Butt Stuff: Good Vibrations Pleasure Poll Results Are In!

We know that our Good Vibrations family of customers and blog readers are curious about anal play—we sell them toys and lube and get lots of questions about safe and comfortable back-door fun, and then there are the people who just want to give their boo the best birthday ever. (Awww!) So we knew just what we wanted to focus on in our second Pleasure Poll. 194 respondents gave us some booty-based feedback. Here’s what we learned.

We first asked, “Have you explored anal play?” Over 65% said “Yup!” Over 22% replied “Maybe a little bit,” while not quite 13% said “Nope.”

But there are lots of ways to enjoy anal sensation, not just the option many people think of when they think of anal—intercourse, that is. Non-penetrative anal play absolutely counts, especially if you are just starting to explore. And many people never take to a penetrative level—external play feels so good to them, they stay with it. So we asked our butt explorers which ways they had engaged in anal, and how they liked it.

Receiving external anal play (rimming, licking, rubbing, but not going inside) was justifiably popular—over 65% of respondents had, while almost 35% hadn’t. How about the enjoyment factor? Almost 46% loved it! Over 18% thought it was pretty good. A little over 4% didn’t like it much. Nobody thought it was awful—see, we told you it was a great way to start enjoying anal play! Remember it’s a good idea to use a barrier if you’re going to rim or be rimmed—that’s oral/anal stimulation, if you’ve never heard the slang term.

Almost as many people had experience giving external anal play (rimming, licking, rubbing, but not going inside) as receiving it; over 64% had, while not quite 40% had not. A little over 42% loved it, while a bit over 18% thought it was pretty good. Between 4 and 5% didn’t like it much. One person (0.55%) thought it was awful.

Receiving internal anal play (penetration with toys, fingers, penis, etc.) was even more common; over 72% had, while over 27% had not gone that far. Almost 40% loved it, and almost 23% thought it was pretty good. Almost 10% didn’t like it much. Three people (not quite 2%) thought it was awful.

Almost 60% or respondents had experience giving internal anal play (penetration with toys, fingers, penis, etc.). A little over 40% had not done so. A little over 42% loved it, while a bit over 15% thought it was pretty good. Almost 3% didn’t like it much. One person (0.55%) thought it was awful. (Was it that same person? I’m a little worried about them. Hopefully they just tried it the once and went on to something they really liked.)

And if you know Good Vibrations at all, you know how much we value solo sex as a way to explore. Anal play as part of Solo/Masturbation was very common: 74% had, nearly 26% had not. Almost 44% loved it, while almost 21% thought it was pretty good. A little under 9% didn’t like it much. No one thought it was awful—see, if you want something done right, do it yourself!

As one of the originators of Bend Over Boyfriend, the first how-to movie about women giving male partners anal pleasure, I was especially interested that three out of seven comments referenced pegging. Two more referenced the respondents’ wives—one does, one doesn’t give partners anal stimulation.

Of course, enjoyment of anal involves many factors, none perhaps more important than “relaxation, communication, and lubrication.” So we asked our respondents: Was lube used? Almost 89% said “Of course!” But almost 3% didn’t think so; almost 6% thought spit, vaginal lubricant, or lube on the condom might count (nooo! Not enough slipperiness for safe and sexy anal penetration). And four people—over 2%–flatly said No. We’re pretty sure now we understand why some people didn’t enjoy the experience.

Would you be open to trying (first time or again) if given helpful resources, we wanted to know? Close to 71% said yes. Thank you for redeeming our faith in education! 15% said maybe. A bit over 8% didn’t think so, and a little over 2% said “Absolutely not.” That was those four people without the lube, we think, and they’re the ones we really, really want to talk to! On the other hand, if you have a less-than-pleasant experience with sex of any kind, it’s a pretty rational response to decide you don’t want to do that thing any more. There are plenty of other delightful sex things to try!

A little under half of our respondents were between 35 and 54 years of age. Close to 20% were younger, while not quite a third were older. 63 women, 111 men, and 11 people who identified in some other way (trans, nonbinary, agender, and “F+” participated in the poll, plus nine people who specified no gender identity/did not answer.

When we asked our respondents where they came from, we got the message that anal play is truly an international pastime: eight did not tell us their country of residence, but people from Angola, Belarus, Japan, Mexico, and Thailand participated, plus two from Canada. (Do they know each other? We hope they’re enjoying themselves!)

The USA participated most heavily, no surprise, with 178. We asked what region of the country they lived in: Over 23% were from the Pacific region, our home base. We’re in the Boston area too, and that was the second-highest region in terms of number of respondents at over 13%. The South Atlantic region (from Delaware down to Florida) sent the same. Next-highest was East North Central (Ohio to Michigan) with not quite 13%; the Mountain states (from Montana all the way to New Mexico) at almost 10% (looking at you, Idaho! Party on!); and Mid-Atlantic (NY, New Jersey, Pennsylvania) and West South Central (Texas and its neighbors) tied at almost 5.5% each. Less well-represented (but still standing up to be counted!) were West North Central (Minnesota, the Dakotas, and the surrounding Plains states) at not quite 5%; and finally East South Central, sometimes also known as the Deep South, whence a little over two percent of our respondents hailed.

Wherever you are, we thank you so much for participating, and we hope you’ll want to share your insights and experiences in future Pleasure Polls. Don’t forget the condoms and lube!

Good Vibrations

Good Vibrations is the premiere sex-positive, women-principled adult toy retailer in the US. An iconic brand and one of the world's first sex toy shops to focus specifically on women's pleasure and sexual education, Good Vibrations was founded by Joani Blank in 1977 to provide women with a safe, welcoming and non-judgmental place to shop for erotic toys. Good Vibrations has always included all people across the gender spectrum, and is a place where customers can come for education, high quality products, and information promoting sexual health, pleasure and empowerment. Customers can shop Good Vibrations' expertly curated product selection across any of its nine retail locations or on the GoodVibes.com website, where they can also find a wealth of information pertaining to sexual pleasure, exploration and education.

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