There comes a time in every sexual relationship when it’s necessary to spice things up a bit in the bedroom. For a lot of people, this means experimenting with sex toys.However, many adult toys are designed for flying solo. This can be great when you need a little me time, but what if you want your toys to help you make the most of your we time?
To help you and your favourite guy or gal get your freak on together, we’ve put together a complete guide to sex toys for couples.
Not Your Grandmother’s Sex Toys
First things first: If it’s been a while since you restocked your adult toy chest, you might be surprised to discover that the types of sex toys available today come in a staggering variety of shapes, sizes, colors and flavours.
And if you think there is no possible way your Grandma ever came within 50 metres of a sex toy, think again.
Archeologists have unearthed sex toys dating back to the time of China’s first emperor, Qin Shihuangdi, who lived around 221 B.C.E. Several of the ancient sex toys were actually discovered in the same tomb containing the famed terracotta warriors — which might explain why some of the soldiers were sculpted with smiles on their faces.
The invention of electricity took sex toys high tech for the first time, when doctors began using the first vibrators to treat “hysteria” in their female patients. It’s interesting to note that the electric vibrator was invented more than a decade before the electric iron or the electric vacuum cleaner — proving that people have always been more interested in getting off than tidying up.
Sex toys have a long history, but recent technological advances have propelled them into the digital age. Far from the average vibrator, today’s adult toys incorporate everything from smartphones to virtual reality.
More than that, modern toys also allow you to enjoy a table-for-two when it comes to experimenting in the bedroom.
Tips for Adding a Sidecar to Your Sex Toy Adventures
Sex toys have gone high tech, but that doesn’t mean you have to, especially if you and your partner would like to make your intimate playtime a group project.
There are so many different types of sex toys, it’s easy to get overwhelmed — particularly when you’re shopping for two. If you’re interested in sex toys for couples, but you’re confused by the sheer number of offerings on the market — or just not quite ready to sync your toys to your phone — experts say it’s perfectly fine to take it slow.
It’s also a good idea to approach couples’ toys in steps, so you can make sure you and your partner select products you’re both comfortable with and excited to try.
Discuss couples sex toys with your partner.
You may be eager to take the couples’ sex toy plunge, but make sure your partner is on board first. You want this to be enjoyable for both of you, so include your significant other in any discussion of adult toys before you load up on new gadgets.
According to Daniel Canfield, host of the Broken Boner Radio podcast and an advocate for open discussion of erectile dysfunction, “The key is finding toys that are mutually agreed upon to be in the bedroom.” He stresses that exploration of sex toys should be approached with “caring communication” and “mutual fulfillment.”
Have fun with toy shopping.
When it comes to choosing the best sex toys for you and your partner, picking them out together is half the fun. If you’re shy about visiting a sex store, use the buddy system by taking your significant other along. Having a supportive person in tow can give you the courage you need to browse the aisles without feeling embarrassed.
Functional nurse practitioner and host of The Sacred Medicine podcast, Margaret Romero, encourages couples to shop in person to get an idea of which toys are best-suited to them. “Go to a store, ask questions, don’t be shy!” she says. “Sometimes it’s hard to tell sizes on a website, and you want to be able to feel the dildos or how strong the vibrations can get.”
If the idea of watching a store clerk ring up your dildos and edible panties makes you want to melt into a puddle of embarrassment, you and your partner can have just as much fun shopping online. You can even float the idea of shopping for new toys as a way to introduce a little seduction into your sexual routine.
Start with the basics: vibrators, dildos and plugs, oh my!
Once both parties have agreed to experiment with couples’ toys, there is nothing wrong with keeping it basic — at least to start. When choosing the best sex toys for two, Kinkly co-founder and Editor-in-Chief Tara Struyk says, “What’s most important is that couples talk about what excites, what they’re comfortable with and what’s off limits.”
Struyk points to couples’ vibrators — or “vibes” for short — as a good jumping off point for the couples’ sex toy beginner. “There are a lot of different couples’ vibes and different ways to use them,” she adds. Designed to give both partners stimulation, couples’ vibrators can also give a male partner pleasure by delivering vibration to the scrotum, shaft or head of the penis.
“Keep it simple,” says Rita Delgado, owner of San Antonio adult toy store Shades of Love. “When couples start using toys, one of them might be intimidated if it’s something big and has a lot of gadgets.” Delgado says that a bullet vibrator can be a great way for couples to begin experimenting with sex toys. Don't forget you need Astroglide Personal Lubricant with toys or the friction could be a show stopper!!
Licensed sex and relationship therapist Courtney Geter agrees that simplicity is key when it comes to making your first foray into the realm of couples’ toys.
“With new technology and ideas,” she says, “toys are becoming pretty high tech, including wireless connections and apps to improve pleasure and stimulation. However, some toys don’t come with any or full instruction manuals, and trying to figure out what end goes where and what button does what can create frustration and end a fun-filled night.”
If you and your partner argue while trying to assemble Ikea furniture, it’s probably best to steer clear of overly complicated sex toys. However, this doesn’t mean your love life has to be boring. On the contrary, there are plenty of couples’ toys to keep your sex life fun and exciting.
The Best Sex Toys for Couples
When it comes to sex toys for two, several of the experts we talked to agreed that couples’ vibrators are an excellent choice for both novice and advanced couples’ adult sex toy users.
Although many men enjoy watching their ladies use vibrators, they might not realize that new types of vibrators are specifically designed for both parties to get in on the action. This is great news for guys who are tired of suiting up for the game, only to be forced to watch from the sidelines.
- We-Vibe. The line of couples’ vibrators from We-Vibe took top honors from our experts for its variety of speeds and settings that allow both partners to control the strength of the vibrations. We-Vibe’s couples’ vibrators are designed to be worn during intercourse, delivering both clitoral and G-spot stimulation to the woman, as well as plenty of buzz to the man.
As a bonus, the We-Vibe 4 Plus includes an app that lets both partners control the intensity of each other’s vibrations, allowing couples to connect in the bedroom even when they’re miles apart. Long-distance relationships FTW!
- LELO. Intimate products’ maker LELO also offers a range of couples’ vibrators, including the popular Tiani line. Geter says, “Once a couple is used to a couples’ vibrator, stepping it up a notch with Lelo’s Tiani or We-Vibe is recommended.”
- Tantus Feeldoe. If you’re a lady who loves ladies, sex toy maker Tantus offers a lesbian couples’ toy that allows both partners to experience heightened stimulation. The company’s Feeldoe toy is a “strapless strap-on” made of silicone and equipped with a vibrator.
One partner controls the bulb end with her pubococcygeus muscle (pc muscle) — the same muscle strengthened through Kegel exercises — and penetrates the other partner with the shaft end.
A note of caution, however: The Feeldoe requires a strong pc muscle to control the bulb, so Geter recommends that women who suffer from lower back pain check with a pelvic floor specialist before using it.
Beyond Vibrators: Other Toys for Two
Couples’ vibrators are popular, but there are other types of sex toys designed to benefit both partners.
For example, vibrating cock rings, which are worn around the penis, often come with attachments designed to stimulate the woman’s clitoris while enhancing the male partner’s sensation.
Curious About Trying Pegging?
Canfield also says that “pegging” — in which a female partner penetrates a male partner with a strap-on dildo — has become increasingly popular. “Many heterosexual men are discovering what gay men have known for centuries — the intense sexual pleasure of anal and prostate stimulation,” he says.
Besides treating men to new night moves, Canfield says pegging can also give women plenty of empowerment. “Ladies get to enjoy what is known as the Fem Dom experience.”
Relationship expert Dr. Dawn Michael told Medical Daily that pegging can also deepen intimacy between men and women by giving men insight into how it feels to be “on the receiving end of intercourse.” Dr. Michael also says that pegging can produce more intense orgasms in men by stimulating the male G-spot, which is accessed through the front wall of the anus.
For those leery of involving their genitals in new kinds of play, Struyk suggests electrosex as a shockingly pleasurable alternative. “This type of play adds a whole new layer of sensation that many people love, and is great for couples’ experimentation,” she says.
Despite the name, electrosex doesn’t involve delivering electric shocks to an intimate partner. In fact, electrosex toys aren’t designed to be inserted into the body at all. Instead, one partner glides them over the other person’s body — as you might with an ice cube or a feather — delivering a pleasurable, tingling and sometimes warm sensation.
Struyk says couples who wish to explore electrosex can choose from wands or TENS units, with TENS units providing deeper penetration of the skin and muscle.
For couples who are into a little more intense stimulation, there are also attachments you can buy to amplify the sensations of the electricity.
Getting the Best Materials for the Job
As you shop for new toys, it’s also important to pay attention to the materials that go into the product. Certain toys, such as those made of porous materials, make toys more flexible and flesh-like, but have also raised concerns about bacteria burrowing into the pores, where it can remain trapped regardless of how thoroughly you clean your toys. Relationship coach and author Charlie Glickman told US News that placing a condom over your adult toys can provide a workaround to the porosity problem.
To extend the life of your toys — and to maintain your health — you should also follow best practices for keeping them clean.
If you’ve ever wondered how to clean sex toys, Glickman recommends scrubbing them with antibacterial soap and hot water for 15 to 30 seconds, then letting them air dry to stop mold from growing. You can also place silicone toys on the top rack of the dishwasher, as long as they don’t contain electronic components or batteries.