Sex and Psychology Podcast: How ADHD Affects People's Sex Lives and Relationships

Sex and Psychology Podcast: How ADHD Affects People's Sex Lives and Relationships

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.

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Who’s Into Polyamory? A Demographic Comparison of Polyamorists and Monogamists

Who’s Into Polyamory? A Demographic Comparison of Polyamorists and Monogamists

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

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How Americans' Views on Sexual Morality are Changing

How Americans' Views on Sexual Morality are Changing

According to the results of Gallup's 2019 Moral Issues Survey, Americans’ views on sexual morality continue to become more liberal overall. In fact, for many of the issues Americans were surveyed about, Gallup recorded the most liberal views on record.

Among the more notable changes are that Americans are increasingly comfortable with same-sex behavior, sex between unmarried adults, divorce, and having children outside of marriage. However, while major shifts have occurred in those attitudes in recent years, Americans’ attitudes toward other sex-related issues—especially things like abortion and infidelity—haven’t really changed much.

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One in Five People Report Having Been in a Sexually Open Relationship

One in Five People Report Having Been in a Sexually Open Relationship

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. 

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5 Things Americans’ Google Searches Have Taught Us About Sex

5 Things Americans’ Google Searches Have Taught Us About Sex

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.

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4 Uncommon Sexual Fantasies And What They Mean

4 Uncommon Sexual Fantasies And What They Mean

I have been studying the science of sex for the last ten years. During that time, I’ve learned a lot about what turns people on, from the vanilla to the kinky. 

Just when I thought I’d heard it all, I embarked on a study of sexual desire that ultimately became the largest and most comprehensive survey of sexual fantasies ever conducted in the United States.

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Americans' Views on Sexual Morality are the Most Liberal on Record

Americans' Views on Sexual Morality are the Most Liberal on Record

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.

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Swingers And Polyamorists May Have More Satisfying Sex Lives Than Monogamists

Swingers And Polyamorists May Have More Satisfying Sex Lives Than Monogamists

There’s a common assumption that monogamous relationships are superior to consensually non-monogamous relationships in virtually all ways. In fact, studies have found that monogamous relationships are thought to be better in terms of promoting closeness, trust, intimacy, companionship, and communication [1]. However, the presumed benefits don’t stop there—monogamous relationships are assumed to be more sexually satisfying, too, because it’s presumed that people who open their relationships are only doing so because they’re unhappy in some way.

So is it really the case that monogamists necessarily have better sex lives and relationships overall compared to those who are in consensually non-monogamous relationships? Do the stereotypes reflect reality? Let’s take a look at the research.

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Who’s Most Likely To Have A Consensually Non-Monogamous Relationship?

Who’s Most Likely To Have A Consensually Non-Monogamous Relationship?

Consensually non-monogamous (CNM) relationships are those in which all of the partners involved agree to have sexual and/or romantic relationships with other persons. This can take many forms, from swinging to polyamory to cuckolding to open relationships. Research suggests that approximately one-fifth of Americans have previously been in some type of CNM relationship, whereas about 5% are currently in such a relationship.

Who’s most likely to have experience with consensual non-monogamy? Are there certain demographic traits or characteristics linked to this relationship practice? A recent review paper published in the journal Current Sexual Health Reports explored this very question. Here’s what the authors found:

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5 Fascinating Things Americans’ Google Searches Have Taught Us About Sex

5 Fascinating Things Americans’ Google Searches Have Taught Us About Sex

Google Trends has quickly become one of the favorite research tools of sex scientists. Why? In part, because not everyone is willing to participate in sex studies and, among those who are, we know they don’t always answer survey questions honestly. For instance, some people won’t report what actually turns them on because they’re embarrassed by it. Likewise, others lie about how many people they’ve had sex with in order to make themselves look better in the eyes of others. When people go to Google, though, they have a powerful incentive to tell the truth because, otherwise, they won’t find what they’re looking for. As a result, Google searches are thought to be very revealing because they can give us a glimpse into the things that people might not be willing to share with scientists, or anyone else for that matter.

In the last few years, several research papers have been published exploring the contents of Americans’ Google search histories. In this post, we’ll take a look at five of the most fascinating things we’ve learned so far from this unique research tool.

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4 Things Science Has Taught Us About Polyamorous Relationships

4 Things Science Has Taught Us About Polyamorous Relationships

During my teaching stint at Harvard a couple of years back, a few colleagues from out of state came to visit me on a lovely spring afternoon. I gave them a brief tour of campus, followed by some bar-hopping through Harvard Square. It was a memorable day for several reasons, but mainly because, over a few drinks at my favorite local dive bar, we laid the groundwork for one of the most ambitious research projects I’ve ever undertaken in my professional career. Specifically, we set out to conduct the largest and most comprehensive scientific investigation of polyamorous relationships to date.

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Americans' Views on Sexual Morality are More Liberal Than Ever

Americans' Views on Sexual Morality are More Liberal Than Ever

According to the results of Gallup's 2017 Moral Issues Survey, Americans’ views on sexual morality continue to become more liberal. In fact, for a majority of the issues Americans were surveyed about, Gallup recorded the most liberal views on record. The most notable changes observed were that more Americans than ever believe same-sex behavior, sex between unmarried adults, and having children outside of marriage are morally acceptable. Although substantial shifts have occurred in those attitudes, Americans’ attitudes toward other sexual issues—particularly abortion and affairs—haven’t really changed at all. Check out the table below for a closer look at the numbers. You can also compare results from 2001 to today.

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The Unique Benefits of a Consensually Non-Monogamous Relationship

The Unique Benefits of a Consensually Non-Monogamous Relationship

In a consensually non-monogamous (CNM) relationship, the partners involved agree that having more than one sexual and/or romantic partner at the same time is permissible. Although interest in CNM relationships appears to be on the rise, these relationships continue to be widely stigmatized, with people tending to see them as inferior to monogamous relationships in most ways [1]. This is interesting when you consider that research comparing the quality of CNM to monogamous relationships reveals few differences and suggests that CNM relationships are not inherently less satisfying or stable. Findings like this suggest that perhaps those who view CNM relationships as inferior simply have a difficult time imagining the potential benefits that these relationships afford.

So what exactly are the benefits of a CNM relationship anyway? And how are the benefits similar to or different from those afforded by a monogamous relationship?

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7 Things You Should Know About Consensually Non-Monogamous Relationships

7 Things You Should Know About Consensually Non-Monogamous Relationships

In consensually non-monogamous (CNM) relationships, the partners involved agree that having more than one sexual and/or romantic relationship at the same time is acceptable. There are a great many myths and misconceptions about CNM relationships, so let’s take a moment to clear things up and look at what research has revealed about them. Here are seven things you should know about CNM relationships, according to science.

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Is An Open Relationship Right For You?

Is An Open Relationship Right For You?

Americans are very interested in the idea of consensual nonmonogamy. In fact, a 2016 national YouGov poll of 1,000 adults found that 48% of men and 31% of women said that their ideal relationship would be nonmonogamous to some degree; however, far fewer than that indicated that they were currently involved in a nonmonogamous relationship. So, while lots of people seem to think that they'd be happier if they opened their relationship in some way, would that actually be the case in reality? Not necessarily.

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Is Cuckolding the New Swinging?

Is Cuckolding the New Swinging?

A few months ago, I blogged about a new study showing that Americans’ interest in consensual non-monogamy (CNM) is on the rise. In this study, social psychologist Amy Moors analyzed Google search trends in the United States between 2006 and 2015 and found that searches for terms related to polyamory and open relationships increased across the decade. At the same time, though, searches for another form of CNM, swinging, decreased. Since then, I’ve been pondering what the latter means. Why aren't people searching for swinging as much as they used to? I can't say for sure, but here's what I suspect: some of the interest in swinging has been replaced with interest in cuckolding.

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What Would You Say If Your Partner Asked To Sleep With Someone Else?

What Would You Say If Your Partner Asked To Sleep With Someone Else?

Most Americans who are in relationships have a spoken or unspoken agreement to be monogamous. In other words, they've agreed not to have sex with anyone but each other. Let's imagine for a moment that you're one of those folks. Got it? Ok, now let's suppose that your partner approaches you one day and says they would like to have sex with someone else. How would you respond?

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Changes in Americans’ Views on Sexual Morality in the Past 15 Years

Changes in Americans’ Views on Sexual Morality in the Past 15 Years

The results of Gallup's 2016 Moral Issues Survey reveal that Americans’ views on sexual morality have shifted in several important ways in the last fifteen years. Most notable are changes in the number of Americans who believe same-sex behavior, sex before marriage, and having children outside of marriage are morally acceptable. While there have been substantial shifts in those attitudes, Americans’ attitudes toward other sexual issues—particularly abortion and affairs—haven’t really changed at all. Check out the table below for a closer look at the numbers from 2001 compared to today.

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Why Some People May Be Better Suited To Consensual Nonmonogamy Than Others

Why Some People May Be Better Suited To Consensual Nonmonogamy Than Others

Given how high the rate of infidelity is, some people have argued that humans are, by nature, not very well suited to monogamy. Others have gone even further and argued that we’d probably all be a lot happier if we were consensually nonmonogamous instead. But is that likely to be the case? Would everyone be better off if they were in some kind of sexually open relationship?

According to data I presented at last month’s meeting of the International Association for Relationship Research, probably not. Rather, my data suggest that whether we respond favorably to monogamy or consensual nonmonogamy is, to some extent, a matter of personality.

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