When I told my husband I was writing an article about how to introduce sex toys to your marriage, he said, “Just tell them to say there won’t be any more sex unless you use this…” and he held up the bottle-brush he was holding at the kitchen sink.

But is it really that simple?

There are a lot of complex emotions tied up in our personal desires, and sometimes it’s difficult to get them out on the table, even with a long-term lover or mate who is also a good friend. In fact ironically, the more familiar and routine things become, the scarier it can seem to suddenly say, “Hey honey, I bought a vibrator – you want to try it out with me tonight?” We can feel oddly inhibited, shy and nervous, trying to reinvent ourselves in front of the one person who knows us so well.

But this is exactly the point. When things get stale, you should reinvent the way you relate to each other, otherwise you both have secret fantasy lives that the other is shut out from, and the distance grows. But how to bring it up?

One low-pressure way to introduce the topic is to ask your partner if he’s been thinking about trying anything new in the bedroom. You can do this while you’re snuggling on the couch or reading in bed – you don’t have to be about to have sex. In fact that can put too much demand on your current routine, possibly making him feel insecure that you’re not happy with the moves he’s got. You might be surprised to hear that he’s got a lot to say on this subject, or he might be unsure of what’s acceptable in this new discussion and not say much. Either way, he’s bound to turn the question back on you, since after all, you brought it up.

This is where you can mention that you thought it might be sexy to do a striptease for him if you thought he wouldn’t die of embarrassment. Or, you thought it might be sexy to drip honey on your bodies and lick it off. Or, that you bought a little pocket sized vibrator that you would love for him to experiment with on you. Remember, a sex toy can be any prop you use to increase your mutual pleasure, from whipped cream to handcuffs. Once you get into the world a bit more and do some research, you may find your personal desires are being catered to in all sorts of ways on all sorts of websites. This is something you can discover together.

Your heart will pound faster just by introducing this new subject, and you’ll look at each other in a different way. It might be embarrassing at first, and that’s okay. Have a laugh – no one said sex had to be a sober serious thing. There’s nothing funnier than a super-loud sex toy buzzing away in your hand for the first time, but when he starts to use it for its intended purpose, your giggles will turn into a different kind of happiness. Give it a try! You could end up looking at your old bedroom like a whole new playground.