Sex toy use by gay and bisexual men in the United States

Arch Sex Behav. 2012 Apr;41(2):449-58. doi: 10.1007/s10508-010-9716-y. Epub 2011 Jan 4.


Recent studies have documented that vibrators are an important part of the sexual repertoires of both men and women and have demonstrated positive sexual health outcomes among individuals who use such products. However, little is known about the use of other sexual enhancement products, particularly among gay and bisexually identified men. This study sought to document the extent to which gay and bisexually identified men report using sex toys and the sexual and relational situations within which they used them. Data were collected via an internet-based survey from 25,294 gay and bisexually identified men throughout the U.S. recruited from an Internet site popular among men seeking social or sexual interactions with other men. A majority (78.5%) of gay and bisexually identified men reported having used at least one type of sex toy, including dildos (62.1%), non-vibrating cock rings (51.9%), vibrators (49.6%), butt plugs (34.0%), masturbation sleeves (27.9%), and anal beads or balls (19.3%). Among users, toys such as dildos or butt plugs were commonly inserted into one's own anus during masturbation (95.7%, n = 11,781) and insertion into their partners anus (72.0% n = 4,197) during partnered sexual activities. These data suggest that sex toy use is common among gay and bisexual men during both solo and partnered sexual activities and considered by these men as enhancing the quality of their sexual experiences.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bisexuality / statistics & numerical data*
  • Data Collection
  • Homosexuality, Male / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Men*
  • Middle Aged
  • Sexual Behavior / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sexual Partners