Why does sex tend to feel good? In order to answer this question, we need to step back and look at what our brains and bodies are doing during sexual activity. In the video below, our friends over at ASAP Science provide a handy summary of the changes that occur.Read More
Here's an updated list of the ten most read Q&As of all time on the blog. These questions (all submitted by readers of Sex and Psychology) span quite the range of topics. Some of them are united by this theme: “What’s normal when it comes to sex?” Others, however, focus more on curiosity about different sexual practices, as well as what's safe when it comes to sex.Read More
One of the most reliable findings across studies of human sexual behavior is that heterosexual men report substantially more lifetime sexual partners on average compared to heterosexual women. In theory, the numbers reported by straight men and women should be fairly similar, right? However, we often see guys reporting partner counts that are twice as high as that of women. So why is that? How do we explain this gender difference?
A new study published in the Journal of Sex Research offers some valuable insight.Read More
Food and romance are intimately intertwined in modern dating rituals. Indeed, restaurants are one of the most popular places people visit when they go on a date. Neuroscience research suggests that there might be a very good reason for this: having a full stomach just might make our brains more sensitive to romantic cues.Read More
The term "blue balls" is frequently used to describe "a dull, aching sensation that occurs during sexual arousal before or without ejaculation." You may or may not realize this, but the "blue" in blue balls actually has a dual meaning. First and most obvious is the fact that the testicles themselves actually appear to take on a bluish hue. However, this term also references the fact that blue balls is considered to be a sad experience because the implication is usually that one is aroused but cannot find sexual relief (i.e., it's often considered to be a state of sexual frustration).
So what happens when someone gets blue balls anyway?Read More
Are you getting what you want when it comes to sex? Odds are, probably not. Most of us have sexual fantasies that we wish were part of our sexual reality; however, few of us have shared these desires with our partners, let alone acted on them.
Learning to communicate our desires is vital for maintaining happy and healthy relationships. Sexual communication has a number of benefits, from establishing greater intimacy and closeness to keeping passion alive for the long haul.
So how do we get what we want? Join me for a lecture and workshop at the V Club in New York City on August 8 to learn more.Read More
If you follow the news closely, you've probably noticed that, month after month, reports emerge about politically or religiously conservative men who find themselves embroiled in scandals in which they were caught having sex with other men. These events routinely make the news because the men involved tend to be outspoken opponents of LGBT+ rights who are caught engaging in hypocrisy.
So why does this keep happening? Why do so many conservative leaders wind up in these situations? Social psychological research offers a few potential explanations.Read More
Studies suggests that most married adults have sex somewhere between a few times per month and a few times per week (side note: sexual frequency in relationships is similar for heterosexuals and gay men, with lesbians doing it less often; however, when lesbians have sex, they spend more time on it than everyone else, which balances things out). Few couples in long-term relationships have sex every single day. But let's imagine for a second that everyone in relationships who isn't currently having daily sex (which is most of us) gave it a try. What would happen? Would all of that extra bedroom activity (or wherever it is that you like to do it) make us happier in the end?Read More
People who are sexually attracted to animals are often referred to as "zoophiles" in the psychological literature. Zoophilia is something that has long been considered a paraphilia, meaning an uncommon sexual interest. Although zoophilia is something that most people have heard of before, very little research exists on the subject. So what do we know about the psychology behind zoophilia anyway?Read More
When people think about sex and aging, they have a tendency to focus on all of the things that might interfere with sexual satisfaction as we get older, such as chronic illnesses. However, it's very much possible for people to maintain a satisfying sex life as they age even if their health status changes. To learn more about this subject, 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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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).Read More
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).Read More
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.Read More
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:Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More