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How to Use Marital Aids

By Judith Eldredge ; Updated August 14, 2017

There are many ways to enhance sexual enjoyment, and using a marital aid is one of them. If you’re like many people, when you hear the words “marital aid” you think of a vibrator or dildo, but the term is broader than that. Anything that creates or increases sexual pleasure, stimulation or desire qualifies as a marital aid. This includes but is not limited to erotica, lubricant, clothing, massage oil, sex toys or restraints for bondage and dominance or submission.

  1. Choose your marital aid. Take some time to consider what you’d like to introduce to your sexual play. If you are going to be using it when you’re with a partner, discuss the choice with him and make the decision together. Remember that it’s fine to choose something that one or both of you are open to but are not sure about. There’s no real way of knowing how we’ll respond to these things until we try them out.

  2. Let go of expectations. When we anticipate that adding something new to our sexual repertoire will have a particular result, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment and actually diminishing its potential impact. Go into the experience with an open mind and a curious outlook: “I wonder how this will feel?”

  3. Take a test drive. With a few notable exceptions (like handcuffs), most marital aids can be incorporated into masturbation, so you can first try them out on your own. Cathy Winks and Anne Semans, authors of “The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex” note that “if you’re planning to introduce a toy into partner sex, you might increase your chances of success by playing with it alone first.”

  4. Experiment. Discover the different things you can do with your marital aid. Be creative; incorporate your whole body if possible. Adopt a playful attitude and just explore without any particular goal in mind. Make sure you have plenty of time so you can discover a few different ways to make use of your new acquisition.

  5. Share your knowledge. If you want to incorporate your marital aid into partner sex, show your partner how you’ve been using it to have fun. Invite her to do some exploration on her own and then teach you what she’s learned.

  6. Explore together. Try it out with your partner. Play around and look for ways that you can use your marital aid during twosome sex. Depending upon the marital aid you’re using, this may involve different positions or new activities that you haven’t tried before.

  7. Communicate. Express your preferences for how the two of you play with your marital aid. Encourage your partner to do the same, pay attention to what he tells you he likes and doesn’t like and respond to his feedback. If necessary, negotiate to find a middle ground so you both can enjoy the item you’re considering adding to your sexual repertoire.

  8. Tip

    Anything that has been used for anal play must be cleaned before being introduced into the vagina. Some people find it easiest to simply put a condom on the toy and change condoms between anal and vaginal play.

    Use water-based lubricant with any sex toy made out of silicone; silicone-based lubricant can degrade such toys.

    If you use a vibrator in one spot for a while, you might experience some temporary numbness. Don’t worry, your normal sensation will return.

    If your vibrator is too powerful for your liking, try cushioning it with a towel or washcloth.


    Make sure that you never wear a cock ring that is too tight and be careful not to wear it too long (longer than 20 minutes). To be on the safe side, only use cock rings that can be removed while the penis is still erect.

    Don’t let any massage oil (or oil of any kind) come in contact with latex that’s being using as a protective barrier. The oil will break down the latex.

    Make certain that any sex toys you use do not contain phthalates which have been shown to be dangerous.

    People with phlebitis (inflamed veins) should check with their physician before using a vibrator.

    Never use a vibrator to relieve inexplicable pain in your calves.

    Before using anal beads, check to make sure that they have no sharp edges, that any strings or cords are intact and that they have some kind of handle which will prevent them from getting lost in the rectum.

    When engaging in anal play, only use dildos or butt plugs which have a flared base.

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