How to introduce sex toys to the bedroom this Valentine's Day
Here's what to do if you're looking to spice things up.
Whether you’re loved up and looking to spice things up or a single Pringle ready to mingle, Valentine’s Day can be just the spark you need to slip a sex toy under the sheets.
“Variety is amazing for your sex life because it teaches your body new ways to experience pleasure and keeps your curiosity open,” according to Sydney Somatic Sexologist Alice Child.
“Sex toys bring a different flavour to the bedroom and can help you open up whole new fantasies and areas to explore.”
Pegging sex toys as “the gateway” to new experiences,” Alice told Yahoo Lifestyle that they can also help women climax.
“Up to 80 per cent of women need some form of external stimulation in order to reach orgasm,” she explained. “It takes some of the pressure off them to have a vibrator they can use externally so they can focus on the connection and build that pleasure into each orgasm.”
Breaking down the stigma
Despite all the orgasmic benefits however, Alice says the thought of introducing a sex toy into bed with a partner can be too much to handle for both women and men.
“I think everyone has that fear of rejection, fear of being vulnerable and fear of what their partner will think if they bring it forward because we do live, sadly, in still such a sex-negative society,” she said.
“It's always a little bit nerve-wracking bringing sex toys up in a conservative society, even with a partner who you love and adore, and I think there’s a strange social script around sex toys replacing your partner because the sex isn't good enough or that it will lead to a disconnection and you won't be focused on your partner.”
None of which are true, says Alice. So how do you introduce a sex toy into sex?
Open up the conversation
“I definitely recommend talking to your partner about it beforehand,” Alice said.
"Otherwise it’s a little bit nonconsensual to just whip it out, especially depending on what the toy is and what fantasy you’re about to play out.”
But picking your moment is key.
“I think it's definitely better to bring it up outside of the bedroom," she explained.
"When you don't already have desire and arousal in your body, you're able to have conversations very differently.”
Angie Kent reveals ‘secret’ partners need to know: ‘Don’t play games’
Yet what to say? If you’ve already got a toy, Alice recommends asking a partner to use it on you, and if you don’t, then it’s a good opportunity to bring your partner into the conversation early on and go shopping together.
“Then it sort of feels like you're on the same journey,” she said.
“And they get a chance to input what could be fun and talk about different fantasies.”
But the most important part about this “new flavour of sex” is positivity.
“Frame the conversation in a way that's filled with enthusiasm and curiosity, rather than anything that focuses on criticism or negatives,” Alice suggested.
“You might want to talk about why the idea is hot for you, what it might feel like and why it would be fun to share it together.”
Start with a simple sex toy
With so many sex toys out there, the options for which one to bring into bed are endless, but Alice recommends sticking with the basics for beginners.
“A great place to start is a couples vibrator,” she said.
“Little bullet vibrators that are small and can sit externally on the clitoris but also feel amazing on the penis, scrotum and perineum, so both parties can explore the sensation.
“Also if you're in a partnership where one of you has a penis, cock rings are really great, especially vibrating ones for hands-free clitoral vibration.”
Show ‘em how it’s done
When it comes to the actual action, taking the lead can go a long way, Alice said.
“Suggest showing them how you like to use it on yourself and what feels great,” she explained.
“Not only can it be hot to watch your partner masturbate, but it takes a bit of the pressure off them to suddenly understand all the buttons.”
But make sure you make them a part of the experience.
“Keep up that connection, that eye contact,” Alice encouraged.
“Don't just completely shut off and focus on the toy.”
Whenever you’re trying something new, it’s always important to ‘check in’ with your partner post-activity, Alice said, after giving them time to reflect on it and without piling on any pressure to have enjoyed the experience.
“You could ask, what was that like for you?” she suggested.
“What was hot, what was not and what does it make you curious to try next time? Because when trying anything new in the bedroom, what might be going on for one person could be very different to what the other person is experiencing.”
At the end of the day though, Alice says it’s not just about sex toys and genital pleasure.
“It's about how you can add more playfulness and new sensation into the bedroom,” she said.
Consider this spark ignited.
Never miss a thing. Sign up to Yahoo Lifestyle’s daily newsletter.
Or if you have a story idea, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.