How Many People Have Experimented With BDSM Before?

How Many People Have Experimented With BDSM Before?

BDSM has long been deemed a paraphilia—meaning an unusual sexual interest—by psychologists and psychiatrists. The classification of BDSM as a paraphilia implies that it’s likely to be a pretty rare sexual practice in the overall population. But is that really the case? Just how many people have ever had a BDSM experience before?

This question has been difficult to answer with any degree of certainty because, historically, nationally representative sex surveys haven’t routinely inquired about BDSM. As a result, we’ve had to base most of our knowledge on the results of convenience samples, which aren’t representative of the population and therefore don’t tell us as much about actual prevalence rates. However, a recent national US sex survey offers useful insight.

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Women Who Sleep With Other Men While Their Husbands Watch: The Psychology of Cuckolding

Women Who Sleep With Other Men While Their Husbands Watch: The Psychology of Cuckolding

Three Women is a fascinating new book on sexual desire written by journalist Lisa Taddeo. It takes a deep dive into the sex lives and relationships of three American women who live in different parts of the country.

These women include Maggie, who has a sexual relationship with one of her teachers in high school that ultimately devastates her psychologically. Then there's Lina, who is in a passionless relationship with her husband that prompts her to seek out an affair with her high school crush. Finally, there is Sloane, who has an active sex life with her husband—a man she desires above all others—yet she has sex with other men, and sometimes with women, while her husband watches.

I had the honor of interviewing Taddeo recently about Three Women and, in a series of posts, I will be sharing some of the highlights from our discussion. Today, I’d like to start by exploring the psychology behind Sloane’s relationship.  

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The Fascinating Psychology Behind the Popularity of MILF Porn

The Fascinating Psychology Behind the Popularity of MILF Porn

In the book A Billion Wicked Thoughts, neuroscientists Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam analyzed the contents of over a billion searches on some of the most popular porn sites. They found a lot of interesting things, including the fact that the most popular search term on Pornhub (one of the most heavily visited tube sites in the entire world) was “mom.” This book was published in 2012, but if you flash forward to today, moms are still incredibly popular in adult entertainment. 

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Why A Lot Of Gay Men Are Attracted To Straight Men

Why A Lot Of Gay Men Are Attracted To Straight Men

Pornhub’s annual year-in-review always offers tantalizing insights into what it is that turns people on—and last year’s review was no exception. I recently wrote about some of the top search results on the site and discussed the psychology behind them here. However, there was something else in last year’s Pornhub report that caught my eye that I thought deserved its own article: the fact that “straight guys” was the most-viewed category on Pornhub’s gay site.

What’s the deal with that? 

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How Sexual and Non-Sexual Communication Differ

How Sexual and Non-Sexual Communication Differ

Communicating early and often about sex is one of the keys to a successful long-term romantic relationship. Indeed, research has consistently found that the more sexual communication couples engage in, the more sexually satisfied they tend to be. However, despite the powerful role that sexual communication plays in our relationships, surprisingly little is known about the way people navigate sexual discussions with their partners.

Studying sexual communication is important because by looking at how people feel about and approach it, we can come to understand why some people avoid sexual communication altogether, but also how struggling couples can facilitate effective communication in their own relationships. Fortunately, a new study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior offers some valuable insight.

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Financial Domination and Money Masochism (Video)

Financial Domination and Money Masochism (Video)

Financial domination (or findom, as it's known for short) is an uncommon sexual interest in which people--usually men--find it arousing to be "forced" to give their hard-earned money to a dominant partner who will do with it as they please. The guys who part with their dough are often referred to as "cash slaves" or "pay pigs" and what they're really getting off on is the fact that they're giving up power and letting someone else control them. There's not necessarily even any sex involved in these relationships because the arousing part is the feeling they get from having someone else in control of their finances.

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Five Scientific Facts You Should Know About BDSM Sex And Those Who Practice It

Five Scientific Facts You Should Know About BDSM Sex And Those Who Practice It

BDSM (which stands for bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism, and masochism) is a widely misunderstood set of sexual practices. There are a lot of myths and stereotypes out there about both the people who are into BDSM, as well as what it is that they do sexually. Unfortunately, popular media depictions of BDSM (e.g., Fifty Shades of Grey) have only served to reinforce many of these misconceptions. In light of this, here's what you really need to know about BDSM according to the science.

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How Common Are BDSM Fantasies? (Infographic)

How Common Are BDSM Fantasies? (Infographic)

Sexual fantasies about bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism, and masochism (BDSM) have long been deemed to be "unusual" or "deviant." But are they really all that rare? A new study just published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine suggests that BDSM fantasies are probably more common than previously thought. Check out the infographic below for a look at the numbers. Keep in mind that this sample is not representative, so you should not necessarily assume that these numbers reflect BDSM interest more broadly--however, they do suggest that BDSM is probably far from an "unusual" fantasy.

What do you fantasize about? Tell us about it and take part in the largest and most comprehensive study of sexual fantasies ever by clicking here.

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Fantasy Friday: A Top 10 List of Readers’ Sexual Fantasies

Sexual fantasies are part of a normal and healthy sex life. The vast majority of people report fantasizing about sex at least occasionally, and more frequent sexual fantasizing is linked to having better sex [1]. However, the content of people’s sexual fantasies varies considerably and is a topic most of us find “fascinating” to explore in its own right. This week, I’m sharing a list of sexual fantasies submitted exclusively by readers of The Psychology of Human Sexuality. As you'll see, the content varies considerably. And although research has found that fantasies tend to conform to gender stereotypes, this list reveals at least a few exceptions.
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Traditional Gender Role Beliefs May Limit Sexual Satisfaction and Safe Sex Practices

Traditional gender roles dictate that men should be dominant and women should be submissive when it comes to matters of sex. For centuries, people around the world have bought into these ideas. However, a new study finds that people who subscribe to such beliefs may have less ability to obtain sexual satisfaction, as well as a reduced likelihood of practicing female-controlled methods of safe sex.
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A Top Ten List of Men’s Sexual Fantasies: Football, Threesomes, Star Wars and More

A Top Ten List of Men’s Sexual Fantasies: Football, Threesomes, Star Wars and More

I recently posted an article about how men’s and women’s sexual fantasies differ. As I mentioned in that piece, men’s fantasies tend to be sexually explicit, frequently include multiple partners, and often express themes of dominance and submission. To demonstrate some evidence of this and explore men’s fantasy content in a little more detail, I have prepared a Top Ten List of sexual fantasies than guys have anonymously submitted to me over the years. As you’ll see when reading this list, threesomes are (not surprisingly) perhaps the most commonly desired scenario. However, you’ll also notice that men’s fantasies frequently include trying new things, breaking social taboos, and combining sex with their true loves: football, food, and Star Wars. Enjoy!

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How Do Men’s and Women’s Sexual Fantasies Differ?

How Do Men’s and Women’s Sexual Fantasies Differ?
A few weeks back, I posted a Top 10 List of Sexual Fantasies, which contained a set of fun fantasies people have anonymously submitted to me over the years. As you read through the list, you probably found that it was easy to identify which fantasies were written by men (e.g., “Hot tub filled with whipped cream, pudding, and multiple blondes) and which were written by women (e.g., “We're out for a drive in the country and it starts to rain. We pull into the driveway at home and my partner pulls me into the barn, where we make love on a bale of hay as the rain continues outside”). A few fantasies were more challenging to place, but the majority of them were pretty simple because they largely conformed to gender stereotypes. So is this typically the case when it comes to sexual fantasies? Are men's and women's fantasies really that different?
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