Clinical use and implications of sexual devices and sexually explicit media

Marieke Dewitte*, Yacov Reisman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Devices designed to enhance and diversify sexual pleasure are useful in clinical practice; however, many taboos still seem to exist and the scientific literature on the prevalence, application and effectiveness of sexual devices for therapeutic use is sparse. In this Review, Dewitte and Reisman discuss the clinical use of sex toys and sexual devices, as well as sexually explicit media, across a variety of indications to expand individual and partnered sexuality and to treat sexual difficulties.

Given that sexual pleasure is a core component of sexual health, devices that are designed to enhance and diversify sexual pleasure are particularly useful in clinical practice. Despite their growing popularity and widespread use in various biopsychosocial circumstances, many taboos still seem to exist, as indicated by the paucity of scientific literature on the prevalence, application and effectiveness of sexual devices for therapeutic use. However, sex toys and sexual devices are commonly used and have a variety of indications to expand individual and partnered sexuality and to treat sexual difficulties. Different devices are associated with specific advantages and potential risks, opportunities, barriers and ethical challenges when used in a clinical context. Increased knowledge about the aim and functional possibilities of sexual devices might help health-care professionals overcome potential embarrassment, preconceptions and other barriers, learn which patients might benefit from which products, consider their use in treatment programmes, educate about correct use and safety issues, and facilitate open communication about sexual pleasure with their patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359–377
Number of pages19
JournalNature Reviews Urology
Volume18
Issue number6
Early online date4 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • NATIONALLY REPRESENTATIVE SAMPLE
  • 4TH INTERNATIONAL CONSULTATION
  • PENILE VIBRATORY STIMULATION
  • LUBRICANT USE
  • RADICAL PROSTATECTOMY
  • INTERNET PORNOGRAPHY
  • HUMAN-PAPILLOMAVIRUS
  • GENITAL VIBRATION
  • UNITED-STATES
  • MEN

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