Couples sex toys can add a lot to your sex life, but what about your relationship? While some couples find introducing sex toys into the bedroom intimidating, others look to sex toys for couples as the surefire way to heat things up in bed. But what does added pleasure do for your bond? Turns out, a lot.
When sex toy company We-Vibe launched the We-Vibe Classic, a sex toy that allows couples to enjoy it together and apart, thanks to an app that can be downloaded to your phone, the tide of sex toys changed. And now, they’ve added a new one to the mix: Sync. Sync is the world’s first adjustable couples vibrator. This, of course, is great news because, as we all know, when it comes to body parts, one size doesn’t exactly fit all.
Sync’s design allows the user to customize the product to fit in order to achieve both clitoral and vaginal stimulation. Because you’re in control of making Sync fit just right for you and your partner, the company says the product will be able to stay in place no matter the sex position you choose, or if you change from one position to the next. And, like their other couples products, the We-Connect app lets partners play when they’re apart; even a world apart. Sync also lets you vibe to the rhythm of your favorite music, because who hasn’t wanted to feel the vibration of Neutral Milk Hotel between their legs?
To celebrate the launch of Sync, We-Vibe recently conducted a study of 1,000 men and women, between the ages of 35 and 55, to see how sex toys affect their relationships and what they want more of in the bedroom. Here’s what they found.
The Majority Of People Use Sex Toys To keep Their Sex Life Spicy
According to the study, 82 percent of those surveyed make a valiant effort to keep their sex life as exciting as possible. You can’t stick to one or two positions forever and not start to get a little bored. That’s where toys, for 52 percent of couples, come in to save the day.
Almost 50 Percent Of People Are Using Sex Toys To Liven Up Their Sex Lives
Not that you should be super surprised, because sex toys are more mainstream than ever, but the study found that 45 percent of people incorporate toys into their sex life to keep things exciting, which is great news! Not just for the sex toy industry, of course, but because toys really do enhance pleasure and sexual exploration.
Using Vibrators Make Couples Communicate More
Of those who participated in the study, 49 percent of couples who use vibrators report communicating often, whether it be about sex or other subjects. In contrast, of those who don’t use vibrators, only 29 percent of couples could report the same level of openness and communication.
Couples Who Use Sex Toys Are Better At Giving Direction To Their Partners
In addition to communicating, when it comes to great sex, couples also need to be able to give direction. Twenty-nine percent of couples who use vibrators have zero qualms about giving their partner directions in bed. As for those who don’t use vibrators, only 17 percent are able to comfortably guide their partners in the right direction.
Just The Act Of Buying A Sex Toy May Increase Communication
According to the study, buying a sex toy — any type of sex toy — is connected with more communication between partners. I mean, if you’re making the purchase together, you do need to be pretty open about what you want and what you don’t want. The survey found that 51 percent of those who bought sex toys talk “often” or “very often” about sex, whereas only 28 percent of those who have not bought a sex toy could attest to communicating about sex.
Most Couples Rely On New Positions To Keep Sex Exciting
Although there are those couples (52 percent) who will throw sex toys into the mix to keep things spicy, most just stick to new sex positions. According to the study, 77 percent of couples try to make sex “more exciting” by trying different positions.
The Minority Of Couples Felt Their Sex Lives Could Be Improved
For 38 percent of respondents, more sex would make their sex lives better. But for those who were content with the amount of sex they were having, what they really wanted was change and better quality sex. Of those surveyed 28 percent wanted better sex with their partner and 28 percent wanted to “change” sex with their partner. As for what that “change” was, (although it might be safe to assume it was to make it more exciting), the respondents didn’t say.
Over 60 Percent Of Couples Think More Foreplay Is The Way To Go
For 62 percent of couples, the most exciting way to make things more fun in the bedroom is by extending foreplay. Although the study didn’t say how long these couples are focusing on foreplay (although let’s really hope for at least 30 minutes), the fact is that foreplay is getting the attention it deserves. Finally.
Many foods have been touted for their ability to boost sex drive, but only a few are supported by scientific research.
By Alina Petre, MS, RD / Authority Nutrition
An aphrodisiac is defined as a food or drug that arouses sexual instinct, brings on desire or increases sexual pleasure or performance.
Naturally, aphrodisiacs are a hot topic, as evidenced by the myriad of pharmaceutical drugs available and marketed specifically for their libido-boosting effects.
However, some individuals prefer natural alternatives, as they are generally safer and tend to have fewer side effects.
This article reviews 7 science-backed aphrodisiacs that can boost your libido.
1 – Maca
Maca is a sweet root vegetable with several health benefits.
In South America it’s commonly used to boost fertility, even going by the nickname “the Peruvian Viagra.”
It grows predominantly in the mountains of central Peru and is related to cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, kale and cabbage.
Maca is one of the few popular natural aphrodisiacs that’s actually backed by science.
Animal studies report increases in libido and erectile function in mice and rats fed maca.
And maca seems to have libido-boosting effects in humans too. Four high-quality studies reported that participants experienced enhanced sexual desire after they consumed maca.
Furthermore, a small study suggests that maca may help reduce the loss of libido that’s commonly experienced as a side effect of certain antidepressant drugs.
Most studies provided 1.5–3.5 grams of maca per day for 2–12 weeks.
Participants generally tolerated these intakes well and experienced few side effects. However, more studies are needed to determine safe dosages and long-term effects.
Summary: Maca is a sweet root vegetable that may help boost libido.
2 – Tribulus
Tribulus terrestris, also known as bindii, is an annual plant that grows in dry climates.
It is commonly used to help improve athletic performance, infertility and loss of libido.
This supplement is also backed by some science. Animal studies report increased sperm production in rats given Tribulus supplements.
Another study found 88% of women with sexual dysfunction experienced increased sexual satisfaction after taking 250 mg of Tribulus per day for 90 days.
Additionally, a group of researchers examined the effect of Tribulus in women with sexual dysfunction by giving them 7.5 mg of the extract per day.
After four weeks, the women given Tribulus reported significantly higher levels of desire, arousal, lubrication and orgasm satisfaction.
That said, more research is needed to evaluate optimal dosing, as well as the effects of Tribulus supplements in men.
Summary: The Tribulus terrestris plant may have aphrodisiac effects in women. More research is needed to evaluate optimal doses of Tribulus, as well as its effects in men.
3 – Ginkgo biloba
Ginkgo biloba is an herbal supplement derived from one of the oldest species of trees — the Ginkgo biloba tree.
It’s popular in traditional Chinese medicine as a treatment for many ailments, including depression and poor sexual function.
Ginkgo biloba is said to act as an aphrodisiac by helping relax blood vessels and increase blood flow.
Nevertheless, studies have produced mixed results.
For example, one small study reports that ginkgo biloba reduced the loss of libido caused by antidepressant use in around 84% of participants.
Both male and female participants said they experienced increased desire, excitement and ability to orgasm after consuming 60–120 mg of the supplement daily, although effects seemed stronger in female participants.
However, a follow-up study noted no improvements in a similar group of participants who took ginkgo biloba.
Ginkgo biloba is generally well tolerated, but it may act as a blood thinner. Thus, if you’re taking blood-thinning medications, make sure to check with your health care professional before taking ginkgo biloba.
Summary: Ginkgo biloba may have aphrodisiac effects, but study results are inconsistent. The herb may also interact with blood thinners, so consult your health care practitioner before using it.
4 – Red ginseng
Ginseng is another popular herb in Chinese medicine.
One particular type — red ginseng — is commonly used to treat a variety of ailments in men and women, including low libido and sexual function.
Several studies have investigated its use in men and observed that red ginseng was at least twice as effective as the placebo at improving erectile function.
Also, one small study in menopausal women found that red ginseng may improve sexual arousal.
However, these results are not universal. Moreover, some experts question the strength of these studies and warn that more research is needed before strong conclusions can be made.
One study had participants take 1.4–3 grams of red ginseng daily for 4–12 weeks.
This and another study found that people generally tolerate ginseng well, but it may interfere with blood-thinning medications and the treatment of hormone-sensitive cancers.
In some cases, ginseng may also cause headaches, constipation or minor stomach upset.
Summary: Red ginseng is a popular herb that may help boost sex drive and erectile function in men and sexual arousal in women. However, stronger studies are needed to confirm these effects.
5 – Fenugreek
Fenugreek is an annual plant cultivated worldwide.
Its seeds are most commonly used in South Asian dishes, but it’s also popular in Ayurvedic medicine as an anti-inflammatory, libido-boosting treatment.
And perhaps this is for good reason — this herb appears to contain compounds that the body can use to make sex hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone.
In one small study, men given 600 mg of fenugreek extract per day for six weeks reported experiencing increased sexual arousal and more orgasms.
Similarly, a small study investigated the effects of a daily dose of 600 mg of fenugreek extract in women who had reported having a low sex drive.
It observed a significant increase in sexual desire and arousal in the fenugreek group by the end of the eight-week study, compared to the placebo group.
Fenugreek is generally well tolerated, but can interact with blood-thinning medication and may cause minor stomach upset.
Moreover, due to its influence on sex hormones, fenugreek may also interfere with the treatment of hormone-sensitive cancers.
Summary: Fenugreek may help boost sexual desire and arousal in both men and women. Individuals taking blood-thinning medication should avoid it.
6 – Pistachio nuts
People have been eating pistachio nuts since 6,000 BC.
They are quite nutritious and particularly rich in protein, fiber and healthy fats.
Pistachios may have a variety of health benefits, including helping lower blood pressure, control weight and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Moreover, they may also help reduce symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
In one small study, men who consumed 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of pistachio nuts per day for three weeks experienced increased blood flow to the penis and firmer erections.
Experts have suggested these effects may be due to the ability of pistachios to improve blood cholesterol and stimulate better blood flow throughout the body.
However, this study did not use a placebo group, which makes it difficult to interpret the results. More studies are needed before strong conclusions can be made.
Summary: Pistachio nuts appear to increase blood flow, contributing to firmer erections. However, more studies are needed before strong conclusions can be made.
7 – Saffron
Saffron is a spice derived from the Crocus sativus flower. It is native to Southwest Asia and one of the most expensive spices by weight.
This spice is often used as an alternative remedy to help treat depression, reduce stress and enhance mood.
What’s more, saffron is also popular for its potential aphrodisiac properties, especially in individuals taking antidepressants.
One study observed that a group of men given 30 mg of saffron per day for four weeks experienced greater improvements in erectile function than men given a placebo.
A follow-up study in women reported that those in the saffron group experienced higher levels of arousal and increased lubrication, compared to those in the placebo group.
Nevertheless, studies on saffron’s aphrodisiac properties in individuals not suffering from depression yield inconsistent results.
Summary: Saffron may help increase sex drive in individuals taking antidepressant medications. However, results in other groups remain mixed.
Well-Known Aphrodisiac Foods That Are Not Backed by Strong Scientific Evidence
Several other foods are touted to have aphrodisiac properties. However, their libido-boosting effects are often supported by very little scientific evidence.
Here are some of the most popular of these questionable foods:
Chocolate: Compounds in cacao are often touted to have an aphrodisiac effect, particularly in women. However, studies provide little evidence to support this very popular belief
Oysters: While one study reports that they may have some libido-boosting effects in rats, no studies exist to support the libido-enhancing properties of oysters in humans
Chasteberry: Studies suggest that this fruit may influence hormone levels and reduce premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms in women. However, there is no evidence that it offers any libido-boosting benefits
Honey: It has allegedly been used for centuries to bring romance into marriages. One variety called “mad honey” is even marketed as a sexual stimulant. Yet, no studies support this, and it may contain dangerous toxins
Epimedium: Also known as horny goat weed, it’s popular in traditional Chinese medicine for treating ailments like erectile dysfunction. Cell and animal studies provide some early support for this use, but human studies are needed
Hot chilies: According to popular belief, capsaicin, the compound that gives hot chilies their spiciness, stimulates nerve endings on the tongue, causing the release of sex drive-boosting chemicals. However, no studies support this belief.
Alcohol: Alcohol may act as an aphrodisiac by helping both men and women relax and get in the mood. However, heavy drinking may actually reduce arousal and sexual function, so moderation is key
Summary: The supplements listed above are often said to help increase sexual desire. However, there is currently limited scientific evidence to support their use as aphrodisiacs.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to boosting sex drive, the list of foods with potential aphrodisiac properties is very long.
However, only a small proportion of these supposed aphrodisiacs are actually backed by science.
If you’re interested in giving the science-backed options a try, you may want to start with small amounts and increase the dosage based on your personal tolerance.
Also, it’s important to note that natural aphrodisiacs may interact with some medications.
If you’re currently taking medication, make sure to check with your health care provider before giving these foods and herbs a try.
Foreplay doesn’t just help get you in the mood—it can also feel as good as or sometimes even better than sex.
Since everyone has different turn-ons, the best thing you can do is pay attention to what works for you and then try to recreate it, says Winter. Don’t be afraid to let your partner know when they do something that you like, either. They’ll probably be happy to keep doing whatever gets you going in the future…and they’ll definitely appreciate the positive feedback.
Don’t believe us? Then you probably haven’t tried these fun new ideas.
Replay your best memories together.
If you want to get some of the passion you had early in your relationship back, one thing you can do is recreate your past, says sexologist Barbara Winter, Ph.D.
This can start before sex—for example, going to one of your old date-night spots or wearing the same clothes you wore during a hot moment at the beginning of your relationship. Then, later in the night, break out a move you used to do in bed that really turned you both on.
Start off outside the bedroom.
If you want to make things more spontaneous, try initiating foreplay in the kitchen, office, garage, or anywhere else where you don’t typically do it, says sex and relationship coach Claudia Six, Ph.D.
You can either lead your partner to the bedroom afterward or just have sex right then and there. “It’s the unexpected that keeps things interesting,” she says.
Watch porn together.
If you and your partner are both into porn or are at least intrigued by it, try checking it out together. Afterward, Winter recommends talking about what you each like and dislike and what you might want to try (or not). Sometimes, it opens you up to ideas you might not have thought of before, says Winter.
Experiment with temperature.
Heat and cold can both add a lot to the sensations you’re already feeling. One way to play with temperature is to suck on ice cubes and lick each other’s erogenous zones. Or you can try dripping warm wax on each other’s bodies or using warming lube. Either tactic—or the two combined—should create “a delicious shiver,” says Six.
I love end-of-the-year countdowns, so I thought it would be fun do a Top Ten for Body Candy’s top sellers for 2016.
From now through the end of the year, I’ll feature the best of the best, as selected by you, from your favorite categories, culminating in a list of the Top Ten Overall list the last Sunday of the year.
We’re always hearing that we could be having better sex, a better orgasm, or a better relationship. But how often do we hear the nitty-gritty of how we can actually better understand our deepest desires and most embarrassing questions?
Bustle has enlisted Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist, to help us out with the details. No gender, sexual orientation, or question is off limits, and all questions will remain anonymous. Please send your sex and relationship inquiries to email@example.com. Now on to this week’s question: how to make using lube feel sexy.
Q: “I’ve read about the benefits of using lube during sex. I am definitely on the drier side, so I know I should give it a shot. I bought some, but in the moment, I just can’t bring myself to actually use it during sex. I feel awkward interrupting the moment to pull out the bottle. I feel weird and on display slathering it on myself. Is there a way to put on lube that’s sexy and doesn’t pause everything?”
A: Thanks for the question! I think lube is one of the simplest, yet most effective, tools for improving your sex life. It decreases pain and discomfort, makes sex feel better, and can be an awful lot of fun to play around with. That being said, I know a lot of people still feel uncomfortable using lube, for some of the exact reasons you described. But we shouldn’t let goopy bottles or a fear of busting it out ruin the entire experience! Here are eight ways to make lube feel sexier.
Most people buy their lube at the drugstore, but it’s hard to get very excited by an ugly bottle that cost you three bucks. If you can afford it, I highly recommend splurging on a high-quality bottle of lube like Pjur or Wicked. It will feel more luxurious and special, which will help you feel less embarrassed whipping it out. If you’re in a relationship, you can even research your purchase together so it feels like a treat for both of you.
Put It In A Cute Lotion Dispenser
Even the best lube manufacturers have yet to address what I think is the most frustrating aspect of using lube: dealing with the bottle in the moment! Pjur brand is my holy grail of lubes, but I hate the screw-top design. The cap inevitably slides out of your hands, it’s difficult to figure out exactly how much you’re dispensing, and it’s tricky not to get lube all over the bottle.
But here’s a simple solution — transfer your lube into a pretty pump dispenser! The pump makes it easy to get lube quickly and discretely. It ensures that at least one hand stays lube-free, so you won’t have to worry about trying to put a cap back on while your fingers are slippery. You can find a beautiful bottle that suits your tastes and won’t look out of place on your bedside table, meaning it will always be within reach instead of buried at the bottom of your drawer.
Experiment With It On Your Own
If you’re brand-new to using lube, it may take a bit of time to get comfortable using it. Let me be clear — there’s absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about when it comes to using lube. But if you’re feeling awkward about using it, the best way to get more comfortable is to use it on your own first. Try masturbating with lube. Play with it with your fingers. Notice the way it changes the sensation of your own touch. See if you can make masturbation more of a sensual, seductive experience.
Use It During A Massage
Similarly, it may take some time to get used to using lube with a partner. One really easy way to introduce lube to your relationship is to use it during a massage. A lot of people don’t know that lube can work well as a regular massage oil. Tell your partner that you have a surprise for them, then get a little bit of lube in your hands and rub their shoulders. As you both get turned on, you can say something like, “we can play with this in other areas too.”
Put It On Privately
If you’re feeling shy about using lube with your partner, you can always keep a bottle in your bathroom and put it on privately. Or keep a few single-use packets in your purse if you’re going to a partner’s house. Again, there’s nothing to be embarrassed about, but it’s fine to give yourself some time to build up your courage. (Keep in mind that you don’t want to let your partner perform oral sex if you’re using a lube that’s not specifically designed to be tasted, but this trick should work just fine before manual stimulation or penetration.)
Ask Your Partner To Put It On You
Once you’re feeling more comfortable with the lube, hand your bottle to your partner and tell them, “I want you to put some of this on me.” Have them spend some time rubbing and massaging your thighs, labia, and clitoris. This way, lube becomes a part of the action instead of just some weird step you do before you’re ready to go.
Put It On Your Partner
If you usually engage in penetrative sex, you can try applying the lube to your partner’s dildo or penis. Apply a generous amount, since you want the lube to transfer to your vaginal canal during penetration. Play with your partner’s equipment for a while. If you want to up the sensation play factor, blindfold your partner or ask them to close their eyes, then surprise them with an extra-slippery hand job. This is another way to make lube a part of the fun!
Put On A Show
Once you’re feeling more bold, one of the best ways to make lube sexy in the moment is to put on a show for your partner. Grab some lube, spread your legs, and let your partner watch you rub it all over yourself. If you’re feeling really seductive, say something like, “do you like watching that?” I guarantee you that this move will make you and your partner practically explode with desire!
Vanessa Marin’s article was originally posted on Bustle
I love this article, as recently published in XBIZ, one of the adult novelty trades I subscribe to. It addresses the miseducation of sex by public figures in such a great way:
“Wicked Sensual Care says it would like to publicly educate MMA and UFC fighter Ronda Rousey about lubricants — and offer her a lifetime supply of products — after she recently ‘dismissed the use of lubricant for sex as a sign of laziness’ in a Q&A with Maxim.com.
In a Nov.3 interview, Rousey answered a question from a fan about what a guy should never and always do in bed with a woman. In the answer, which is part of her column for Maxim.com, Rousey wrote, “What should a guy always do? Take his time. In general, a girl takes a minute. He needs to get her ready. You should never need lube in your life. If you need lube, then you’re being lazy…and you’re not taking your time.”
Carrie Smith, head of product development for Wicked Sensual Care, has responded:
“Ms. Rousey, on behalf of everyone at Wicked Sensual Care, I’d like to tell you how big of fans we are in regards to everything you continue to achieve as an athlete and woman. You stand for beauty in strength, as well as changing body images and gender stereotypes. Your success provides you with a great platform to reach people, which is why I was concerned to hear your thoughts on lube when addressing Maxim readers.
Lubricant is perhaps one of the most essential elements of a healthy and enjoyable sexual experience, regardless of age or gender. Some of the reasons include: its ability to reduce friction, whether natural or from a condom; decrease in the odds a condom will break; assist with sex after menopause; help those with Sexual Arousal Disorder and vaginal dryness; and in the case of Wicked Sensual Care, act as a natural biostatic due to our use of olive leaf extract.
There is no normal when it comes to sex, and everyone is different. If we perpetuate the idea a woman can become naturally lubricated by her partner simply doing the necessary work, then we are ignoring the many women unable to self lubricate due to a number of medical and psychological reasons. We are also putting pressure on the men and women trying to help them become lubricated.
Ideally, sex is fun and pleasurable, which is where lubricants come in to help create the most stress-free environment possible. I welcome any questions you may have, and if you’re so inclined, I am happy to offer you a lifetime supply of Wicked Sensual Care’s products because I believe you may change your mind once you experience the many different types of lubricants now available, from water-based and silicone-based, to our wide range of flavored and PETA-approved lubes demonstrating how far we’ve progressed with sexual health and wellness products.”
Rousey may contact Carrie Smith with any questions about the benefits of lube, or to take her up on the offer for a lifetime supply, the company says.
The Wicked Sensual Care Collection uses eco-conscious, premium quality, natural botanicals and ingredients in stylish and discreet packaging.”
Honestly, I’m so thankful for caring manufacturers who take the time to address issues like this, and am proud to say that Body Candy has been a proud supporter of their line from the start.
The Limited EditionOur Room Collection is built around a selection of core, limited-run versions of System JO products which increase touch, taste, and sensation. The signature Pink Champagne flavored lubricant offers a refined taste to your next intimate moment. System JOhas further improved the entire experience by selecting the perfect accessories to create a deeper experience.
The essence of Our Room is to educate and enhance each person’s understanding of what pleasure is, and how to increase the presence and depth of each experience. Our Room is a place to break free of the normal, expected routine in order to embrace the surprise of something new, while remaining open to creativity in every form. To put it crudely, without pain one cannot truly know or appreciate the depth of pleasure. This is not to say that through pain comes pleasure, this is to say that variety is the spice of life, and many people enjoy the lingering bite of a little heat.
Our Room is designed for you to explore the idea of sensation play, body-worship, and basic role play/fantasy play. Step out of your role as mother/father or wife/husband and find your role as an object of pure desire. Learn the joys of submitting to your lover’s demands, and feel the power of your voice as you command your lover to fulfill your deepest longings. This alone is a powerful exercise that can help you to be more assertive in life as well as in love. You may find yourself being more aware of your partner’s feelings or acknowledging a deeper sensation of trust between you both. Remember, there is no such thing as too much fun!
The most important foundation within any relationship is open, honest communication; without it we would be left making educated guesses as to how someone feels and what they truly desire. The lover’s contract that is built into the Tempt Me, Bind Me, and Serve Me kits offer a great way to share a deeper side of yourself without fear of judgment, and within an agreed upon structure.
Bring your relationship to new heights with the Our Room collection by JO and check back later for more tips, tricks, and helpful additions to take your bed-room repertoire to a whole new level!