Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and love and romance are in the air. And, well, sex, of course. With things starting to heat up, some of us might be feeling a desire to take things to a new level with our partners—and toys can definitely help.
Toys are something many think of as a solo experience (for example, your relationship with your trusty vibrator), but bringing a toy into the bedroom that both you and your partner can enjoy can do wonders for a relationship (you know, aside from being a ton of fun). “Toys are a great way to share pleasure with your partner, and help build a healthy and happy sex life together," says Samantha Bard, co-owner of Shag Brooklyn. “They can help you to communicate what you like in the bedroom, which can open the door to a deeper dialogue on pleasure; they can help you to connect on a new level, to explore new sensations and feelings; and they can help spice things up if things are becoming too humdrum or predictable."
We chatted with Bard and four other sexperts on the toys they recommend for partner use, so you can go ahead and get it on.
Not sure how to have this conversation with your partner? LoveHoney sexpert Coco Cameron breaks down a great way to start. “Mention something you watched or read about [toys] in an offhand way to your partner, and gauge their reaction. If they seem interested in knowing more, it could be a positive sign to take the conversation further. Remember, it's important to reassure them that buying a sex toy is not a sign that you're unhappy with your sex life—just that you want to explore other sides of it with them."
From there, you can start by suggesting small stuff you can easily use together, and work your way up to more extreme toys over time if you please. “It's vital that you know that they're happy to try something different, as whipping out a brand-new toy and using it on them mid-session without their prior consent probably won't go down too well." Of course, Cameron warns that if they don't seem interested, don't push. “Sex toys are great, but a mutual willingness to try them is essential."
So, do you and your partner feel ready to take things to the next level? Try one (or more) of the following 11 partner-friendly toys. And remember these words of wisdom from Bard: “There are so many different kinds of toys out there, if one thing doesn't work, try another."
Lovehoney, Best Night Ever Couple’s Sex Toy Kit, $49.99, available at Lovehoney.
“If you’re really not sure where to start, a sex toy kit like this one allows you try out lots of different toys and find what works best for you, without breaking the bank,” says Cameron.
Lovehoney, Oh! Feather Tickler, $8.99, available at Lovehoney.
“Not all sex toys vibrate or look like a body part. A feather tickler is perfect for trailing lightly across your partner’s skin to awaken the nerves, and make them more sensitive and responsive to touch,” says Cameron.
Lovehoney, Beginner’s Beads 11 Inch, $12.99, available at Lovehoney.
“If you’re newbies to the world of anal play, anal beads are a great way to try it out before moving to bigger things,” says Cameron. “These start with tiny beads and gradually increase in size, allowing you or your partner to go as big or small as you like.”
b-Vibe, Rimming Plug 2, $150, available at Shag Brooklyn.
"The butt is an underrated erogenous zone that should be explored!” says Bard. “The b-Vibe is a unisex plug that wiggles and turns... a Shag favorite!”
Shunga, Oral Sex Lip Gloss, $18, available at Shag Brooklyn.
“We can't keep this in stock—it's hot and cold at the same time, and brings oral play to new heights. It works for men and women, so give your partner a nice surprise,” says Bard.
We-Vibe, Unite, $99, available at Good Vibrations.
“This iconic couples' vibrator allows for clitoral and G-spot/intravaginal stimulation and intercourse, too!” says Carol Queen PhD, staff sexologist at Good Vibrations.
OhMiBod, Club Vibe 3.OH, $119, available at Good Vibrations.
“This innovative vibrator pulses to the beat of the music you're listening to—or your lover's voice,” says Queen.
Eva II, $135, available at Good Vibrations.
“This little vibrator is designed to sit over the clitoris to add stimulation during intercourse,” says Queen. “Many find it's a no-hands toy, but that depends on the shape of the labia.”
We-Vibe, Pivot, $109, available at We-Vibe.
“Penis rings aren’t only for people with penises,” says Emily Morse, sexologist and host of Sex With Emily podcast. “Both partners can enjoy the deep, rumbly vibrations of the Pivot because the raised mound can stimulate the clitoris, plus it’s nice and stretchy for a comfy fit. Experiment with the We-Connect app to create your own custom vibrations.”
Sportsheets, Beginner’s Bondage Fantasy Kit, $24.99, available at Sportsheets.
“For those who want to tie up, or be tied up, but aren’t sure where to begin, this kit from Sportsheets has everything you need to get started,” says Morse. “With four wrist and ankle straps plus a blindfold, it’s as easy to dip into BDSM as saying, ‘Tie me up.’”
Hot Octopuss, Pulse III Duom, $149, available at Hot Octopuss.
“Foreplay is a must, and this versatile sleeve will bring a new rhythm to the way you and your partner heat things up,” says Morse. “The unique oscillating vibrations will stimulate both partners, and the remote control adds an element of tease.”