sol-woman-in-bed


Vibrator Safety, Common Myths, and the Efficacy of Sex Toys

Sex toy safety is one of the most important parts of purchasing a pleasure toy. Will it shock me? Is it made of harmful materials? How do I know which products are top-of-the-line, high-quality sex toys? What are some keywords that I should look for?

Since the first hand-cranked vibrator was introduced in the 1800s, to the battery-powered vibrators of the 1970s, safety regulations have never played a role in the adult novelty or sex toy market. This continues today. Currently, there are no government regulations to control or rate for vibrator safety—it is up to consumers to educate themselves on what they find most important when purchasing products involved in their sexuality.

Vibrator Safety Information

With vibrators sold in thousands of online retailers and national chains such as Wal-Mart, 7-Eleven, and CVS around America, sex toy injuries are on the rise. An estimated 6,800 people showed up in U.S. hospitals between 1995 and 2006 with a “sex toy emergency,” according to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. Most often, these visits were people in their thirties who needed help retrieving their vibrator or dildo. Since sex toys are often marketed as “novelty devices” instead of legitimate sexual wellness tools to enhance your overall health, they aren’t subject to government regulation.

Safety concerns have emerged over phthalates—chemicals found in sex toys and other products to soften plastic and increase flexibility. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, research suggests a lifetime exposure to these chemicals may potentially cause cancer and harm the reproductive system, testes, and liver. Also, chrome or fake metal finishes found on many vibrators sold today are used to dress up cheaper metals or plastic. Shoddily made products such as these are prone to chipping and peeling—the last thing you want to happen when using a pleasure toy.

Also, another vibrator material to stay clear of is “off-gassing.” If a product has a pungent chemical odor, it’s probably releasing potential toxins that could cause a reaction. Finally, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is an inexpensive material that contains phthalates. PVC is typically porous, causing it to deteriorate rapidly, and is highly unhygienic.

So what should you look for to ensure you are purchasing a safe sex toy for you and your partner? 

These features and benefits are essential when selecting a product to put on the most sensitive parts of your body:

Body-Safe Vibrator Materials: No phthalates, nickel, lead, or other harmful chemicals.
Satisfaction Guaranteed: Look for at least a one-year warranty to ensure ultimate satisfaction and dependability. Higher-quality productions will provide this option to their customers.
Information Manual: Top-of-the-line vibrators will provide thorough user manuals that outline proper use, case, and cleaning of your pleasure toy. Not only will you have a safer, carefree experience, you will extend the vibrator’s life span.
Quality Control: Sex toy companies that genuinely care about their customers will be transparent about their standards. Look on the packaging before you purchase your product for trusted third-party testing that ensures the company has adhered to safety and reliability guidelines, such as the CE, RoHs, TUVRhenland, FCC, and ETL.
Waterproof: 100 percent waterproof sex toys, made with nonporous materials are the easiest to thoroughly clean in order to ensure a hygienic and clean vibrator at all times.
Credible Reviews: Before you make reservations at a restaurant or find a new dentist, most likely you are checking online reviews to see what other credible sources or your peers had to say. Keep this same practice in mind when shopping for a vibrator. Make sure the products you are considering have been well-reviewed by legitimate sources like Women’s Health and received accolades and awards for quality and innovation like the annual “O” Awards.

Common Myths about Vibrators

According to a recent nationally representative survey by University of Indiana researchers, 53 percent of American women have used a sex toy. However, due to a lack of education in the marketplace, some women are fearful for one reason or another to use a vibrator, and many partners wonder what it means when their significant other starts using a vibrator. Here are some common myths associated with vibrators and the truth provided by many reputable sources:

Myth: Battery-powered vibrators will provide the best bang for my buck.

Truth: While marketers talk about things like “powerful motors” and “whisper quiet operation,” the truth is that whether it’s a $10 throwaway or a $200 premium vibrator, most battery-powered devices use the same rotary vibration motor, which makes all of these devices feel the same when the lights are turned off. Almost all personal massagers on the market use the same class of vibrating motors that usually perform very poorly. The best vibrators have a resonating, linear motor that provides a broad range of vibration with more power. This is the most reliable and efficient type of vibrator currently on the market.

Myth: Vibrators are unnatural.

Truth: Think of other erotic enhancements that are commonplace today—lingerie, perfume, music, candlelight, or lubricant. Vibrators are as natural as any of these intimate tools, which we don’t think twice about purchasing and using today.

Myth: If women need vibrators to enjoy sex and have orgasms, there’s something wrong with their partner.

Truth: Every woman is different—some require the intense stimulation a vibrator provides. According to Dr. Pepper Schwartz of the University of Washington, couples should discuss the kinds of erotic play they enjoy, and coach each other about what turns them on. Men should understand that only 25 percent of women are consistently orgasmic solely from vaginal intercourse. This is because it doesn’t provide much direct stimulation of the clitoris, which sits outside the vagina and above it, nestled beneath the top junction of the vaginal lips. To enjoy orgasm, three-quarters of women need direct clitoral stimulation from fingers, a tongue, or a vibrator

[1].

Myth: If women need vibrators to orgasm, there’s something wrong with them.

Truth: Some women just need more intense stimulation. Contrary to what many believed to be a “masturbatory machine” for “sexually dysfunctional females” in the Journal of Popular Culture back in 1974, something once taboo has become commonplace.[2] Researchers at the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University concluded that 93 percent of women who used vibrators agreed that they are part of a healthy sex life.[3] This is further illustrated by highly renowned sex therapists recommending a vibrator as part of the learning process of how to become orgasmic.

Myth: Vibrators make women unable to orgasm naturally without them.

Truth: The body responds to erotic stimulation no matter where it comes from: fingers, penis, tongue, or a vibrator. According to Dr. Pepper Schwartz, vibrators can help many women, especially over the age of fifty, achieve natural lubrication and orgasms faster, but they will never take away the intimacy you can achieve with a live partner. In fact, the Journal of Sexual Medicine survey concluded that men and women that used a vibrator scored higher on sexual pleasure scales that measured arousal, orgasm, lubrication, pain, and erectile dysfunction than those that had never used one.[4]

The Efficacy of Vibrators

In the book Becoming Orgasmic: A Sexual and Personal Growth Program for Women, females with the inability to orgasm are encouraged to “feel comfortable enough to explore vibrators as another means of learning about [themselves].”[5] It is frequent for sex therapists, couples counselors, and gynecologists to recommend vibrators as a viable treatment to help women with anorgasmia, female arousal disorder, or any other sexual problems. However, not all vibrators are created equal[6].

Vibrators vary greatly in terms of power and features, and this degree of variation is important to take into consideration. For instance, if you are a woman of a certain age or postmenopausal, you will need a vibrator with more power and endurance than say, a twenty-something would. The core value of vibrators is vibration, yet many brands in the marketplace seem to not be competing on vibration—rather, they focus on price, packaging, color, and shape. It’s important for consumers to value a premium device that uses a linear resonating motor, which is very reliable, simple, power efficient, and controlled by a microcontroller. Not only are these vibrators reliable, but consumers have found this new class of vibrators to provide superior sensation paired with exceptional performance to the most sensitive places on the body.

The best, most-trusted vibrators on the market provide a broad range of speeds and different options to discover and customize your experience.

Conclusion

Currently, it is up to consumers to research and discern what the best and most-trusted vibrator is between thousands of different options currently available. Evaluating the safety of the product—looking at everything from materials to expert and consumer reviews to evaluating the efficacy of pleasure products—is essential. The more informed consumers are when purchasing a vibrator, the more satisfied they will be overall. Consumers owe it to themselves to choose a credible, high-value vibrator to complement their intimate experiences. Value yourself and choose products that promote relaxation, rejuvenation, and a connection to the world. Seek out companies that are constantly investing in innovation and improving their safety standards. Vibrators made by companies that care are vibrators you can trust—both in and out of the bedroom.

Learn more about vibrator safety by downloading our whitepaper: 
Body-Safe Vibrators

[1] Castleman, Michael “Vibrators: Myths vs. Truth,” Psychology Today, February 15, 2011 (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/all-about-sex/201102/vibrators-myths-vs-truth).

[2] Kelly, Edward. “A New Image for the Naughty Dildo?” Journal of Popular Culture, Volume VII, Issue 4, p.805, 1974.

[3] Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University, “Trojan® Vibrator Study,” 2009 (http://www.trojanvibrations.com/category/trust-trojan/vibrator-study.do).

[4] Reece, M., D. Herbenick, V. Schick, S. Sanders, B. Dodge, and J. D. Fortenberry, “Sexual Behaviors, Relationships, and Perceived Health among Adult Women in the United States: Results from a National Probability Sample,” Journal of Sexual Medicine, p. 341, 2009.

[5] Heiman, Julia R., Becoming Orgasmic: A Sexual and Personal Growth Program for Women.” New York: Touchstone Paperback, 1987.

[6] Prause, N., V. Roberts, M. Legarretta, and L. Rigney Cox. “Clinical and Research Concerns with Vibratory Stimulation: A Review and Pilot Study of Common Stimulation Devices,” Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 2012.