially heterosexual men, often find vibrators and dildos a turn off during sex. Even my partner sees them as competition (you can hear him talk about it here). He is much less opposed to things like ropes, handcuffs, feathers, and sensation toys. Being specific about what I want to bring into our intimate time helps me gauge how he feels about a suggestion.

If your partner is opposed, respect that. This is something they are not ready for. If you feel up to it, you may want to explore where the resistance is coming from. Ask what is it about toys in general or a specific type of toy the oppose. Many times I have found a person may have a general opposition to sex toys because of stigmas but are okay with specific types of toys. If they are open to a specific type of toy this is a position to begin negotiating so both of your needs get met. If they are against all toys, you may have to forgo the use with that partner until they change their mind (which may never happen).

As with anything related to sex, if your partner is not okay with sex toys and have not consented to using them, respect that boundary. Cajoling or trying to shame them into using a toy is an asshole move. If using a toy is important to you, have the conversations you need to find out what the objection is and if there is a way to find a compromise.

Selecting a Toy

Once your partner is on board with adding toys the fun begins! You need to figure out what toys will work for you. Now you get to enter the overwhelming world of gadgets, gizmos and doohickies designed to add to your sex life!

Fantasies: Some of us have fantasies around a specific type of toy. It may be a fantasy of being penetrated vaginally while wearing a butt plug or it could be wearing a cock ring during a blow job. Or anything really. If you have had a fantasy that includes a toy, this is a great place to start!

Specific Stimulation: If you are just curious about toys in general but don’t have a fantasy to go off of, start by thinking about what stimulates you during sex. Are your nipples highly sensitive? Do you like a little light spanking and crave more? Do you enjoy surprises? Things that get you hot and bothered can give you clues to the toys to explore.

If you really enjoy nipple play, things like nipple clips and clamps, suction devices, and sensation toys (eg., fur mitts, feathers) can all be used for stimulation during sex. If you enjoy penetration, dildos and ass toys can be a good place to start. If you like the feeling of being out of control or surprised, consider a blindfold or handcuffs.

Porn: If you watch porn look at the toys they use which excite you. Do you find yourself drawn to porn where someone uses a bunch of clothespins? Do you enjoy cock and ball torture porn? Does pegging intrigue you? Those are all clues as to what toys you may want to start with!


There are more options for sex toys than the mind can fathom! Want a dildo? They range in size from very small to things that verge on being traffic cones. Colors? Any you can imagine! Materials? Silicone, cr