Many people still see using sex toys as a private, individual activity. And that’s great – there’s nothing better than taking some time out to relax in your own way in your own sexy time. But toys can also be a great addition to an intimate relationship. It doesn’t matter what type of relationship you’re in (or even how many people you’re in it with) – when it comes to sexy fun times there’s always something available to add some spice to your sauce. It’s not always that simple though. Plenty of people are nervous about just how to go about introducing sex toys to their relationship. Maybe they’re worried that their partner will feel as though they’re being replaced, or even concerned that wanting toys as well as a partner will brand them selfish and greedy. First up, there is a big different between a partner feeling threatened by toys in the bedroom and being actively offended by them. Feeling threatened is kind of understandable - initially at least - because if someone doesn’t know much about toys they might genuinely worry that they’re at risk of being replaced. We’ll come to this later. But if your partner thinks that using sex toys is some kind of unnecessary need or perversion (sadly this definitely happens), then let’s be clear – they’re the one with the problem. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to get the best out of your sex life and sometimes that includes bringing different ideas into the bedroom. In the same way that masturbation is a completely healthy pastime (hey, everyone deserves a hobby), then sex toys are just an extension of that. They’re a normal, everyday product that lots of people buy and use, and there should be no shame in it whatsoever. Now we’ve got that out of the way, how do you broach the subject of sex toys if you’ve never used them in your relationship before? Please note that for simplicity’s sake I’m going to talk about ‘couples’, but whatever situation you happen to be in, the principles are much the same. Start by talking The simplest way to broach the subject is to mention that you’ve read something about using sex toys as a couple and that it sounds interesting. This is a good way to introduce the idea gently whilst also testing your partner’s response. If they seem interested, show them a relevant article and go from there. What if you think your partner might be genuinely hurt at the thought of you bringing toys into the bedroom?  Assuming that you’re female, does your partner realise that the majority of women need clitoral stimulation in order to reach orgasm? If you’re male, point out that cock rings will give you stronger erections for longer and that some modern versions are even designed to stimulate the wearer’s partner at the same time. Sex toys are a bonus, not a replacement (although they definitely make life more fun if you’re single). This is the twenty first century, in which it is generally accepted that we are all entitled to take responsibility for our own sexual satisfaction – there are more and more options for extending this fun, so it would be foolish not to try some of them out. Equally, we ourselves are not failures if our partners want – or need – extra help during sex sessions. Being able to talk about desires and needs is a sign of a healthy relationship. ‘Well my previous partners didn’t need extra help in the bedroom’ Sex is not a competition in which you’re judged against previous standards – or at least, it shouldn’t be. Comments like this are almost always down to the other person’s fears of inadequacy – reassure them that wanting to extend your bedroom repertoire is a positive thing, because you clearly trust them enough to want to experiment together. Don’t jump in at the deep end Five minutes after broaching the idea of sex toys to your partner is probably not the time to pull manacles and a ball gag out of the cupboard. Try starting with something that isn’t too intrusive and that can be used by both of you. An easy way to start is by using a blindfold. Not being able to see what’s going on can be the hottest thing ever, because your other senses feel heightened in comparison. Take it in turns – when your partner is the one blindfolded you can take pleasure in teasing them with your fingers and tongue, safe in the knowledge that they don’t know where you’re heading next. Delving into the toy box When you make the move into sex toys ‘proper’, look for products that can work for both partners. Massage wands are perfect as they are used externally and can apply delicious vibrations to genitals of any gender. Mains powered wands - such as those in the Doxy range - give the most intense results, but if you want something less intimidating try a smaller rechargeable one. Vibrators can be used to stimulate the penis and perineum, as well as the vagina and clitoris – just remember to clean toys properly before using them on another person if they’ve been used internally. Condoms make perfect and hygienic disposable covers for toys and can be replaced quickly and easily if you’re swopping toys between you. Once you’ve both got used to the idea of using toys to accessorise your love life, the world is your sexy oyster. There are endless choices out there, with more appearing all the time – get yourself a good supply of quality lube (if there’s one sex rule I swear by it is that there is no such thing as too much lubrication) and enjoy experimenting. One last thought - don’t be surprised if your nervous suggestions are met with glee rather than fear! You might find that your partner’s been thinking along the same lines and you’ve just beaten them to it. Whichever way you go about it, be kind and careful and you can’t go wrong. Happy playtime!Our fantastic guest blogger Violet Fenn is also a UK-based lifestyle and sexual happiness blogger and founder of the blog Sex, Death, Rock 'n' Roll. When she isn't Wanking for Lemmy , you'll likely find Violet sipping on a Sipsmith Lemon Drizzle Gin. (solely for research purposes, we promise.)