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Sexual Health & Wellness
Media Contact: Camilla Lombard
Who's Afraid of a Vibrator? Not Him!
Study Reports Higher Sexual Satisfaction by Women Who Use Vibrators, and Less Trepidation by Male Partners
San Francisco, CA -- (November 2nd, 2011): Esteemed researcher Debra Herbenick’s new study about vibrator use reveals a surprising new trend: most men and women feel positively about women's vibrator use, and this positive attitude paired with recent experience with vibrators is associated with higher sexual satisfaction and sexual function. While this research represents a recent breakthrough in knowledge, Good Vibrations, the pioneering San Francisco-based company that takes pride in providing accurate information on sexuality and toys for grown-ups, has supported this notion for 34 years.
Herbenick, an associate director at Indiana University’s Center for Sexual Health Promotion, examined the attitudes of 2,056 women and 1,047 men ages 18 to 60 in the first study of its kind. The implications are encouraging: the long-held stereotype of a man intimidated by his partner’s vibrator may finally be put to rest. In response to the statement that vibrators are intimidating to women’s partners, 70 percent of men disagreed or strongly disagreed, while just 63% of women disagreed or strongly disagreed.
Interestingly, women whose beliefs about vibrators were negative did not receive the same benefit to overall sexual function even when they used one. Herbenick explained to Live Science, "It wasn't bad for [sexual function], it just didn't have the same benefits. The finding should guide health care providers, who might be reading in journals or hearing at conferences that vibrator use is helpful, to recommend for anything from difficulty with orgasm to low desire, that it's not as simple as telling a woman, 'You should go use a vibrator.' …They probably need to provide some education and reassurance that this is a common part of women's sexuality so that women who have never used them before or who have certain ideas about vibrator use can feel more positive about it before actually using them."
When sex therapist and educator Joani Blank began Good Vibrations in 1977 as a resource especially for pre-orgasmic women, vibrators were still termed "marital aids" and were relatively taboo. It was impossible to anticipate that by the turn of the century vibrators would be featured on major television shows, in catalogs for ordinary household goods, and accepted as part of the popular culture. The shift evidenced by this study reflects the progress made by Good Vibrations and the sex-positive movement in the last 34 years.
Education has always been a cornerstone of the Good Vibrations philosophy. The goal of educating women about their bodies required educating the store staff in a level of sophistication that is still unmatched. Good Vibrations coined the term “SESA,” Sex Educator/Sales Associate, and pioneered a rigorous training model. To obtain the title of SESA, staffers must go through a series of classes and more than 20 hours of education on all things sex-related. Employees are also part of a continuing education program to keep them updated on products, materials, health issues and more. Good Vibrations is the only retailer in the country who requires that their staff members complete this extensive training in order to be allowed on the sales floor or on the customer service phone line. Information about how to choose a vibrator can be found on their website, goodvibes.com.
Dr. Carol Queen, Good Vibrations Staff Sexologist, is not surprised by Herbenick's findings. "Men may be concerned about vibrator use by female partners in the abstract, before they have had a girlfriend or spouse who's a vibe aficionado," she says, "but then they realize what a delight and an intimate bonding experience it is to partner with a woman who's comfortable with her sexuality. When couples use vibrators together, both can benefit."
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