Q&A with J: “Is It Okay to Use Sex Toys?”

Today’s question is brief. Here’s what the reader asks:

Is it okay to use sex toys or would that [go] against God??

You know, when I first started writing about sex, I wasn’t interested in sex toys, but I didn’t really have a strong opinion about them. Early posts on this subject include:

Is It Playtime? Sex Toys

Why I Don’t Use Sex Toys

But the more I’ve researched, heard from people, and studied what the Bible has to say about sex generally, the more I’ve come to believe that what really matters is how and why you’re using the sex toy.

Sex toys as marital aids.

Some sex toys are helpful aids to deal with challenges in the marriage bed. For instance, a man who has difficulty achieving or maintaining a strong erection could benefit from the use of a penis ring. Or a woman whose physiology makes it extremely difficult to orgasm could benefit from adding a clitoral vibrator.

Sex toys used in this way are essentially the same as any other treatment we might advise someone to use, like taking testosterone to address low male sex drive. And frankly I’m grateful there are options available for those who struggle with a physical challenge and need some help. These marriage beds are likely blessed by the inclusion of certain sex toys.

Sex toys as periodic spice.

Others use sex toys as an occasional activity to experience different sensations. This I totally understand as well. It’s perhaps in the realm of changing your location or position to add a little spice now and then, just like I talk about in Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design.

Such couples are selective about what they use, making sure it adds to their marriage bed rather than taking away. They view it as a treat, like pulling out the flavored lube instead of the regular lube. And both spouses feel pleasure and respect in how the sex toys are used.

Sex toys as a substitute.

Here’s where things shift. God’s ideal for sex in marriage is that we can bring one another to pleasure and peaks — physiological obstacles not withstanding — using our bodies. Although you can make a case of locations and positions being mentioned in the Bible, you can’t find any place that suggests the use of a sex toy to fulfill one another sexually. Fulfillment comes through engaging with one another’s bodies, yet plenty of sex toys mimic body parts.

Not only are there toys that resemble or simulate vaginas and penises, they improve on them. That is, those toys can do things that no vagina or penis can do. Moreover, if you incorporate sex toys regularly into your lovemaking, you might find that you lose some of the pleasure you could and should get with your spouse. Just read this post: Q&A with J: “I’m Desensitized to My Husband’s Touch!”

Are such sex toys a sin? I can’t say that, but they’re unlikely to take you in the direction God wants married couples to go with sexual intimacy. Thus, their use is unwise.

Sex toys as “chasing a high.”

Finally, I’m concerned that too many Christian couples are chasing a high. Because of the varied sensations sex toys can produce, it’s tempting to find anything that gives you new and/or better pleasure. Toy choices can become kinkier and kinkier.

But it isn’t the kink that matters so much as the sheer selfishness of this approach. God created sex to help us become one flesh (see Genesis 2:24). But when it’s just about the physical high you can get, your sexual encounters can become more like parallel play. Perhaps you’re both feeling a lot of pleasure, but it’s not from each other; you’re just in the same space while you use the toys.

We have to really think about how and why we’re using sex toys, to make sure that we’re not just chasing a selfish sexual high. Rather, again, it’s about intimacy.

For more discussion of sex toys and whether they’re good or bad for a marriage, listen to our podcast episode on that very subject by clicking the image below:

Sex Toys - Is it Okay for Christians to Use Them?

15 thoughts on “Q&A with J: “Is It Okay to Use Sex Toys?”

  1. Skye

    This is a great explanation/answer to this question! It is a brilliant read on where to draw the line for this topic and I couldn’t agree more.

    I went back to read your sister article on why you don’t use sex toys and appreciate the fact you don’t condemn the use of them for everyone.

    Reply
  2. G

    Such a great view J. My situation has left me so sad. My husband and I decided to introduce a vibrator when we got married to use once in a while, while learning how to get me to orgasm naturally. I quickly realized he had no intention of learning my body and only wanted to use the vibrator. This meant sex was quick, he was also disconnected, little to no forplay, and he would rarely even kiss me. I felt so unloved. When I would try to communicate my desire for us and my needs and how my body works he would blow up and tell me I expect too much. Along with many other things said about my body and my needs that have battered my confidence and self esteem and body image. 1yr ago I threw the vibrator in the trash. Sex became even worse and now we don’t have it at all. It’s been over 4 months. He has told me it’s my fault that I can’t orgasm because I threw the vibrator away… and that he has little interest in sex because I can’t orgasm and because I’m sexually boring. I love and desire my husband so so much. I want to have connected and loving sex. A lot. And learn my body together and love on each other whilst learning. I’m currently seeing a Councellor but sadly my husband stopped after 2 sessions. I’m believing God for a miricle! He can so heal my heart and rescue my husband! Thank God for God!

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      Oh my! What a heartbreaking and cautionary tale. I’m so sorry you’ve been through this. I really think your husband needs to practical teaching on what’s realistic in the marriage bed and about women’s sexual response. I pray that you can find ways to communicate your desires to him and that his heart will change. May you feel God’s presence throughout.

      Reply
  3. Alicia

    Agree with Skye. Your view on this is refreshing compared to many Christians. I sometimes get confused why this topic seems to come up so much in Christian circles, but since it does, I’m glad there are those out there who answer like you do.

    Reply
  4. Matt

    Your blogs have been a blessing to my marriage as well as myself personally as a man trying to figure it out. I’m 18 years in to marriage and still humbled by what sex does for us as we try to do life, raising kids. Early on, it was ego driven on my end. I had to get aligned with God’s design and as I’ve done so it’s become so much more powerful. Many Thanks to you and your husband for supporting your ministry.

    Reply
  5. Another high-drive wife

    I agree that a toy should not replace intimacy, nor should it be used as a replacement for taking the needed time to get to know how to use “all God has given us.”
    I hope those who may need the “tool” aspect did catch on that there is a place for these. I’ve read that as many as 70% of women cannot orgasm with intercourse alone. I was able to for many many years but my post-menopausal body will not cooperate at this point. Frustrating isn’t a strong enough word. A vibrator has made that possible and kept my willing-to-spend-whatever-time-and-effort-it-takes husband from feeling like a failure. Plus, many times after getting my body to respond with it, he can get my body to respond to his touch as well. Win-win!

    Reply
  6. della gorrell

    I am an older single woman, and find I miss the sexual part of my life.. So what do I do to either forget about that part of my life or is there another way.?

    Reply
  7. Dave

    If sex toys can ruin you marriage then spoons can make you fat. Tools themselves are not good or evil, they are inanimate objects; it’s how you use them.

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      Isn’t that more or less what I said? Sex toys can do damage in the marriage bed, when used in the wrong way. But sex toys can also help those who truly need a marital aid to be sexually responsive.

      Reply
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