With May being designated Masturbation Month, We-Vibe’s PR company conducted a survey of 600 adults aged 20-70 from the US which looked at their masturbation attitudes and habits. The headline stats, along with an infographic, were then pitched to mainstream media outlets, and Men’s Fitness, Bustle, Glamour, and Men’s Health magazines all immediately ran the story.
The study revealed that 85% say they are more comfortable talking about masturbation in general now than they have been in the past, as they consider it “less taboo”, largely due to TV, movies, and the easy availability of information via Google and online search. 69% of respondents said they have talked about masturbating with a friend or group of friends (32% frequently and 63% just a few times), and millennials were far more comfortable speaking about it than older generations: 85% of millennials (aged 22-34) reported talking about masturbation with friends, compared to only 65% of Gen-Xers, and men were more likely to talk about masturbation with friends than women (34% vs. 29%).
Most respondents reported beginning their masturbation journey between the ages of 13-19 (45%), regardless of gender. However, 20% of women reported that they did not begin masturbating until they were into their early twenties. 87% of participants masturbate because they feel “in the mood” or stimulated (55%), regardless of gender, and other reasons include stress or anxiety (38%), boredom (26%) and excitement (21%). After masturbation, 76% of participants reported feeling satisfied and 59% reported feeling de-stressed or relaxed; around 1/3 of participants also reported feeling happy. Negative emotions associated with masturbation (such as shame, regret or loneliness) were rare, occurring only in very low percentages (between 1-5%).
The most common places respondents favoured for masturbation were their bedroom (80%) or their shower/bathroom (31%). Men also favoured the couch as a favourite place for doing the deed (23%). Perhaps surprisingly, the car was the third most popular destination for self-pleasure, with 20% of men and 19% of women saying it was also the most unusual place they’ve masturbated. Only 6% of men reported masturbating at the office – doesn’t anyone work late anymore? Other unusual places reported include planes, trains and buses. 82% of participants reported masturbating the most during winter months and the most common preferred times of day was in the evening (58%) or at night (51%).
Men were twice as likely as women to use imagery but women were twice as likely as men to use music as part of their masturbation routine. More than half of the women surveyed (55%) reported masturbating once per week or more, 50% with their vibe and 27% with their partner. 75% of women reported that they were just as likely to masturbate while in a relationship, 39% of respondents stated that they masturbate in front of their significant other, and 63% said they were more likely to achieve an orgasm alone than with a partner.