A recent paper has answers.
Both women and men want cuddling, romance and to enjoy expressing their sexuality.
The paper, Sexual diversity in the United States : Results from a nationally representative probability study of adult women and men” was published in PLOS|one in June 2017. Debbie Herbenick the primary author is from the Center for sexual health Promotion, School of Public Health Indiana University. Her co-authors have similar academic addresses. These authors report the results of their USA wide probability internet survey of 975 men and 1,046 women. Subjects anonymously answered questions on themselves, the sexual activities they had participated in and those they found “appealing”.
What did they find:
Men and women like romance, affection and sex; particularly masturbation and vaginal sex. I don’t find this surprising. What does surprise me is that generally taboo behaviours like sending erotic photos and reading erotic stories are also commonly enjoyed.
“Most (>80%) reported lifetime masturbation, vaginal sex, and oral sex… Common lifetime sexual behaviours included wearing sexy lingerie/underwear (75% women, 26% men), sending/receiving digital nude/semi-nude photos (54% women, 65% men), reading erotic stories (57% of participants) More Americans identified behaviours as “appealing” than had engaged in them. Romantic/affectionate behaviours were among those most commonly identified as appealing for both men and women… “
A smaller proportion of men and women thought about and had experienced kinky stuff: BSDM and so forth. These activities were most likely to happen when respondents were younger and at an earlier experimental stage in their relationship.
Respondents reported sexual histories that included, “public sex (≥43%), role-playing (≥22%), tying/being tied up (≥20%), spanking (≥30%), and watching sexually explicit videos/DVDs (60% women, 82% men). Having engaged in threesomes (10% women, 18% men) and playful whipping (≥13%) were less common. Lifetime group sex, sex parties, taking a sexuality class/workshop, and going to BDSM parties were uncommon (each <8%).”
Something like 10% of respondents reported being in committed relationships and had not had sex for at least a year. The authors flag this as an area for further study but they had observed that older women respondents found sex painful and older men were troubled by erectile dysfunction. If this 10% are not receiving or giving affection, this is deeply troubling.
“Given that nearly one-third of women and nearly one-quarter of men had not engaged in sexual activity with anyone in the last year (consistent with NSSHB data)–and about 1 in 10 partnered Americans considered themselves monogamous but sexless—it is important to acknowledge that sizable proportions of Americans do not engage in partnered sexual activities during certain periods of their lives. Subsequent research might attend to reasons why people abstain from sex, even when they have romantic relationship partners, as well as the positive and/or negative impacts on their lives and relationships when this occurs.”
“Given the large amount of data presented in the current paper, analyses are presented only by gender and age and not, for example, by self-identified sexual orientation or other background characteristics such as education, race/ethnicity, relationship status, or sexual experience. Future manuscripts will be able to address the existing data in a more detailed manner.”
One other thing. I have been surprised that although this paper was summarized in the international scientific press and the international press, I have not seen it discussed in the New Zealand press. I doubt that sex is a less popular pastime here and don’t understand why science writers, journalists and editors think New Zealanders are not interested.
What struck me about this paper is that men and women enjoyed sex, and that romance and affection were the most appreciated activities. Hugs and kisses, and roses and chocolates are appreciated. What is most encouraging is that we can hug and kiss regardless of age and health; this gives me hope as I am getting older. That is good news. I also appreciate the breadth of sexual expression. Even the most uncommon activities represent a large number of sexually responsive adults having fun. I’m expecting the results of this paper are generally applicable, at least in Western countries and most likely broadly. Let’s accept this breadth of desire and experience and enjoy.
Researchers have published a new US nationally representative study of sexual behaviour, the first of its kind to capture a wide range of diverse sexual behaviours not previously examined in the general population.
Source: Romance and affection top most popular sexual behaviors — ScienceDaily