In an effort to share some of what I learned and observed while I was at the Quad S Western Region conference this April (Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality), I wanted to talk about what can spice up sex. This post is going to be about Sex Toys. There were a couple sponsors who were at the conference: Fun Factory and We-Vibe. These are both high quality, top shelf toy companies. And the tons of swag we got had some really fun things in them as well, including lots, and lots of lube.
I think it’s important to define our terms. Sex can either be partnered or alone. I realize that there are some people who worry about breaking out the toys when they are having sex with a partner. That sex toys are strictly for solo activity only. They don’t want to intimidate or scare off their partner. I can totally understand the concern one would have when first bringing the buzzy things into the bedroom with a partner. You might be worried what they’ll think; whether their perception of you will become “tainted;” if they will become jealous of the toy; or think they aren’t enough for you.
If what I mentioned above rings true to your own situation, my biggest and most important suggestion (as in most other topics): Talk to your partner! I know that it can seem scary and daunting. Another suggestion I have to go along with this, is: Never negotiate Naked! In other words, don’t bring up the subject of “Big Red” – your giant buzzy vibrator as you both are about to do the horizontal tango if you’ve never discussed it before. It’s a good practice to talk about new ideas to incorporate into your sex life in a completely non-sexual environment. This way, neither of you will feel pressured to have to do something so suddenly, without a clear head. You will be able to talk about how you each feel about bringing in accouterments, both the positive feedback and the concerns, and be able to compromise if and where you need to.
I want to define another term: Sex Toys. I admit, even to me, that most of the time, the very phrase evokes images of dildos, vibrators of all shapes and kinds, cock rings, etc. But there is another which hardly ever creeps into the conversation, which I was just reminded of when I looked at my swag bag from the Quad S conference: Lube. Lubrication can make sexual activity so much better. A little can go a long way. There are so many kinds, and I won’t even begin to endorse one brand or another in this post [that will be here]. I recommend playing around and experimenting until you find the ones you like. Just keep in mind that especially when you are using safer sex methods you should never use oil based lubricant as it will compromise the integrity of the condom or the glove which you are using. Water based and silicone are going to be your best bets for most play that people engage in. When possible, look for lubes which do not have glycerin (essentially a sugar which can potentially create yeast infections) or parabens.
Last week, I had a short poll up on this blog for a few reasons. First, to try and figure out how polls word on WordPress, as it was my first time. Second, to give me an idea for this whole topic of sex toys. I didn’t even reach 30 respondents, which does not make for very reliable data. However, I think it’s fair to say that there are lots of people who use all kinds of toys, either alone or with a partner. These can range depending on what you want to get out of it. I know that I didn’t have enough responses to check off (as some of my friends were only happy to critique me on), but it was part of my own learning process. I really enjoy talking toys with people, and I would love to hear what other people’s favorites are. I started a list here, which you can feel free to check out. [More to come!]
I like to think I have a fairly good grasp on what toys would be a good idea depending on what your goals are, but in case I don’t have face to face chats with everyone who reads my blog, and also because I recognize that I am not an expert in this area, I really strongly recommend going into your local, high quality adult toy store. Below is a list of my favorites [with an *] and also ones I have heard good things about from other people in the Sex Positive field. By going to their website, you can see if there is a location near you.
*The Pleasure Chest - Locations in West Hollywood, CA., Chicago, IL, and NYC
*Good Vibrations - Locations in San Francisco, the Bay Area, and Massachusetts
*Babeland - Locations in Seattle and New York City
Cirilla’s - Locations in Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, and Tennessee
Smitten Kitten - Location in Minnesota