The Truth About the “Oral Sex Gap”

The Truth About the “Oral Sex Gap”

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.

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Is Erectile Dysfunction Really on the Rise in Young Men?

Is Erectile Dysfunction Really on the Rise in Young Men?

In the popular media, it’s easy to find claims of a rising “epidemic” of erectile dysfunction in young men. For example, this article argues that the rate of ED in young men has increased 1000% in the last decade alone—though, problematically, no research is cited to back it up, which makes this a very questionable claim. So what does the science say on this subject? Are erectile difficulties really rising at a dramatic rate in young guys? Let’s take a look.

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Are Sex Researchers More Sexually Active Than Everyone Else?

Are Sex Researchers More Sexually Active Than Everyone Else?

When you study sex for a living, people have a tendency to think that you really love sex—and that you must be having it all the time, too! In other words, people often assume that you’re doing “mesearch” instead of research.

But is that really the case? Are sex researchers any more sexually active than the rest of the population? Let's take a look at the data.

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Americans’ Attitudes Toward Bisexuals: Results From a National Survey

Americans’ Attitudes Toward Bisexuals: Results From a National Survey

Researchers and public polling firms alike have extensively surveyed Americans about their attitudes toward gays and lesbians in recent years. The results of their work have shown that attitudes toward homosexuality have become far more favorable over time. Unfortunately, however, in almost all of these surveys, attitudes toward bisexuals have been neglected. As a result, we don’t really know that much about what Americans' attitudes toward bisexuality look like today, nor can we say much about the degree to which they might have changed over time.

Fortunately, a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE offers some insight.

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Sex Question Friday: Is It Common To Not Know Your Sexual Orientation?

Sex Question Friday: Is It Common To Not Know Your Sexual Orientation?

A reader submitted the following question:

“Is it normal to not know your sexual orientation?”

This is a really interesting question, so thanks for asking it! I’m going to assume that by “sexual orientation” you’re referring to one’s sexual identity label. Of course, this is not how everyone defines sexual orientation (e.g., some think of it as a pattern of attraction or arousal, others as a pattern of behavior); however, I have found that in everyday (i.e., non-academic) usage, most people are referring to the label we use to describe ourselves, so that’s what I’ll focus on here.

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Sex Question Friday: Is Bisexuality More Common In Women Or Men?

Sex Question Friday: Is Bisexuality More Common In Women Or Men?

Every Friday on the blog, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a reader who wanted to know more about the topic of bisexuality:

“I have always heard that there are more bi females than there are bi males. Is this true and, if so, why?”

Great questions! As for whether there are more bisexual females than males, the answer depends what you mean by “bisexual.”

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Sex Question Friday: How Popular Is Anal Sex In America?

Sex Question Friday: How Popular Is Anal Sex In America?

Every Friday on the blog, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a reader who wanted to know the following:

“How many Americans are having anal sex?”

Good question! Anal sex appears to be quite popular in this country. And although this activity is most commonly associated with gay men, many heterosexuals practice it too.

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Facts About Orgasm (Infographic)

Facts About Orgasm (Infographic)

How many people had an orgasm the last time they had sex? Are certain sexual activities linked to a greater likelihood of orgasm than others? Check out the infographic below for the answers to these questions and more based on data from the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, the largest and most recent nationally representative study of Americans' sexual attitudes and behaviors.

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What Americans Did During Their Most Recent Sexual Event (Infographic)

How are Americans "getting busy" these days? Check out the infographic below to learn what a nationally representative sample of men and women reported doing during their most recent sexual experience. For additional findings from this study, read this story.
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What Percentage Of The Population Is LGBT?

How many people in the United States identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered (LGBT)? A recent Gallup poll that received a lot of media attention put the overall number at 3.4% of the population and reported that women were slightly more likely than men to identify as LGBT (3.6% vs. 3.3%). How much stock should we put in the results of this poll? In light of other published sex surveys, I would be cautious about drawing too many conclusions from it.   
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How Many Straight People Are Having “Gay Sex?”

It is a widely held belief that anal sex is “gay sex.” In other words, people tend to assume that anal sex is an activity practiced almost exclusively by gay men. However, this is not an accurate reflection of reality. In fact, research suggests that not only has anal sex become increasingly common among heterosexual men and women, but the vast majority of people who practice it are not gay.
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What Are Americans Doing Beneath The Sheets These Days?

Although “sex” is a small word, it has quite a big meaning. Sexual behavior comprises a wide range of activities, and there is huge variation in the activities people practice and enjoy. In this post, I thought it would be worth taking a quick peek beneath the sheets to see what Americans today are actually doing in bed and how sexual behaviors differ across certain groups. In order to accomplish this, we will consider some of the key findings from the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior (NSSHB).1
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Are Women Really More Likely To Be Bisexual Than Men?

Are Women Really More Likely To Be Bisexual Than Men?

I recently posted an article in which I concluded that “while it is indeed possible for both men and women to be bisexual, evidence from a variety of sources suggests that bisexuality may be a more natural occurrence among women than men” (see here for the complete article). I received a couple of comments on the site as well as a few e-mails that were critical of this conclusion, so I thought it might be useful to do a follow-up post and dig a little deeper into the research in the hope of clearing things up a bit more.

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