When people become friends with benefits (FWBs), what is it that they truly want from that arrangement? Are they just in it for the “benefits” (that is, sex)? Or are they perhaps looking for more? I’ve conducted some research on this subject and here’s what I found.Read More
Narcissism is a frequently maligned personality trait that involves being self-centered, entitled, and holding grandiose views of oneself. Sex researchers have long been interested in how narcissism plays out in people’s sexual and romantic lives; to date, however, they’ve really only focused on the potentially harmful outcomes associated with being narcissistic, such as being more likely to commit infidelity . New research challenges the widespread belief that narcissism is inherently bad, though. In fact, in some ways, narcissism just might be good for your sexual health and well-being.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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:Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
People can predict with modest accuracy whether a man (but not a woman) has cheated before based solely on the appearance of his face, according to a recent study published in Royal Society Open Science. In other words, we seem to have a limited ability to pick out men who have committed infidelity just by looking at them.Read More
The internet is rife with articles describing people’s frustration with online dating apps like Tinder. It’s interesting when you think about it because these apps were designed to make dating easier and more efficient than ever; however, they haven’t necessarily made the process more satisfying. One of the problems for those attracted to different genders is that men and women tend to take very different approaches to Tinder—approaches that often end up creating frustration on all sides.Read More
Cohabitation, or the act of living together with a partner outside of marriage, used to be a rarity. However, it has become quite common in the modern world. Many now see it as a precursor to marriage, while others view it as an alternative option to marriage. A majority of married Americans today (nearly 60%) report that they cohabited before tying the knot.Read More
Finding a compatible partner is one of the cornerstones of a happy and healthy relationship. But how do you determine who you’re compatible with? Intuitively, you might think the answer would be to take the approach that a lot of online dating companies do, which is try and partner-up with someone similar to you. If you’re more similar, you’ll probably have fewer disagreements, right?
Not necessarily.Read More
How many people have ever been involved in a consensual non-monogamous (CNM) relationship before? The results of two recent studies involving nationally representative samples (one from the United States and one from Canada) reached nearly identical conclusions: approximately 20% (or 1 in 5) respondents said they had.
The U.S. study is from 2016 and it was previously covered on the blog here; however, the Canadian study just came out, so here are a few of the highlights from it.Read More
What do you do after sex? Some people like to spoon or cuddle, others go to sleep, and yet others get up to grab something to eat or drink. But does what you do matter? For people in relationships, it certainly seems to, according to research. In fact, the more that couples spoon or otherwise express affection or intimacy after sex, the happier they tend to be.Read More
I recently sat down for an interview with two well-known relationship experts, Drs. John and Julie Gottman. The Gottmans are a married couple, and they’re both clinical psychologists. They are also the founders of The Gottman Institute, where they have been studying sex and relationships for decades. The Gottmans have published a number of influential academic papers and bestselling books, with their latest being Eight Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love.
I cover a wide range of topics in my interview with the Gottmans, including…Read More
It can be challenging to get over a breakup. Many people find that they can’t stop thinking about their ex and that this has negative implications for their mental health, including depression and anxiety. So if you’re having trouble moving on, is there anything you can do?Read More
Valentine’s Day is almost upon us and many people have love on the brain. So let’s talk about the science of love! I’ve put together a video compiling five things scientists have discovered about the nature of love and loving relationships.Read More
When it comes to what men and women want in a romantic partner, they’re stereotyped as wanting drastically different things. However, research suggests that they actually have a lot in common.Read More
The busiest time of year for online dating is the nearly two-month stretch that runs from the day after Christmas through Valentine’s Day. It reaches its peak on the Sunday after New Year’s Day, or “Dating Sunday” as it’s known by those who work in the romance industry. This is consistently the single biggest day of the year for new online dating signups.
So why is that? What’s going on in the first few months of winter that makes people want to couple-up (a phenomenon often referred to in the media as “cuffing season”)?Read More