Much has been said and written in the popular media about the length of time it typically takes men and women to reach orgasm; however, most of this information is based on anecdotal reports, not science. So what does research on this subject say? Here’s what scientists have found when they’ve given men and women stopwatches and asked them to record as precisely as possible the length of time it takes them to climax.Read More
In the United States, the average age of first sexual intercourse is 17 for men, according to data from the CDC. The number is roughly the same for women, and it has remained pretty constant for the last two decades. Based on these data, some parents might be tempted to think that talking to their kids about sex can wait until they’re fairly grown up and almost ready to leave for college; however, that would be a poor assumption to make.
It turns out that there is wide individual variability in when adolescents start having sex and a new study suggests that, on average, about 1 in 12 high school boys in the US say they’ve had sex before the age of 13—and, for certain groups of boys, the number is actually more like 1 in 4.Read More
Readers of the blog frequently send me questions about sex, and I’ve noticed that some of them seem to pop up more often than others. One that I find myself hearing over and over again is whether medications can potentially be transferred from one sexual partner to another through semen. For example, these are just a few of the many questions that I’ve received recently:
“My boyfriend is currently taking prednisone, which I'm allergic to. Will this steroid come to my body through his semen?”Read More
Several studies have looked at women’s experiences with orgasm during penile-vaginal intercourse. However, these studies have produced variable results, making it difficult to draw firm conclusions about how often women tend to reach orgasm during this sexual activity.
Why have the findings varied so much? According to a new study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, part of the reason may be due to the fact that the questions researchers have been asking have been somewhat ambiguous. It turns out that question wording matters when it comes to studying women’s orgasms. It matters a lot.Read More
A reader submitted the following question:
"How many people over age 50 are still having sex?"
Older adults are often assumed to be celibate, but the truth of the matter is that many of us remain sexually active for our entire lives.
As some evidence of this, let's consider findings from a recent, nationally representative U.S. survey of adults aged 14-94.Read More
How many American adults have ever had sex? And what kind(s) of sex have they had? For a look at the answers, check out the infographic below, which summarizes findings from the most recent wave of the National Survey of Family Growth. The prevalence of each sexual behavior assessed is reported separately for men and women. The numbers were very similar across the sexes, with one exception: reports of having ever engaged in same-sex behavior. Women were almost three times as likely to report this as men. See below for a closer look at the numbers.Read More
What does it actually mean to "have sex?" It depends who you ask. According to a new study published in the Journal of Sex Research, there is some pretty incredible variability in how college students personally define the term sex. There certainly seems to be a lot of agreement that things like vaginal and anal intercourse count as sex; however, students appear to be very split on whether things like oral sex and mutual masturbation count. It's also important to note that even behaviors such as breast stimulation and cybersex are viewed as sex by some folks. Check out the infographic below to learn more.Read More
A reader submitted the following question:
“Can medications that men take regularly (like blood pressure, cholesterol, or diabetes meds) be passed through their seminal fluid to their oral sex partner? Many sex workers prefer to perform oral sex without a condom (bareback) and they often make the decision to swallow rather than spit. If medication can be passed like this, are these girls at any risk?”Read More
How much do you know about the female orgasm? Check out the list below for 11 of the most interesting facts scientists have discovered about women and their orgasms. Which one is your favorite?
1. The rule of thumb: the distance between a woman’s clitoris and her vaginal opening is associated with her likelihood of orgasm during vaginal intercourse. The smaller the distance (particularly if it's a thumb-width or less), the more likely she is to reach orgasm. Why? The clitoris receives more indirect stimulation when it’s closer to the action.Read More
Every Friday on the blog, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a reader who wanted to know the following:
“Is there any good data on how often married people have sex, on average, at different ages, or at different stages of their marriage? Or how often, for example, on average, married people in the 40s have sex? I am sure there is an immense range of variation here, but it would help to have some kind of reference point, at least, for gauging where in the spectrum one's own experiences lie. And I think this must be a fairly urgent question for a fairly large number of people, especially in marriages where there is a significant desire gap between the two partners.”Read More
Believe it or not, human beings have been making and using condoms for thousands of years. Despite how long they’ve been around, condoms remain imperfect and continue to be misused. Below, we will take a look at what condoms used to be like, how they are viewed and utilized today, and where condoms are headed in the future.
1.) In the not-too-distant past, animal intestines were the most popular material used for making condoms. Some condoms are still made from this today (e.g., Naturalamb), but they have largely fallen out of favor because they are costlier to produce than contemporary materials, such as latex, which is what most condoms today are made from. Also, while they may be effective at preventing pregnancy, animal membranes are too porous to serve as an effective barrier to most sexually transmitted infections. Learn more about the fascinating history of condoms by watching this video.Read More
Although many women and their sexual partners have taken some time to familiarize themselves with the vagina, the reality is that most of us don’t know as much as we should about this fascinating piece of anatomy. Below, I’ve compiled a list of ten of the most interesting facts about the vagina because, well, knowledge is power…and also pleasure.
1. Contrary to popular belief, women who have frequent sex do not develop “loose” vaginas. The vagina naturally becomes looser when women are sexually aroused in order to prepare for intercourse, but after sex, everything goes back to its normal state. What does cause vaginal looseness? Childbirth (sometimes) and older age. Click here to learn more.Read More
Women have the potential to become pregnant whether or not they reach orgasm during vaginal intercourse. This observation has generated a long-standing scientific debate about why women have orgasms in the first place. If the female orgasm is not essential for reproduction, then what purpose does it serve? Although scientists do not yet agree on the answer, a number of interesting theories have been offered.Read More
What exactly does it mean for a man to ejaculate “prematurely?” This has been a topic of considerable scientific debate for quite some time, with many arguing that the current classification criteria for premature ejaculation are vague and unclear. A new report just published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine attempts to remedy this by proposing what is supposedly an objective, evidence-based definition. However, I have some concerns that the new criteria may end up creating more problems than they solve.Read More
Every Friday on the blog, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a reader who wanted to know more about what happens to our sex lives as we age.
Can you still have sex and enjoy it when you’re old?Read More
Female sexual pleasure is a rare topic of discussion in sex education courses. One consequence of this is that the female orgasm is something that many people know far too little about. Even very basic information such as the average age at which women have their first orgasm and how they first experience it isn't common knowledge. The goal of this infographic is to try and fill in some of those gaps with descriptive information on women's experiences with orgasm because knowledge is power...and pleasure.Read More