Parenting changes everything — including sex. While almost everyone experiences frequent shifts in their sexuality and libido over their lifetime, with parenting there are just more…complexities. Pregnancy and childbirth for gestational parents can really disrupt how you feel in your body (and if you aren’t aware of what it can do to your clitoris, well: here). And whether you’re a single parent of a toddler, the back-at-work-parent or an empty-nester, parenting sends you on a wild journey that will undoubtedly interact with your life as a sexual being.
“The thing that people often focus on when it comes to sex after having a baby is the physical part, which is obviously very important,” Jamie Yates, a doula and sex positive educator tells SheKnows. “But I think the part that we often miss when it comes to intimacy is just how preoccupied you are with all of the things you have to do in order to take care of another person. It doesn’t leave a lot of energy for thinking about sexy time.”
Luckily, we’re living in a fast-paced modern world full of really top-shelf sex toys for people of all genitalia and needs. And we’re not just talking about bullet vibrators and dildos — the best sex toys for parents don’t actually have to vibrate and be inserted anywhere. And while communication itself probably won’t give you an orgasm, it’s key to sexual connection with a partner and with oneself.
“A lot of it is making space for the feelings that are happening with the change,” says Yates. And a few props and playthings can help with that. These are the best sex toys for parents that Yates recommends — try them for pregnancy, postpartum and beyond.
“There are all kinds of discrete looking toys out on the market,” says Yates, which may be a good way to ease in if you’re new to toys. What started with the stealthy bullet vibrator has now expanded to include all kinds of shapes and uses. Perhaps none is more discrete than this extraterrestrial frequency-creator. As one reviewer puts it, you “could leave it on the nightstand and not freak out if [you] forget to put it away.” That’s an excellent feature for parents who never know when a toddler’s going to invade their bedroom.
Saucy Vibrator $69 at Unbound Babes
Zumio X Personal Stimulator
A higher-end stealth vibrator, Zumio looks and seemingly acts like few popular vibes out there. “It looks almost like it could be an electric toothbrush,” says Yates. Zumio has a mind-boggling 8 different speeds and it’s 100% waterproof, which means you could easily multi-task while you steal away to take a shower at the end of a long day. As a parent, you’ve probably gotten good at multitasking for others, why not put that skill to use in self-care?
Zumio X Personal Stimulator $140 at Amazon
A Sex Journal
A journal isn’t typically referred to as a sex toy but Yates emphasizes the importance of laying the communications groundwork, and the team building of intimacy. “One thing that people can do is just daily check ins: What did you do today? What was on your mind today? What gave you anxiety?” Yates says.
Enter recently launched A Sex Journal, with prompts and intention-setting, which can be an important tool for strengthening your sexual relationship. Making a standing date night to chat about where you are — even if you don’t have the energy to get down to business —may help you create a habit of spending that time on intimacy for down the road.
A Sex Journal, $26 at A Sex Journal
Dipsea Sexy Audio Stories
“In the early weeks of postpartum, people just need to give themselves a break and let things go,” says Yates. “It’s okay to prioritize your own mental health over whatever things you think need to be done.”
So what if you could combine meditation-style relaxation with just a bit of fantasy? Dipsea, a sexy audio company, has done just this, with new sensual and erotic audio stories for different relationships and proclivities every week. So if you’re too exhausted for sex — or still recovering — you can lie side-by-side and listen with your partner, no touching required.
Dipsea, $47.99 for annual subscription at DipseaStories.com
Crave Vesper Vibrator
Because of the many demands of parenting, sex and pleasure are sometimes the furthest things from your mind — or, especially for the pregnant and desperately horny, on your mind constantly.
Which is where a wearable object can be both: pleasure-providing in atypical spaces and circumstances to slake the persistent pregnancy lust when you’re not at home. And for periods when you’re too tired to feel sexual, having a wearable can be a simple visual reminder that your sexual desires matter to you, whether you have space for them now or not. Think of it as a sexual talisman.
Crave Vesper, $69 at The Pleasure Chest
Palma Ring Vibrator
Similarly, the Palma is a multi-speed vibrator that doubles as a stylish 18K gold cocktail ring.
“What happens for a lot of people, is they start to remember, ‘Oh, I’m a sexual being, which is when the libido comes back,’” says Yates.
Palma Ring, $128 at Unbound Babes
Drawing from her own experience of a decades-long relationship, Yates says exploring new ideas and kinks allowed her and her partner to grow together. “Because sometimes when you do the same thing over and over again you get in a rut,” she says. That can ring true for partners at any phase of parenthood.
Arty, erotic magazines like Math provide an opportunity for quiet, relaxing time spent reading alone or together. Beautiful, provocative pornography can be both a conversation starter and a chance to push your boundaries in shared fantasies. Plus, you’d be supporting an ethical, female-owned and sex-positive media outlet.
Math Magazine Issue Eight, $18 at MathMagazine.com
Pillo Pillow for Sex
Yes, this is a $95 sex pillow and no it doesn’t also cook dinner for you. But for those trying to ease back into penetrative play, or experiment, the cost can be well worth it. Having an eye-catching object that will support new positions creates an occasion to try them out, with comfort and a sexy feeling of luxury to boot. It’s not unlike getting back into running by getting a nice, supportive new pair of sneakers. Plus, it’s nice to have a fancy pillow that’s comfy to recline on, whether sex is on the menu that night or not.
And once kids start to have a regular bedtime, you can get excited about pillow time. “When you can institute a bedtime, that’s the prime time when sex can come back,” says Yates. “That’s often the phase when people tend to be like, ‘Oh, hi, you.’”
Pillo, $95 at Dame
Fun Factory Bootie Plug
“For a lot of people who are in longer-term relationships, penis-owners get more exploratory,” says Yates. “They start to explore prostate play.” The Bootie can be used on any body, with or without a prostate, and comes in three sizes so you can scale up as you wish.
Plugs can be fun to explore together in later pregnancy, especially if the gestational partner isn’t as mobile as they used to be.
Fun Factory Bootie, $34.95 at Pleasure Chest
You can’t beat a classic for anyone at any stage of their sexual life. And the ultimate classic sex toy is the Hitachi Magic Wand. This wand is meant to be used as an external vibrator but can also be used to soothe sore muscles from hauling strollers up flights of stairs.
And for pregnant folks with newly sensitive spots, you may find yourself connecting your pleasure to sensations on different parts of the body, from nipples to inner thighs.
It can be easily explained to kids without getting into a sex talk, if you’re not ready for that yet. Just know that Yates doesn’t advocate hiding sexuality from kids. “I think there should be a certain amount of, ‘We’re your parents and you got here because of sex.’ ‘We have sex and it’s a part of our relationship,’” says Yates.
Magic Wand, $59.95 at Babeland
Hummingbird Wand Attachment
If you have a wand and a partner with a penis, this is the best $14 you can spend on a sex toy. Wand attachments allow the vibrations of a wand to stimulate different parts of the body and expands the potential for use during partnered sex.
Hummingbird Wand Attachment, $13.49 at Amazon
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