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Debunking Myths about Sex Toys

Did you know that the first vibrator was actually created as a medical treatment for “hysteria” in women?

Although it’s hard to believe, the vibrator first came into use in the conservative Victorian era as a treatment administered by doctors to female patients who suffered from so-called hysteria. Essentially, hysteria was an umbrella diagnosis of the day that doctors used for women who suffered from a variety of emotional ailments ranging from depression to anxiety and beyond. Sadly, many women who suffered from legitimate emotional and psychological issues were often patronized or overlooked by the medical community of the era.

However, some good did arise from the medical use of the vibrator. For women of the Victorian period who did not have access to sexual education, it could have been the first time that many of them even experienced an orgasm! Back then, discussion of foreplay and the importance of female sexual pleasure was nonexistent, so for these patients, reaching orgasm and enjoying sexual satisfaction might have actually created positive effects for them mentally and physically.

Thankfully, over the years, the diagnosis of hysteria (along with its many treatments) diminished.  Vibrators, however, have not gone away. Even though women now have access to all the sexual information and education they desire, there are still many misconceptions and myths when it comes to sex toys, including:

Sex-toy use is rare. No way! Many people use sex toys, whether they are men or women or singles or couples. In fact, a study I performed with found that 44% of women between the ages of 18 and 60 have used a sex toy.

Sex toys are for singles. When most people think of sex toys, they tend to imagine single people who use vibrators to help spice up their Saturday nights. But, the exact opposite is true! In our study, we discovered that women who are in relationships are most likely to own and use sex toys. In fact, 78% of women who use or have used a sex toy reported being in a relationship. Additionally, a recent Durex study found that close to 25% of people have used sex toys with their partners.

Use of sex toys means something is lacking in the bedroom. Again, the exact opposite is true. Our study found that women who use sex toys report greater sexual satisfaction and orgasm ability than women who do not. Additionally, recent research from the Kinsey Institute found that women who use vibrators were more likely to have visited their ob-gyn in the past 12 months and also reported higher levels of desire, arousal, lubrication, and orgasm.

The good news is that more and more people are embracing sex toys and sexual exploration.  And, as seen from the incredible popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey and other books, sexual exploration can also extend to literary erotica and fantasy. 

As the popularity of sex aids increases and more people explore their sexual desires, sexual satisfaction and pleasure will only continue to grow.


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