New Study on Female Sexuality Reveals Increased Use of Sexual Aids by Women

The Berman Center and the drugstore.com(TM) Sexual Well-being(TM) Store

Release Findings That Link New Level of Acceptance to Improved Quality of

Health



Sep 13, 2004, 01:00 ET from The Berman Center/Dr. Laura Berman and drugstore.com, inc.

    CHICAGO, Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The use of sexual aids and devices is
 often a sensitive and embarrassing topic for women, but a new landmark study
 on sexual aid usage conducted by the Berman Center and funded by an
 unrestricted educational grant from the drugstore.com(TM) Sexual Well-
 being(TM) store may help change women's acceptance of sexual aids and their
 ability to talk more openly about use of sexual aids with their spouses,
 partners, and friends.
     The research was unveiled in Chicago on September 11, 2004 at the second
 annual Women's Sexual Health State-of-the-Art Series conference in conjunction
 with the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. This Continuing
 Medical Education program is one of the largest-ever gatherings of physicians
 on the topic of women's sexual health.
     The study is entitled The Health Benefits of Sexual Aids & Devices: A
 Comprehensive Study of their Relationship to Satisfaction and Quality of Life
 and is one of the first to explore women's use of sexual devices and bring the
 topic of sexual device use "out of the closet" and into the realm of normal
 behavior. Knowledge Networks conducted the study by mail with a random
 national sample of 2,594 women, in the age range of 18 to 60, from March 5 to
 April 5, 2004.
     The purpose of the research was threefold:
     -- to produce an academic study in an underreported and emerging area of
        interest in women's sexuality,
     -- to determine the instance of use of sexual aids and devices, and
     -- to identify women's attitudes toward such aids and devices and their
        role in overall health and well-being.
 
     Among the more remarkable findings from the study is the prevalence of
 sexual device usage.  One in five women uses self-stimulation at least once a
 week, which would equate to more than 17.5 million women nationwide. Of the
 women that use self-stimulation, nearly 60 percent currently use a sexual
 device to do so. The research indicates that, in all, 44 percent of women
 between the ages of 18 and 60 have used a sexual device.
     Based on the study results, the author suggests a connection between the
 use of sexual aids and devices with overall quality of life. Women who use
 sexual devices report experiencing higher levels of sexual function and
 satisfaction with their partners than non-users. This includes higher levels
 of sexual desire and arousal as well as less pain during and after
 intercourse. Sexual device users also find it easier to reach orgasm when
 compared to non-users, who tend to have moderate success. With these findings,
 we can safely suggest that all of these characteristics were significantly
 correlated with higher levels of quality of life in the respondents.
     In addition, the study also reveals that women overwhelmingly believe that
 using a sensual enhancement product is nothing to be embarrassed about. In
 fact, nine out of 10 study participants report being comfortable talking to
 their partners about their sexual device use. Most women view sexual devices
 as a complement to their sexual relationships and not a substitute for their
 partner.
     Despite a popular misconception, it is women who are in relationships --
 not singles -- who are most likely to use a sexual aid. Of the study
 participants, 78 percent of women who use or have used a sexual device were in
 a relationship. Of the women who were most likely to use a self stimulation
 device, 43 percent were living with their partners, but not married; and 35
 percent were in a relationship, but not living together.
     "The research findings only confirm what we have been telling couples for
 years," said renowned sex therapist and educator Dr. Laura Berman, who is also
 director of the Berman Center in Chicago. "Using sexual aids and devices is a
 normal and healthy part of life, but it is clear that we still have a long way
 to go. Many women don't know what's right for them, where to find sexual aids,
 or how to use them. In my practice, I educate women about sexual aids and
 prescribe devices tailored to their individual needs."
     The study findings indicate that approximately 75 percent of women
 purchase sexual aids and devices at specialty stores, although an increasing
 number of women are opting for the privacy and safety offered by Web-based
 stores.
     The study found that top reasons women purchase sensual products online
 were:
      -- Anonymity - 80 percent (of respondents)
      -- Convenience - 75 percent
      -- Less Embarrassing - 71 percent
      -- Ability to Take One's Time - 64 percent
      -- Larger Selection - 42 percent
 
     According to Sharon Wikstrom, director of merchandising for the
 drugstore.com(TM) Sexual Well-being(TM) store, an online resource offering
 sexual products and expert advice, "More and more women and couples today are
 choosing to shop online because of the convenience, selection, and most
 importantly, privacy. Over 70 percent of our customers are women, and sales in
 our Sexual Well-being(TM) store are up 34 percent year-over-year. This trend,
 combined with the important findings in this latest research, suggests we are
 only in the infancy of a new sexual awakening for women."
 
     Media Note:
     An abbreviated version of the study will be available at the Sexual Well-
 being(TM) store at http://www.drugstore.com on September 13, 2004.  Detailed
 study analysis, methodology, and discussion is available at
 http://www.bermancenter.com .
 
     The Berman Center/Dr. Laura Berman
     Dr. Berman is the definitive resource on sex-related issues in America
 today. She runs the Berman Center in Chicago, a state-of-the-art facility
 that's dedicated to helping women and their partners repair their sex lives
 and achieve their maximum sexual potential. Dr. Berman is also an assistant
 clinical professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Psychiatry at the Feinberg
 School of Medicine at Northwestern University. In addition, Dr. Berman is a
 best-selling author, co-host of Berman & Berman on the Discovery Health
 Channel, and a correspondent for ABC's Good Morning America television show.
 
     About drugstore.com, inc.
     drugstore.com, inc. (Nasdaq:   DSCM) is a leading online provider of health,
 beauty, vision, and pharmacy solutions. The drugstore.com(TM) online store
 provides a convenient, private, and informative shopping experience that
 encourages consumers to purchase products essential to healthy, everyday
 living. The online store offers thousands of brand-name personal health care
 products at competitive prices; a full-service, licensed retail pharmacy; and
 a wealth of health-related information, buying guides, and other tools
 designed to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions. Consumers can
 personalize their shopping experiences with shopping lists, e-mail reminders
 for replenishing regularly used products, and private e-mail access to
 pharmacists and beauty experts for questions. drugstore.com, inc. has been
 awarded the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) certification by
 the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) as a fully licensed
 facility exercising competent, safe pharmacy practices in compliance with
 federal and state laws and regulations.
 
 

SOURCE The Berman Center/Dr. Laura Berman and drugstore.com, inc.
    CHICAGO, Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The use of sexual aids and devices is
 often a sensitive and embarrassing topic for women, but a new landmark study
 on sexual aid usage conducted by the Berman Center and funded by an
 unrestricted educational grant from the drugstore.com(TM) Sexual Well-
 being(TM) store may help change women's acceptance of sexual aids and their
 ability to talk more openly about use of sexual aids with their spouses,
 partners, and friends.
     The research was unveiled in Chicago on September 11, 2004 at the second
 annual Women's Sexual Health State-of-the-Art Series conference in conjunction
 with the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. This Continuing
 Medical Education program is one of the largest-ever gatherings of physicians
 on the topic of women's sexual health.
     The study is entitled The Health Benefits of Sexual Aids & Devices: A
 Comprehensive Study of their Relationship to Satisfaction and Quality of Life
 and is one of the first to explore women's use of sexual devices and bring the
 topic of sexual device use "out of the closet" and into the realm of normal
 behavior. Knowledge Networks conducted the study by mail with a random
 national sample of 2,594 women, in the age range of 18 to 60, from March 5 to
 April 5, 2004.
     The purpose of the research was threefold:
     -- to produce an academic study in an underreported and emerging area of
        interest in women's sexuality,
     -- to determine the instance of use of sexual aids and devices, and
     -- to identify women's attitudes toward such aids and devices and their
        role in overall health and well-being.
 
     Among the more remarkable findings from the study is the prevalence of
 sexual device usage.  One in five women uses self-stimulation at least once a
 week, which would equate to more than 17.5 million women nationwide. Of the
 women that use self-stimulation, nearly 60 percent currently use a sexual
 device to do so. The research indicates that, in all, 44 percent of women
 between the ages of 18 and 60 have used a sexual device.
     Based on the study results, the author suggests a connection between the
 use of sexual aids and devices with overall quality of life. Women who use
 sexual devices report experiencing higher levels of sexual function and
 satisfaction with their partners than non-users. This includes higher levels
 of sexual desire and arousal as well as less pain during and after
 intercourse. Sexual device users also find it easier to reach orgasm when
 compared to non-users, who tend to have moderate success. With these findings,
 we can safely suggest that all of these characteristics were significantly
 correlated with higher levels of quality of life in the respondents.
     In addition, the study also reveals that women overwhelmingly believe that
 using a sensual enhancement product is nothing to be embarrassed about. In
 fact, nine out of 10 study participants report being comfortable talking to
 their partners about their sexual device use. Most women view sexual devices
 as a complement to their sexual relationships and not a substitute for their
 partner.
     Despite a popular misconception, it is women who are in relationships --
 not singles -- who are most likely to use a sexual aid. Of the study
 participants, 78 percent of women who use or have used a sexual device were in
 a relationship. Of the women who were most likely to use a self stimulation
 device, 43 percent were living with their partners, but not married; and 35
 percent were in a relationship, but not living together.
     "The research findings only confirm what we have been telling couples for
 years," said renowned sex therapist and educator Dr. Laura Berman, who is also
 director of the Berman Center in Chicago. "Using sexual aids and devices is a
 normal and healthy part of life, but it is clear that we still have a long way
 to go. Many women don't know what's right for them, where to find sexual aids,
 or how to use them. In my practice, I educate women about sexual aids and
 prescribe devices tailored to their individual needs."
     The study findings indicate that approximately 75 percent of women
 purchase sexual aids and devices at specialty stores, although an increasing
 number of women are opting for the privacy and safety offered by Web-based
 stores.
     The study found that top reasons women purchase sensual products online
 were:
      -- Anonymity - 80 percent (of respondents)
      -- Convenience - 75 percent
      -- Less Embarrassing - 71 percent
      -- Ability to Take One's Time - 64 percent
      -- Larger Selection - 42 percent
 
     According to Sharon Wikstrom, director of merchandising for the
 drugstore.com(TM) Sexual Well-being(TM) store, an online resource offering
 sexual products and expert advice, "More and more women and couples today are
 choosing to shop online because of the convenience, selection, and most
 importantly, privacy. Over 70 percent of our customers are women, and sales in
 our Sexual Well-being(TM) store are up 34 percent year-over-year. This trend,
 combined with the important findings in this latest research, suggests we are
 only in the infancy of a new sexual awakening for women."
 
     Media Note:
     An abbreviated version of the study will be available at the Sexual Well-
 being(TM) store at http://www.drugstore.com on September 13, 2004.  Detailed
 study analysis, methodology, and discussion is available at
 http://www.bermancenter.com .
 
     The Berman Center/Dr. Laura Berman
     Dr. Berman is the definitive resource on sex-related issues in America
 today. She runs the Berman Center in Chicago, a state-of-the-art facility
 that's dedicated to helping women and their partners repair their sex lives
 and achieve their maximum sexual potential. Dr. Berman is also an assistant
 clinical professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Psychiatry at the Feinberg
 School of Medicine at Northwestern University. In addition, Dr. Berman is a
 best-selling author, co-host of Berman & Berman on the Discovery Health
 Channel, and a correspondent for ABC's Good Morning America television show.
 
     About drugstore.com, inc.
     drugstore.com, inc. (Nasdaq:   DSCM) is a leading online provider of health,
 beauty, vision, and pharmacy solutions. The drugstore.com(TM) online store
 provides a convenient, private, and informative shopping experience that
 encourages consumers to purchase products essential to healthy, everyday
 living. The online store offers thousands of brand-name personal health care
 products at competitive prices; a full-service, licensed retail pharmacy; and
 a wealth of health-related information, buying guides, and other tools
 designed to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions. Consumers can
 personalize their shopping experiences with shopping lists, e-mail reminders
 for replenishing regularly used products, and private e-mail access to
 pharmacists and beauty experts for questions. drugstore.com, inc. has been
 awarded the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) certification by
 the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) as a fully licensed
 facility exercising competent, safe pharmacy practices in compliance with
 federal and state laws and regulations.
 
 SOURCE  The Berman Center/Dr. Laura Berman and drugstore.com, inc.