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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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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How Many Americans Have Had A “Social” Sexual Experience? (Infographic)

How Many Americans Have Had A “Social” Sexual Experience? (Infographic)

When we engage in sexual activity, it's usually with just one other person. Sometimes, however, people engage in “social” sexual experiences in which multiple people are involved in some way. These social sexual activities include everything from visiting strip clubs to participating in threesomes and orgies to attending sex, BDSM, and swinger parties. The prevalence of these social sexual experiences is something that, until now, we haven’t really known that much about. However, a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE offers some insight derived from a recent nationally representative US sample. Check out the infographic below for a look at the numbers and some of the key takeaways. 

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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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Americans’ Interest in Consensual Non-Monogamy is on the Rise

Americans’ Interest in Consensual Non-Monogamy is on the Rise

When it comes to romantic relationships, monogamy is the rule for most people. However, many folks agree to some form of consensual non-monogamy (CNM) in which they permit each other to have multiple sexual and/or romantic relationships at the same time.

A new study published in the Journal of Sex Research suggests that Americans are increasingly interested in learning about CNM. The author of this study, Dr. Amy Moors of the University of Michigan, determined this by analyzing Google search trends in the United States between the years 2006-2015.

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How Many People Have Ever Had A Consensually Non-Monogamous Relationship?

How Many People Have Ever Had A Consensually Non-Monogamous Relationship?

Consensually non-monogamous (CNM) relationships feature an explicit agreement that allows partners to have multiple sexual and/or romantic relationships at the same time. This can take numerous forms, from swinging to polyamory to open relationships, with people negotiating the rules and limits to their own comfort level. 

Many people believe that CNM relationships are rare and, further, that they are primarily practiced by gay men. But is this really the case?

A new study published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy suggests that people’s beliefs don’t match up to the reality when it comes to consensual non-monogamy.

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Sex Research Roundup: Pornography, Consensual Nonmonogamy, & Aphrodisiacs

Sex Research Roundup: Pornography, Consensual Nonmonogamy, & Aphrodisiacs

Here’s a brief recap of the most interesting sex research reports that crossed my desk this week. They include studies on how scientists should be measuring porn use, how consensual nonmonogamy is linked to relationship quality, and whether “natural” aphrodisiacs really work as advertised.

Regnerus, M., Gordon, D., & Price, J. (in press). Documenting pornography use in America: A comparative analysis of methodological approaches. The Journal of Sex Research.

This is actually one of two papers I’ve seen in the past month that talks about some of the problems inherent in studying porn use. This one focused on the timeframe researchers should ask about when trying to determine how frequently people are using porn.

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Reader Survey Results: How Do You Feel About Non-Monogamy?

Reader Survey Results: How Do You Feel About Non-Monogamy?

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.

 

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Sex Question Friday: I Want A Non-Monogamous Relationship. How Do I Find Someone Who Wants The Same Thing?

Every Friday on the blog, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a reader who wants to have a non-monogamous relationship but isn’t quite sure how to find like-minded partners.   

How do you find out who is non-monogamous these days? So many people are afraid to divulge this kind of information for fear of being judged.

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