Love & Sex

Sharing Your Sex Toys with Your Partner Can Give You an STI

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A new study finds you can get HPV from shared vibrators.

Sharing a sex toy with your partner is one of those pieces of sex advice that crops up every now and again, and for good reason. For some men and women, bringing a sex toy into the bedroom can enhance their experience, get a partner to orgasm more easily, and introduce experimental play. But according to scientists from Indiana University School of Medicine, people might want to think twice before they swap dildos with their next girlfriend.

Researchers gave 12 women two different kinds of vibrators, one made of soft silicone and one made of thermoplastic elastomer. The study focused on whether or not a vibrator could transmit HPV, the cancer-causing human papillomavirus. Of the nine participants who tested positive for HPV, at least one of the two Rabbit-style vibrators was found to have HPV transferred onto it. Even after cleaning the sex toys off, the researchers detected DNA from HPV on nine of the toys. "Sex toys used between partners within the same sexual encounter have the potential for transmitting HPV," the study concluded. Sharing everything in a relationship doesn't mean you should actually share everything.

This is an important finding for the more than half of women who report using a vibrator regularly and the 65 percent of bisexual women who report sex toy play with their partners. It's simply not that practical or sexy to say in the middle of sex, "Hey, I'm going to go mop down this vibrator with an antibacterial soap before you use it." The researchers suggest keeping your vibrators to yourself (fair enough) or using condoms between use. What I really see here, though, is an awesome excuse to go buy some weird new sex toys with your partner.

[h/t Reuters]

Image via Flickr.