Although sex toys have been around for what seems like forever, there are many people (whether they're single, casually dating, in long/short-term relationships or married) are still hesitant to bring this addition into their sexual activity! As a sex toy consultant for over 3 years, I understand why they can be intimidating, but I often find myself busting myths and providing different ways to think about introducing these "things that go buzzzzz in the night" to masturbation and/or sexual intercourse. In my 8 years of experience as a sex educator, I find that often due to societal norms surrounding sex, masturbation is considered a "dirty" sexual behavior for women, and men are more likely to think a sex toy will end up replacing them in the bedroom, leaving their partners no longer in need their services (for lack of a better word). So let's talk about these stereotypes for a second...
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Do these ideas ring true for you, your partner, and/or friends? Have these ideas or beliefs come up in conversations about sex with your partner(s), friends, etc.? Well, here's some truth about masturbation for contribution to the dialogue next time this conversation comes up:
- 95% of men admit to masturbating, compared to 89% of women. For married individuals, the rate is 70% for both men and women.
- More than 40% of males and 22% of females admit to masturbating daily. 55% of men and 48% of women masturbate at least twice a week.
- 53% of women use vibrators when masturbating. Reportedly, 17% of men have also used vibrators for solo masturbation.
- Studies suggest masturbation may reduce the risk of prostate cancer in men. For women, cervical infections may also be reduced with frequent personal masturbation.
With all that being said -- can I get a big "WOOT WOOT" for masturbation everybody?! Once you've decided to work around (or totally ignore) societal views of masturbation in an effort to normalize the behavior for yourself, the next commonly expressed obstacle becomes: "How do I get my partner to show interest in using a toy during sex?" My initial response is to ask if a discussion with their sexual partner(s) about the interest in a little vibrating action during sex has even happened before, which for some can also be a very anxiety provoking experience. For others, even if using sex toys during solo masturbation isn't a big issue for them, just the thought of using (or discussing the possibility of using) a sex toy with another person can be very intimidating. So, if you happen to be experiencing some anxiety, the first thing I want you to do is realize you FAR from the only person who has never communicated, let alone initiated communication, about the needs and wants of a sexual partner(s). Second, you are also not weird, "bad", or anything else negative for having curiosity about using sex toys with another person. In fact, amongst women specifically, 78% who use or have used a sex toy are in a relationship, and married women are twice as likely to use a vibrator!