Less Than 1 in 4 Over 50s Think Popular Culture Accurately Depicts Sex – Plus More Findings From MysteryVibe’s New Survey of 2000 Americans

The team behind award-winning sexual health devices takes a deep dive into how media affects our sex habits, understanding of sex, and where to go next

MysteryVibe Survey Findings (Graphic: Business Wire)

LOS ANGELES--()--As pop culture becomes ever more pervasive, it is natural to assume it will have a big impact on our way of life. However a recent study finds its influence is minimal when it comes to our sex lives - particularly for the older generation.

Conducted by MysteryVibe with leading research institute, Sapio, the survey data provides a revealing look at sex and masturbation habits of Americans and the surprising lack of impact that the surge in sex content in pop culture has had on people.

After polling 2,000 Americans aged 30 and up, the team uncovered numerous insights that show how habits, attitudes, and perceptions of sex and masturbation have shifted generationally. For example, while almost half (43%) have noticed more sex toys appearing on TV, in movies and in adverts over the past decade, for the vast majority (85%), seeing sex toys on television hasn’t made them want to buy one.

Very few thought pop culture accurately depicted sex and masturbation (less than 1 in 4 overall, less than 1 in 5 amongst 50+) or had an impact on their sex education (less than 1 in 5 overall, less than 1 in 10 amongst 50+). They also don’t think seeing sex toys on pop culture would impact their desire or decision to purchase one (less than 1 in 5 overall, and less than less than 1 in 20 amongst 50+).

At the same time, almost half do think that more representation in the media could help break taboos around the topic (i.e. talking, reading and hearing about sex and masturbation in revered outlets) — suggesting that the type of representation seen thus far isn’t sufficient.

Furthermore, age appears to play a big role in both masturbation habits and sex toy ownership. Half of respondents aged 30+ don’t masturbate with regularity despite masturbation appearing more frequently in pop culture now than ever before. The majority (58%) of people surveyed never have, nor have any plans of purchasing a sex toy despite the known health benefits of pleasure. This percentage grows rapidly with age - with 70% of people over 60 saying they don’t plan on getting a sex toy.

With so much sexual content in pop culture today, we think it will make us take action to improve our sex lives, indulge in more self pleasure, masturbate more, enjoy new types of toys, etc. However, the data shows that pop culture doesn’t have much impact in changing people’s habits in sex.

“We think this might be due to TV and movie content being seen as entertainment or fantasy rather than factual news or reality,” said Dr. Soum Rakshit, CEO of MysteryVibe. “However, what is interesting is most agree that the more they see, read, and hear stories about sex and masturbation in the news, the more comfortable they feel about introducing pleasure into their routine.”

Taking the learnings from this study, it is clear that real change can be achieved, and achieved quickly by teaming up with news organizations, doctors and experts to shift perceptions of all Americans - young and old.


  1. Over 3 in 4 of those surveyed don’t have any sex toys
  2. More than half (58%) have no plans of buying any sex toys
  3. Less than 1 in 5 (17%) think pop culture has an impact on their sex education
  4. Most (85%) have had no impact from seeing sex toys on television in their decision or desire to purchase
  5. Less than 1 in 4 (24%) think popular culture accurately depicts sex and masturbation
  6. Most (3 in 4) agree that reading, hearing or seeing stories about sex and masturbation helps break taboos

You can learn more about MysteryVibe’s mission here.


Name: Dr. Soum Rakshit
Email: soum@mysteryvibe.com


Name: Dr. Soum Rakshit
Email: soum@mysteryvibe.com