What's the Buzz? The Science Behind the #1 Sex Toy

Sex toys enhance desire and pleasure.

Posted Nov 29, 2010

The goal of my blog is to provide scientifically-based information to help you decrease your stress and enhance your sex life. My last blog post focused on store-bought products that that had been shown in research to enhance sex drive and pleasure. I limited my review to products that had been shown in randomized clinical trials with control groups to enhance sexual desire and satisfaction. Three products met my criteria: Zestra, Argin-Max, and A Tired Woman's Guide to Passionate Sex. I didn't include vibrators, even though studies have found them to be associated with greater sexual functioning. I excluded them only because research on their effectiveness can't be conducted using control groups. So, for this blog, my focus is on vibrators--another for-sale product with scientific evidence supporting its positive effects on sex.

A recent study, conducted by researcher, author, and fellow Psychology Today blogger Debby Herbenick asked 2,000 women about their vibrator use. More than half said they used vibrators.

If this is threatening to your partner, and it sometimes is for male partners, remind him of your physiology--women's orgasm hot button is the clitoris. As Joan Price eloquently suggests in her blog, "Point out to him where his penis contacts you during intercourse vs. where your clitoris resides. And when he arouses you manually, which I hope he does, point out that he's less likely to get carpal tunnel syndrome from your long arousal time if he incorporates a vibrator..."

 Along with increasing pleasure, vibrators also increase sexual desire. The explanation I give for this in my book, A Tired Woman's Guide to Passionate Sex (which itself has been shown by research to increase sexual desire and arousal) is novelty. Doing something new and interesting is exciting and motivating. Think about when you were little and received a new toy. You were excited to play with it! The same is true for sex toys: each time you get a new one, you will be eager to give it a try! In fact, perhaps that is why sex devices are called toys: they make us want to play more.