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The study purpose was to assess, in a U. Through qualitative pilot research with women that informed the development of the survey instrument used in this study, we identified four ly unnamed, but distinct, techniques women use to make vaginal penetration more pleasurable: Angling, Rocking, Shallowing and Pairing.
This study defines each technique and describes its prevalence among U. Data suggest that Finally, This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attributionwhich permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The funders had a role in study de, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, and in preparation of the manuscript.
This paper engages nationally representative data to understand U. Holistic approaches to sexual health increasingly emphasize the positive contributions that sexual pleasure—particularly for women—provides to physical, social and emotional well-being [ 12 ] across the lifespan [ 34 ]. Literature has also linked sexual pleasure within partnerships to greater relationship satisfaction, intimacy, and commitment for women [ 7 — 10 ]. A pleasure-as-rights orientation is a person-centered way of approaching sexual pleasure.
Sexual pleasure research can support person-centered perspectives by assessing granularity of what makes sex enjoyable for each women, rather than making the assumption that the same handful of approaches work equally well for all women [ 16 — 18 ]. Most of the existing research broadly focuses on the body part or object that stimulates or penetrates the vagina e. Neither the sex toy- nor the sexual behavior-focused bodies of work elicited more granular information from participants about specific ways in which techniques were used to increase pleasure.
Other research investigates the extent to which body positioning e. This body of research, however, is limited to penile-vaginal penetrative acts between a man and a woman and does not provide more detailed information about how variations in body movement e. An additional line of research has documented the extent to which manual clitoral stimulation is done simultaneously with penile-vaginal penetration to augment pleasure and orgasm [ 38 — 40 ], but this research has not fully examined whether this clitoral stimulation is woman-controlled, partner-controlled or a combination of the both, nor has it examined whether the clitoral stimulation is done with a finger or sex toy.
Collectively, neither popular media nor current scientific literature fully represent the range of vaginal stimulation and penetration techniques women and partners use or the details of how they tweak and personalize the techniques they use in order to enhance their pleasure. Nationally representative studies—with a focus on detailed sexual touch and stimulation techniques—are a powerful method to fill the identified gaps.
From a measurement perspective, inclusion of a range of penetration variants currently unexplored in peer-reviewed research provides a means by which to validate the range of pleasure approaches that women use in daily life. Researchers can provide data that identify multiple techniques, give those techniques names, and develop descriptions of how the application of a given technique differs from that of another.
Such specificity has the potential to directly address the ambiguity and efficiency challenges of existing language used to describe vaginal stimulation and penetration. For example, as described earlier, ambiguous, slang-based, or overly clinical terms [ 1941 — 4749 ] are often used in scientific and popular media to describe stimulating or penetrating the vagina.
In addition, accurate language is important because the words people use to describe an activity help shape the meaning they ascribe to it [ 32 ]. A woman having access to a wider stimulation and penetration vocabulary may increase her satisfaction with her sexual communication with partners [ 5152 ], which in turn may have positive implications for both relationship satisfaction and sexual satisfaction [ 53 — 55 ].
From a sampling perspective, sexual pleasure literature has typically been conducted with convenience or community samples, samples drawn from clinical populations, or from college campuses [ 2656 — 59 ].
Several nationally representative studies document generally link a range of sexual behaviors to sexual pleasure [ 27 — 31 ], but they do not use detailed stimulation and penetration technique measures. Engaging large, nationally representative studies that include these detailed items allows researchers to evaluate both the prevalence of and patterns within specific pleasure approaches in ways that reflect the experiences of all women in a population.
This presentation is helpful for individuals to be able to see their own preference s normalized within a range of other techniques, as well as to see the extent to which their experiences are shared by their peer group. Rather than asking participants whether or not they liked to be touched externally, the study demonstrated that women use different ways of touching—different locations, pressure, shapes and patterns—as a means of increasing their sexual enjoyment. Such data illustrate the need for ongoing studies to provide data to document sexual pleasure pathways.
These secondary, semi-structured interviews were focused on eliciting more detail about the specific strategies, insights, and techniques respondents had found pivotal to increasing their sexual pleasure. Interviews ranging between 15 and 60 minutes in length, were conducted and recorded by OMGyes researchers. We searched existing scientific and popular sexual pleasure literature for established terms that described those four technique forms, and we were unable to find such existing language. Therefore, we gave each form a descriptive name— AnglingRockingShallowingand Pairing.
Definitions and sexually explicit line drawing illustrations of these four techniques are provided in S1 Table. Images contained in this table are visually graphic. In the next stage of development, and the focus of the current study, was the development of a quantitative survey to investigate the population level prevalence of women who report using the Angling, Rocking, Shallowing and Pairing and their sub-forms. The description of all items on our survey is presented in the next section. All items are original to this study—as informed by our exploratory qualitative work—and have not been yet examined in the peer-reviewed literature.
Data were drawn from the second OMGYES Pleasure Report—a cross-sectional, online, nationally representative survey of sexual behaviors, sexual attitudes, relationships, sexual satisfaction, and experiences with genital touching among women aged 18 and over in the United States. Ipsos creates research panels using an address-based sampling ABS frame from using the U.
ABS not only improves population coverage, but also provides a more effective means for recruiting hard-to-reach individuals, such as young adults, those without landline telephones, and minorities. Panel member households without internet connection are provided with a web-enabled device and free Internet service to maximize the breadth of participation. The item online survey took a median of 29 minutes to complete, was available in English and Spanish languages, and was open for participation from July July 31, Questions assessed participation in demographics, sexual behavior background, as well as lifetime participation in different types of Angling, Rocking, Shallowing, and Pairing techniques.
Participants could also access clickable pop-up illustrations provided for some techniques within the survey. Reminder s were sent to survey non-responders on Days 3, 9, 12, 15 and 18 during the study period. If they wanted to participate, they could open an informed consent statement to read. Of those who opened the study link, Ipsos operates a modest incentive program that includes raffles and sweepstakes with both cash rewards and other prizes for completing the survey.
Ipsos provided post-stratification, study-specific weights to adjust for any over- or under-sampling as well as non-response.
Distributional data pertinent to the study population were obtained either from the U. Using this information, final weights were calculated using an iterative proportional fitting procedure, and if necessary, were trimmed at the extreme upper and lower tails of the weight distribution. The resulting weights were then scaled to aggregate to the total sample size of all eligible respondents. Weighted participant characteristics are described in Table 1. Women who had used any form of Shallowing to enhance their pleasure from penetration were also asked whether Shallowing changed their sexual pleasure in different scenarios.
Weighted frequencies were calculated to assess the prevalence of women who have used Angling, Rocking, Shallowing, Pairing, and their sub-forms to make vaginal stimulation and penetration more pleasurable. We excluded from analysis of each item any participant whose response to that item was missing. Women ranged in age from 18 to 93 with a median age of 48 years. The majority of women self-described their sexual orientation as heterosexual Most women were in a married, committed, or dating relationship, with only As shown in Table 2 About two-thirds A slightly greater proportion of women As shown in Table 3 Nearly three-quarters of women In contrast, one-third of women had ever used Rocking with a sex toy As shown in Table 4approximately 4 out of 5 women A majority of women had ever done Shallowing with a penis tip A slightly smaller proportion of women had used Shallowing with a fingertip Shallowing was less commonly done with a sex toy Table 5 illustrates the ways in which women reported that using a Shallowing technique enhanced their sexual pleasure during penetration that followed Shallowing.
Only One-third of women As shown in Table 6 The purpose of this paper was to use U. Extant literature, however, has generally failed to capture the specific approaches that women actually use in everyday life as vehicles to enjoy sex [ 2021 ]. Using data from the second OMGYES Pleasure Report, this study directly addresses this gap by providing the first detailed, population level description of the of the distinct vaginal stimulation and penetration techniques women engage to enhance their sexual pleasure during both solo and partnered sex.
Specifically, through inductive qualitative research, we identified four ly unnamed, but distinct, forms of vaginal stimulation and penetration—Angling, Rocking, Shallowing and Pairing—and demonstrated that each, as well as the sub-forms for engaging them, are prevalent among U. Such a perspective places emphasis on understanding the ways in which women can scaffold specific skills to increase their access to pleasure [ 111415 ]. Increasing the availability and accessibility of sexual pleasure language—straightforward and comfortable words and descriptions that women can use [ 49 ] - can help validate for women what they like from vaginal stimulation and penetration and how they would like those techniques performed [ 1265 ].
Such increased communication efficacy may have additional downstream, positive implications for both relationship satisfaction and sexual satisfaction [ 53 — 55 ]. The building of these skills—communication, confidence and negotiation—is resonant with a person-centered framework [ 111415 ].
Our use of nationally representative data permits us to provide a population level analysis of each vaginal stimulation and penetration technique we assessed.
Data such as ours provide a means through which women can more fully contextualize the range of their own lived experiences with vaginal penetration. Our assessment of 14 different sub-forms within our four larger Angling, Rocking, Shallowing and Pairing forms— as informed by the voices of women themselves —validates both that adult women choose a range of different approaches to vaginal stimulation and penetration to increase their sexual pleasure, and that women actively choose different movements and angles to personalize these approaches.
Our provision of bottom-up generated, population level information supports a larger call for research to more holistically capture what makes sex enjoyable for women [ 66 ]. There are several limitations associated with these data. These limitations are balanced with several methodological and substantive strengths of this study. From a methodological perspective, our use of a nationally representative probability sample permits generalization of findings to the broader population of adult women in the United States.
Other sampling approaches common in sexual and reproductive health research, including convenience, clinical or community-based recruitment, do not allow this level of comparison. Ipsos also controls the of surveys sent to each member, minimizing the unit- and item-level missingness on any given survey.
Data from this U. Our findings contribute to the growth of a person-centered approach to sexual pleasure, ly underexplored in published literature, through detailed documentation of specific, newly identified forms of vaginal stimulation and penetration, as well as evaluation of technique prevalence. Knowledge of these techniques can enable women to better identify their own preferences, communicate about them and advocate for their sexual pleasure. We would like to acknowledge Dr. Debby Herbenick for her contributions to the development of survey items for this study.
We would like to thank Dr. Nicole S. Zelin for her participation in drafting and reviewing literature for the manuscript. We would also like to thank Dr. Sybil Lockhart for their contributions to the pilot qualitative research phase, acquisition of the data, and statistical analysis.
Browse Subject Areas? Click through the PLOS taxonomy to find articles in your field. Abstract The study purpose was to assess, in a U. Introduction This paper engages nationally representative data to understand U. Download: PPT. Table 1. Demographics of national probability sample of U. Measures Angling measures. Rocking measures. Shallowing measures.
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