Despite how much talking about sex makes for better sex, we’re still not very good at being vulnerable in that way, even with long-term partners.
In fact, it’s often easier to ask a one night stand to choke you than it is to admit your interest in using nipple clamps to your partner of four years. Because there’s generally a repressive attitude toward all things kinky, even the smallest deviations from vanilla sex can be uncomfortable to bring up. Many male friends have avoided asking their partners to use sex toys in bed because they feel embarrassed about it, or like they come across as too kinky. Men’s qualms tended to be more about feeling inadequate or like they might be replaced. Sometimes the hesitation about shame, sometimes it’s more a matter of why rock the boat when I’m getting laid on the regular? and sometimes you simply don’t know what to say or when.
Look, you’re not going to be replaced by a Hitachi, no matter how many times it makes your partner cum. If they put up with your corny jokes, 45-minute bathroom marathons, and ratty basketball shorts, they’re in way too deep for a dildo to replace you. Adding sex toys to your oeuvre only fosters more open, fun sex. You’ll experience lulls or grow bored with “the usual.” Watching The Office for the 18th time is comforting, but it can’t be the only show you watch, you know?
Of course, having conversations with your partner about incorporating new elements into your sex lives shouldn’t be a one-time ordeal - your desires and interests will change over time - but usually, the first conversation is the hardest. So I’m going to tell you how and when to bring up the kinky stuff.
Y O U A R E N O R M A L . I T I S N O R M A L
The first thing you need to do before you bring up expanding your sex accessory repertoire is to remind yourself that what you’re into is normal and not shameful.
Aside from the truly weird shit, you might end up watching on nights when you have the house to yourself and you slide down a porn rabbit hole, there’s likely very little you’ll want to try with potential to outright disgust your partner. That doesn’t mean they’re going to hop on board the butt plug train just because you brought it up - using sex toys can be intimidating, and there are some things your partner might never be interested in trying - but most people these days have at least a general awareness of sex toys.
W H E N T O H A V E T H E T A L K
Even though wanting to experiment with toys is extremely normal, it’s still important to get the timing of your conversation right. Your partner might not be feeling the same lull you are, and might be defensive or feel hurt at first. Pick a neutral time when you two are alone. No one wants to hear that their partner is sexually dissatisfied when they’re getting ready for their nephew’s baptism. Ideally, you should broach the conversation on a date night while sharing a bottle of wine (or during whatever another pleasant post-dinner ritual you two have). You should both be relaxed and in a good mood.