Best Sex Machine
Adult toys are becoming more popular. Research suggests that as more individuals (and couples) seek more intimate technology, taboos around vibrators and other devices designed to increase personal or mutual pleasure are disappearing.
Enhancing physical pleasure undoubtedly enhances sexual enjoyment as well. But how does the use of sex toys affect the satisfaction each partner derives from the overall relationship? Some new research on the prevalence and demographics of sex toy use sheds light on this question -- and the results suggest that pleasure in bed and pleasure in relationships may vary slightly by gender.
A large, nationally representative study led by Dr. Michael Reece examined vibrator use among heterosexual men in the United States. Interestingly, heterosexual men who had used sex toys with their partners reported lower sexual satisfaction than men who had never used sex toys with their partners. The researchers aren't sure why this group is less satisfied. But given that most heterosexual men who use vibrators with their partners report doing so to increase their partner's pleasure (rather than their own), it's possible that sexual satisfaction in these men didn't change after the vibrator was introduced and may have been lower to begin with.
That is, some heterosexual men who use a vibrator with their partner (either because they are advised to do so or because they believe it will enhance their partner's sexual enjoyment) may feel that using a vibrator has a negative effect on their own sexual ability. If that's the case, then it makes sense that their sexual satisfaction remains low. (No one likes to feel bad in bed.)
The idea that "using a sex toy means your partner is not a good enough lover is one of the most common misconceptions about sex toys," says sex expert Kat Van Kirk, Ph.D. "One partner may also worry that the other will replace them by using sex toys, or that they will become overly dependent on these toys for sexual arousal and/or orgasm."
All of this is not to say that every man who uses a vibrator with his partner is at risk of low self-esteem or dissatisfaction. Other studies have found that men who use vibrators regularly (on themselves, on their partners, or both) score higher on erectile function, orgasm function, libido, and sexual satisfaction than men who rarely or never use vibrators.