Vibrators In Your Bedroom
Did you know that 52.5% of women reported that they used vibrators in a nationally representative study? As a sex researcher, I wasn’t overly surprised with that statistic, but I was talking to a friend of mine the other day about vibrator use, and she had a hard time believing it. So, naturally, I dug up the article that was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in 2009 and sent it her way!
Not only that, but vibrator use was significantly associated with a number of really positive health outcomes like getting a gyn exam in the past year, or performing a self-exam. It was also significantly related to sexual desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, pain, and overall function (1).
Women weren’t the only ones reporting vibrator use, though. Men also reported vibrator use, both with a partner and alone. In that same nationally representative study, the NSSHB, 44.8% of men reported using a vibrator. And this vibrator use was also significantly associated with similar positive health outcomes as the women, such as doing a testicular self-exam and reporting positive sexual functioning (2).
In a survey I conducted with colleagues at Good in Bed of over 3,000 people, we found that 62.2% of men and 60.1% of women incorporated a sex toy (not just vibrators, any sex toy) into partnered sex (3). The NSSHB found that 40.5% of men reported vibrator use with a partner, with 36.0% using the vibrator during sexual intercourse, and 16.6% during solo masturbation. For women, they found that 46.3% of women used a vibrator during masturbation alone, 37.3% used a vibrator during intercourse, and 40.9% used a vibrator during foreplay or sex play with a partner (1, 2).
One of my favorite lectures to teach when I’m teaching human sexuality is the sexual pleasure and satisfaction lecture, where I bring in my “pleasure chest” of sex toys to pass around the class (they are for instructive purposes only, I swear). Sex toys don’t have to be intimidating like they may seem in the picture above. There are actually a variety of toys that aren’t even phallic-shaped, which is one of the main intimidation factors for a lot of people, especially men.
Not only are sex toys great for improving sexual pleasure, but some research has demonstrated that adult retail stores have the potential to play an important role in health promotion and education outreach (4).
Buyers Guide to Sex Toys
Kristen Mark, MSc, is a doctoral candidate in Health Behavior at Indiana University. She is the Statistical Consultant and a Project Coordinator for the Center for Sexual Health Promotion, the Survey Director for Good in Bed, a writer for Kinsey Confidential and has written for websites and magazines. Find out more about Kristen on her website KristenMark.com, read her blogs on SexpertReMark.com, follow her on Twitter, and Pintrest.
1. Herbenick, D., Reece, M., Sanders, S., Dodge, B., Ghassemi, A., & Fortenberry, J.D. (2009). Prevalence and characteristics of vibrator use by women in the United States: Results from a nationally representative study. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 6, 1857-1866.
2. Reece, M., Herbenick, D., Sanders, S.A., Dodge, B., Ghassemi, A., & Fortenberry, J.D. (2009). Prevalence and characteristics of vibrator use by men in the United States. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 6, 1867-1874.
3. Mark, K.P., & Kerner, I. (2011). The Good in Bed Sexual Adventurousness survey. Report 2.
4. Reece, M., Herbenick, D., & Sherwood-Puzzello, C. (2004). Sexual health promotion and adult retail stores. Journal of Sex Research, 41, 173-180.