Pink and blue are colors that are commonly associated with gender in many Western cultures. Specifically, pink is widely considered to be a “girl color,” whereas blue is widely thought of as “boy color.” However, this hasn’t always been the case. In fact, historically, we didn’t associate these colors with a particular gender—and there was even a period not that long ago when some argued that pink was for boys and blue was for girls.Read More
The Trump administration recently released its proposed budget for 2019 and, just like last year, it seeks to ensure that sex education in the United States remains focused on abstinence. Specifically, this administration seeks to fund abstinence-only programs to the tune of $150 million. I've said it many times before, but it bears repeating: focusing sex education primarily on abstinence just doesn’t work.Read More
Research consistently finds that between 1 in 4 and 1 in 5 married persons in the United States has committed infidelity . Rates of infidelity in dating relationships are even higher. Why are so many people cheating? Surprisingly little research has explored the motivations behind infidelity; fortunately, however, a new study published in the Journal of Sex Research offers some valuable insight .Read More
With Valentine’s Day upon us, many folks have love on the brain—so let’s talk about the science of love! In the video below, I've compiled five of the most fascinating things researchers have found by studying loving relationships. Enjoy!Read More
Most people would probably assume that Valentine’s Day is linked to an increase in pregnancies. I mean, given the nature of this holiday and the emphasis on celebrating sex and romance, that would only make intuitive sense, right? Surprisingly, however, it’s not supported by the data. If it were, the birth rate would increase nine months later, but it doesn't—in fact, we actually see one of the lowest birth rates in November.
By contrast, what we do see on Valentine’s Day is a consistent spike in births. 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.Read More
How many people have had oral sex? Do men and women have similar feelings about this activity? Does oral sex "count" as sex? In this post, we'll take a look at the answers to these and other questions about oral sex.
1.) Most adults in the United States have engaged in oral sex before. A recent, nationally representative survey found that 86-87% of men and women say they have done it at least once.Read More
There's a common tendency to assume that when someone in a relationship cheats, they're doing it because the relationship is broken; however, this isn't necessarily true. People who are perfectly happy with their partner and their relationship cheat sometimes, too. So why is that?Read More
There’s a widespread belief that, if you watch enough porn, your brain will build up a tolerance to it, meaning that you will require more and more extreme stuff in order to become—and stay—sexually aroused. Unfortunately, there hasn’t really been any compelling research to either support or refute this idea; however, a new study published in the journal Sexual Medicine suggests that the notion of porn causing a tolerance effect is probably a myth.Read More
The American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) has declared February to be National Condom Month. For my part in helping to increase awareness and education about condoms this February, I created the video below highlighting useful facts and tips for having safer, more pleasurable sex with condoms. To learn more about National Condom Month, check out this page by the ASHA.Read More
In popular culture, a sapiosexual or sapiophile is someone who thinks that high intelligence is sexually attractive. It’s not just that these individuals think it would be desirable to have a partner with a high IQ, though; rather, these people are actually sexually aroused by high levels of intelligence in another person.
Although the concept of sapiosexuality has proved quite popular and much has been said and written about it in the media, it has been the subject of very little scientific study--until now, that is. A new study published in the journal Intelligence offers the first empirical evidence that sapiosexuality does indeed exist; however, the results suggest that it isn't particularly common.Read More
There's been a lot of talk about the issue of sexual consent in response to the #MeToo movement. Much of this talk has focused on getting men to understand that obtaining consent is the right and respectful thing to do—a point that they increasingly appear to recognize and appreciate. However, something a lot of guys do not yet seem to realize is that focusing on consent can be worthwhile for at least one other reason: it has the potential to make sex even better. Here's why:Read More
A reader asked:
“What percentage of men and women actually enjoy giving or receiving oral sex?”
Good question! Let me start by saying that oral sex has become an incredibly common sexual practice in the United States in recent years. In fact, nationally representative survey studies have routinely found that the vast majority of both men and women have engaged in this activity. For example, recent data from the National Survey of Family Growth finds that 86-87% of American adults aged 18-44 have done it at least once (see here for stats on other sexual behaviors).Read More
What do heterosexual women find attractive about the male body? A new study suggests that signs of muscularity and upper body strength are particularly important, while height and weight seem to play much smaller roles.Read More
Several studies have found that pornography use is associated with lower levels of sexual satisfaction (see here and here and here for a few examples). On the basis of this pretty consistent finding, many have concluded that porn necessarily has negative implications for people’s sex lives. As it turns out, however, porn per se probably isn’t the problem here.Read More
How many people are lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB)? For one answer, check out the infographic below, which summarizes recent data from Britain's National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles. As you'll see, the researchers asked about sexual orientation in three different ways: sexual identity, sexual attraction, and sexual behavior--and each one yielded quite different numbers. It might be tempting to think that people's responses to these questions would line up, but they don't for several reasons including the fact that sexuality can be fluid and some people with same-sex attractions are uncomfortable with them and choose not to identify as a sexual minority.Read More
A lot of people claim to have had experiences with the phenomenon of “love at first sight.” But is it really possible to fall in love with someone instantaneously? Believe it or not, social scientists really haven’t bothered to test this idea until now. A new set of studies published in the journal Personal Relationships suggests that people who report having fallen in love at first sight probably weren’t actually in love. Truth be told, they were probably in lust instead.Read More
Pornhub recently released their annual year-in-review of users’ viewing habits and, as usual, the results were fascinating. Among other things, they reported an average of 81 million site visitors per day in 2017, each of whom stayed for an average of 9 minutes and 59 seconds. Also, users uploaded more than 4 million videos—so many, in fact, that it would take 68 years of continuous viewing to get through them all. That’s a lot of porn!
You can check out the full report here in all its glory, but if you’re just after a few highlights and some analysis, here are some of the things that stood out to me during my review of the data.Read More
Students' experiences with sex education are anything but consistent in the United States. Consider this: less than half of the states even require that it be taught at all! Moreover, even in those states that mandate sex education, the information teachers provide doesn't necessarily have to be useful and, at least in some states, it doesn't have to be correct, either! The status of sex education in the US continues to be poor as we enter 2018, which is a large part of the reason why this country has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancies and STIs in the industrialized world. Check out the infographic below for a closer look at just how incredibly variable sex education is across the nation.Read More
Two people can have sex fantasies about the same activity, but the way that specific activity plays out isn’t necessarily going to be the same from one person to the next. In fact, it might be very, very different. For example, if two people who had sexual fantasies about threesomes described those fantasies to you in detail, it’s quite possible that they might bear little resemblance to one another beyond the number of participants involved. One individual, for example, might describe wanting to be the center of attention and engaging in sex with two people they know extremely well; by contrast, another individual might desire a threesome with two strangers in which everyone participates equally.
What accounts for such great variability in fantasy content? I think it’s a reflection of our tendency to construct sexual fantasies that meet our unique psychological needs. A new study I published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior (co-authored by Dr. David Ley and sex advice columnist Dan Savage) supports this idea.Read More
One of the most common stereotypes about straight men’s same-sex friendships is that they’re lacking in emotional depth. Their friendships are seen as revolving around shared activities like watching football or going hunting and fishing—not sitting around and talking about their feelings. Though extremely popular, a new study suggests that this characterization is inaccurate, at least among younger guys today.Read More