Vibrators, Buttplugs, and Dildos: Not Just for Women


Commonly thought of as a woman’s joy – the use of sex toys has become increasingly acknowledged in the scientific literature. This literature has opened our eyes to know that, yes, women use them. They use them alone and they use them with both male and female partners. However, research on sex toy use has also recently found that women aren’t the common denominator in sex toy use. It seems sexual pleasure is the common thread found in those who use sex toys…and it doesn’t matter your gender…sex toys are popular among anyone looking for a little extra sexual pleasure in their life.

The Study

A study was recently published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior by Rosenberger and colleagues from the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University that documented sex toy use by gay and bisexual men in the United States.

The Sample

The researchers recruited their sample from an Internet site that is popular among men who seek social or sexual interactions with other men. The website allowed the researchers to send an email to all registered users from the United States at the time of the study. Using this method, the researchers successfully reached 25,257 men to include in their sample.

The Toy Details

Participants were asked to indicate whether they had ever used one of the following: vibrator, dildo, butt plug, anal beads, sleeve, cock ring. The study found that 78.5% of the men surveyed reported having used at least one of those at some point in their life.

  • 62% of the men used dildos
  • 52% of the men used non-vibrating cock rings
  • 50% of the men used vibrators
  • 34% of the men used butt plugs
  • 28% of the men used masturbation sleeves
  • 19% of the men used anal beads or balls

The researchers also assessed the participants’ perceptions of the sex toys, and perceptions were quite positive, with participants indicating they considered the toys pleasurable with a partner and during masturbation.

In terms of the sample, men who use social networking sites to find sexual partners may not represent all gay and bisexual men in the United States. So there could certainly be limitations with generalizing these findings to all bisexual or gay identified men in the United States, but thankfully this study doesn’t claim to do that. It does It gives us insight into the sex toy use of gay and bisexual men – a sample often ignored in previous sex toy research.

This post was originally on Kinsey Confidential.


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