How to Use a Vibe With a Partner

faceless couple leaning in for kiss against brown wooden background with man holding pink Tiani 3 Lelo Vibrator in his right hand

Sex toys are having a moment. 

These days, it’s not uncommon to pluck one right off the shelf at your neighborhood drug store. But let’s face it: they’ve long been marketed to vulva owners…vulva owners who want to masturbate. 

Which begs the question, how do you incorporate a toy into partnered sex? And why would you want to involve a toy in partnered sex?

How To Bring It Up To Your Partner

Some partners may be totally down for toy play with you. Others might feel a little nervous, especially if you haven’t talked about your sex life before.

To broach the subject, I recommend being positive and curious. Something like…

I love it when we try new things during sex. Would you ever be open to trying a toy together? One that could feel hot on both of us?

If this already feels intimidating, I get it! That’s why I’ve created some communication guides to help you out. (And, PS: my book Smart Sex has a whole chapter on communication, with scripts ready to go.) 

Ideally, your partner will say: YES! But if they don’t, that’s OK. You’re planting a seed now, and can revisit the idea later. Sometimes, a partner has to acclimate to talking about sex, before they can meaningfully collaborate with you on the sex.

Toy Options

As for toys themselves, you’ve got two basic categories to work with: solo sex vibes and partner vibes.

Partner vibes are wearables that are secured in place either at the base of the shaft, or tucked inside a vulva owner. I’m a huge fan of the Tiani 3 by LELO myself: powered by two motors, the base is tucked inside the vagina (which helps massage the very sensitive, very orgasmic internal walls), while the larger arm is a vibrator that sits right on top of the clitoris. From there, a penis owner can enter, and feel the vibrations all along their shaft…which, PS, feels incredible penis owners if you haven’t tried it already. Use code SEXWITHEMILY to shop LELO now and get 25% off

Now, a note here: this is very stimulating! Perhaps too stimulating, for some penis owners. If you’re a penis owner who wants a little more control over their orgasm, apply some delay spray beforehand: Promescent makes my hands-down fave, and relaxes the internal nerve cells of the penis so you don’t orgasm before you’re ready. Click here to grab Promescent Delay Spray at 15% off. 

As for solo vibes, here’s a great guide for penis owners and sex toys, and here are some toy options that work on every set of genitals. All of these toys are primarily used on oneself during masturbation, but who says you can’t experiment? 

Time to Play

While partner vibes are fairly straightforward – just put it on and have fun – other toy options allow for experimentation. Here are some ideas to try.

Nipple play: turn on the toy to a low setting, and graze their nipples with it while you make out and let your other hand wander. 

Inner thighs: use the toy as a tease, and brush it along their inner thigh while you warm up to (or have) oral sex.

During intercourse: if you’re a vulva owner, try “facing away” positions like doggy style or spooning, so that you can still access your clitoris during penetration. 

Anal, anyone?: first, absolutely use the right anal toy. But once you’ve got one, this is such an incredible option for penis owners especially during penetration. Their prostate will be stimulated from the toy, while the sex itself is happening, for a potential – explosive! – blended orgasm. You’re welcome. 

Toys During Partnered Sex: The Benefits

No matter the genitals of you and your partner, sex toys can be an amazing way to experience more pleasure together, to experiment, and for lots of vulva owners, to orgasm during intercourse. They’re not a “replacement,” as they are categorically different from anyone’s body parts. Rather, the vibration simply stimulates nerve endings deeper than a hand (or a penis, or finger, etc.) can reach. For vulva owners, that’s a pretty big bonus. 

For penis owners, there’s a whole wide world of pleasure out there that they may not have tried yet (prostate play, anyone?). In this way, sex toys can be an assist to an already great sex life. 

The name of the game here is experimentation and creativity. We’ve all got erogenous zones, all over our body, and it may take some time to normalize the sound of a buzzing toy during sex. But once you try them out, these products can unlock so much collaboration and sexy fun. They are called “toys,” after all. 

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