TheToy.org
Vibrator Use Statistics

The Who, Where, and How of Vibrator Use Statistics

Vibrators are becoming more prominent in mainstream media and in retail stores that do not specialize in sex toys. So, more and more people have asked the question, “How many people really use vibrators?”

Until recently, there have not been many trustworthy studies on vibrator use. Not surprisingly, the people who gather the most information about vibrator use are also the companies trying to sell us more vibrators, which is not surprising. These surveys are almost always related to some kind of marketing, and the methods used are rarely discussed in depth in the reports.

Michael Reece and Debra Herbenick, along with colleagues at Indiana University, published several surveys on vibrator use in 2009 that provide a far more trustworthy and comprehensive look at the how and why of vibrator use.

The results of their research are below.

In addition to their findings, I have included numbers from previous research, some of which is little more than marketing material, while others are a true examination of vibrator use.

Overall, Reece and Herbenick found that slightly less than half of respondents had ever used a vibrator, with slightly more women (52 percent) than men (45 percent) reporting using one.

When should you use a vibrator?

  • Women reported using vibrators most often during masturbation (46 percent) and least often during sexual encounters (37 percent ).
  • During “sex play or foreplay,” men were more likely than women to use vibrators with a partner (40 percent ).
  • Only 17 percent of men admitted to using a vibrator for masturbation in a survey.
  • The article on men asked about their motivations for first using a vibrator. The most common answer was “for fun,” which accounted for 67 percent of all responses.
  • 40 percent of men said they used a vibrator to help a partner experience an orgasm, and 7 percent said they used a vibrator to help themselves experience an orgasm, according to the survey.

Vibrator use

 

The relationship between the use of vibrators and sexual function

Researchers conducted a study comparing vibrator users and non-vibrator users on a number of criteria for sexual function (they asked questions on topics such as erectile function, intercourse satisfaction, pain, orgasm, lubrication, and sexual desire).

In general, men and women who used vibrators reported fewer problems with sexual function than those who did not use vibrators. Individuals who had used vibrators in the recent past (within the last month) responded to the surveys in a way that showed they had fewer problems with sexual function.

The use of vibrators and other healthy habits

The study shows that men and women who use vibrators are more likely to engage in activities that show they are comfortable with their bodies and their sexuality.

It found that women who had ever used a vibrator were significantly more likely than women who had never used a vibrator to have had a gynecological exam within the past year and a genital self-exam within the past month.

Men who reported having performed a testicular self-examination in the past month were more likely to have done so using a vibrating device.

Cleaning sex toys

The good news is that the vast majority of men and women clean their vibrators regularly.

The bad news is that some people do not think this routine is really necessary.

  • 20 percent of men and 14 percent of women say they never clean their toys). Even among those who tend to clean their sex toys, there’s still room for improvement.
  • 60 percent of women and 53 percent of men say they clean their toys before and after use, while the rest say they clean them either before or after playing.

The fact that they cleaned the toy before using it for the first time is something that I think many people overlook but is extremely important given the severe lack of hygiene in most sex toy factories. It’s not clear if they inquired about it or not, but it’s something I would love to know.

The use of vibrators can have negative effects

The women’s responses to questions about the negative side effects of vibrator use were the only ones reported by the researchers. They asked, among other things, whether the women experienced numbness, pain, irritation, swelling (the uncomfortable kind), or tears or cuts in the vagina.

The results are as follows:

  • The majority of women (71.5 percent) reported no adverse reactions.
  • Numbness occurred in 16 percent of respondents.
  • A painful sensation was reported by 3 percent of respondents.
  • Ten percent of the respondents felt irritated.
  • Swelling was noted by 8% of the population.
  • 1 percent of the participants reported cracks or sores.

Those who reported unfavorable side effects all felt that they were short-lived, low-intensity, and not widespread.

Amie Dawson PhD

Amie is webmistress and head honcho at TheToy. She’s been married for seven years and has two kids.

For the past 10years Amie has lived the swinging lifestyle and gets to practice what she preaches at TheToy.

Sometimes technically challenged but always willing to try something new is the best way to describe Amie. Her motto in life is: “There is no such word as Can’t, take off the T and make it can.”