If you’ve never explored different pleasure products with a partner, it can feel quite difficult to introduce them into this part of your sex life for many reasons.
The sex toys we choose directly correlate to our sexual desires, interests, fantasies, kinks, and many other access points to our unique pleasure. They are truly so personal, so disclosing the products we like or are curious about to our partner(s) can feel quite vulnerable. Giving someone this window into our sexual bodies and who we are, sexually can feel like baring the soul of the sexual body.
We live in a world that has taught us to keep sexual desire and how we access pleasure hidden away from the world, that this part of us is shameful, and that it can only be accepted if it looks a certain way, or if we access pleasure in a certain way, which is often related to binary-based gender politics. Because of this conditioning, there is often a lot of shame and fear of judgment associated with sharing our pleasure products of choice with our partner(s). We don’t want them to suddenly look at us differently if they learn we are into something particular, that we maybe haven’t tried with them. Or perhaps we are worried about what our choice in sex toys may say about our gender expression, values, and other facets of our identities.
A lot of fear can also come up around offending our partner(s) if we are to suggest introducing toys as a way to enhance a sexual experience. We may not want them to feel as though they aren’t satisfying us, or that they aren’t enough just as they are.
So how do we have these conversations in a way that feels supportive and loving, rather than offensive or diminishing to our partner(s) and the sex we’ve been having?
Well first and foremost, your pleasure should never be offensive to your sexual partners.
If your partner is offended by how you access pleasure, then a larger conversation needs to be had. Due to internalised misogyny and the harmful belief that to be in a sexual relationship with someone is to have ownership over their pleasure, it is not uncommon for the suggestion of introducing toys and other pleasure products to feel like an undermining of one’s ability to pleasure their partner.
Firstly, it is important to remember that even when in relationships, our pleasure is ours and ours alone. While we may share ourselves and receive pleasure from our partner(s) in a safe and supportive way, we are still the only ones that get to own and control our pleasure. If we feel safe with our sexual partners, the call to introduce sex toys in a way that feels supportive has to come from inside the house. It has to come from within us, as a way of claiming our agency over our pleasure and advocating for ourselves. In a safe and supportive sexual relationship, this agency and self advocacy should be met with tenderness, curiosity and ultimately, joy.
In relationships, it is important to remember that pleasure products are our allies, not our competition, when it comes to partnered sex. If the goal is for everyone to have the best possible time, and to experience the type of pleasure they truly desire, then sex toys should never be seen as a threat, but rather, a teammate.
Of course, this new journey has to begin with a conversation.