Your Personality Traits Can Predict Your Sexual Behaviors, Attitudes, and Sexual Health

Your Personality Traits Can Predict Your Sexual Behaviors, Attitudes, and Sexual Health

Your sex life is, to some extent, a function of your personality. Sex scientists have accumulated a large body of research revealing linkages between what are known as the "Big Five" personality traits and people’s sexual attitudes, behaviors, and health. These findings were recently summarized in a meta-analysis published in the journal Psychological Bulletin.

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Americans' Views on Sexual Morality are the Most Liberal on Record

Americans' Views on Sexual Morality are the Most Liberal on Record

According to the results of Gallup's 2018 Moral Issues Survey, Americans’ views on sexual morality continue to become more liberal. For the majority of issues Americans were surveyed about, Gallup actually recorded the most liberal views on record. Among the most notable changes were that more Americans than ever believe same-sex behavior, sex between unmarried adults, divorce, and having children outside of marriage are morally acceptable. However, while substantial shifts have occurred in those attitudes, Americans’ attitudes toward other sex-related issues—especially abortion and affairs—haven’t really changed much. Check out the table below for a closer look at the numbers and how they have changed in the last 17 years.

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Why We Need More Research On Sex And Aging

Why We Need More Research On Sex And Aging

Sex and aging is a topic I've wanted to include more coverage of on the blog for a long time; however, when you run a research-based blog, it's hard to write about topics that don't get a whole lot of research attention. So why is it that there isn't more research out there on sex and aging? And why is this an important topic to study anyway? For some insight into these questions, I recently spoke with author Joan Price, a self-described "advocate for ageless sexuality" who has written a number of books on sex and aging, including the award-winning Naked At Our Age: Talking Out Loud About Senior Sex.

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Where Do Our Sex Fantasies Come From?

Where Do Our Sex Fantasies Come From?

What’s the source of your favorite sex fantasy? Did it emerge from a previous sexual experience? Is it from something you saw in porn or in the popular media? Or did it come from somewhere else? It turns out that our fantasies can spring from several different sources. In this post, we’ll consider what 4,175 Americans said when asked where their biggest sexual fantasy of all time came from (note that this survey formed the basis for my latest book, Tell Me What You Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help You Improve Your Sex Life).

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Why Do We Fantasize About Sex? There Are More Reasons Than You Think

Why Do We Fantasize About Sex? There Are More Reasons Than You Think

Why do we have sexual fantasies? For many of you, the first thought that probably comes to mind is to enhance sexual arousal or to experience pleasure. However, that’s just one of many potential reasons we might fantasize about sex. In this post, we’ll consider the most commonly reported reasons for having a sexual fantasy according to a survey of 4,175 Americans (note that this survey formed the basis for my latest book, Tell Me What You Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help You Improve Your Sex Life).

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The Deeper Psychological Meaning Behind Your Sexual Fantasies

The Deeper Psychological Meaning Behind Your Sexual Fantasies

When we hear or read about other people’s sexual fantasies, we have a tendency to focus our attention on the specific act they describe, such as a threesome or bondage, and the physical sensations that go along with it. However, our fantasies are much more complex than this and, often, they go well beyond a desire for purely physical gratification. It turns out that we’re often seeking to meet deeper psychological needs through our fantasies, too. And depending on what your needs are at a given moment, you might very well be drawn to different types of sex fantasies.

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What I Learned By Asking 4,000 Americans About Their Biggest Sex Fantasies

What I Learned By Asking 4,000 Americans About Their Biggest Sex Fantasies

My new book, Tell Me What You Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help You Improve Your Sex Life, will land in bookstores next week (July 10 in the US, to be exact). I couldn't be more thrilled, especially after all the years I spent writing it!

This book is built around a massive survey of sexual fantasies that I spent almost two years working on. I learned a lot in the process of conducting this survey and writing the book, so let me take a moment to share some of the key insights and takeaways. To that end, here's an excerpt from a recent Q&A I did about Tell Me What You Want, which will give you a better sense of what the book is all about and some of the most interesting things I discovered along the way:

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The 7 Most Common Sexual Fantasies

The 7 Most Common Sexual Fantasies

What's your favorite sexual fantasy of all time? I asked 4,175 Americans to tell me their biggest sexual desire as part of a recent survey I conducted and the results were, well, fascinating, to say the least. As I combed through all of these fantasies, I uncovered seven major themes that seem to characterize the nature of sexual desire in the United States today. Below, I've put together a brief video that highlights what each of those themes are. 

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Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Pegging

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Pegging

Anal activities have become increasingly popular in porn—and in people’s sex lives, too. For example, changes in Pornhub search trends reveal that queries for anal sex have increased by more than 100% in the last decade. At the same time, there’s been a sizeable increase in the number of men and women who say they’ve tried anal sex at least once before when you compare recent data to 1990s data.

Anal sex isn’t just one thing, though—people are exploring anal stimulation in multiple forms, from rimming to pegging. And if there’s a trend in anal sex right now, it seems to be pegging, an act that has been depicted and discussed with great frequency not just in porn, but also in pop culture.

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7 Things That Predict Higher (Or Lower) Sexual Satisfaction

7 Things That Predict Higher (Or Lower) Sexual Satisfaction

Sex scientists have found that people’s sexual satisfaction seems to depend on a wide range of factors, from how often they’re having sex to the types of sexual activities they’re practicing. Here’s a brief review of some of the key factors that are linked to higher versus lower levels of sexual satisfaction.

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Female Hyenas Have an 8-Inch Clitoris--And It Makes For Tricky Mating

Female Hyenas Have an 8-Inch Clitoris--And It Makes For Tricky Mating

I've been reading and hearing a lot about spotted hyenas in the media lately. They caught my attention because, well, hyenas don't usually show up in my newsfeed very often (or at all). However, in the process, I learned a lot about hyenas--and hyena sex. And it's pretty fascinating stuff. 

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Does Sex Affect Athletic Performance? Here's What The Latest Research Says

Does Sex Affect Athletic Performance? Here's What The Latest Research Says

Many athletes abstain from sex before major sporting competitions because they (and sometimes their coaches) are worried that getting it on might have a negative impact on their performance. For instance, British boxer Carl Froch recently abstained from sex with his spouse for three months while preparing for a major fight. Froch actually held out twice as long as famed boxer Muhammad Ali, who reportedly *only* abstained for six weeks before fights. Likewise, Mexican soccer coach Miguel Herrera encouraged his players to avoid sex while they prepared for the World Cup in 2014.

So should other athletes take a cue from these guys? Is there any truth to the idea that sex and sports don't mix?

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Tell Me What You Want: An Unprecedented Look At Our Sexual Fantasies--And What They Say About Us

Tell Me What You Want: An Unprecedented Look At Our Sexual Fantasies--And What They Say About Us

I am thrilled to announce that my new book, Tell Me What You Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help You Improve Your Sex Life, will land in bookstores everywhere in just a few short weeks (July 10, to be exact). This book was several years in the making and I can't believe that it's now on the verge of release!

I'd like to tell you a little bit about why I wrote Tell Me What You Want and what this book is all about.

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More Evidence That Sex Could Be Good For Your Brain

More Evidence That Sex Could Be Good For Your Brain

Research on both humans and animals increasingly suggests that being sexually active just might benefit the brain. Here's an overview of the evidence that has accumulated so far:

  • A 2010 study on male rats discovered a link between sexual activity and neuron growth [1]. Specifically, rats that were allowed to have sex daily over a two-week period demonstrated more neuron growth than rats that were only allowed to have sex once during that time.

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There’s Just One Problem With Suppressing Sexual Thoughts—It Doesn’t Work

There’s Just One Problem With Suppressing Sexual Thoughts—It Doesn’t Work

Let’s say you have a sexual fantasy about something—or someone—you’re not “supposed” to do, perhaps because it conflicts with the teachings of your religion. When a thought about this pops into your head, what do you do?

One of the most common responses people have to unwanted thoughts is to actively suppress them. While this may work in the short term as a means of reducing these thoughts, unfortunately, it’s not a very effective strategy for clearing your mind of them. As it turns out, suppressing a given thought just makes us think about it more in the long run.

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What Does (And Doesn't) Impact Men's Sperm Health

What Does (And Doesn't) Impact Men's Sperm Health

It’s not uncommon for guys to experience fertility problems—even guys who are in the prime of their lives. Just consider that some health organizations claim that as many as 1 in 5 young men have a low sperm count.

Male fertility issues have multiple causes, with medical conditions being a major contributor, from genetic anomalies to hormone imbalances to certain sexually transmitted infections.

However, several lifestyle factors are also linked to the quantity and quality of men’s “swimmers.” This is important to highlight because it means that medical intervention isn’t always necessary for guys to improve the health of their sperm.

There are a lot of do-it-yourself tricks that can potentially improve a man’s sexual potency; however, some of the most popular DIY tricks aren't be as effective as previously thought. So which lifestyle changes do (and don’t) enhance sperm quality? Here’s a look at what the research says.

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5 Things You Should Know About Bisexuality For LGBT Pride Month

5 Things You Should Know About Bisexuality For LGBT Pride Month

Bisexuality continues to be a widely misunderstood sexual orientation. Given that this is LGBT Pride Month, I thought it would be useful to put together an article that explores some of the key findings that scientists have uncovered about bisexuality that can speak to some of the biggest misconceptions about it. Here goes:

1.) Bisexuality is real, and it’s not the same as being gay or lesbian. A lot of people deny the existence of bisexuality and assume that everyone who identifies as bisexual is secretly gay; however, the results of several studies reveal that bisexuality involves a distinct pattern of sexual interest and arousal compared to homosexuality.

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How Your Sense Of Smell Shapes Your Sexual Experiences

How Your Sense Of Smell Shapes Your Sexual Experiences

It’s hardly a new revelation that our sense of smell plays an important role in our sexual and romantic lives. I mean, after all, the multi-billion dollar perfume, cologne, and deodorant industries are founded on the premise that smelling good is one of the keys to finding—and keeping—a relationship partner. The role our nostrils play in our sex lives appears to go much deeper than this, though. Smells don’t just have the potential to shape who we find to be attractive, but also how we experience sex itself.

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Americans’ Support for Same-Sex Marriage is at an All-Time High

Americans’ Support for Same-Sex Marriage is at an All-Time High

Over the past decade, there has been a dramatic change in support for same-sex marriage in the United States. Consider this: in 2007, the Pew Research Center conducted a national poll, which found that just 37% of Americans were in favor, while 54% were opposed. By contrast, this year’s poll found quite the reversal: nearly two-thirds (62%) are now in favor, with 32% opposed. This all-time high comes just two years after the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. 

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Three Observations About Sex And Culture In Europe

Three Observations About Sex And Culture In Europe

I recently finished teaching a study abroad course on Sexuality and Culture in the Netherlands. After the course was over, I did some personal travel around Europe, with stops in Germany, the Czech Republic, and France. While the latter part of the trip was mostly a vacation, my sex researcher brain was in full gear the whole time (it always is!). At several points, I couldn’t help but be reminded of just how dramatically different sexual attitudes are in Europe compared to the United States. Here are just a few of the many things I noticed on this trip:

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