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Sex toys: Do they have a positive or negative impact on a relationship?

sex toy in male hand

Yikes! There’s a whole lot of scientific jargon and stats out there on the subject of whether sex toys have a positive or negative impact on a relationship. Because the Cinder team like looking at something from all angles, we’re going to include role play and dressing up into this equation too, and see if it changes any of the conclusions all the clinicians, analysts, and sexual psychiatrists extrapolated from their own data.

Play for mature adults

Whatever you do, don’t type the words “play for mature adults” into your search engine because it will lead you to websites full of useful titbits of information such as how to play bingo, the rules for bridge and canasta, and charades for octogenarians..

Sex toys aren’t exactly things we play with, are they? They are for the enhancement, supplementation, and titivating augmentation of our sex lives. The big question is: Should they be part of our sex lives when we are with our partners or strictly singles only?

So, let’s dive deep and see what the surveys, stats, and studies have to say about it.

Sex toy use for women

It seems like a long time since sex toys were considered taboo – needless to say that there were an awful lot of woman at the chiropractor’s office thirty years ago saying it might be better all-round if they knew where to buy their own vibrator to treat their sore back.

Sexual enhancement product purchases (called sex toys by us common folk) have become increasingly common over the last twenty-five years or so.

  • 52% of women report having used a vibrator
  • 40% use a vibrator either with a partner or solo
  • 30% have used one within the last year
  • 48% women use one “always” or “often” for solo masturbation
  • 25% use one “always” or “often” with a female partner

But here’s where it comes interesting; there’s not a lot of data, percentages, stats, you name it, on whether the women used one when they were with a male partner. Could it be that a real-life penis sweeps away the need for a vibrator or are some other darker forces at work here?

Sex toy use for heterosexual couples

According to a 2020 sex toys study done in Germany, 1,723 adults who identified as heterosexual were happy to share their feelings on sex toy use in a relationship or to put it more succinctly, during sex.

  • 52% used sex toys during sex with their partner (answers ranged from “always” to “occasionally”)
  • 45% used them during solo masturbation
  • The majority of respondents recorded the perceived effects of using sex toys with a partner as strongly positive rather than negative
  • Both an equal number of women and men reported positive benefits of using sex toys in bed with a partner, objectively and subjectively

It seems that, in Germany at least, sex toys are a welcome addition in the majority of Schlafzimmers (click on the link to learn a new word).

Sex toy use for homosexual men

25,294 men who identified as gay or bisexual recorded the following data about using sex toys. They were individually recruited from a site for both sexual and social homosexual interactions.

  • 52% used non-vibrating cock rings during solo and couple sex
  • 50% used vibrators during solo and couple sex
  • 34% used butt plugs during solo and couple sex
  • 30% used masturbation sleeves (Fleshlights) during solo and couple sex

And finally, we get to the research done by all those university professors and clinical psychologists on vibrator use in long term sexual partnerships...but we won’t go into it here, because it’s just too boring, and it certainly won’t advise you on whether you should bring your favourite sex toy into bed with you and your partner, which is what you probably want to find out.

Know when to say “yes”

It’s hard to know when it’s the best time to mention to a partner you would like to try something different in the bedroom. This will be doubly difficult for women who have been faking their orgasms (no judgement). When you suddenly tell a partner you would like to try the latest adorable vibrating or penetrating gizmo, you better have a very good reason why. If the question arises – “but I thought the orgasms I was giving you (without the gizmo) were so amazing, why do you want to change things up?” And that’s the answer couples should be looking for all along. We buy sex toys and try them out, buy sexy lingerie and gimp masks, and pretend to be a naughty schoolgirl and her strict teacher, because it’s nice to change things up once in a while!

It’s common knowledge that men’s orgasms are in the “a rose is a rose is a rose” category. But women are capable of having orgasms that range from a daisy to an orchid. If you want a different kind of orgasm then it’s time to introduce a sex toy – or bondage gear or slave/master fantasy - into the bedroom.

couple in a sex position

Let’s try this...

People who try out new sex toys and experiment with their sexuality have been shown to have the following characteristics and lifestyles:

  • They are better educated
  • They have reached a higher level of education
  • They have a higher sense of self-esteem
  • They experience an increased sense of well-being and healthiness
  • They are more successful in their jobs
  • They earn more money

If you’re too scared to bring out your nipple clamps or favourite lube in front of your partner, just read them that list with the positive benefits of using sex toys with a partner – and if they have their doubts about joining you in a few fun sex games and frolicking f*cking, then at least take charge of your own orgasms and try some out solo.

Sex is an important part of a relationship and to a person’s individual happiness. There are more than enough reasons to partake of this delicious pastime more often and if sex toys become a regular part of it, more strength to you!

N.B. If you follow the links to the sites providing all the research and stats used in this article, the Cinder team don’t take any responsibility for you dying of boredom or falling asleep : )


Images credit: Unsplash

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