Women's Most (And Least) Common Reasons For Having Sex

Women's Most (And Least) Common Reasons For Having Sex

Both men and women report a wide range of reasons for having sex. In fact, one previous study identified as many as 237 distinct sexual motivations! But how do our reasons for sex differ based on the kind of relationship we're in? And do our sexual motivations differ depending upon our sexual orientation? A recent study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior offers some insight into these questions, at least for women.

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Does Anal Sex “Count” As Sex?

Does Anal Sex “Count” As Sex?

What actually counts as “having sex?” Well, it depends who you ask. Different people have different definitions. A recent study published in the Journal of Sex Research highlights just how much variability there is when it comes to whether certain forms of anal stimulation count in the eyes of heterosexual adults.

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Erotic Lactation: Exploring Men's Breast Milk Fetishes

Erotic Lactation: Exploring Men's Breast Milk Fetishes

People can develop fetishes for virtually anything. Most commonly, though, we're talking about a specific body part (like feet or toes) or an object associated with the body (like boots, underwear, or stockings). However, in addition to body parts and clothing, people can develop fetishes for bodily fluids. For example, some people are sexually aroused by urine (also known as urophilia), a topic I've previously written about here. Another bodily fluid that some people have a fetish for is breast milk (also known as lactophilia), which is what we're going to focus on today.

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Video: Is There a Sex Difference in Intelligence?

Video: Is There a Sex Difference in Intelligence?

The question of whether men and women differ when it comes to intelligence has long been a subject of scientific debate. For instance, some researchers have argued that men have superior intellect because their brains, on average, tend to be larger compared to women. Others, however, have argued that brain size in and of itself is a relatively meaningless metric to consider, especially in light of the fact that numerous animal species have larger brains than humans, but aren’t necessarily smarter than we are.

For a brief overview of what the research in this area has found, check out the video below from our friends over at ASAP Science.

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7 Things You Should Know About Consensually Non-Monogamous Relationships

7 Things You Should Know About Consensually Non-Monogamous Relationships

In consensually non-monogamous (CNM) relationships, the partners involved agree that having more than one sexual and/or romantic relationship at the same time is acceptable. There are a great many myths and misconceptions about CNM relationships, so let’s take a moment to clear things up and look at what research has revealed about them. Here are seven things you should know about CNM relationships, according to science.

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Here's Your Chance To Be In A Sex Study

Here's Your Chance To Be In A Sex Study

If you're reading this, chances are that you love learning about the latest sex research as much as I do. But have you ever wanted to do more than just read about it and maybe even participate in an actual sex study (or two)? If so, check out the Sex Studies page on the blog, which is updated regularly with calls for participation from sex scientists from around the world. Feel free to participate in as many studies as you would like--assuming, of course, that you meet the eligibility criteria.

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Video: Why Parents Should Talk To Their Kids About Sex

Video: Why Parents Should Talk To Their Kids About Sex

A lot of parents avoid talking to their kids about sex because they are afraid the experience will be awkward, embarrassing, or uncomfortable. However, parents aren't doing their kids any favors by taking this topic of conversation off the table. As Dr. Aaron Carroll, a pediatrician and professor at Indiana University School of Medicine, explains in the video below, the research is pretty clear when it comes to parent-child communication about "the birds and the bees": kids who are able to talk to their parents about sex are more likely to practice safe sex. Check out the video below to learn more about the research on this topic.

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Same-Sex Marriage May Be Good For Gay, Lesbian, And Bisexual Health

Same-Sex Marriage May Be Good For Gay, Lesbian, And Bisexual Health

Several studies have found that when laws permitting same-sex marriage are passed, the health outcomes of sexual minorities in the local area seem to improve. This holds true for indicators of both physical and psychological well-being. Here's a review of the most provocative evidence to emerge so far supporting this idea:

First, a 2012 U.S. study found that, in the state of Massachusetts, there was a significant decrease in the number of visits made by gay and bisexual men to healthcare providers for both medical and mental health issues in the year after same-sex marriage was legalized in that state [1].

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Why So Many College Students Have Risky Sex on Spring Break

Why So Many College Students Have Risky Sex on Spring Break

My university, like many schools around the country, is on spring break this week. A lot of students are using this opportunity to not just take a breather from their studies, but also to travel. As I’m sure you’re well aware, spring break trips have a reputation for getting a little wild and crazy—I mean, just look at how they’re depicted in Hollywood films.

But why is that exactly? What accounts for why so many college students partake in risky behaviors—especially risky sexual behaviors—at this time of year? Let’s take a look at a recent study published in the journal Prevention Science that attempted to address this question.

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Is An Open Relationship Right For You?

Is An Open Relationship Right For You?

Americans are very interested in the idea of consensual nonmonogamy. In fact, a 2016 national YouGov poll of 1,000 adults found that 48% of men and 31% of women said that their ideal relationship would be nonmonogamous to some degree; however, far fewer than that indicated that they were currently involved in a nonmonogamous relationship. So, while lots of people seem to think that they'd be happier if they opened their relationship in some way, would that actually be the case in reality? Not necessarily.

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If You Knew Someone Who Was Being Cheated On, Would You Tell Them?

If You Knew Someone Who Was Being Cheated On, Would You Tell Them?

People who cheat usually try to keep it a secret; however, they aren't always successful.

So, let's imagine for a moment that you find out someone you know has committed infidelity. What would you do: keep it to yourself, or share it with others? According to a recent study addressing this very question, our decision to reveal others’ infidelity is a very complex decision that depends upon many factors.

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Infographic: Rates of Orgasm by Sexual Orientation and Gender

Infographic: Rates of Orgasm by Sexual Orientation and Gender

Much has been said and written about the "orgasm gap," or the idea that men tend to have far more consistent experiences with orgasm than women. However, the vast majority of the research on this topic to date has focused on heterosexuals, which begs the question of how sexual orientation might factor into this equation. In other words, is there still an orgasm gap between men and women who are either gay or bisexual? For a look at the answer, check out the infographic below, which features data from a new study just published in The Archives of Sexual Behavior.

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How Do You Make A Long-Distance Relationship Work?

How Do You Make A Long-Distance Relationship Work?

A reader submitted the following question:

"I'm in a long-distance relationship and it's tough. Are there any tips or tricks to help keep a relationship alive when you can't physically be with your partner very often?"

Great question! You're not alone in finding the experience of a long-distance relationship to be difficult. However, while these relationships undeniably pose some unique challenges, it's definitely possible for them to not only work out, but to be just as strong as relationships in which the partners live close to one another.

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Infographic: Americans' Attitudes Toward & Experiences With Online Dating

Infographic: Americans' Attitudes Toward & Experiences With Online Dating

In just two decades, online dating has become a multi-billion dollar industry--and it hasn't come anywhere close to reaching its full potential yet. Believe it or not, despite how much you've heard about online dating, the vast majority of Americans have never tried it. In fact, even if you only look at millennials--the group most likely to date online--only about one-quarter of them have done it before.

For a closer look at Americans' attitudes toward and experiences with online dating and how these things are related to our age and gender, check out the infographic below. 

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Sex Research and Sun: Join us for the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality Meeting in Puerto Rico!

Sex Research and Sun: Join us for the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality Meeting in Puerto Rico!

As Co-Chair of this year’s meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, it is my great pleasure to invite you to join us in the Caribbean this November as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Society! If sex research is your thing, you don't want to miss this.

The conference will take place November 9-12 in San Juan, the capital of the island of Puerto Rico. San Juan is a stunning city rich with history, culture, and natural beauty.

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Why So Many Guys Send Unsolicited Photos of Their Manhood to Women

Why So Many Guys Send Unsolicited Photos of Their Manhood to Women

Last week, I was talking in class about differences in how men and women use Tinder and other online dating apps. In the midst of this class discussion, a student asked why so many straight men who use these apps send unsolicited or unwanted photos of their penises to women. This led to a long, but fascinating discussion that I thought readers of the blog might be interested in, too.

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Gender and Sexual Orientation Differences in Preferred Sexual Partner Age

Gender and Sexual Orientation Differences in Preferred Sexual Partner Age

Several studies have found that men and women have different age preferences when it comes to selecting romantic and sexual partners. Generally speaking, it appears that men tend to prefer somewhat younger partners, whereas women tend to prefer partners who are somewhat older. Much of this research has been interpreted through the lens of evolutionary theory, which claims that it was adaptive for men to evolve a preference for younger women because they're likely to be most fertile; by contrast, this theory suggests that it was adaptive for women to have evolved a preference for older men because they presumably have more status and resources.One thing you might be wondering, though, is just how stable these age preferences are likely to be across the lifespan. Do they change as we get older? And, furthermore, what about persons who aren’t heterosexual? How are gay, lesbian, and bisexual persons’ partner age preferences similar or different? A new study published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology offers some insight into these questions.

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The Surprising Truth About Valentine’s Day Baby-Making

The Surprising Truth About Valentine’s Day Baby-Making

Logically, you might assume that there would be an increase in children being conceived on Valentine’s Day. Given the nature of this holiday and the emphasis on celebrating sex and romance, this would seem to make intuitive sense, right? However, it’s not supported by the data. If it were, we’d see a spike in the birth rate during the month of November, but we don’t—in fact, we actually see one of the lowest birth rates that month.

By contrast, however, there is a consistent spike in the birth rate on Valentine’s Day itself. In other words, the evidence doesn’t point to more babies being conceived on Valentine’s Day, but it does point to more babies being born on it. 

Wait—what?

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4 Fascinating Things Scientists Have Learned About Love

4 Fascinating Things Scientists Have Learned About Love

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, a lot of folks have love on the brain—so, let’s talk today about the science of love. Here are four of the most fascinating things researchers have found by studying love relationships. 

1.) We lie to ourselves about the ones we love. People have a tendency to idealize their romantic partners—to think of them as being better than they really are in some way, like thinking that your partner is the absolute best romantic partner anyone could ever have. Scientists refer to these beliefs as “positive illusions” and, believe it or not, these inaccurate beliefs are actually beneficial for our relationships in many ways.

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Infographic: The State of Sex Education in the U.S. in 2017

Infographic: The State of Sex Education in the U.S. in 2017

Sex education is wildly inconsistent throughout the United States. For one thing, only about half of the states even require it, while the other half do not. However, even in the states that mandate sex education, the information teachers are required to provide doesn't necessarily have to be useful--in fact, in some states, it doesn't even have to be correct! The current status of sex education in the U.S. remains pretty poor as we enter 2017, which is a big part of the reason this country has one of the highest teen pregnancy and STI rates in the industrialized world. Check out the infographic below for a closer look at just how incredibly variable sex education is across the country.

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