One of the common complaints from those in long term, committed relationships is that sex is predictable and stale. What once burned with the passion of a thousand suns now barely resembles an ember. In fact, many in long-term relationships virtually schedule their sex. And, these couples insist, it’s always the same. So not only is the timing planned, but the sex itself is repetitive. While there is debate about how often happy couples have sex, it’s rather uncontroversial to state that keeping sex spontaneous and exciting is healthy for any relationship.

The question is how couples can make sex fun again. Some opt to see a sex counselor thinking that their lack of sex is a symptom of trouble in the relationship. Others may choose a less traditional route and watch porn videos together hoping to get inspired with new ideas. Of the many different paths, one of the more kinky and adventurous ones is using sex toys.

The history of sex toys is, appropriately, strange. Depictions of the phallus date back millennia. The first known dildo comes from the Paleolithic era, a 26,000-year-old eight-inch stone. There is disagreement whether it was for spiritual/religious or personal use. Fast-forward to the Greek and Roman eras, and the ubiquity of sex toys becomes more apparent. In Aristophanes’ “Lysistrata,” the women withhold sex from their husbands and instead use dildos as a means of stopping war. Continuing the historical journey, blow up dolls date back to the 17th century, when French sailors created curvaceous rags, “Dame de Voyage,” that resembled women for the lonely men. Advancing this concept was alchemist Rene Schwaeble, who in 1904 invented inflatable dolls made of vulcanized rubber. Butt plugs may seem like a recent invention, but they were actually conceived (no pun intended) in 1892 by Frank E. Young as a ‘Rectal Dilator.’ Penis rings, originally made from goat eyelids, were intended for Chinese nobility to get on with the business of procreation, which at times proved difficult for men otherwise preoccupied with Mongol invaders. And pornography may appear like the logical conclusion of 20th and 21st century hormones, but in fact dates back 35,000 years ago. Archaeologists a few years ago unearthed a statue with exaggerated sexual parts.

As they’ve proven throughout the ages, sex toys can enhance your sex life. One of the main reasons to use sex toys is to relieve pressure. Often times people place an undue amount of pressure on themselves to perform sexually because it’s commonly thought that an exhilarating sex life is required for a fulfilling relationship. While there’s truth to this, it can daunt people of certain dispositions. Enter sex toys, utilitarian devices that can help enhance pleasure with no additional effort or technique. Pressure to perform is relieved from both partners. Additionally, adult toys also improve the chances of multiple orgasms, the pinnacle of intercourse. Vibrators, for instance, are proven to enhance sexual pleasure. As the sex improves, the mind takes wondrous leaps, opting to try new positions thus perpetuating a cycle of sexual enlightenment. As the toy industry has grown from infancy in the 20th century to full fledged industry by the 21st, there are now many types of sex toys available on the market. No longer are people limited to spiked dildos and off-putting inflatable dolls. Now one can enjoy a flesh colored penis sleeve while being rectally stimulated by a vibrating butt plug. The possibilities are endless.

Sex toys have been unfairly branded as taboo and considered only for use by the sexually perverted sort. However, these toys were widely adopted at certain points in history, and today there should be no shame in using them. Expand your sexual possibility with adult toys.