How long do you want to spend on sex? And how long do you actually spend on sex when you have it? Research suggests that there’s often a discrepancy in how people respond to these questions.Read More
Studies suggests that most married adults have sex somewhere between a few times per month and a few times per week (side note: sexual frequency in relationships is similar for heterosexuals and gay men, with lesbians doing it less often; however, when lesbians have sex, they spend more time on it than everyone else, which balances things out). Few couples in long-term relationships have sex every single day. But let's imagine for a second that everyone in relationships who isn't currently having daily sex (which is most of us) gave it a try. What would happen? Would all of that extra bedroom activity (or wherever it is that you like to do it) make us happier in the end?Read More
I received an email from a reader the other day who read an article chastising a lot of popular magazines and websites for pushing the narrative that we should be having sex more often because it’s good for our health. The point of this article was to say that when sex becomes a utilitarian activity, it takes all the fun out of it—it becomes something we think we need to do instead of something we want to do. The reader asked what I thought about this idea, and my answer is simple: I completely agree. And here’s why.Read More
I recently blogged about the results of a new study reporting that Americans today are having less sex than they were a quarter century ago. Specifically, this research suggests that Americans are having sex about 9 fewer times per year than they were in the 1990s. So what accounts for this apparent decline? And does it necessarily mean—as many assume—that Americans’ sex lives and relationships are less satisfying than they once were?Read More
A new study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior offers a fascinating analysis of the way American adults' sex lives changed between the years 1989 and 2014. Specifically, it focuses on changes in the estimated number of times per year that Americans reported having had sex using data from the General Social Survey (GSS), a nationally representative U.S. survey that is conducted annually. The results suggest that, overall, Americans today are less sexually active than they were a quarter century ago.Read More
In what ways have people's sex lives changed in the last twenty years? Results from the third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal-3) offers some insight, at least in terms of how things have changed for folks in Britain. In the infographic below, data from the Natsal-3 are compared to data from earlier versions of this survey, and they suggest that British people today seem to be having sex with larger numbers of people, but they are doing it less often. Check out the infographic below for a closer look at these and other findings.Read More
Research suggests that most married folks have sex somewhere between a few times per month and a few times per week. Very few do it every single day. But let's imagine for a second that those people who aren't currently having daily sex tried doing it. What would happen? Would all of that extra action make them happier?Read More
What happens to sexual satisfaction over the course of time in a romantic relationship? Does it increase as partners learn how to pleasure each other? Or does it decrease as those initial feelings of passion subside?
Previous research has led to conflicting conclusions. In addition, most of the studies in this area suffer from major limitations. Perhaps the biggest is a persistent focus on cross-sectional rather than longitudinal data (i.e., looking at data from just one snapshot in time, as opposed to tracking actual changes in satisfaction over a period of months or years). Moreover, a lot of the research is based on non-representative samples (e.g., focusing only on young adults or college students).
A new study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior addresses these main shortcomings in an attempt to perhaps provide a more definitive answer to the question of how sexual satisfaction changes with relationship duration.Read More
Who's likely to be happier: a couple having sex once per week, or a couple having sex once per day? Intuitively, most people would probably say that the couple getting it on every day is the happiest. But is it true? Not necessarily. According to a new set of studies published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, more isn't always better when it comes to how often couples are having sex.Read More
Imagine that you started having sex twice as often as you were right now. How do you think you would feel? Although most people would probably guess that their happiness would increase, they might not necessarily be correct. How could that be? It's just common sense that more sex = more happiness, isn't it? As it turns out, we tend to be pretty bad at this thing called affective forecasting, or predicting our future emotional states. What this means is that you won't really know how you'll feel about a given situation until you're in it.Read More
A reader submitted the following question:
“Is there any truth to the concept of lesbian bed death, or is this just an urban legend?”
Thanks for this great question. “Lesbian bed death” is a common term used to describe the precipitous decline in sexual activity that is thought to occur in long-term lesbian relationships. This concept stems from a consistent finding in national survey data that female same-sex couples tend to have sex less often than both male-female and male-male couples . This finding is often attributed to the commonly held stereotype that men desire more sex and tend to be the primary initiators of it. Thus, some people seem to think that without a man in the relationship, not a lot of sex is going to happen.Read More
Over the past 30 years, much has been said and written about “lesbian bed death,” or the idea that long-term romantic relationships between women tend to be characterized by rather inactive sex lives. This originally stemmed from an observation in national survey data that female same-sex couples have a lower sexual frequency than both mixed-sex (male-female) couples and male same-sex couples , a finding that has been replicated many times since. However, some scholars have been critical of using these results to support the existence of “lesbian bed death” because they fail to take into account how much time women in same-sex relationships actually spend on each sexual event. Is it possible that lower sexual frequency in female-female relationships might be offset by a longer duration of sexual activity? A new study published in The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality suggests that this might just be the case .Read More
Results from The Psychology of Human Sexuality’s second Reader Survey are in! Today, we will be taking a look at your views on the subject of consensual non-monogamy (i.e., relationships in which both partners consent to allowing each other to have sex with outside partners).
Let’s begin with a look at the overall sample.