1. The New Joy of Sex - Author Susan Quilliam gives Lovehoney the Inside Scoop!

    The New Joy of SexWe are all very excited here at Lovehoney about the fantastic The New Joy of Sex book!

    Not only is it fabulously presented, but it's been updated to encompass all the things that modern couples really want to know about.

    The wonderfully detailed chapters explore the all important topics of clitoral pleasure, contraceptives, sex toys, lingerie, bondage and even female ejaculation.

    Susan Quilliam, relationship psychologist and sex expert, was given the opportunity to add her expertise to the updated book.

    Susan works with the International Journal of Family Planning, the British relationship counselling organisation Relate and innumerable global advisory boards in the field of sexual health and dysfunction, so is more than qualified to undertake the huge and prestigious job of updating the best-selling sex manual in the world!

    I caught up with Susan and asked her all about the book and her opinions on sex toys and relationships.

    In your opinion, are people more sexually fulfilled today than they were back in 1972?

    Susan: Are people more sexually fulfilled today? You can argue it either way. On the one hand, we have much more sexual freedom, we experiment more, we know that women as well as men can take the lead, we realise that passion doesn't stop with increasing age - plus we have never had more ways of gaining delicious pleasure! On the other hand, there's much more pressure today to get sex right; in some ways we've lost our innocence. We need to reclaim the sheer joy of sex.

    What would be your top tip for a joyous sex life?

    Susan: Take time, make space, talk often, lose yourself in pleasure, and always, always, always make a connection with your partner.

    Or alternatively… Never say "no" if your partner wants to make contact; take five minutes and give it your all. If at the end of the five minutes you still are not sure, then move on. But more often than not, just those five minutes will remind you of the loving pleasure to be had - and you'll carry on to the end.

    Do you think sex or relationships have changed the most over the last 36 years?

    The New Joy of SexSusan: Undoubtedly it's sex that's changed most since Joy of Sex was first written. Of course relationships are very different - we have the choice whether to marry, we have more partners in a lifetime, the divorce rate is up.

    But the sexual arena has changed unrecognisably. The pill has made pregnancy avoidable. Sex toys have made pleasure more wide-ranging. We can have phone sex, internet sex; there's even teledildonics and remote control sex. Plus variations such as bondage and anal play are much, much more acceptable.

    How big a role do you feel sex toys play in modern love-making?

    Susan: All the evidence is that the use of sex toys is growing. People realise that while 'skin on skin' is the essence of sex, adding extras is a way to prolong pleasure, put the spark back into bedroom play and simply offer different sensations. On a more serious note, using a vibrator can for many women be the secret of becoming orgasmic for the first time in their lives.

    Do you think there's room for sex toys in a relationship? Do you have any suggestions for toys couples can use together?

    Susan: I absolutely think that there's room for sex toys in a relationship. From scented oil for exchanging a nurturing massage through to handcuffs for acting out power exchange scenarios, couples can always enjoy 'props'. Yes, some people are wary, particularly of using vibrators or dildos, which can be seen as 'replacements' for the loving attention of a partner.

    But a close couple will include these in their love play; see them as extras rather than as a threat. It can be great fun for both to use a vibrator - either as foreplay all over the body, or on her clit or his glans. Try her giving him oral sex with a vibrator placed against her cheek for added sensation. Try sliding a vibrator down to help her along during intercourse.

    Is there a good, non-intimidating way to introduce sex toys to your partner?

    Susan: The way to get a partner into sex toys isn't to produce them as a surprise gift and demand a positive reaction! Instead, test the water - maybe by talking about a 'friend' who's used them, or simply asking a partner's opinion 'theoretically'.

    If you get a flinch, then pull back - if you get enthusiasm, then start exploring possibilities. Browse the web together to see what appeals and what doesn't - choosing and buying together means you can absolutely make the best choice for you both.

    Visit The New Joy of Sex product page to pick up your copy of this fantastic guide or visit our Erotic Book Club to read more answers from Susan Quilliam.