Two studies by the Indiana University found that 53 percent of women and 45 percent of men aged 18-60 use vibrators during sexual play.

Do these numbers surprise you? If so, you might be interested to find out that not only is vibrator use more common than most think, but according to these studies, its use is linked to positive sexuality and increased care for one’s sexual health.

Vibrators have been recommended by therapists and physicians alike, though even under “doctor’s orders” most people still have a blushing association with these sex tools. These findings, from the Center for Sexual Health Promotion in IU’s School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, are the first of their kind to be published.

The survey responses came from 2,056 women and 1,047 men nationwide:

For women:

  • More than half of the women (52.5 percent) had used a vibrator with nearly one in four having done so in the past month.
  • Vibrator users were significantly more likely to have had a gynecological exam during the past year and to have performed genital self-examination during the previous month.
  • Vibrator use was positively related to several aspects of sexual function (desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, pain and overall function) with recent vibrator users scoring themselves higher on most sexual function domains, suggesting more positive sexual function.
  • Most women (71.5 percent) reported having never experienced any side effects associated with vibrator use. Those side effects that were reported were typically rare and of a short duration.

For men:

  • The prevalence of men who had incorporated a vibrator into sexual activities during their lives was 44.8 percent, with no statistical differences between the rates of vibrator use between men who identified as heterosexual and those who identified as gay or bisexual.
  • Heterosexual men most commonly reported having used vibrators during foreplay or intercourse with a female partner, with 91 percent of those who had used a vibrator reporting that they had done so during such activities with women.
  • Of men who have used vibrators, 10 percent had done so in the past month, 14.2 percent in the past year and 20.5 percent more than one year ago.
  • Men who reported having used vibrators, particularly those with more recent use, were more likely to report participation in sexual health promoting behaviors, such as testicular self-exam.
  • Men who had used vibrators recently also scored themselves higher on four of the five domains of sexual function, as measured by the International Index of Erectile Function (erectile function, intercourse satisfaction, orgasmic function and sexual desire).

According to Indiana University’s press release, Michael Reece, director of the Center for Sexual health Promotion, said that the results are important because, “both studies help us to further understand the way in which American consumers are turning to the marketplace for products that promote their sexual health, and that has important economic implications.”

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