It is apparent that American consumers have legitimate concerns about their sexual health and well-being and view this topic as part of their overall health care, industry sources told SN.
For instance, the Women's Sexual Health Foundation, Cincinnati, formed four years ago as part of a grass-roots movement to make sexual health information available, has grown every year since, its founder and executive director, Lisa Martinez, said.
“We co-sponsor an annual educational event in New York City on various intimacy and sexual health topics, and we have an open forum at the end of the event for women to ask questions. In the past, women were reticent about asking questions, but at this year's event they were incredibly open about their concerns, and this was true for all age groups,” she said.
The foundation also completed an international online survey of women last year and uncovered an alarming finding: Less than 8% of women are asked by their health care provider during their annual exam if they are having sexual health or intimacy problems. “Yet research shows that more than 40% of women will have a sexual health problem during their life. Plus, of those who have had cancer, research indicates that 90% will have sexual difficulties due to vaginal dryness, pain, low desire and arousal difficulties,” Martinez said.
According to the Durex Sexual Wellbeing Global Survey, conducted in 2006 with 26,032 international participants, 80% of Americans believe that sex is a vital part of life and 81% agree that a healthy sex life is beneficial to one's overall health and well-being, said Tim Cleary, vice president of sales for Durex Consumer Products, Anderson, S.C.
“Despite this, only 48% reported satisfaction with their current sex lives. Therefore, consumers are very interested in products that can overcome sexual problems, enhance pleasure, increase satisfaction, add variety or excitement and rekindle romance,” he said.