A New Survey Reveals How Women Are Really Masturbating

Photographed By Lauren Perlstein.
Masturbation: It's easier done than said. For many, self-love is the part of sex that is most difficult to discuss — which is one of the reasons we love to talk about it, especially in May, International Masturbation Month. May also heralds the release of sex toy manufacturer We-Vibe's 2016 Passion Report, which delves into (you guessed it) all things masturbation. To demystify and celebrate our solo sex lives, the survey asked 1,032 male- and female-identified people across the U.S. about their masturbation habits and desires.

"Masturbation is a huge part of overall wellness, and it’s a healthy expression of a person’s sexuality," Tristan Weedmark, We-Vibe's "Global Passion Ambassador," tells Refinery29. "It's the best way to find out what brings you pleasure, which makes you a better sexual partner."

Read on for We-Vibe's key findings on how we love ourselves.
When we figure out what we like, we stick with it.
A healthy majority (62%) of respondents reported that they follow a "routine" each time they masturbate: for example, watching porn, looking at photos, or using a vibrator. Unsurprisingly, women are more invested in sex toys than men: While 53% of women stated that using one is "the best way to spice up their routine," just 22% of men agreed, and women are 16 times as likely as men to "always" use a toy during masturbation. Men rally around porn, with 91% stating that watching "new adult content" is the best way to improve a self-love session.

The majority of respondents follow a 'routine' each time they masturbate — watching porn, looking at photos, or using a vibrator

We don't all think of celebrities when we masturbate, but when we do, we think of J. Lo.
While 33% of male respondents reported thinking about a celeb when masturbating, 19% of female respondents did, and single people were likelier than the coupled-up to report doing so. Our celebrity fantasies are most likely to feature Jennifer Lopez, followed by Carrie Underwood and then Jennifer Lawrence; the three most fantasized-about male celebs are Channing Tatum, Ryan Gosling, and Adam Levine. (There's a ready-made game of "fuck, marry, kill" for you — sorry, we meant "date, marry, make disappear forever.") All well and good as long as we're all respecting the privacy of the objects of our affection (cough, nude photo leak, cough).
We're lying about our sex lives, and men do so a little more often than women.
Nearly a quarter (22%) of all respondents reported that they have "never spoken openly" about their sex lives (this makes us sad!), and 49% state that they have either understated or exaggerated their sexual activity. Of male respondents, 16% revealed that they have claimed to be having more sex than they really were, while 14% of female respondents reported the same; 15% of men said that they've claimed to be having less sex than they were, with 12% of women saying the same.

"Culturally, we tend to place a lot of unrealistic expectations on what it means to be a man or to be a woman," We-Vibe's Tristan Weedmark explains. "As a result, it seems as if in an effort to maintain perceived societal norms about masculinity, men feel the need to embellish their stories to their male friends and downplay their sexual activity to their female partners."

Overall, women appear to be more open about their sex lives than men are: 27% of men report never having spoken openly about their sex lives, compared with 16% of women. We get it: Sex can be tough to talk about, but communication, especially with your partner, can make it even better — so give it a try.

And don't forget to show yourself a little tactile appreciation this Masturbation Month. You deserve it.

More from Sex & Relationships

Sexting was never my thing, and I sure as hell never thought I would even consider cybersex. I knew myself — or at least, I thought I did. I’ll get too ...
Historically, women in West Africa have not had a voice. Men decide if their wife or wives can use birth control or have access to money; fathers decide if...
Foreplay often doesn't get enough credit — not to mention time or attention. In one study of heterosexual couples published in the Journal of Sexual ...
Amber Rose doesn't do "off days." "I always feel confident," she tells us. "I never allow myself to not feel confident. I wake up and say, I’m going out ...
Aside from encountering creeps and starting conversations that just don't go anywhere, one major problem online daters face is catfishing. According to a...
A version of this story originally appeared on Shape. When it comes to female pleasure, there's enough misinformation out there to fill a book. One of ...
This article was originally published on December 18, 2015. According to stereotypes, men are the sexually voracious cheaters and women are the ...
(Paid Content) You don't need a degree in common sense to know getting involved with a coworker is a bad idea. Yet, we probably all know someone who has, ...
We're great fans of accessorizing in the bedroom. Au naturel stimulation is wonderful, but sex toys can do things that people just can't. The sex toy ...
Even as the sex toy market continues to expand, there remain a few vital "firsts" for the industry to tackle. This week, with the arrival of the Buck-Off...
The Halloween-costume-planning frenzy is officially in full swing, and we still have so many questions. Is our costume idea clever without being obscure? ...
This article was originally published on April 2, 2015 and has been updated throughout. Lube is a little like masturbation. It's a big part of most people...
It would be an understatement to say that a lot of us love superhero blockbusters. Luckily, there's really no shortage of them, but should you ever need ...
The following is an excerpt from Asa Akira's recently released memoir Dirty Thirty. Another year of wasted eggs because I chose to whore instead. “Do ...