More and more people are now using sex toys. According to statistics, even 60 percent of the women surveyed and almost 50 percent of the men surveyed. However, the statistics do not show how often sex toys enrich the love life of couples. Especially in long-term relationships, it is often considered a miracle cure for a dormant sex life. But are couple vibrators and the like really the solution? In an interview, Ann-Marlene Henning, renowned sex and couples counselor, reveals how you can use sex toys for yourself and what the biggest beginner mistakes are.

She is one of Germany’s best-known sex therapists and is a master of her trade – more precisely her subjects (sexology and couple therapy): Ann-Marlene Henning. The sexologist supports couples in finding solutions to sexual lulls, sexual reluctance or even sexual desires. To improve a love life that has perhaps fallen asleep and to rediscover or rediscover the fun of sex. In the following interview, she answers whether sex toys for couples should play an important role.

Ms. Henning, why are some couples afraid of contact when it comes to sex toys? For many couples, the topic has negative connotations. Sex toys often come up for discussion when the feeling arises that normal sex life is no longer working or is no longer sufficient. The motivation for using it plays a major role. On the other hand, if a couple looks positively, playfully and curiously about the matter, they immediately look friendlier: sex toys can be a good stimulus for your own sex life.

Which sex toy would you recommend for couples who have not had any experience with it? I would recommend a non-motorized sex toy. And make the suggestion to play with oils, creams and feathers etc. first. Only when the couple has detached themselves somewhat from the conventional choreography of their sex can other things literally come into play. I developed my own intimate-erotic game for couples who haven’t really felt each other for a long time. It starts with small, short conversations and leads to small, fine touches. The end of the game is developed by the couple themselves – whether they have sex or not is entirely up to them. In general, it’s always about feeling yourself and the other person first.

Would you encourage couples to incorporate sex play into their love lives? Sex therapists rarely try to encourage couples to incorporate sex toys because the physical is more important in the first place. Sex toys cannot wake up a slumbering love life. When a bored couple seeks a solution to their sex doldrums through toys, it will be a brief flare-up and everything will be just as boring as before. It is important to build up more knowledge about your own body and that of your partner. That is in the foreground. Only then can toys be added. Especially for older people, for example men who can no longer get an adequate erection after a prostate disease, toys can be a help, for example to spoil your wife with sexual intercourse after all. For example with a strap-on or a dildo.

What are the common rookie mistakes many couples make when it comes to sex toys? The common rookie mistake is assuming that everything will just get better on its own. The reality is often different. For many, it is strange at first to play around with plastic or silicone parts in bed. Engines hum, everything vibrates. As always, a good dose of humor helps. Gradually you get used to it and can relax, then you can start trying and “playing”. Another mistake is that both partners get so used to the tremendous vibration and hum that after that nothing goes without it. As I often think: tongue, fingers or penis do not vibrate.

In September 2020, a new study on “Health and Sexuality in Germany” (GeSiD) attracted media attention. It was carried out by the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) and the Kantar Social Research Institute. 4,955 adults (2,336 men and 2,619 women) between the ages of 18 and 75 were involved. Among other things, it came out that 42 percent of those surveyed consider the use of “dildos or vibrators” to be an unusual sex practice. Which supports Ann-Marlene Henning’s statements about the fear of contact with sex toys. And what about the sex life of the interviewees? This is also evident from the study: Around a fifth of those surveyed stated that they had last been sexually active more than four weeks ago. In terms of frequency, the women and men between the ages of 18 and 35 said they had sex five times a month on average. With the 36 to 45 year olds it was still four times a month and with the 46 to 55 year olds 45 times over the whole year. So on average also four times a month.

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