Adding Accessories To Your Sex Life Doesn’t Make You Or Your Partner A Bad Lover

by Amber Leventry
Originally Published: 
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Sex is however you and/or your partners define it. While the default definition of sex assumes the insertion of a penis into a vagina, that is only one of many ways people have sex. Sex does not require the following: penetration, heterosexuality, or cisgender people with differing sexual anatomy. What it does require is consent, communication, and respect. It also sometimes needs or desires accessories that are purchased online or in one of your favorite adult toy stores. Using sex toys, lube, mirrors, or furniture to make sex more enjoyable or the type of sex you want doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with the way you have sex. But it could mean you are having better sex than the people who deny themselves pleasure because of “shoulds” or heteronormative expectations.

Having an orgasm is often the goal of sex or masturbation — as if the other stuff before that isn’t enjoyable. While an orgasm can feel pretty great, the idea that that has to be the outcome of sex is what also prevents people from achieving an orgasm. Our brains play a significant role in how we feel pleasure and if we are able to orgasm or not. Unfortunately, most of the articles I found about this focused on heterosexual cisgender couples and the woman’s inability to orgasm because of what is happening in her head. Instead, the focus should be on the lack of what her male partner is doing to assist her in getting her brain and body to where she needs to be in terms of pleasure. But that requires him to let go of his ego and the idea that his dick can make all things come.

One study showed that only 18% of cisgender women are able to orgasm with penetration alone and another indicated that nearly 60% of women had faked an orgasms at least once. If the goal of sex is an orgasm then does that mean the sex can be defined as bad for the person who didn’t get off? Maybe. Even without an orgasm, sex can be wonderful. But faking it? Not communicating your needs? Not asking your partner what you can do to make sex better? That’s shitty sex, especially if you’re stuck on the idea that there is something wrong with you or your partner.

Some bodies want and/or need a vibrator or other toys to be able to achieve an orgasm. There is so much pressure to be the one to “give” your partner an orgasm that people feel like they failed if they couldn’t do it with their own body. That’s bullshit. Tell your partner (or yourself if you’re alone!) what you need or want and let go of your ego and enjoy getting your partner off even if it means using a sex toy. Also, folks with injuries or disabilities may need the use of straps, pillows, or strap-on dildos to have the type of sex that feels more comfortable and enjoyable for them and their partners.

While the lack of an orgasm doesn’t take away from intimacy, fun, and pleasure, the lack of adequate lubrication does. Not all bodies or parts can self-lubricate the way they need to for safe and feel-good sex. Hormone levels, where you or your partner is in their menstruation cycle, stress levels, or medications can alter secretions. Lube can be oil, water, or silicone-based so before you squirt some onto you or your partner make sure you are using one that is right for you and whatever sex toys you may be using. Not all bodies or toys will work with all types of lube.

Too much friction — especially during sex with penetration — increases the risk of and often causes small to significant tears on genital tissues and condoms. This is not only painful but could lead to pregnancy and STIs. Lube is not just for penetration — though it is a must if you are attempting any type of anal play. Penis/hand or clitoral/hand play is so much better when done with wet, slippery hands than dry and clammy ones.

Not only is there nothing wrong with you if you need to use lube, but it’s also fun and can enhance the pleasure. Some folks use it for massages that may end up being foreplay. Some folks experiment with different flavored lubes. Oral play is great, but saliva only goes so far for some folks. Using lube means your jaw doesn’t have to work so hard, and if your partner wants and needs you down there for a long time, it can keep both of you comfortable. Use the lube, people.

We should think about sex the way Burger King used to market their burgers: Have it your way. It’s your body, your pleasure, and sometimes your orgasm. You deserve to have sex the way you want it. Yes, with consent, nuance, and clear communication. Some sexual acts may just be out of the question for some folks, and that’s totally fine. I’m talking about adding assistance to an act you are eager to enhance. If you have a partner who can’t accommodate your needs and desires, then it’s probably time to find another approach or partner. Because if lube or a sex toy makes them feel inadequate, then they aren’t really listening to you, and have some work to do on their own.

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