I consulted with sexologist Dr. Carol Queen, from Good Vibrations for some ideas on how to introduce sex toys to your partner. Here is a summary of our conversation.
If neither of you has ever used a sex toy, starting to explore together can sometimes be easier and a whole lot of fun. Bringing sex toys in to your sex life can help add a little pizzazz to a staid relationship. Exploring together allows you both to bring your own interests and curiosities to the table.
Plan a trip to a sex toy shop. Or sit down at your computer and take a look at some of the lesbian-friendly stores out there like Good Vibrations and Babeland. Talk about what you see, what interests you.
Dr. Queen recommends each partner choose something so that you each feel like you've gotten something and no "Well, you picked it out!" recriminations later if something doesn't float the right boat.
If you're the one who has experience with sex toys or there is a particular toy you know you want to bring into the bedroom, Dr. Queen shared a few ideas on how to bring up the conversation:
- start a general conversation about sexuality, exploration, mixing it up and trying new things
- ask if her partner ever used sex toys or thought about it
- approach the topic in a sexy way, including through fantasy talk, if that's comfortable (BTW, my book Exhibitionism for the Shy, while not strictly for lesbians, happens to have a preponderance of lesbian/bi women interviewees, and includes chapters on hot talk and on talking to one's partner about wanting to try new kinds of play)
- respect her where she is, and if she's shy, find out what she is comfortable with; if she has particular things she'd like to explore, try those things too if possible
- if she has misconceptions, like "vibrators are addictive" and "I should d be the one to please you," debunk these! Vibes are not addictive -- they are sensation devices that add to rather than subtract from your sexual options. And sex with a partner is not a zero-sum game where one person is, in essence, the other person's sex toy; it is a dance, with many kinds of steps that you can enjoy. (And who hasn't danced alone at least a few times in her life?)
- maybe the assumption is that the partner bringing it up needs/wants the vibe/toy for her own pleasure -- but share it! Sometimes this is all that it takes -- to show a partner how much pleasure a toy can bring both partners.