By Sara Youngblood Gregory
A note on language: As a sex-educator-led brand, we try to avoid using gendered language, but the demands of SEO sometimes force us to use binary terms. None of the information below is gender-specific; each fact applies to any body with the mentioned parts. For more information on this, read our FAQ.
When Women Want Vibrators During Sex, Some Men Can Get Worried. Here's What to Do.
For many women and nonbinary people, using sex toys is second nature, no shame or anxiety involved. But for men it’s not always that simple, as using a vibrator during sex can leave some men feeling intimidated, inadequate, or even sexually threatened. This dynamic can be especially challenging in heterosexual relationships, as many women use sex toys to access orgasm. After all, only 1 in 4 women can orgasm through vaginal sex alone—everyone else needs additional stimulation.
In reality, sex toys are a normal part of sex, says Dr. Tara, the relationship coach on Luvbites (a podcast) and a professor of sexual communication at Cal State University Fullerton. And if your partner wants to use sex toys with you, it’s actually a sign of trust—not that your partner is unhappy with you. As Dr. Tara puts it, “We use tools in every aspect of our lives to enhance the experience, so why not sex?”
Below, we discuss how to navigate vibrator anxiety and how to have FUN with the best sex toys for couples.
Couples’ Sex Toys Make Sex More Interesting
Using a sex toy in front of a partner is a very intimate (and hot) act that can make sex not only more interesting, but also more connective. In fact, many men in a 2016 study reported that sex was more appealing and more intimate with vibrators involved. In any relationship, couples’ sex toys are an opportunity to bring novelty and excitement into your routine.
Discuss Couples’ Sex Toys with Your Partner
If you’re concerned about using a vibrator in bed—or unsure how to bring up that you want a vibrator in bed—start with a conversation. Dr. Tara advises that you talk far away from the bedroom, and never right before, during, or immediately after sex. Instead, you might chat about your sex life over coffee or dinner. Be prepared to share what excites you about your play, and the reasons you feel eager or nervous to use a toy.
Starting the conversation can be as simple as, “Hey babe, I saw an article about this toy I’d love to try together. I know that would be new for us. Can we talk about it?”
Be Clear About Why and How You’d Like to Introduce Toys
Once the conversation gets started, focus on what excites you about using a toy with your partner. Are you interested in your partner watching you touch yourself, or vice versa? Do you love blended orgasms? Can you try out a new position with a certain toy?
Painting a picture for your partner—and sharing what turns you on about using a toy—will give them a better idea on why a toy is important to you and what to expect. But don’t worry about having all the answers yet; it’s enough just to want to explore, too.
Reassure Your Partner
When talking about introducing a new toy, always make sure to affirm your desire for your partner. For some people, hearing about new toys is sexy and exciting, while for others, it can be intimidating or make them doubt if they are “good” enough to please you by themselves. Reassurances will make sure the conversation stays positive.
Dr. Tara always recommends giving your partner compliments during sex and reassuring them where needed. Make sure to bring this affirming energy to conversations, too, and avoid saying anything that will hurt your partner’s sexual self-esteem. Remember, you can enjoy toys without being critical of sex without them.
Consider Shopping for a Sex Toy Together
Of course, you can always break out your go-to personal vibrator, but shopping for a new toy together can help a nervous partner feel included in the process. A new toy can be the difference between my toy and our toy.
While looking at toys, talk about which features excite you both. Maybe you like the idea of a waterproof toy for shower sex (all of FUN FACTORY’s toys are waterproof or water-resistant) or think a vibrating cock ring is the perfect option for blended orgasms. Focus on finding a toy for your mutual excitement and pleasure.
Pro tip: Treat shopping for a sex toy like foreplay. Once you have a few options picked out, take the opportunity to talk about what you want to do to each other.
Best Couples’ Sex Toys to Use During Sex
With so many sex toy options out there, finding your best match can be an overwhelming (but satisfying) process. Before hitting the “add to cart” button, consider what kind of features you and your partner need. Discuss your pleasure preferences and what’s most practical for your lifestyle. Do you need something quiet and discreet? Are you looking for powerful rumbling and a wide range of intensities?
When you have some features in mind, then you can narrow down the possibilities.
Bullet Vibrators.Usually considered the perfect “starter” vibrator, bullet vibrators are the tried-and-true option for anyone new to sex toys. Typically small and bullet-shaped, this type of vibrator is discreet and quiet with only a few intensity settings. Bullet vibes are meant for external use only, but the possibilities are endless when it comes to targeted clitoral and penile stimulation, nipple play, and other erogenous zones. If you’re looking for a seamless introduction to couples’ toys, we recommend MASSAGE BULLET, which combines a strong motor with the perfect pocket-sized design.
Wand Vibrators.Wand vibrators have the iconic ice cream cone shape most people associate with women’s sex toys. This type works best for those who crave deep rumbling against their clit and intense orgasms. Meant for external use only, wands are reliable and intuitive to use for all genitals and genders, but be warned: They can be a bit bulky to handle. Luckily, VIM is not only noticeably lighter than other wands, but also quieter.
Clitoral Vibrators.This type of vibrator is meant to stimulate the clitoris and vulva. But the FUN doesn’t have to stop there—clit vibes can also be used on the penis, perineum, and other erogenous zones on the body. Clit vibes come in all shapes and sizes; bullet vibes and wands technically count as clit vibrators as well. If you’re looking for a great toy to grind on or place between you and your partner, FUN FACTORY’s body-hugging LAYA III is perfect. If you’re looking for a toy that can switch easily between vulva stimulation and BJs, know that VOLTA’s fluttering tips can pleasure the clit or spread against the shaft of the penis.
Vibrating Cock Rings.C-rings are super versatile and can often be used on the penis, balls, nipples, clit, and perineum. Usually, vibrating cock rings are worn on the penis to increase the blood flow to and sensitivity of the penis shaft and head. For most people, cock rings create harder, longer-lasting erections and a slightly “restricted” sensation. Our NŌS does all of the above and features a flexible clit stimulator, so you and your partner can sync orgasms. If you love the feeling of vibration on the penis but not the squeeze, our flexible MANTA stroker is your best bet.
Double Dildos.If you and your partner both love internal sex and want to experience deep penetration at the same time, a double dildo is for you. This type of dildo has a shaft on both ends and is often longer to accommodate two people. If you’re looking for a double dildo that’s intuitive to use, SHARE LITE is the perfect starter option, since it’s flexible and lightweight.
What happens if your partner isn’t into couples' sex toys?
If your partner isn’t interested in couples’ sex toys, that’s completely okay. Some people know right away that they won’t enjoy toys during partnered sex, while others realize they’re uninterested after exploring a bit, either solo or with a partner. Don’t pressure your partner into using a toy during sex and respect their decision. After all, you can still enjoy your toys individually!
Are couples' sex toys safe to use?
Absolutely. Sex toys are safe to use, but there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, only use toys for their intended purpose. For example, if you have a toy meant for external use only, don’t attempt to insert the toy in the vagina or anus. Also, look for toys made with body-safe materials and medical-grade silicone.
When playing with your toys, use lube for comfort—and never force anything if you feel uncomfortable. If you feel any pain, stop immediately. Sex toys should never hurt!
Finally, always be sure to clean your toys before and after every use. Warm water and mild soap are enough to do the trick, and non-motorized toys can be boiled for a deep clean.
Do I need to use lube with couples' sex toys?
Yes! Lube isn’t always necessary, strictly speaking, but it does increase comfort and glide during sex. However, not every lube is compatible with all toys or condoms. In general, silicone-based lubricants are not safe to use with silicone toys because they degrade the quality of the material. Oil-based lubricants, meanwhile, are not condom-safe. Water-based lube is usually the best of all worlds, as it is compatible with different toy materials and condoms. For a full crash course, check out our guide to lubricants.
Should we use couples' sex toys whenever we have sex?
The great thing about sex is there’s no right or wrong way to experience pleasure. Some couples love using sex toys and break them out every time they have sex. Other people use sex toys only for special occasions or every once in a while. It’s up to you and your partner what frequency feels right.
Is it normal for my spouse to want to use a sex toy?
Absolutely! Tons of people already own and regularly use a sex toy. A 2009 study found that 53% of women and 45% of men reported using vibrators during sex, proving it’s a normal part of life for many people.
Are there any potential downsides to using sex toys in a relationship?
Sex toys should be both a confidence and pleasure boost. But it’s possible you or your partner will feel overwhelmed once it’s finally time to introduce your new toy. If you’re not sure you’re on the same page about something, always be sure to discuss before sex exactly how you’ll check in with one another.
Alternatively, if you and your partner are struggling to even talk about sex toys, or find that the topic is causing a lot of hurt or miscommunications, consider seeking the support of a professional therapist or sex therapist for guidance.
Is it necessary for both partners to be on board with using sex toys?
Yes. But being on board looks different for everyone, which is why it’s so critical to discuss exactly what is and isn’t appealing. For example, if one partner wants to use a vibrating cock ring and the other doesn’t, it’s important to find an alternative that both partners feel 100% comfortable with.
What if I still feel uncomfortable about my spouse using a sex toy?
You’re allowed to feel uncomfortable with your spouse using a toy — but make sure you’re not shaming or pressuring your spouse about it. “It’s one thing to not prefer using a sex toy during partnered sex, but to stop your partner from using a sex toy individually sounds like a control issue that should be addressed with a professional,” says Dr. Tara.
Likewise, if you feel consistently worried about how your spouse wants to experience pleasure (especially during masturbation), Dr. Tara recommends seeing a sex coach to get to the root of your feelings.
This post was written by a guest blogger, and all opinions and ideas expressed are that of the author. All ideas included are for educational and entertainment value, and do not constitute medical advice.