John Dugan is a respected professional author who is noted for his contributions to a variety of news organizations, magazines and websites.
The release of Fifty Shades of Grey in 2011 corresponded with a notable rise in the number of emergency room visits attributed to sex toy-related injuries, according to data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). While it can’t be proven that the book itself is responsible for the increase in toy use and injury, it’s pretty clear that the inclusion of a little kink in the bedroom is becoming more mainstream. Partners who decide to use sex toys should take steps to ensure proper vaginal, anal and penile care.
Increase in Injuries
The increase in reported injuries from sex toy use is not entirely new, but a trend that has been documented since the 1990’s. In 2009, researchers from the University of Alabama School of Public Health published a study that found the number of injuries from such products to have doubled from 2.41 per million people in 1995 to 5.46 per million in 2006. Data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission show that, between 2011 and 2012, the number of people going to the emergency room for toy-related injuries jumped from about 1,800 to over 2,500.
Who’s Most Affected?
According to the CPSC data, men are slightly more likely to report to emergency rooms with sex toy-related injuries, accounting for 58% of all such emergency room visits. The median age for injured men is 44, whereas, for women, it’s 30.
What Type of Injuries?
According to the earlier 2009 study:
- 74% involved a vibrator
- 13% involved a dildo
- 2% involved a ring
- 11% involved a different toy
- 78% of injuries were anorectal
- 18% involved the penis or vagina
People wanting to use sex toys in the bedroom shouldn’t be discouraged from doing so. While the data show a rise in injuries related to these products, the injuries are still extremely rare. Of course, not everyone with slight toy-related injuries reports to the emergency room, so we can assume that the overall injury rate is higher. However, couples can prevent most of these injuries with a little education, and by choosing their toys wisely. Here are a few very basic prevention steps:
Use adequate lubrication. As said above, most reported injuries were anorectal. Whenever penetration occurs in this area, it’s vital to use plenty of lubrication. This goes for vaginal penetration as well, though the vagina is more naturally lubricated and expansive than the anus.
- Don’t go too big. One might think that the longest, thickest rod will be the most pleasurable, but this is absolutely not the case for many people. When purchasing one’s first dildo or vibrator, it’s important to get one that is not gigantic. If one has used an average-sized replica and wants to try a larger size, one should work his or her way up gradually. Starting out with the largest available option can lead to excess friction, skin tearing and even a situation where removal is difficult.
- Keep restraints loose. Not all injuries are related to dildos and vibrators. Couples experimenting with bondage may experience injuries in the form of rope burns and circulation issues related to restraints that are too tight. If tying a partner up, make sure that a finger or two can easily slide between the material and his or her body, and do frequent circulation checks.
It’s important for men who practice kinky sex to tend to the skin condition of their penises; frequent friction can cause the skin to become dry and chafed. Using a penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) with natural moisturizers like Shea butter and vitamin E will help protect the skin from sex-related injuries.
Sex Toys – How to Prevent Injuries
By John Dugan