What does it say about you if you’re into kinky or BDSM sex? Is it a serious leisure activity, or is it an innate aspect of your sexuality? Could the answer be different for different people? A recent article published in the journal Current Sexual Health Reports grapples with these questions.Read More
According to countless popular media articles, there is a massive disparity between heterosexual men and women when it comes to giving oral sex. Some of these articles suggest that, in male-female sexual encounters, “blowjobs are basically a given” while cunnilingus is “one of the least-often performed sex acts.” In other words, men are getting oral all the time from women, whereas women are almost never receiving it from men—a situation that has been dubbed the “oral sex gap.”
However, I did some digging into the prevalence of oral sex across genders and it turns out that these claims don’t quite match up with what the research says. The oral sex gap isn’t exactly what we have been led to believe.Read More
How does marijuana affect women’s sexual functioning? A recent study published in the journal Sexual Medicine sought to find out. Researchers anonymously surveyed hundreds of women visiting an obstetrics and gynecology clinic in St. Louis, Missouri about whether they used marijuana and, if so, whether and how it affected their sexual satisfaction, sex drive, and orgasm quality. Key results from the study are shown in the infographic below.Read More
In the United States, the average age of first sexual intercourse is 17 for men, according to data from the CDC. The number is roughly the same for women, and it has remained pretty constant for the last two decades. Based on these data, some parents might be tempted to think that talking to their kids about sex can wait until they’re fairly grown up and almost ready to leave for college; however, that would be a poor assumption to make.
It turns out that there is wide individual variability in when adolescents start having sex and a new study suggests that, on average, about 1 in 12 high school boys in the US say they’ve had sex before the age of 13—and, for certain groups of boys, the number is actually more like 1 in 4.Read More
Sex and aging is a topic that has been underexplored in sexuality research, given that the bulk of sex studies to date have focused on college students. However, we’ve learned more in the last few years, as online data collection and national surveys of sexual behavior have increased.
One study of sex and aging that recently caught my attention explored how people’s sexual attitudes and behaviors change over the lifespan using data from a large and diverse sample of 1,522 adults from across the United States.Read More
As a sex educator and researcher, one of the more common questions I get asked is when and how to talk to your kids about sex. Case in point: a reader of the blog recently asked, “At what age should parents talk about sex to their children—or at what age do children need to know about sex?”
So when should you start? And what the heck do parents need to know about navigating this discussion? Here’s a brief guide to help you get started.Read More
In the book A Billion Wicked Thoughts, neuroscientists Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam analyzed the contents of over a billion searches on some of the most popular porn sites. They found a lot of interesting things, including the fact that the most popular search term on Pornhub (one of the most heavily visited tube sites in the entire world) was “mom.” This book was published in 2012, but if you flash forward to today, moms are still incredibly popular in adult entertainment.Read More
The science of orgasm is a fascinating subject. In this post, we’ll take a look at seven of the most interesting things scientists have discovered about orgasms. What to learn more? Check out this video for even more orgasm facts.
1.) The faces people make when they have an orgasm look different across cultures. Researchers have found that the Western orgasm face includes eyes that are opened wider and a vertically stretched mouth, while the East Asian orgasm face includes more smiling, with a raised brow and closed eyes.Read More
In the last few years, Google Trends has become a favored research tools of sex scientists. Because not everyone is willing to participate in sex studies for various reasons, Google searches offer a handy means of looking at what a broader swath of the population thinks about sex. The appeal doesn’t stop there, though.
We also know that people don’t always answer survey questions honestly (even when they’re guaranteed anonymity) due to fear, shame, and embarrassment. For instance, some people may not honestly report their turn-ons because they’re embarrassed, while others might lie about how many people they’ve had sex with in order to look good to the researcher (some might overreport, while others might underreport). When people go to Google, however, they have a powerful incentive to tell the truth: if they don’t, they won’t find what they’re looking for.
Google searches are therefore thought to be very revealing because they can give us a glimpse into the things that people might not otherwise be willing to share. Several research papers have been published recently that explore the contents of Americans’ Google search histories. Here are five of the most fascinating things we’ve learned so far from this unique research tool.Read More
When you start seeing someone new, when’s the right time to begin having sex with that person? According to a non-scientific survey of OK Cupid users, people are all over the map: 28% said between 1 and 2 dates, 47% said between 3 and 5 dates, 20% said 6 or more dates, and 5% said only after getting married.
This pattern tells us that the “three-date rule” is something a lot of people apparently subscribe to; however, it appears to be far from universal.
But does it actually matter when you do it?Read More
Whenever a major sporting competition is about to occur, it’s common to see news articles about athletes who say they will be abstaining from sex until the event is over. Many athletes and coaches are worried that getting it on before a big sporting event could potentially hurt performance.
But is this concern truly warranted? Does sex really have any effect on athletic performance one way or another?Read More
There are a LOT of things that people get wrong when it comes to sex and relationships. As someone who studies these topics for a living, I’ve noticed that some false beliefs are more common than others, though.Read More
Paraphilia is the term psychiatrists and psychologists use to refer to any type of unusual or “non-normative” sexual interest. The number of sexual fantasies that have been deemed paraphilic has grown substantially over the years to the point where hundreds of things have now been labeled as unusual turn-ons. As it turns out, however, a lot of these fantasies aren’t so uncommon after all.
Here are three specific sexual fantasies that are typically considered to be paraphilic, but that are actually quite common in terms of the number of people who have fantasized about them before.Read More
How long do you want to spend on sex? And how long do you actually spend on sex when you have it? Research suggests that there’s often a discrepancy in how people respond to these questions.Read More
There's a lot we can potentially gain from talking to our partners about our sexual fantasies. Among other things, this has the potential to increase our sexual and relationship satisfaction and to enhance feelings of intimacy and closeness. However, many of us don't quite know how to go about sharing and discussing our fantasies or desires. A lot of people feel too scared, anxious, or embarrassed to do so.
To help you get started, I created the video below, which offers some practical steps and guidelines for starting a productive and healthy conversation on this topic.Read More
Purchasing sex used to be a very common behavior among American men. For example, Alfred Kinsey’s famous studies of human sexual behavior from the 1940s and 50s found that 69% of the men he surveyed had paid for sex at least once! However, more recent studies suggest that the number has dropped significantly as attitudes toward sex outside of marriage have liberalized. In fact, in the 1990s, a nationally representative survey of Americans found that just 16% of men said they had paid for sex before.
So what do the numbers look like today? And how do they compare for men and women?Read More
It seems as though every time a video game becomes a major hit, porn inspired by that game becomes a big thing. For example, when the PokémonGo craze hit in 2016, “Poképorn”took off. Videos were uploaded to major porn sites featuring animated Pokémon sex, as well as humans having sex while dressed up as their favorite Pokémon characters. Searches for Pokémon were notably higher, too, as reported by sites like Pornhub and xHamster.
Something similar has happened more recently with the popular video game Fortnite, which is a third-person shooter game in case you aren’t familiar with it. Fortnite-inspired porn is apparently in such great demand that “Fortnite” was one of the top 20 most-searched terms on Pornhub in 2018!
So why is that? Why is video game-based porn so popular?Read More
A recent study suggests that Americans are having less sex today than they were a quarter-century ago. These findings have received a lot of attention—I covered them on the blog when they were published in 2017, and they’ve been discussed in countless media articles around the world since, culminating in a widely read piece in The Atlantic last month, which took the results to mean that we’re in the midst of a “sex recession.”
But is that really the case?Read More