Yet, sex toys for men — cock rings, strokers and all sorts of prostate pokers — are still often met with a sense of shame and disgust. When we imagine the type of guy — or person with a penis — who owns a Fleshlight (or nine), we assume he’s alone in his mom’s basement, sealed away in a block of cum and sweat. We suspect the only reason he owns the fake hole is because nobody would present him with a real one. We banish him to a lonely life of trawling Pornhub and washing socks.
It’s stereotypes like these that inspire men to hide sex toys from their partners. They also provoke those same partners to publish concerned rants on places like Reddit after discovering said toys. (Send your thoughts and prayers to the man whose wife recently posted about the $200 blowjob machine she found behind his desk.)
Of course, these are all antiquated ideas that have no basis in reality. Men shouldn’t be squirreling away their sex toys — they should be sharing them (and the joy they bring) with their partners. But, how?
I recruited a team of sexperts to teach you. Pull out your Fleshlight(s) and come along.
Transcend Your Shame
Step one involves relieving yourself of any disgrace related to your sex toys, because they’re not only great tools for exploring your own body, but also for enjoying deeper sexual experiences with a partner. “For people with penises, just like people with vulvas, sex toys can be an additive experience with a partner, enhancing sexual stimulation, pleasure and connection,” confirms sex therapist Kate Balestrieri. “Toys offer our bodies the kinds of stimulation that sometimes a partner can’t replicate, but that doesn’t mean they take the place of a partner — quite the opposite, actually! When partners are open to using toys with each other, they create a more expansive erotic experience.”
Broach the Topic
This can be scary, but I’m here to hold your hand (and blow-job machine). Starting with what not to do, sexologist Sunny Rodgers says, “It’s always a good idea to discuss bringing a sex toy into the relationship before you simply pull it out.” That way, nobody feels pressured when you spontaneously whip out a generator-powered male masturbator mid-coitus. In fact, you may even test the waters by discussing sex toys more generally before talking about bringing them into your relationship.
If your partner seems open to the idea, be prepared to answer any questions they may have. “Talk about the sex toy you’re interested in,” Balestrieri says. “Talk about why the toy is arousing for you.”
On the other hand, if your partner seems confused, Tami Rose, owner of Romantic Adventures adult boutique, suggests producing an example. “If you can get your partner to watch a movie that introduces the concept, that may be a way to start the conversation,” she says. It also may be super hot.
After all, as OnlyFans star and self-described “spiritual bimbo” Isabella James says, “Communication is key.”
Bash Any Insecurities
After introducing your interest in sex toys, one of the more unfortunate questions you may face from your partner is, “Is my body alone not good enough?” There are a couple ways to tackle this concern. You can simply do your best to reassure them, of course. “Make sure you let your partner know they’re still the main event in your partnered sex play,” says Rodgers. (Remember, as Balestrieri mentioned earlier, sex toys are great tools for expanding your relationship, not diluting it.)
If that doesn’t work, however, your partner may need to learn more to move past their anxiety alone. “It may not always be feasible to resolve insecurities,” Balestrieri says (that’s where therapy can help). “But the act of listening and establishing safety, connection and reassurance can sometimes help the ideas of toys or new sexual experiences feel less threatening.”
Again, there’s nothing inherently wrong with sex toys, and they shouldn’t be perceived as a threat to your relationship or a snub to anyone’s body. The fact that you want to use one and are communicating about that isn’t an insult. “We have to recognize that unless we’re being intentionally hurtful, we don’t make people feel anything; people themselves choose how to feel,” says Brian Sloan, creator of Autoblow blow-job machines. “It’s widely known that many women can’t achieve orgasm without the help of a vibrator during sex, and although it’s less common for men to need toys to reach orgasm, it may be possible.”
Get Specific and Go Shopping
If your partner is supportive, it can be fun (and sexy) to loop them into the process of selecting and acquiring which sex toys you’ll be using. To do that, Balestrieri suggests making a “Yes, No, Maybe” checklist for toys and sexual acts, then shopping ‘til you fuck.
You already know how to do this part, but it’s worth putting some extra thoughtfulness into your first session with a new toy. “Check in with your partner often,” Rose says. “The fact that you’re engaging and asking them if they’re still into the experience with you will make you the focus of the fun, not the toy. It will make it easier for them to communicate about pleasure with you next time, too.”
And if you or your partner are feeling especially nervous, Rose has a unique tip. “If you have a costume party for another purpose, try introducing the concept while you’re in character,” she says. “Sometimes dress-up gives women a way out of all the expectations they feel in their own heads.”
Good thing Halloween is coming up.