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Published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy in 2011 a survey which polled more than 2000 women and 1000 men aged between 18-60 years found that most men viewed their partner’s vibrator use as healthy and 82% agreed that it enhanced their sexual relationship.
However 35% felt their partner was too dependant on their sex toys for pleasure, 25% found their partner’s sex toy use embarrassing and 30% admitted to feeling intimidated by a woman who owned a sex toy.
Vibrator anxiety is real, with men believing that their partner’s vibrator will replace them and is often attributed to traditional rigid expectations surrounding gender roles. Being able to make a woman orgasm is seen as a sign of masculine achievement and the more masculine a man is, the more women have orgasms with him, which, many women will know, simply is not true.
Genital self esteem is another issue. Even though numerous surveys show that women aren’t concerned about how big their partner’s penis is, many men worry about their size, girth, ability to have and maintain an erection and ejaculating too quickly.
A study of over 14,000 men and women by Dr Kristen Mark, Assistant professor of Health Promotion at University of Kentucky, revealed that it’s not about your size, but what you do with it. He found that 45% of men wanted a bigger penis, yet 66% of all respondents agreed that size didn’t matter, whereas performance and creativity did
These fears can erode men’s confidence in their sexual performance, especially when faced with a vibrator designed to sexually stimulate in a way they are unable to.
Yet we know that sex toys can solve the orgasm gap. Research published in a 2017 Archives of Sexual Behaviour study found that only 65% of heterosexual women said they usually or always had an orgasm during sex compared to 95% of men. 70% of women orgasm through clitoral stimulation, which is often lacking during penetrative sex which is why using a small bullet style sex toy during intercourse can help a woman to orgasm or when incorporated into foreplay.
Research by Kinsey (2014) found that gay women orgasmed more often than their straight friends. Research by Nichols (2013) found that heterosexual women don’t expect to have an orgasm, while women in gay relationships expect to orgasm every time. So if the expectation is that both partners will orgasm, time and effort is spent during foreplay and oral sex to make sure it happens.
Many women would love to try a sex toy but do not want to upset their partner so continue to miss out on enjoying orgasms or use their sex toy in secret. This can lead to feeling of guilt on their part and decreased sexual satisfaction when they have sexual intercourse with their partner because they know if they could use their sex toy during intercourse they would orgasm.
This can also go the other way with men wishing to incorporate a sex toy into their relationship but are worried about offending their female partner.
You may discover that she has been faking her orgasms because she is unable to have an orgasm during penetrative sex. Many women fake their orgasms to make their partner feel better or to end sex faster, yet this benefits no one. They continue to feel frustrated and the man believes he is giving her an orgasm when he is not!
Women need to be honest with their partners and stop faking their orgasms too. There are many reasons why women struggle to orgasm including lack of knowledge about how to have an orgasm, lack of clitoral stimulation during intercourse, side effects of medication, medical treatments or conditions and often using a sex toy can help them to enjoy pleasurable orgasms.
This is a great idea and can help to dispel any feeling of inadequacy, especially as many sex toys do not look like a penis. Any man who has an issue with a small bullet style vibrator has bigger problems about his own genital self esteem and should seek psychosexual therapy.
If it is a huge realistic penis shaped sex toy, feeling anxious is completely understandable and perhaps your partner is searching for something you may not be able to offer. If she wants a partner with a larger penis, you can try using constriction rings which can make erections feel bigger and last longer too.
However, the design of many sex toys has shifted away from phallic, penis shaped products to beautifully crafted sex toys that don’t even look like a traditional sex toy which all go a long way to easing anxiety in men as there is nothing to compare their penis with.
Most men are happy to incorporate sex toys into their sex play when they realise that they are not being replaced! Watching your partner use their sex toy can be arousing and a great way to learn how they enjoy being touched and how you can bring them to orgasm. Men need guidance in how to stimulate women so they enjoy better sexual stimulation and more frequent orgasms.
By improving your sexual technique, you may find that your partner doesn’t need to use her sex toy every time you have sex, especially if you are able to give her an orgasm. It may be something you leave in the bedside drawer and use when the need takes you.
Have fun using it on the end of your penis, you’ll quickly realise how pleasurable it feels and what it can do for your partner too. Encourage them to use it during foreplay or intercourse, especially if it is a small clitoral stimulator you can slip between you.
Using sex toys can benefit your own sexual pleasure as women who masturbate in partnered relationships report higher levels of sexual satisfaction and more frequent intercourse.
Studies conducted at Indiana University in USA in 2009 found that vibrator use is associated with improved sexual function, satisfaction and frequency of orgasms and being more proactive about sexual health.
Despite the media reporting of the rise of sex robots and orgasm machines, we still have a long way to go to discover ways to replace the experience of having sex.
Women have been using sex toys for many years, yet still pursue relationships with men.
Sex toys are fun, increase your sexual pleasure and make your sex life more adventurous. However, your sex life and sexual relationship is much more than a physical act, it is about intimacy, something you can never replace with a sex toy.
So overcome your vibrator fear, talk to your partner about her sex toy, understand why she likes using it and perhaps even buy one for yourself. After all she is having lots of fun, and so should you!