It’s a truth we all come to understand once we have kids: 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 match up with those needs — so try them for pregnancy, postpartum and beyond.
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A version of this story was published October 2019.