Six things you need to know before bringing sex toys into the bedroom.
1. How do I bring up the idea of using a vibrator during sex without offending my guy?
Since sex toys are everywhere from Mad Men to drugstores, tell him that you saw something on TV or read an article (like this one!) about enhancing your sex life with a vibrator and ask him if he’d want to try it out, suggests sex therapist Lori Buckley, Psy.D. That way he knows the vibrator isn’t replacing him and he’s not doing anything wrong; you’re simply curious.
2. He’s on board. Now what?
Suggest going to buy a vibrator together! (Or just invite him to use yours on various parts of your body.) Your words, moans, and sighs will teach him what feels good where.
3. Can we use the toy back and forth on each other?
“If you feel that you need to keep using condoms with your partner to avoid infection, don’t share unprotected sex toys either,” says WH sexuality advisor Debby Herbenick, Ph.D. Put a condom over the vibrator, and always clean it or put a new condom on it before using it in different orifices to prevent the transfer of bacteria. A love glove will also protect you from germs that lurk on hard-to-clean materials like rubber.
4. Do I need one of those special cleaners for my vibrator?
Nope. Warm soapy water does the trick. (Just remember to remove the batteries before cleaning!) Sex-toy cleaners (you can find some at pureromance.com) are good to keep by your bed, but wait until the vibrator is dry before inserting it back into your vagina. “You want to keep chemicals out of there,” says Herbenick.
5. My batteries give out so quickly. Any way to make them last longer?
Always remove the batteries when you’re done playing. It’s the best way to conserve power and to prevent the toy from accidentally switching on, says Herbenick.
6. Does a vibrator desensitize a woman to the real deal?
No one has really studied this, but as long as your sessions last minutes, not hours, you’re fine. Vibration can temporarily desensitize any part of your body. But in Herbenick’s studies, the few women who reported pain or numbing from vibrator use said it was mild and went away within an hour. And while women’s genitals become less sensitive with age, “lower sensitivity isn’t linked to poorer sex,” says Herbenick. Whew!
BY BRITTANY RISHER FOR WOMEN’S HEALTH, PHOTOGRAPHY BY ISTOCKPHOTO/THINKSTOCK