Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Joy of Sex Toys

From AlterNet:
Better adult stores now all take products out of the boxes and putting them right into customer's hands so they'll know what kind of bangs they'll get for their bucks. And the buzz on vibrators, culturally and in real life, has gone from a whisper to a joyous scream.

If Apple's approval of a vibrator app for the iPhone wasn't enough, the embrace of the once-shunned sex aid was recently confirmed by two studies from the University of Indiana (on one men, one on women), which found that 53 percent of women and 45 percent of the men between 18 and 60 have used vibrators and that those who had were more apt to safeguard their sexual health.

Female vibrator users were more likely to have had gynecological exams in the last year or to have performed breast self exams in the last month. Recent male users were more like to have performed a testicular self-exam and scored themselves higher in most of the five domains of sexual function (erectile function, orgasmic function, sexual desire, intercourse satisfaction and overall satisfaction).

There was no significant difference in vibrator use between men who identified as straight and those who identified as gay or bisexual. The study, which queried 2,056 women and 1,047 men, is the first to publish nationally representative data on vibrator use and was funded by Church & Dwight Co. Inc, makers of Trojan products (condoms, pleasure rings, etc).

When you consider the stigmas vibrators held in the past, this rate of use isn't just a jump, it's a shuttle launch. Writing in the New York Times about the Indiana study, Michael Winerip notes that vibrator use was cited as "not appreciable" by an Alfred Kinsey report in 1953 and "less than 1 percent" by Shere Hite in 1976.

A subsequent 1992 survey from the University of Chicago said that only 2 percent of women had bought a vibrator in the past year. Even recognizing that "bought" and "used" are significantly different, for the numbers to shoot that high that quickly represents a significant change in our attitude toward sexual pleasure.

Read the entire article.

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