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Isnt the ducky just so cute?

Isn't the ducky just so cute?

Oooohh, scandalous research that makes the uptight go crazy is my favorite and this may top my list for a while, as an added bonus I get to use this picture (don’t ask why I had it and have been dying to use it).  Two articles published in the  Journal of Sexual Medicine detail vibrator use among the American populace, one for men and the other for women.

Through internet surveys the two groups assessed vibrator use (both solo and with a partner) and correlated it with a few health metrics.  From the male study:

Men who had used vibrators, particularly more recently, were more likely to have reported participation in sexual health care-seeking behaviors, such as testicular self-exams, and they were generally as healthy in terms of quality of life, both physically and mentally, as men who have not used vibrators. Additionally, men who had used vibrators more recently scored higher on four of five domains of the IIEF.

The IIEF measures erectile dysfunction, orgasmic function, sexual desire, intercourse satisfaction, and overall satisfaction.  Interestingly the vibrator use group scored higher in all categories except overall satisfaction.  Satisfaction is a very subjective metric to study so I don’t know how much weight I put on them, but it is encouraging that men who use vibrators are more likely to promote healthy behaviors such as self-exams.

On to the women! The researchers found almost a mirror image in relation to health promoting behaviors among female vibrator use:

for the first time among a scientific and nationally representative sample of women in the United States, that vibrator use is: (i) common among diverse groups of women; (ii) associated with health-promoting behaviors; (iii) associated with positive sexual function; and (iv) rarely related to negative side effects. Far from supporting historical cautions of physical or psychological harm associated with vibrator use, the data demonstrate that women who use vibrators are as generally healthy, mentally and physically, as women who do not use vibrators. That said, vibrator users were significantly more likely to engage in two specific health-promoting behaviors as compared to nonusers: (i) having had a gynecologic exam in the previous year; and (ii) having looked closely at their genitals in the previous month. However, vibrator use was not related to having performed breast self-examination during the previous month.

So according to both studies those who are vibrator users (versus never-users) are more likely to engage in self-exams, there was also a strong correlation with positive sexual experience and function.  This doesn’t seem unreasonable as I would imagine those comfortable enough to buy sex enhancing products are also more comfortable checking out what’s going on down there.  This should give clinicians and future researchers (listen up all you up-and-coming pervert scientists) some data to launch studies into healthy use of sex toys (ensuring safety from disease transmission and proper use to cut down on vibrator related injuries).

Now the part of the study I was really interested in was exactly what percentage of the population is using vibrators?  I think the numbers for the men are right where I thought they’d be but the female numbers came out lower than I expected.  44.8% of men had used a vibrator in their lives, with 14.2% being within the last year.  52.5% of women reported ever using a vibrator and the mean age was 1 year younger for users vs never-users.

Another interesting (if not completely obvious) result was the reason given for use of a vibrator.  Among women who said they have used a vibrator in the past month 20.1% had used it during solo masturbation alone, while men who used in the past month were much more likely to be using a vibrator during sexual play with a partner or during sexual intercourse with a partner than during solo masturbation.

The reasons men gave for using a vibrator vibed (pun definitely intended) with these numbers as well as many male users did so to help their partner have an orgasm or at the request of a sexual partner.  Although the “reasoning” data was not reported for the women I’m going to assume by the high percentage of solo masturbation use that most did so for personal pleasure rather than at the request or to help their partner.

Women are definitely in a higher user group which should be expected with the amount of female-oriented marketing of vibrators and their proven usefulness of relieving orgasmic dysfunction of a lot of women.  It’s good to see guys jump on the bandwagon of using with their partners, some guys can be sketchy about the “competition” between himself and the boyfriend on batteries but I’ll give you some reassurance guys.  I’ve never seen a vibrator kiss, cuddle after sex, fix a flat tire, cook, clean or buy flowers so you really have nothing to worry about.  In fact, if you’re as comfortable as she is then there’s a good chance that you’ll be remembered for your amazing sexual performances as well.

I’m sure the sex toy industry would be happy if they read these, talk about science backing up your already highly used product.

Reece, M., Herbenick, D., Sanders, S., Dodge, B., Ghassemi, A., & Fortenberry, J. (2009). Prevalence and Characteristics of Vibrator Use by Men in the United States Journal of Sexual Medicine, 6 (7), 1867-1874 DOI: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01290.x

Herbenick, D., Reece, M., Sanders, S., Dodge, B., Ghassemi, A., Fortenberry, J. (2009). Prevalence and Characteristics of Vibrator Use by Women in the United States: Results From a Nationally Representative Study Journal of Sexual Medicine, 6 (7) 1857-1866 DOI: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01318.x

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