Now, don’t worry (and release your pearls); this isn’t a kinky post about sex talk or anything. Well, mostly. It’s just that there’s this decidedly interesting infographic containing information gleaned from research into Americans’ sex lives and their usage of sex toys, and it contains certain findings that I think are worth knowing and discussing. I won’t post the graphic here as A) it’s too big, and B) contains imagery that may loosely qualify as NSFW. (And I wouldn’t want anyone to lose their jobs because they were caught checking out a graphic about how folks use kinky instruments, now would I? You’re welcome.)
For starters, the graph contains this revealing bit of info:
Women who report masturbating score higher on a self-esteem index than women who do not report masturbating. Women who masturbate have a more positive body image and less sexual anxiety.
I hope I don’t need to point out how these are obviously averages, not applicable to every individual. But nonetheless, this sort of thing is pretty commonsensical, and I think it applies about equally to both women and men. People who masturbate tend to be more open and accepting towards sexuality (others’ and especially their own), which in itself is indicative of possessing more confidence in themselves and in their sexual identity. Whereas, folks who refuse to masturbate and deny their own sexual impulses tend to do so because of irrational and repressive social stigmas – “Eww, masturbation is icky and pervy!” – and therefore often feel shame and longing regarding solo sexual satisfaction.
This sort of thing is why it’s so important to keep harping on about sexual education and teaching people from a young age onwards: There is nothing gross or wrong about masturbation (as long as you do it privately, of course), and in fact, it should be encouraged for the sake of sexual exploration and self-discovery. (And, of course, sexual release.) It’s parents who discourage children and teenagers from trying it out on their own who should be reprimanded, and not the other way around.
This one is also amusing and telling whilst being perfectly evident:
20% of men report using a vibrator.
There’s way too much irrational pressure against males using sexual toys, particularly anal instruments, because it’s somehow a “gay” or “unmanly” thing to do (in addition to the usual “icky” and “pervy” complaints, of course). This is just stupid; a guy who pleases himself through the backdoor is no more or less heterosexual or homosexual for doing so. It’s just a great way to experience sexual pleasure, and frankly, having some small amount of experience in the matter myself (but don’t tell my parents!), I think that it’s something every sexually secure guy should at least experiment with at least once. You may very well be surprised by the results. (As long as it’s done correctly, that is. Otherwise can be one heck of an unpleasant experience.)
To end in style with a larf: Whilst Alaska may be the state that buys the most sex toys per capita (you’d think the cold would discourage them), did you know that …
Missisippi[sic] buys more Anal Toys per capita than any other state.
Alabama is the only state where a law prohibiting the sale of sex toys remain[sic] on the books.
Anyone who knows basic southern US geography can probably find a great deal of ironic amusement in this little factoid. I’ll let you come up with your quips; my mind just crashed from snark overload.