The ‘rabbit’ habit
The development of rubber and latex in the 1950s may have been a small step for mankind, but it was a giant leap for sex toys. “Long gone [were] the days when clinicians and therapists would only recommend vibrators and other sexual enhancements for those dealing with special circumstances,” said Yvonne K. Fulbright, PhD, sexologist and author of The Better Sex Guide To Extraordinary Lovemaking. “Vibrators are for any adult, and for a whole slew of reasons.
The marriage of sexual education and technology paved the way from some truly remarkable advances in sexual pleasure. Today’s sex toys are multi-functional, like the famed Rabbit, which provides women with internal and external simulation, and comes with all sorts of nifty features. At Babeland, there’s actually a vibrator that’s sound-activated and can pick up the cadence of music or your partner’s voice to vibrate accordingly. Classic dildo-style toys aren’t waning in popularity, either. Babeland even sells a polished Norwegian moonstone dildo for those of you seeking to get off like our ancestors did.
Despite the democratization of sex toys, Fulbright noted the research on users “is still wanting;” although, I’m pretty confident no one is buying the Hitachi Magic Wand for use in a fertility ceremony. “Most women buy vibrators for themselves,” Fulbright said. “Research out of the Kinsey Institute indicates that the most popular reasons are for fun, curiosity, to spice up sex lives, to make it easier to have an orgasm, or to please a partner eager to try one. Interestingly, lesbians are likelier to start using a vibrator in hopes that their partner will have an orgasm more readily.”
On the other hand, “almost 60% of male vibrator users purchase toys for their sexual partners to use, while 13% buy vibrators for themselves. The most common reasons that men buy vibrators are quite similar to women’s: they want to have fun, spice up their sex lives, enhance their female partners’ pleasure and orgasmic potential, and to accommodate their partners’ desire to try them.”
We have come full-circle in how we think about sex toys, and in the best way possible. While you no longer need a doctor to sign off on a “pelvic manipulation,” we tend to evaluate sexual health at least partially by our ability to experience pleasure. The same could be said for mental health and health in general. Now if only we could get insurance to cover sex toys, then we’d be in really great shape.
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Julia Reiss is a writer and standup comedian who plans to use her vibrator as a tax write-off this year. Follow her on Twitter: @thereisspiece.