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.Read More
Our sexual fantasies appear to reflect, at least in part, our personality traits and characteristics. In studying the sex fantasies of more than 4,000 Americans for my book Tell Me What You Want, I found that the Big Five personality factors of openness to experience, conscientiousness, agreeableness, extraversion, and neuroticism were all linked to the types of fantasies people reported having.
Below, I briefly describe what each of these traits is all about and how they are related to the types of things you’re more (or less) likely to fantasize about:Read More
Sex scientists have found that people’s sexual satisfaction seems to depend on a wide range of factors, from how often they’re having sex to the types of sexual activities they’re practicing. Here’s a brief review of some of the key factors that are linked to higher versus lower levels of sexual satisfaction.Read More
People fantasize about having sex in a wide range of settings, but cars are one of the most popular. As some evidence of this, I surveyed more than four thousand Americans about their sexual fantasies for my forthcoming book Tell Me What You Want and found that the vast majority (77%) said they'd fantasized about sex in motor vehicles. Moreover, about 1 in 5 people who took the survey said they had fantasies about this often.
Clearly, cars represent an appealing place to have sex. A lot of people seem to be acting on their car sex fantasies, too.Read More
What keeps passion alive in a long-term relationship? According to a recent study of nearly 40,000 adults (all of whom were heterosexual and currently in romantic relationships), there were five key differences between people who said they were able to keep the passion going and those who weren’t. People who kept the spark alive were more likely to (1) spend time setting the mood, (2) practice sexual communication, (3) receive oral sex, (4) be happier with their relationship in general, and (5) engage in more acts of sexual variety.
While there’s a lot to be said about each of these factors, I want to focus on just one of them in this post—the role of sexual variety.Read More
A new study published in the Journal of Sex Research reports that when married people start using porn, their odds of getting divorced double. In other words, the results would appear to suggest that porn is inherently destructive to relationships.
Though the findings are provocative and based on longitudinal data from the General Social Survey (which is often a great source of information), I’m just not sold on the conclusion. Here’s why.Read More
When our interest in sex starts to wane, exposure to a new or novel partner has a way of bringing it back. This phenomenon--formally dubbed the Coolidge Effect--got its name from a popular anecdote about a visit that U.S. President Calvin Coolidge and his wife supposedly made to a chicken farm. The story goes something like this:Read More
A reader submitted the following question:
“My partner and I have watched porn together in the past and have recently gotten a hentai video game together. After playing it, we had fun sex like we hadn't had in a long time. I worry that we may become dependent on porn to spice up our sex life. Should we be careful, or is this healthy for our relationship?”
Thanks for this very interesting question! First, let me say that you aren’t alone in finding that shared porn use can be sexually exciting. In fact, research has found that people who report watching pornography with their partners tend be more sexually satisfied overall.Read More
Every Friday on the blog, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a male reader who wanted to know the following:
“I seem to have a problem with sexual arousal and women I am emotionally attached to. When I met my wife, we were very sexually active, but that dwindled as we got deeper into our relationship. I thought at first maybe it was my age, but I have found myself aroused over female friends and acquaintances. The good thing is this has never developed into an affair but I would like to figure out what is wrong with me so that my wife and I can be intimate. This problem predates my wife and in the past, my girlfriends would have to at least pretend to indulge a fantasy of a threesome of them being intimate with someone else (dirty talk about it) just for me to get aroused. So I believe there is a correlation between arousal and degrees of familiarity.”Read More
In this TEDx video, Gary Wilson discusses his view on how heavy use of online porn may be affecting men’s sex lives. As Wilson points out, accessing pornography through high speed Internet is fundamentally different from how guys used to get their kicks (e.g., by reading Playboy magazine) because it provides a constant barrage of new people and new sexual activities. While I think we can all agree that this is true, the claims he makes about the problematic effects of pornography are debatable.Read More