“One unexpected benefit of sex toy use, seen in a study of menopausal women, was an improvement in sleep and overnight menopausal sweating”, she says. “There is also some evidence that the use of slim internal vibrators with plenty of good-quality vaginal lubricant can help to increase blood flow to the vaginal area, improving the symptoms of some vaginal conditions. Some research suggests that women prefer to use slim vaginal vibrators rather than the more clinical dilators that are often prescribed. This can complement other treatments that may be recommended, such as local anaesthetic gels, medication and psychological therapies.”
“Constriction rings can help a man maintain his erection for longer, making it firmer, and also delay ejaculation,” explains Evans. “Specially-designed male vibrators can help men to gain an erection and stimulate nerve endings. They can also help with delayed ejaculation as they offer a different sexual sensation to manual masturbation.”
“The Adult Playground to enhance sexual pleasure and orgasm can help you to sleep, boost immunity, relieve pain, reduce stress and boost your brain power,” comments Evans. “And age is not a barrier. One lady told us she enjoyed her first orgasm at 70 using a sex toy. They have few side-effects, unlike medication, and can help many women enjoy clitoral orgasms and G-spot orgasms, something they may not have achieved before. Sex toys can also help people continue to enjoy sexual intimacy and pleasure when penetrative sex is not possible.”
For both men and women, one benefit of introducing sex toys into the dynamic is to open up a dialogue about sex and what they enjoy as individuals and a couple.
“It may be something that they haven’t tried before due to embarrassment or fear of purchasing items, but expert advice is available,” says de Giorgio, “and they may find that their sex lives benefit from this new openness.”
“I work with many who recommend them,” says Evans. “Sex toys are being recognised as valuable ‘tools’ to supplement conventional medical treatment. Many healthcare providers (HCPs) are striving to normalise sex for their patients, rather than medicalise it. We’ve created a health brochure in association with HCPs that many give out to their patients.”
However, we still have a long way to go before recommending sex toys becomes the norm for all HCPs and many struggle to talk about sex to their patients.
“I think it is unlikely that sex toys will be made available on prescription for men or women,” adds de Giorgio, “as medical devices have to be regulated. What would be very beneficial though would be having HCPs opening up discussions about sexual problems during medical consultations and allowing people to talk about their difficulties, without embarrassment.”