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An increasing number of straight men are using sex toys while masturbating, a new study has found.

Mel Magazine has reported that almost a quarter of men - counting both gay and straight individuals - have used sex toys and anal stimulation while masturbating. This includes using butt plugs.

Allison Kirschbaum asked hundreds of men about their self pleasure habits, including the use of sex toys, and presented her findings at a sexual science conference in Albuquerque, US last November.

She discovered that 24 per cent of all men had "inserted an object" into their anus while masturbating, with 35.3 per cent having engaged in nipple play and 32.2 per cent had made use of a vibrator.

The survey also discovered that 66.4 per cent of men had rubbed their genitals on a surface, with 47.7 per cent admitting to using a shower jet.

While the survey looked at all men regardless of sexual orientation, statistically between six and 10 per cent of men identify as bisexual or gay. This means that the findings could suggest that at least between 14 and 18 per cent of straight men enjoy anal penetration during masturbation.

Ms Kirschbaum said that she hopes the findings of her survey will encourage men to be more experimental when it comes to sex and masturbation.   

This survey follows on from one conducted by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention that found that a surprisingly high number of straight men had participated in gay sex. Some 2.3 per cent of straight men were found to have engaged in same-sex activity.

These findings suggest that many men may not be 100 per cent straight, a theory that is supported by YouGov findings that almost half (49 per cent) of young people did not rank themselves as exclusively heterosexual.