Even though I write about sex on a daily basis and preach the importance of talking about it, I'm kind of a hypocrite in my personal life. For the first few months of my relationship, I was too tongue-tied to have any real discussion of sex beyond "that feels good" or "a little lower." Then, one day, I explained to my partner that while I was staying with him, my sex toys might need to be sent there. I figured it was as good a way as any to start the conversation — and it did.
Toys would become the gateway into talking about not only the toys themselves but also what I like and how my body works. I showed him how I masturbated with my toy. We saw what my orgasms looked like on a chart through a vibrator's app.
But it was months before I actually brought in toys during sex. I considered it, but I thought about the way my ex responded to that idea. When we, for the zillionth time, finished sex and I hadn't come, I asked if he'd be interested in using my vibrator on me. "I want to touch you, not a machine," he said.
That comment made me really insecure. It made me feel like sex involving toys was somehow less romantic. It made me scared that bringing in toys would undermine my partner's role. It made me feel like I was being too demanding for even bringing it up.
I worried that my current partner would feel the same way, or like his penis wasn't doing enough for me. And, to be honest, that impression would have been correct. Lots of straight men want to believe that their penises are gifts to womankind that will induce amazing multiple squirting orgasms. In reality, only 18 per cent of women come through vaginal penetration alone.
It only adds to both of our pleasure
A guy who really cares about your pleasure, not his ego, will take a back seat and realize his penis will not play the primary role in pleasing you. It can be a fun addition, but it's not essential. That can be threatening, but only to someone who believes sex should revolve around their penis.
Fortunately, my partner was not one of those guys. In another conversation inspired by sex toys, I told him flat-out that penis-in-vagina sex did not do that much for me, and I needed clitoral stimulation to get off. To my relief, he told me that he loves to watch me play with myself and welcomed the addition of toys into our bed.
Soon, I realized that "alone" is the operative word in the statistic "18 per cent of women come through vaginal penetration alone." Vaginal penetration plus a toy never fails to get me off. I don't believe it's necessary (for me) because, hello, foreplay. But it is nice to have something to do during intercourse instead of just thinking about pleasing him. It makes it more two-sided.
Sex toys are not the only way to make sex two-sided, but they did provide a way for us to talk about how to do that. Now that I bring sex toys to bed all the time, I haven't found that it takes away from anything. We're both still there. It only adds to both of our pleasure.
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I've heard some men say they're emasculated by sex toys, but I'll never shy away from them for that reason. If someone feels threatened by a vibrator, I don't want to sleep with them anyway. After all, someone's feelings about sex toys are a great litmus test for how feminist he is.
Anyone who believes my pleasure should revolve around his penis is not a sexual partner I want to have. And if I ever want to know if someone feels that way, I'll just bring my latest toy into the bedroom.
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