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Health & Sex

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Sex Toys More Common in Women in Relationships

Not Viewed as Substitute for Partner, Survey Shows
WebMD Health News

Oct. 7, 2004 - Nearly half of adult women currently use sex toys or have tried them in the past, research shows. And women in relationships are even more likely to use them.

The report comes from Chicago's Berman Center. Directed by sex therapist Laura Berman, LCSW, PhD, the center focuses on women's sexual health and menopause.

The online study, funded by an unrestricted educational grant from, was conducted by Knowledge Networks for the Berman Center. The results were presented at the Women's Sexual Health State-of the-Art Series conference in Chicago.

A random sample of almost 2,600 women aged 18 to 60 were invited to participate in the survey. About 1,600 agreed to complete the survey, answering questions about their relationship status and use of sex toys.

According to the survey:

  • Forty-four percent said they currently use a sex toy or had done so in the past. The most commonly used sex toy was a vibrator.
  • Young women aged 25-34 were the most likely to have ever used a sex toy, with 51% of participants in that age group reporting current or past sex toy use.
  • Women aged 55-60 were just as likely to have tried a sex toy at some point in their lives. However, they were half as likely as younger women to currently use sex toys.

Most current or past sex toy users were in relationships and said they did not view the devices as a substitute for a partner.

  • Of unmarried women living with their partners, 43% said they currently used sex toys, and 17% said they had used them in the past.
  • Among women in relationships who were not living with their partners, 35% said they currently used sex toys, and 21% said they had done so in the past.

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