199095 Exploring the advancement of sexual health knowledge among women at in-home sex toy parties

Monday, November 9, 2009: 3:30 PM

Christopher Fisher, PhD , Department of Health Promotion, Social & Behavioral Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
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
Brian Dodge, PhD , Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Background: There are limited resources that facilitate the provision of accurate sexual health information for adult women. Each year, millions of women attend in-home sex toy parties and research suggests these may provide opportunities to address the sexual health information needs of this population. Yet, little information exists that documents the types of conversations had at these events and the potential to advance sexual health knowledge among women.

Methods: Women who facilitate in-home sex toy parties (n=1,197) completed an online questionnaire in which participants reported the three most commonly asked questions they received when facilitating a party in the previous 3 months. Qualitative data containing the questions reported (n=3,149) were analyzed for commonalities using grounded theory. Resulting themes were compared to SIECUS guidelines for comprehensive sexuality education to assess the potential for teachable moments in sexual health at the events.

Results: Many questions involved the products being sold (n=1,398, 44.4%). There were a number of questions regarding sexual functioning (n=276, 8.8%), relationships (n=238, 7.6%), artificial lubricants (n=237, 7.5%), sexual behavior (n=166, 5.3%), and general sexuality questions (n=398, 12.6%). Of the 36 topical areas identified by SIECUS, 31 were represented in questions asked at the parties.

Conclusion: Questions asked at in-home sex toy parties as reported by facilitators indicated a strong potential for teachable moments related to sexual health. Public health professionals should consider partnering with adult retail venues to develop training programs that prepare employees with the skills and knowledge to take advantage of these teachable moments in sexual health.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to describe innovative venues for the provision of sexual health information to adult women. Participants will be able to evaluate potential venues for the provision of sexual health information utilizing SIECUS guidelines.

Keywords: Sexuality, Women's Sexuality

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a MA in Human Sexualiy Studies, PhD in Health Behavior and am a professor at University of Nebraska Medical Center. I have published and presented on this topical area.
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.