Study: 1 in 8 Young Adults Say Watching Porn is a Form of Cheating

Study: 1 in 8 Young Adults Say Watching Porn is a Form of Cheating

When it comes to infidelity, which behaviors count and which ones don’t? It turns out that different people answer this question in very different ways.. That said, there are some things that people seem to agree on more than others.

At least for those in monogamous relationships, people largely agree that having sexual intercourse with someone else is a form of cheating. The same goes for taking a shower with another person or sending them naked photos. But what about just watching porn by yourself? Do people typically categorize that as a form of infidelity? A recent study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior suggests that some do.

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Celebrating 66 Years of Women's Sex Research This Week

Celebrating 66 Years of Women's Sex Research This Week

Sixty-six years ago this week (August 20, 1953), the media first reported on some of the major findings from Alfred Kinsey's classic book Sexual Behavior in the Human Female. As many of you probably know, this was the first book of its kind to truly explore women's sexual attitudes and behaviors from a scientific point of view.

Kinsey's book sent shockwaves around the world and it was quickly labeled "obscene" by many, due to the prevailing views on sex in the 1950s. Today, though, we look back on Kinsey's brave work as one of the most important publications on human sexuality ever. Kinsey's research was groundbreaking in so many ways, but largely because it debunked many myths and misconceptions about women's sexuality.

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People Who Use More Emojis Have More Sex

People Who Use More Emojis Have More Sex

What does your use of emojis say about your sex and dating life? According to a new study published in the journal PLoS ONE, a lot, actually. In fact, frequent use of emojis with potential dates is linked to not only having sex more often, but also to a more active and successful dating life. 

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The Ten Most-Read Questions and Answers on Sex and Psychology

The Ten Most-Read Questions and Answers on Sex and Psychology

Here's an updated list of the ten most read question-and-answer features of all time on the blog. These questions (all submitted by readers of Sex and Psychology) span a very wide range of topics. Many of them fall under the category of “What’s normal when it comes to sex?”  By contrast, others reflect curiosity about diverse sexual practices, as well as interest in better understanding what's safe when it comes to sex. 

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Sex and Psychology Podcast: How ADHD Affects People's Sex Lives and Relationships

Sex and Psychology Podcast: How ADHD Affects People's Sex Lives and Relationships

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a term that most people are familiar with. But when we hear about someone having ADHD, we tend to think about children and adolescents and how this disorder affects them at home or in school because most people who are diagnosed happen to be kids and there’s a widespread belief that people eventually “outgrow” ADHD.

The reality, however, is that most kids with ADHD become adults with ADHD. Also, there are a heck of a lot of adults out there with undiagnosed ADHD. So what are the implications of ADHD in adult life, especially in people’s personal lives? Does it impact the way they approach sex and relationships?

I recently interviewed Dr. Ari Tuckman for the Sex and Psychology Podcast in order to learn more.

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We May Be Able to Eradicate HIV Without Ever Finding a Cure For It

We May Be Able to Eradicate HIV Without Ever Finding a Cure For It

We are getting closer and closer to eradicating HIV, a sexually transmitted infection that has contributed to the deaths of at least 32 million people worldwide since the early 1980s. However, something that’s likely to surprise a lot of people is that scientists believe we may be able to eradicate HIV before we ever even find a cure for it. Yep, you read that right.

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Changes in Americans' Sexual Behavior Since the 1990s

Changes in Americans' Sexual Behavior Since the 1990s

How have Americans’ sexual behaviors changed over the past quarter of a century? A recent study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior offers some insight.

In this study, researchers explored data from the General Social Survey, a nationally representative survey conducted in the United States most years. Sexual behavior isn’t the main focus of this survey, but several questions about sex are included on it, including how many partners people have ever had as well as who they have had sex with in the past year. So what did they find?

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Where Do Our Sexual Attractions Come From?

Where Do Our Sexual Attractions Come From?

Why are we sexually attracted to some people, but not others? Where do our attractions come from in the first place? 

As a social psychologist who has studied issues of attraction extensively, I’ve learned that attraction is a verycomplex process. As I discuss in my book The Psychology of Human Sexuality, attraction is influenced by a wide range of biological, psychological, and social/environmental/cultural factors. For example:

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How We Can Use Science To Close the Orgasm Gap

How We Can Use Science To Close the Orgasm Gap

The orgasm gap refers to the well-documented research finding that heterosexual men tend to have more consistent experiences with orgasm than heterosexual women. Specifically, men are not only more likely to report having had an orgasm the last time they had sex, but they’re also more likely to say that they always or almost always have orgasms compared to women.

So what can we do to close this gap?

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Should You Ever Keep a Relationship Secret?

Should You Ever Keep a Relationship Secret?

Keeping a relationship secret is exciting, right?

That's what movies and television shows might lead you to believe. Couples who sneak around together are usually depicted as full of passion and excitement. For example, remember when Monica and Chandler started sneaking around together on Friends? But is that what secret relationships are really like in real life, or is this just Hollywood fiction? Research suggests secrecy is usually more onerous than it is exciting.

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How Many People Have Experimented With BDSM Before?

How Many People Have Experimented With BDSM Before?

BDSM has long been deemed a paraphilia—meaning an unusual sexual interest—by psychologists and psychiatrists. The classification of BDSM as a paraphilia implies that it’s likely to be a pretty rare sexual practice in the overall population. But is that really the case? Just how many people have ever had a BDSM experience before?

This question has been difficult to answer with any degree of certainty because, historically, nationally representative sex surveys haven’t routinely inquired about BDSM. As a result, we’ve had to base most of our knowledge on the results of convenience samples, which aren’t representative of the population and therefore don’t tell us as much about actual prevalence rates. However, a recent national US sex survey offers useful insight.

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What is HPV and How Can You Protect Yourself From It?

What is HPV and How Can You Protect Yourself From It?

The human papilloma virus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. More than one hundred strains of HPV exist and, while most of them don’t cause problems, some do—and those problems are potentially quite serious. For example, HPV has been linked to cancers of the cervix, throat, and anus.

So what exactly happens inside the body when someone contracts one of the dangerous strains of HPV? How can you learn whether or not you’ve been infected? And what can you do to reduce the risk of contracting an HPV infection?

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Who’s Into Polyamory? A Demographic Comparison of Polyamorists and Monogamists

Who’s Into Polyamory? A Demographic Comparison of Polyamorists and Monogamists

Polyamory is a concept that different people define in different ways, but common to most definitions is the capacity to develop more than one emotionally close relationship at the same time with the consent of everyone involved. Public interest in polyamory is on the rise and there’s a growing amount of research on the subject, too. However, we still don’t know all that much about who is actually practicing polyamory.  

Polyamorists tend to be stereotyped and portrayed in the media as young, wealthy, White liberals—in other words, they tend to be seen as a pretty homogeneous group. But is that actually the case? We sought to answer this question in a recent study just published in the Journal of Sex Research

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Do People’s Sexual Fantasies Differ Depending on Their Race or Ethnicity?

Do People’s Sexual Fantasies Differ Depending on Their Race or Ethnicity?

I surveyed 4,175 Americans about their sexual fantasies for my book Tell Me What You Want. Since this book came out, one of the more common questions I’ve been asked about (both online and at speaking engagements) is the role that race plays in people’s sex fantasies. Specifically, do persons of color tend to have similar or different fantasies to those of White individuals? Let’s take a look at what my data say.

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How Your Political Views Shape Who You're Attracted To

How Your Political Views Shape Who You're Attracted To

Generally speaking, people tend to select romantic partners who hold similar political views. For example, consider a recent study in which researchers looked at party registration patterns of heterosexual married couples in 30 U.S. states. What they found was that male and female partners were registered with the same party in 70 percent of households; just 30 percent involved a mismatch of some sort. Of those mismatches, only about one-third involved a Democrat partnered with a Republican—the rest involved people with partisan affiliations partnering with independents.

The fact that only about 1 in 10 current married couples features a Democrat-Republican pair suggests that people with extreme political differences either don’t get together very often or, when they do, their relationships don’t last very long . So why is that? Social psychology can help us to understand why people tend to start relationships with those who are politically like-minded.

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When Women Get Blamed For Men’s Infidelity

When Women Get Blamed For Men’s Infidelity

Three Women is a bestselling new book on sexual desire written by journalist Lisa Taddeo. It offers a deep dive into the sex lives and relationships of three American women who live in different parts of the country.

These women include Maggie, who has a sexual relationship with one of her teachers in high school that devastates her psychologically. Then there's Lina, who is in a passionless relationship with her husband (he hasn’t kissed her in ten years) that prompts her to seek out an affair with her high school crush. Finally, we have Sloane, who has an active sex life with her husband, yet she has sex with other men, and sometimes with women, while her husband watches.

I recently interviewed Taddeo about Three Women and am sharing some of the highlights from our discussion in a series of posts (you can read my first post here, which focuses on Sloane’s relationship and the psychology of cuckolding). Today, we’re going to explore infidelity and the different ways that it affects men and women. 

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The Most Fantasized About Male and Female Celebrities

The Most Fantasized About Male and Female Celebrities

Who’s your celebrity crush? I surveyed more than 4,000 American adults about their sexual fantasies for my book Tell Me What You Want and, among other things, I asked them who they were fantasizing about. In the images below, I focus on fantasies about the rich and famous and present the results separately for male and female celebs.

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Relationships: The Importance of Being Growth-Oriented

Relationships: The Importance of Being Growth-Oriented

A lot of people end relationships before ever truly giving them a chance, and it's because many of us take the "shopping list" approach to love. In other words, some people have an extensive checklist of the things they're looking for and they don't stick with partners who fail to meet their criteria.

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Women Who Sleep With Other Men While Their Husbands Watch: The Psychology of Cuckolding

Women Who Sleep With Other Men While Their Husbands Watch: The Psychology of Cuckolding

Three Women is a fascinating new book on sexual desire written by journalist Lisa Taddeo. It takes a deep dive into the sex lives and relationships of three American women who live in different parts of the country.

These women include Maggie, who has a sexual relationship with one of her teachers in high school that ultimately devastates her psychologically. Then there's Lina, who is in a passionless relationship with her husband that prompts her to seek out an affair with her high school crush. Finally, there is Sloane, who has an active sex life with her husband—a man she desires above all others—yet she has sex with other men, and sometimes with women, while her husband watches.

I had the honor of interviewing Taddeo recently about Three Women and, in a series of posts, I will be sharing some of the highlights from our discussion. Today, I’d like to start by exploring the psychology behind Sloane’s relationship.  

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How Does Marijuana Affect Men's Sexual Health and Performance?

How Does Marijuana Affect Men's Sexual Health and Performance?

How does marijuana affect men in the bedroom? Dozens of scientific studies have been published on the topic, and here’s what we’ve learned so far.

Marijuana affects the subjective experience of sex

When researchers survey men about how marijuana impacts their sex lives, many of them report that this drug has aphrodisiac-like properties.

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