Women who take a positive view of their vibrator use may get a boost to their sex lives, according to a new survey.
The survey of more than 3,000 Americans found that most people feel positively about women using vibrators.
And it overturned one common belief that men are threatened or intimidated by sex toys.
The survey of men and women ages 18 to 60 is the first to examine beliefs about vibrators, said lead researcher Debra Herbenick, an associate director at Indiana University’s Centre for Sexual Health Promotion.
Participants were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with positive beliefs (a vibrator “makes it easier for a woman to have an orgasm,” for example, and “is a healthy part of many women’s sex lives”) and negative beliefs (such as, a vibrator “makes women too dependent on them for pleasure” and “is intimidating to women’s partners”).
Roughly half of the participants “agreed” or “strongly agreed” with all positive beliefs about vibrators, while fewer than 10 percent of participants endorsed negative beliefs.
Women with positive beliefs who had used vibrators in the past 30 days reported higher levels of arousal, lubrication, orgasm and sexual satisfaction, and lower levels of pain during sex, than those with positive beliefs who hadn’t used the sex toys as recently.
The researchers are not entirely sure how vibrator use improves sexual function, Herbenick said.
Women who feel better about their bodies and sex in general may be more likely to use vibrators, or there could be something specific about vibrator use itself that contributes to better sex.
“It’s probably a little bit of both,” Herbenick told LiveScience.
The study was published online Sept. 30 in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy.