Sex toys are now in more bedrooms than ever before but some people find the idea of using them threatening. Men may see a vibrator as a replacement. Women may feel insecure about focussing on their own pleasure. However, toys can build intimacy, speeding a woman's arousal (assuming she likes vibrations – not all women do), and help close the 'orgasm gap' if the man tends to come more quickly than the woman.
Vibrators: These come in all shapes and sizes, and vary in terms of noise/power. If you're new to toys, start on the lowest setting – vibration can take a while to get used to.
Dildos: These are non-vibrating, generally phallic and most can be worn in a harness for penetrating your partner. Some have suction cups so you can use them in the bath or shower too.
Pleasure Rings: Also known as love rings and cock rings, these toys vary from a rubber or silicone ring that helps trap blood in the penis, increasing the strength and duration of a man's erection, to more sophisticated designs incorporating a vibrating bullet, such as the Durex Play Vibrations and Ultra rings.
Finger Vibes: Designed to add vibration to manual play, these slip over the finger and can be used to precisely target pleasure. The Durex Play Touch can be used solo as well as with a lover, and can be used on men as well as women. Try stroking your finger over the man's perineum or nipples during oral to add an extra buzz.
New toys are being developed every day and are already available in pharmacies and supermarkets. You can also shop online together, choosing toys that appeal to both of you, and it can be a bonding experience – not to mention a reason to await the morning post with glee.
Toys can help close the 'orgasm gap' if the man tends to come more quickly than the woman.