Monday, November 12, 2012

Sexual Behaviors: Who Does What?

Back in the day I trained to be an experimental psychologist. My planned area of study was human sexuality. It never quite came to fruition due to a variety of reasons, but I never really lost interest in using the scientific method to study human sexual behaviors.Whenever I come across some research, I peruse it.

The website published the results of an online survey regarding sexual adventurousness earlier this year. The study was done with an online survey, which always produces somewhat questionable results. The respondents are usually self-selecting. The people that are willing to complete an online sex survey are probably going to be more sexually adventurous, thus the results can't necessarily be generalized to the wider population.

Despite this limitation, the results of their survey were interesting. As a whole, women turned out to be significantly more adventurous than men. Some other interesting findings:
  • Sexual adventurousness improved relationships, both for the more adventurous person and the less adventurous person.
  • Women engaged in a wider variety of sexual activities.
  • There was a positive correlation between length of relationships and the variety of activities couples engaged in.
As far as specific behaviors, there were TONS of interesting findings. As it turns out, we're pretty kinky. Many of the sexual behaviors that are often considered "taboo" are actually fairly common. Here's a sampling:

For women: 
  • 51% watch porn with their partner.
  • 89% have worn sexy lingerie.
  • 76% talk dirty during sex
For men:
  • 90% have sex with the lights on.
  • 83% have sex outside the bedroom.
  • 63% talk dirty during sex
 Okay, so none of those behaviors are exactly "Earth-shattering" kinky behaviors... but how about these?
  • 56% of all shared fantasies with their partners.
  • 50% watched porn; 19% read erotica. Apparently we don't like to read. :-)
  • 80% use lubricants during sex.
  • 56% masturbated for their partner.
  • 60% had sex in a place where they'd likely be caught.
  • 45% sexted or had Skype sex with their partner.
  • 19% role play.

And the numbers for the more taboo behaviors were interesting:
  • 43% experimented with anal sex.
  • 21% made a sex tape
  • 54% employed spanking
  • 8% experimented with adding a third person to the mix.

What Does This Data Tell Us?

As I mentioned before, the methodology of the research makes it difficult to generalize the results to the general population. Regardless, the data gives us a tantalizing hint that Americans are more sexually open-minded than many assume.

From a practical standpoint, this data could be used to help convince your partner to try some of the reported practices. After all, there are a lot of other people out there doing it!


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