Sex toys are often thought of as a female thing. The ones you most commonly hear about, like dildos and vibrators, are typically designed for use on vaginas (though they're really more versatile than that!). However,
male sex toys are just as useful when you're looking to enhance pleasure and switch things up in bed.
Sometimes, people who are curious about what they can experience sexually seek out sex toys themselves, which is awesome. Other times, their partners bring up the idea because they think it would be hot or beneficial, which is also cool as long as you're not pushing it on them.
Due to the
stigma around men using sex toys, bringing them up with a male partner may feel daunting. "When it comes to male partners specifically, there tends to be a certain level of intimidation around the idea of sex toys as part of their sex life," Alicia Sinclair, certified sex educator and CEO of b-Vibe and Le Wand, tells Bustle. "It pushes back against the traditional masculine norms of the bedroom."
But the conversation doesn't have to be awkward — in fact, it could end up being both fun and illuminating. Here's how to bring up using sex toys on a male partner.
Discuss It Outside The Bedroom
Whenever you're looking to try something new in bed, it's best to talk about it in advance to make sure everyone's on the same page.
"Starting this conversation outside of the bedroom creates a comfortable ambiance and eliminates the additional vulnerability that you may feel when you’re naked in bed together," Sinclair says. "While it may seem counterintuitive, talking outside of the sexual situation establishes consent and ideally leaves no questions unanswered."
You want to communicate your desires to your partner and invite them to explore their own, not pressure them into anything. So, own what you want while maintaining boundaries by speaking only for yourself.
"Instead of 'Hey, would you wear cock ring for me?' try, 'It would turn me on so much to see a ring around your cock. I'd love to try that together,'"
sex educator Anne Hodder, ACS, tells Bustle. "Focusing the conversation on your desire and how amazing it would make you feel helps take the pressure off your partner."
Whatever your goal is in
bringing new toys into the bedroom, describing it to your partner can help them work toward it as well, whether or not you go forward with the toys.
"Feel free to mention how using sex toys can help you both connect and get even closer," Hodder says. "There are few things more intimate than trying a sex toy together for the first time and exploring new territory as a team."
Listen To Their Concerns
Your partner might not be comfortable using sex toys, and that's perfectly OK. You can talk about why, but you ultimately have to respect their decision.
"Be prepared to hear what your partner has to say and receive their feelings, opinions, and fears with open arms — especially if their response is somewhere in the realm of 'no,'" Hodder says. "If the opportunity feels right, ask compassionate, clarifying questions so you can better understand where their 'no' might be coming from."
If your partner's down with
getting some new sex toys, make it a bonding experience and shop together. If you're most comfortable shopping online, Hodder suggests scrolling through the websites for The Pleasure Chest, MedAmour, or SheVibe together. Or, head out to a sex shop for a date.
"Make it a team effort from start to finish," Hodder says. "The pro of shopping in-person is that you can ask direct questions to sales staff. At stores like
Babeland or The Pleasure Chest, staff are trained sex educators, so they know exactly how to answer your questions AND make expert recommendations for what products to try."
If your partner's overwhelmed by the prospect of using sex toys, simpler toys may help put their mind at ease. "Sometimes, smaller-sized sex toys can feel more welcoming for beginners, so don’t hesitate to pick up some starter pieces," Hodder says. "You can always level up when you’re ready."
A few toys that may feel less intimidating to start with are cock rings like
Screaming O's Ring O Pro or the Je Joue Mio, small sleeves like the Tenga Egg Sleeve, or finger vibrators like the Home VeDO Ayu Finger Vibe Pair, Hodder says.
If your partner's intimidated by the idea of using a fleshlight or cock ring — or if they're up for it and want to explore even more — you can use couples' toys like
We-Vibe Sync that are meant to be worn during intercourse. That way, you both get extra pleasure out of it.
"This is going to be a learning experience for both of you, so don’t expect to get it right the first time," says Sinclair. "Experimentation is totally natural. In the end, whatever feels right for
both of you is the sexiest option."