To play and when to play? That is the conundrum


Let’s chat about sex toys — how to introduce them in a brand new relationship, should you reuse them from past relationships, and some other things. While sex toys are a fun way to bring a different dynamic to your sexual relationship, it could feel a bit awkward when you are embarking on introducing them to your new play partner.

A good mindset to come to if you are having the toy-related butterflies is remembering that it’s just a floppy ‘ol dick, or a bejeweled sparkly plug or a leather flogger. Basically, just calm down the worried bits of your mind and pump up the stoked bits.

OK, now how to have the actual conversation. The main point for any of these approaches is to keep it light, fun, and it’s totally OK if it’s a little awkward.

Casual chatting while kissing
While you are making out, just pull away and ask some questions. Instead of the way too open-ended “what do you like?” try something more specific “do you like to be touched like this?” (this is assuming you got explicit consent), “do you like to be bitten lightly?”, and then “what kind of toy is your favorite?” Boom! You’re talking about it. The multitasking approach is a good way to keep things light naturally.

Show and tell
If you’ve been rolling around and you feel that it would be a great time to bring out a toy, go for it. Take it out of its home and ask if your fun buddy would like to use it. If she says “no” don’t take it personally, don’t pry as to why, don’t ask about when to revisit the toy talk. A great way to segue back to what you were doing before is to shrug and playfully chuck it across the room — nothing like a flying dildo to lighten the mood again. Once you’re done rolling around, you can ask about whether it was that toy, all toys, or the moment and see where she stands on the whole toy business.

“Oh, this one time…”
I have a big thing for storytelling — it’s an amazing ancient way of getting to know people. Owning toys tends to lend itself to some really great stories — whether its using them, traveling with them, or sterilizing them, something happens at least once. Did the TSA go through your carry on and pull out your double-sided glass dildo in front of your partner’s parents? Have your roommates walked in on you while you used the biggest pot in the house to sterilize all of your silicone things at the same time? Throwing in a short story is an easy way to start the conversation and can let you know off the bat where the other person stands. Disclaimer: See tact and pepper in when appropriate.

Don’t (as in do not) do this:

Her: “Hey, so it’s been quite rainy”

you: “Yeah, totally. This one time when I was boiling my feeldoe… .”

Should you use a toy from back in the day?
Is the toy nonporous? Then, yes, because you can sterilize that sucker. Second, why are you keeping it? If it’s because it’s a damn good toy, then go for it! If it’s because you are still holding on to the relationship with that person and you’re still holding the torch by holding the dildo, then perhaps just shove it in the memory box. Some people may have a moral judgement about whether or not to use sex toys from the past, but I say if it’s clean physically and energetically go for it. If your new play partner expresses iffyness about it — go shopping for a new sex toy. There is no need to be right about this one.

How can you recycle them?
Sometimes a toy is just dead, a dud, boring, or too emotionally charged. What to do with it? You can always choose to lose it at a play party, destroy it in a ritual (just don’t burn it … even though you may want to) or find a new life for it as a regular household item.

Another fun thing you can do is send your tired dicks, beads, and plugs to You get paid for all of your reusable materials, so you can put that toward a new one.

P.S. Fun toy related fact: In the Bay Area, there is a sex toy bicycle delivery service (Feelmore510) for when your hands are just too damn full to waste your time leaving the bed and shopping.

Nia Person has been interested in how people fit together since the first time she realized that the word “sex” can mean a plethora of different things to different people. TMI? There’s no such thing — her ears perk up whenever there is a relationship or life mystery to be solved. Nia is SFSI certified sex geek and is shooting Cupid’s arrows as a matchmaker at Tawkify. Nia is currently living in the loveliest of menageries in Oakland, California. Send questions to

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