Nutmeg and cinnamon in your eggnog is one way to spice up your holiday. But for couples looking to bring some excitement into their romantic lives this season, sex toys may be the way to do it, said Dr. Lori Buckley of the Center for Relationship, Marriage & Sex Therapy.
"You can really benefit from having some sexual novelty and excitement, both emotional and physically," Buckley told Huff/Post50. "As we get older it takes more physical stimulation to get excited: our blood flow [reduces] and our hormones [can] wreak havoc on our sex levels. [Sex toys] add erotic stimulation by adding in novelty."
But before you head down to your area sex shop to discuss gift wrapping options, there are a few things to consider first. Buckley and Patty Brisben, founder and chairwoman of Pure Romance, a purveyor of intimate toys and accessories, share the dos and don'ts of naughty gift giving.
DO talk to your partner about both of your sexual desires.
Engaging your partner in conversation about your sex lives is a step that should be taken before your mind turns to furry handcuffs and flavored lubricants, Brisben told Huff/Post50. "Pay attention for clues about things your mate has been wanting to try."
DON’T disregard your partner’s sexual boundaries.
"While it’s great to spice up your bedroom routine, it’s essential you respect your partner’s personal limitations at all times," Brisben said. "Remember, this is a gift for your partner for both of you to enjoy together -- not an excuse to indulge in your own fantasies."
DO take your partner's feelings into consideration.
"If you are going to give a sex toy, you definitely want to let your partner know that it’s something that you’re doing for them and for the relationship," Buckley said. A gift of this kind could convey unintentional messages of judgment and dissatisfaction. Instead, say something like "'I thought this would be really fun,' [or] 'I’ve always thought it would be fun to try a vibrator and I would love to explore it with you.'"
DON'T believe that sex should just happen.
"Sex in your 50s or your 60s doesn’t look or feel like what it was when you were 20," said Buckley. "It does take some conversations to have the kind of sex life you want."
DO ease into experimentation to avoid intimidating your partner.
"If you’re in a new relationship or haven’t introduced toys in the past, start slow with sensual massage products or a sexy game," Brisben advised. She recommends using Pure Romance's Date Night game, a deck of cards that encourage both talking about and acting on desire.
DON’T have your partner unwrap his gift in a public setting.
Just don't. "Besides," Brisben added, "giving your naughty gift should be as intimate as the gift itself. Keep it between the two of you."
With these dos and don'ts in mind, you may have more than a kiss waiting for you underneath the mistletoe. "It does take a bit of courage," admits Buckley, "but recognize what the purpose of it is: to have more intimacy, to share your desire with your partner and to take your sex life and your initimacy to a whole new level. It may be a good way to open up a conversation that may be difficult, but will also be beneficial and create more intimacy."