Happy New Year Nebraska! Here's to hoping you had a safe, consensual and pleasurable holiday season.
The questions have started rolling in and I'm ready to dig into your sex questions! Given that Valentine's Day is just around the corner, I figured this would be a great question to start with.
Christopher M. Fisher is an assistant professor in the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Director of the Midlands Sexual Health Research Collaborative. He blogs monthly for livewellnebraska.com.
“I was pretty offended when my wife asked for a sex toy for Christmas. I know she was joking but it made me think she's unhappy with our sex life. Am I overthinking this? Are sex toys OK for relationships? Should I give it a shot?”
YES! You should give it a shot! OK, that's my own humble opinion. There's a lot of stigma attached to sex toys and I think this question highlights the biggest one: if your partner wants to introduce a sex toy, then you must not be satisfying them. Not true. Though, I do not recommend surprising your partner with a toy until you talk.
Sex toys (not just dildos and vibrators by the way; Google it if you need to expand your horizons) have been around since the beginning of recorded time.
And it's understandable why. According to some great research out of Indiana University, we now know that sex toy use in America is way more common that perhaps many thought. More than 52 percent of women and 43 percent of men have reported sex toy use in their lifetime (ages 18 to 60).
There have been some great links to overall health associated with sex toy use. Men who have used a sex toy (with or without a partner) are more likely to have preformed testicular self-examines, important especially for younger men for catching testicular cancer early. Women were more likely to report improved desire and ease of orgasm as well as general sexual function.
The question, “is it OK?” typically is really asking, “is it normal and healthy?”
Based on the research it is normal and it can be healthy. Researchers from the same study suggested that sex toy use is ultimately tied to an increased comfort with one's body (and their partner's) and indicates a greater likelihood of communication.
The best thing for your sex life? COMMUNICATE! Talk to your partner, learn what they like, what their fantasies are, and realize these are not one-time conversations. Our desires change over time – so keep talking!
If you want to learn more about sex toys, what's available and how to incorporate it into your sex life, I recommend visiting a reputable store. There are several in the Omaha area and across the state. For example, Lover Luxuries in Benson has a well-lit and open atmosphere, a selection that includes many items highly recommended by sex therapists and educators and well trained staff that can answer all kinds of questions.
Generally speaking, sex toy stores are getting better and better at having an educated staff, a nice atmosphere and a good selection. (Note: I have no financial relationships with any sex toy store or the industry.)
So Nebraska, let's keep this conversation about sex going! Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here's to your good sexual health! And have a happy Valentine's Day!