There is a lot of curiosity when it comes to sex and exploring our bodies. As sexual desire and pleasure have been repressed along history and across cultures, the knowledge and enjoyment of women’s sexuality has largely been limited to the sexual relationships between men and women, with a large focus on intercourse and the reproductive nature of sex. However, many women have taken charge of their own sexuality. And curiosity and exploration have been good allies to enjoy a fulfilling sex life. When letting that curiosity soar, sex toys can be a healthy part of the journey and the discovery of new heights in the sexual experiences of all women, which leads to a more sexually empowered woman.
According to Jane Juffer, author of At Home With Pornography: Women, Sex, and Everyday Life, most of the sexual consumption of women happens in the privacy of their homes, which includes the use of sex toys. Although women may not admit it, many have used and own sex toys. According to one survey, approximately half of adult women either have tried or currently use sex toys. In a study conducted among 1,600 women by the Chicago’s Berman Center, directed by sex therapist Dr. Laura Berman, 46% of the participants reported using or having tried a sex toy, with the most commonly used sex toy being a vibrator. An interesting finding of the study was that women expressed that sex toys were not a substitute for a partner.
Read Related: Could You Be Addicted to Your Vibrator?
The survey also found that:
- 51% of women from 25-34 years of age were most likely to have ever used a sex toy.
- Although women from 55-60 years of age reported to have used a sex toy at some point in their lives in the same proportion as the younger age group, the results showed this group was half as likely to currently use sex toys as the younger women.
- 43% of unmarried women living with their partners used sex toys.
- 35% of married women reported using sex toys with their partners; and 90% of them said they were open about their use of sex toys with their partners.
- 66% of women reported that their partners were supportive of their use of sex toys.
Although not as scientific, we found similar results when we asked women about their use of sex toys. Here’s what they had to say:
I have a vibrator, and I enjoy it—with or without my husband. It always does the trick! —Rose V., Chicago, IL
I cannot live without my dildo. It never disappoints me, it goes where it needs to be, and always finishes the job. That’s why I love it! —Vivian R., San Juan, PR
After using my vibrator for too long, I get frustrated. It is never a substitute for the real deal. —Delia B., San Juan, PR
Read Related: Best & Worst Sex Toys for Women
BENEFITS TO USING SEX TOYS
- Enhanced Knowledge of Your Body: Through experimentation with sex toys, women can become more aware of their own sexual pleasure, which can lead them to engage in more efficient and effective during their sexual relationship with a partner.
- Heightened Self-Confidence: Women who are more knowledgeable of their bodies and their sexual needs become more self-assured in their sexual relationships.
- Enhanced Sexual Interest: Women who use sex toys experience a higher interest in sex as they are eager to further experiment with and explore their bodies.
- Control Sexual Needs: The use of sex toys allows women to control what, when and how they need sexual pleasure. Varying speeds, points of pressure, and different toys allow for a fulfilling and pleasurable experience to be controlled by them.
- Quicker Orgasms: The variety of toys and the ability to use them efficiently lead women to reach orgasms more quickly.
- Greater Sexual Satisfaction: Overall, using sex toys, solo or during sexual relationships with a partner, can make for a deeply satisfying sexual experience.
- Sexual Benefits: Sex toys, and their gratifying outcome, can lead women to enjoy all the benefits of a satisfying sexual relationship and orgasms.
RISKS OF USING SEX TOYS
Although using sex toys can bring you a lot of pleasure, be mindful of their usage to avoid the following:
- STD Infections: Sharing sex toys can lead to the spread of STDs through the exchange of cervicovaginal fluid and direct mucosal contact.
- Vaginal Infections: Washing your sex toys thoroughly after and/or before each use is crucial to maintaining the health of your genitalia. Refer to the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions and make sure your toys are clean before using them.
- Toxic Toys: Sex toys can be made of materials that may contain toxins which are not healthy for your body. When using sex toys, inquire about the materials they use and, better yet, go green.
- Getting Used to Your Sex Toy: Although using your sex toy may feel extremely pleasurable, overusing sex toys or its exclusive usage may lead to the body’s anticipated sexual response to them, thus getting your body used to reaching an orgasm, for instance, by only using a sex toy. Sex toys can complement your sex life but should not define it.
If you have a sex toy, use it without shame as an ally to expand your sexual horizons. As previously discussed, sex toys can enhance your libido and your sexual experience; therefore, their use can lead to a very pleasurable experience. As with any sexual experience, be aware of the benefits and avoid the risks. There are lots of alternatives on the market that allow you to shop for what you want, within your budget, privately and at your discretion. Enjoy!
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