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Toy Story

Often, the hardest part of introducing sex toys into a relationship is bringing up the subject in the first place. But once couples put aside any feelings of shame, fear or insecurity; toys can add fun and excitement to your lovemaking, as long as both partners are willing to explore their boundaries and keep it playful.

In my experience, it's actually men who tend to need more convincing than women do. In today's tech-saturated world, many men feel that they are already competing against great odds when comparing themselves to porn stars, media expectations and thoughtless comments made by past partners.

Women, however, haven't been shy in embracing sex toys as a way to enhance lovemaking and achieve orgasm more easily. High-tech vibrators and discreet internet ordering have opened up whole new sexual worlds for women to explore.

The issue for many men is that they believe they should be able to satisfy a woman with just their penis. But the thing is, while women love your penis and what it can do, many also need a lot of other stimulation - with or without toys. Remember, that toys are just an enhancement, no woman would ever choose a toy over a living, breathing man who can hold her, kiss her and touch her.

At first, I experienced resistance from my husband about the idea of toys in the bedroom. I never pushed him and worked to allay his concerns but it took a while for him to embrace the possibilities. What I believe finally convinced him, was when he reluctantly brought up the subject with some of his close male friends - and found to his surprise that most of them already used sex toys with their partners! Now, he wants to use them more than I do.

Assuming you want to explore the world of weird and wonderful sex gadgets, how do you broach the subject with your partner? The most important thing is honest, open communication. It's good to determine a person's openness to the idea before going straight for the big guns. Don't whip-out handcuffs, a blindfold and a motorized fuck-machine and expect your lover to gasp in delight. Start small. Maybe explore the idea with something innocuous, like massage oil or flavored lube. These bring the notion of something "foreign" into your sexual play.

If you both enjoy a bit of porn now and again, this can be a good way to introduce the topic of sex toys. You may even find that your partner is intrigued by the idea.

In any case, help to allay their fears and anxieties. She may feel uncomfortable with the concept and need some reassurance that your relationship and she are enough for you. If she is open to the idea, then a good place to start is to choose your first toy together. If she's uncomfortable shopping in a bricks and mortar store, online shopping is the way to go.

Do keep in mind that there are some women who prefer not to use vibrators. For some, it can actually deaden the feeling in their clitoris.

If you already have toys you've used with someone else in the past, throw them out. Don't try and "recycle" them with your new partner as old toys may bring past partners to the forefront. An exception would be if she already has some of her own for solo use. And don't be surprised if she has more than one!

Finally, remember to be respectful of her feelings and concerns - and never try to force the issue. If you're the one who is uncertain about expanding your sexual library, take it slow and remember: toys are not a replacement, they're just an enhancement As long as lovemaking doesn't become just about the toys it can be a fun, playful way to enjoy intimate times.

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