Prevalence, comfort with, & characteristics of sex toy use in a US convenience sample
Although Herbenick and her colleagues have presented findings on vibrator use among different demographic groups in a US national sample (e.g., Herbenick et al, 2009, 2010; Reece et al, 2009), and Döring and Poeschl (2020) have presented on findings on use of a broader range of sex toys from a German national sample, little is known about the prevalence and characteristics of users of a broad range of sex toys in the US. We collected survey data from a sample of Americans (n = 371) using Reddit.com and our university's Communications Center to solicit participation. We used survey questions from Döring & Poeschl (2020) to assess sex toy use, and added questions regarding either comfort with use of sex toys (for those who reported that they have used toys) or perceived comfort if they have not used toys, but were open to doing so in the future. We also asked about perceived positive and negative effects of toy use, as well as a number of possible predictors of use including personality (Introversion and Openness), sexuality (Sexual Esteem and Sexual Permissiveness), and mental health and trauma-related experiences (sexual assault, sex problems/dysfunctions, being diagnosed with PTSD). Data that were collected in 2020 are currently being analyzed as part of the co-author's senior honors thesis. Implications for sexual health will be discussed in terms of the Positive Sexuality and Positive Technology frameworks.