Dear Dr. G, I am rather embarrassed about my questions, and I hope you can treat it with some degree of sensitivity. I am a conservative man in my late thirties and a father of two. My wife and I have been married for 10 years, and we get along very well. Admittedly, after our second child, our love life has been a bit stale. I assume such diminishing passion between couples is just a natural progression of most relationships. I was shocked one day, when my wife mentioned that we should incorporate sex toys in our bedroom actions to spice up the love life. Apparently, she discussed our wilting bedroom matters with her girlfriend, who spoke wonders about such “marital aid”. I would like to put Dr. G on the spot about adult toys. Do women really talk about dwindling bedroom matters amongst friends? What exactly are sex toys? Can the toys replace human affection? It just doesn’t seem right to bring an object to enhance sex in a relationship. Is there any risk? It would be tragic to think how the sex toys can take over the sex and we no longer need each other? Personally, I think marital aid would be a hindrance between the sheet. What do you think? Yours truly, Hindrance Hendry Sex toy is an object utilised to enhance human sexual pleasure. Despite being deemed illegal in many countries, considering the device as “obscene products”, the euphemism such as “marital aid” has lessened the taboo. The industry is estimated to have a market value of US$15bil in 2008, and projected annual growth of 30%. Easy accessibility via online and mainstream drugstores have somewhat diminished the stigma. As technology and acceptance evolve, it is appropriate to reflect on the balance between sex toy pleasure and human affection. The general types of marital aid can range from erotic electro-stimulation, penetrative devices, nipple and penile toys. Erotic electro-stimulation objects are generally machines stimulating nerve endings of genitals with electricity pulses. Penetrative devices generally resemble a penis, with the options of additional shape for G spot stimulation or vibratory functions. Penile and nipple toys are artificial vagina and clamps that stimulate erogenous part of the bodies. In the digital age of artificial intelligence and big data, some sex toys in the market also have the ability to detect muscular contraction and erogenous physiological responses in users. The cumulative “big data” can have the potential to map out and predict human sexual behaviour. Despite great variation of sex toys hitting the right spots in self-pleasure and spicing up the bedroom actions for couples, many still find introducing sex toys into the bedroom intimidating, unnatural and unsafe. For others, sex toys work synergistically to spice up affections between couples. However, in countries such as Japan, the fact that sex toys are overtaking human affection is evident. Many individuals and couples introduce sex toys into their sex life out of curiosity. According to one study, 82% of couples were keen to keep their sex life as exciting as possible while 52% opted for sex toys. In addition, 49% of the couples who opted for sex toys also reported open communications about likes and dislikes over bedroom matters. More couples opted for sex toys and generate open communications does not necessary mean better satisfaction. Heterosexual men who had used sex toys in the relationship actually reported lower satisfaction. This may be due to men feeling inferior when the use of devices reflected poorly on their own sexual ability, leading to the feeling of redundant and fear of partner overly reliant on sex toys. On the other hand, 53% of heterosexual women reported using sex toys with 86% reported sexual satisfaction. Chapman University reported a study in 2016 highlighted couples that can explore novel ways of being intimate; including the introduction of sex toys tend to have better relationship satisfaction. The study reflected the usage of sex toys in couples helps to maintain passion and desire in a relationship. This also enhances other activities like scheduling date nights and trying new sexual positions. On the other hand, the introduction of sex toy with lack of open communication can also cause deterioration in relationship. One partner may feel threatened on his sexual ability and others may feel judged on the desire to explore. In the medical viewpoint, some material of sex toys such as rubber and PVC are well known to cause allergic reactions. Poor hygiene for vaginal and anal toys is also a potential health hazard. Lastly, aggressive and over zealous usage of oversized sex toys can cause injury to genitalia and anus. Some sex toys are also well reported to get lost in the rectum when used inappropriately. Although the introduction of sex toy between the sheets will bring some giggles, the devices are not completely risk free. The German theoretical physicist and one of the key pioneers of quantum mechanics, Werner Heisenberg once said: “Tradition is both the condition for progress and a hindrance. Hence it usually takes a long time before the new concepts are generally accepted”. The use of sex toys in a relationship with open communication is beneficial, as the curiosity for novelty and exploration allows open and honest discussion about likes and dislikes. However, over reliance and excessive use of the device will result in one partner feeling inferior and left out. The secret usage of sex toys without the other partners’ knowledge can also generate distrust and guilt in a relationship. 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