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.
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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.
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