Experiences with Diverse Sex Toys Among German Heterosexual Adults: Findings From a National Online Survey

J Sex Res. 2020 Sep;57(7):885-896. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2019.1578329. Epub 2019 Feb 26.


Studies from English-speaking countries show that sex toy use is common in various populations and often associated with sexual well-being. Empirical data on sex toy use and perceived effects in other countries is still missing. Based on the Positive Sexuality framework and the Positive Technology framework, this study documented the prevalence of sex toy use in solo and partnered sex among heterosexual-identified women and men in Germany, as well as perceived positive and/or negative effects of sex toy use on sexual well-being. A survey was conducted with a national online sample of 1,723 heterosexual-identified adults in Germany (Mage = 42.71, SD = 13.25, 49% women, 51% men). The majority (52%) reported sex toy use in partnered sex, and 45% reported sex toy use in solo sex. Stronger positive than negative perceived effects of sex toy use were reported by women and men alike. Findings indicate that professionals in sexual health/sexuality education should consider sex toy use as a common and beneficial sexual behavior. Future studies could explore specific effects of sex toy use and their predictors in more detail.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Heterosexuality*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Sexual Partners
  • Surveys and Questionnaires