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How To Use a Vibrator With Your Partner

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Updated October 16, 2011

It's not uncommon for people to be able to orgasm while using a vibrator but not have orgasms during sex with a partner. There are plenty of reasons for this, but whatever is going on, if you are in a good relationship you probably want to have orgasms, or at least experience a lot of pleasure, when you have sex with your partner, and your partner (hopefully) wants to be with you while you are feeling that pleasure. For many, the easiest and fastest way to achieve this is to use your vibrator with your partner. If you want to do this, but don't know where to start, here are some things to consider.

Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Think days and weeks, not hours.

Here's How:

  1. Get Comfortable On Your Own.
    Your vibrator may be a great masturbation tool, but do you feel comfortable talking about it with others, and are you okay with the idea of bringing your vibrator into your partnered sex life? If you feel hesitation around this, take some time to think about your own possible feelings of sexual shame or embarrassment. If you find you have some of these feelings it might be good to talk them out first, with yourself, with a trusted friend, or even with a counselor or therapist. You may decide that it's not the right time for this, and that's okay too. But if you suggest this to a partner and have mixed feelings that you don't name or take responsibility for, it can confuse things for them.

  2. Test the Waters.
    If your partner already knows you use sex toys this step may be easier. But if they don't, or if your sex toys have always been a source of joking around (humor often covers up fears and insecurities we have that we aren't comfortable talking about) you should start slowly. If there's a good sex shop where you live, next time you walk by it, suggest you go in. Be clear that it's not to buy something, but just to check it out. Or you could email your partner an article about sex toys (they are being published all the time). Respectful that your partner may feel differently than you, and make space for their own feelings of shame as well as ignorance. While you may eventually be happy partners in sex toy love, at this point you are taking on a teaching role, so try and be a patient and generous teacher.

  3. Start the Conversation.
    By this point you've probably had at least a few conversations about sex toys in theory. Maybe they have been joking, maybe they have been critical, but if they haven't been personal, you need to make that switch. You may want to start by asking questions. Has your partner ever used a sex toy? Ever with another partner? Would they ever? If not, why not? You might want to start by sharing your experience. What you like about sex toys. Try to be clear about how sex toys are not the same thing as sex with a partner and how they are not a substitute. It can help to say some positive things about your sex life together if you think your partner is feeling threatened. If you sense resistance, consider this just the first conversation. Give them some time and don't try to force the issue right away.

  4. Let Them Get Comfortable Alone Too.
    If you get to the point where your partner is open to the idea, they should have a chance to try a sex toy on their own first. If you are comfortable sharing your toy, leave it out for them to try, you could even write a note with a few suggestions (don't forget the lube and cleaning instructions!) They should have a chance to explore on their own, without you in the room. Not everyone enjoys the feeling that vibrators or sex toys provide, but often our nervousness can get in the way of even finding out. So the safer they can feel the first time they try one the better.

  5. Teach, Creatively.
    The next thing you want to teach them is how you like to use a vibrator. One way to do this, if you're comfortable, is to offer to give them a show. Make clear rules. Maybe they have to stay in a chair, probably they aren't allowed to touch (well, they can't touch you, you might want to let them touch themselves). If you want to try this but feel self-conscious, you may want to try doing it while blindfolded. Paradoxically, this can make some people feel less inhibited. You can also teach them by describing verbally what you are doing. This is a must if your partner is visually impaired but it adds a layer of information (and heat) to the lesson. Don't get hung up on the right way to do this, just literally describe what you are doing, what feels good, and where. I wouldn't recommend using porn as a teaching tool unless you choose carefully. There are lots of sex toys in porn, but for the most part they are used for the benefit of the viewer, not the person using them. One notable exception is the "Expert Guide" series directed by Tristan Taormino

  6. Using the Toy Together.
    Hopefully by this point there's been some anticipation built up and trying a toy together has become something to look forward to. Have your toy at the ready wherever you have sex and reach for it early on in the sex play. You probably want to hold and control the toy at first. You can then offer to let them hold it. If you can, use your hands to guide and teach them about pressure, angle, position, variation. It may take a few times for them to get the hang of it, so be patient. But if you find they aren't getting it, you can take it back from them and see if there's an activity that works for both of you so that you get to use the vibrator and you both get to be giving and feeling pleasure.

  7. Sex Toys for Two.
    There are sex toys designed for couples which usually means that the toy is worn by one partner or the other and provides stimulation during intercourse. There are some exceptions to this, sex toys that are ideal for one partner to hold and use on another. But this may not be what you need. Using a sex toy with a partner doesn't have to mean that you both get off on the sex toy. It may be more like requesting a particular position, or time of day to have sex. It might just be one of those things you need to feel the kind of pleasure you want to feel. If your partner is feeling left out of this, then it's an opportunity for them to talk about what they need to feel pleasure, and a chance for you to work together to meet their needs too.

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