191122 Vibrators, Sexual Health and Well-Being, and Sexual Pleasure: Findings from a Nationally Representative Sample of U.S. Adults

Monday, October 27, 2008: 1:10 PM

Debby Herbenick, PhD, MPH , Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Michael Reece, PhD, MPH , Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Stephanie Sanders, PhD , Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
J. Dennis Fortenberry, MD, MS , Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN
Brian Dodge, PhD , Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Annahita Ghassemi, PhD , Church & Dwight Co., Inc., Princeton, NJ
Background: Despite the rapid expansion of the accessibility of sexual enhancement products such as vibrators and vibrating toys, little empirical work has documented the prevalence of vibrator use among women and men and the extent to which their use is related to sexual health. Methods: A nationally representative survey of 2,056 women and 1,047 men (ages 18-60) in the United States was conducted to establish the prevalence rates of vibrator use for solo and partnered sexual activities and to examine relations between vibrator use and other sexual health indicators. Results: Approximately half of women (53.6%) and men (45.6%) reported having ever used a vibrator during solo or partnered sexual activities. Most women and men (>50%) cited reasons related to sexual pleasure and relationship enhancement as among those most important for incorporating vibrators into sexual activities. Additionally, those reporting the use of vibrators, compared to those who had never used, were more likely to report more positive sexual function and sexual health promoting behaviors, such as genital self examination among women (28.6 % vs. 19.9%, p < .001), testicular self-examination among men (49.5% vs. 37.7%, p < .001), and gynecological exams among women in past 12 months (70.6% vs. 62.0%, p < .001). Conclusions: That significant proportions of US adults have incorporated vibrators into their sexual lives, and have done so to increase pleasure and enhance relationships, offers valuable insights for public health professionals who continue to develop innovative and effective programs to advance the sexual health of society.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will: 1. Be able to describe the prevalence rate of vibrator use during sexual activities among adult men and women in the United States. 2. Be able to describe relations between vibrator use and sexual function among both men and women. 3. Be able to describe relations between vibrator use and health promoting behaviors among both men and women.

Keywords: Women's Health, Sex

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been doing research in sexuality for over a decade and this work is related to my primary are of research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.