Just in time for #MasturbationMay, sex education resource Kinkly.com has announced the results of Touch Yourself, a comprehensive, online survey on masturbation behaviors.
Kinkly received results from 3,401 respondents, who were polled on self-pleasure habits, routines and preferences. The conclusions drawn provided an affirming look at the frequency and methods, and thus normality, of masturbation within different relationship styles and even for those without a partner.
Inspired by the results of Faking It, Kinkly’s 2019 survey on faking orgasms, the popular sex-ed resource sought to further investigate the myths and truths behind solo sexual exploration.
Tara Struyk, co-founder and editor-in-chief at Kinkly, said her team decided to dig into this topic because masturbation has always proved to be of great interest to the site’s audience.
“Masturbation is a bit of a common denominator,” said Struyk. “It’s something a very large percentage of people engage in and connect with.”
Among myriad sub-topics for the 2021 Touch Yourself survey, Kinkly asked readers to report on what age they began masturbating; how often and for what reasons they chose to masturbate now; and how often they incorporated a sex toy versus using their hands alone.
Struyk said the survey’s conclusions showed that men and women alike are carving out copious amounts of time for self-pleasure. On average, cis-gender men reported masturbating 29 times per month. Cis-gender women logged almost as many self-love sessions at an average of 26 times per month.
“There’s definitely a disconnect between the relative lack of portrayal of healthy masturbation in media – which, thankfully, is changing a lot – and the amount of time people are actually doing it,” said Struyk.
Kinkly’s survey also unearthed a handful of intriguing conclusions about masturbation methods and orgasm quality.
Men only reported using a sex toy 22% of the time, whereas women reported using a sex toy 59% of the time. When comparing partnered sex to masturbation, 43% of men said they have the most intense or pleasant orgasms during partnered sex. Only 30% of women said they have the most intense or pleasant orgasms during partnered sex, and 34% found they have the best orgasms when masturbating.
Most surprisingly, survey respondents reported using lubricant just 37% of the time while self-pleasuring.
“It’s clear people like to masturbate and are doing it, but there are still a lot of them who aren’t using toys, or even lube,” said Struyk.
“I really believe that one day almost everyone will have a sex toy (or five) in their bedroom or bathroom,” continued Struyk, “but until then, how do we get that information across to more people? I do think that’s happening, it’s just going to take time and continued effort.”
On a hopeful note, Struyk and the team at Kinkly were pleased to conclude that the youngest respondents, 18-to-24-year olds, reported masturbating the most – an average of 33 times a month. They were also more likely to talk openly about masturbation with their friends and their partners. Younger respondents also showed increased openness to incorporating sex toys into their self-pleasure.
“I’d like to believe this shift is being reflected in our data in terms of how younger people feel about self pleasure and everything that goes along with it,” said Struyk. “I love that people are using what’s out there to help them explore their bodies.”
Touch Yourself: Kinkly’s Self-Pleasure Survey was opened to participants on March 18th, 2021 and concluded at the end of April 2021.
Respondents heavily self-identified as cis-gender women and men. Singles accounted for 22.49% of respondents, while 24.17% said they were currently in a monogamous relationship. The largest group, made up of married or long-term domestic partners, accounted for 38.40% of those surveyed.
Additionally, the majority of participants – 66.54% – identified as straight, while bisexuals composed the second largest group surveyed at 22.02%.