OFF THE GRID

Do You Use a Vibrator?

Jul 1, 09 | 9:29 AM   byMichael Wolff
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Apparently half of adult Americans use vibrators, according to a new study. That does not mean that women use vibrators and men don’t. Rather it’s 50% of women and 45% of men. Although, according to the study, “most” heterosexual men use a vibrator on women, who one might suppose are already in that slightly more than 50% category. Only 17% of men use it on themselves for “solo masturbation,” according to the report, which is more or less what masturbation is.

The vibrator survey was underwritten by Church and Dwight Co. Inc., who I would have sworn made a fine gentleman’s shoe, but who make Trojan condoms, which now seem to be called “sexual health products.” Church and Dwight, which, in addition to manufacturing Arm & Hammer (the company is the leader in bicarbonate technologies) and Aim toothpaste (which I use), also makes vibrating cock rings, which perhaps explains why the vibrator usage numbers among men are so surprising. Of further note, infomercial king Billy Mays was Church and Dwight’s main pitchman, though I don’t know if he ever pitched a cock ring—and both his death, this week, and the vibrator use survey made it to Newser’s most popular story list.

The report on the study—which is published by the Journal of Sexual Medicine, which may be a fine publication but whose link is currently broken—comes via the website LiveScience and is sketchy about the exact universe here. So it could be that old people and married people who haven’t had sex in an eon are included in the half of all Americans who don’t use a vibrator. If so, that would pretty much mean that everybody who does have sex does it with a sex aid, which does seem pretty noteworthy.

But, come to think of it, many people who don’t have sex with other people obviously would use a vibrator—that it is actually designed for people who don’t have sex with other people. So, rather, it could mean that half the nation has a sexual dysfunction and needs a peculiar noise and unnerving and rapid mechanical oscillations to make it work, while, at least as remarkably, half of the nation, an unheralded tantric half, exists in a state of effortless sexual satisfaction.

Still, if half of all American adults use one, that’s a tipping point, and one ought to know scads of people and their vibrator brands and regimens and techniques, and there ought to be some second- or third-rate celebrities on the morning shows talking about their preferences, and some memoirs and how-to books. So perhaps it is one of those sex survey anomalies wherein people think they should be claiming they are up-to-the-minute in terms of sexual predilections and technology.

Anyway, nothing like a questionable study to get the conversation going.

More of Newser founder Michael Wolff's articles and commentary can be found at VanityFair.com, where he writes a regular column. He can be emailed at michael@newser.com.
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