In our last survey on the topic of “relationship boredom”, participants disclosed that many of them would be willing to try something new with their partner in the bedroom to help combat boredom. Therefore, the purpose of the current study on the topic of “sexual adventurousness” was to examine what types of behavior men and women engage in or are willing to engage in, as well as explore the gender differences in the ways in which men and women approach sexually adventurous activities. Additionally, we were interested in further understanding the satisfaction associated with each sexual behavior in addition to the perceptions of partner satisfaction and partner willingness.
- Overall, participants indicated that engaging in sexually adventurous behaviors increased their sexual satisfaction, with a large majority of participants indicating that their partner’s satisfaction was also improved with engaging in the behaviors.
- Women were significantly more likely than men to have engaged in a wider variety of sexual activities, indicating that women are perhaps more sexually open than society often constructs them to be. For example, women were significantly more likely to have engaged in talking dirty during sex than men, as well as sharing fantasies verbally.
- Couples who are more sexually adventurous are more likely to be sexually satisfied. The greater number of sexually adventurous activities an individual engaged in with their current partner, the greater their level of relationship satisfaction.
- Sexual adventurousness was significantly related to relationship length, such that the longer the duration of the relationship, the greater the number of sexual activities engaged in.
- Stereotypically taboo behaviors are more common than previously thought. For example, nearly 50% of respondents have watched porn together.
- Most commonly reported sexual behaviors for women included:
- Sex with the lights on – 92%
- Wearing sexy lingerie – 89%
- Having sex at home but outside the bedroom (e.g., kitchen, bathroom) – 85%
- Using lubricants during sex – 78%
- Most commonly reported sexual behaviors for men included:
- Sex with the lights on – 90%
- Having sex at home but outside the bedroom (e.g., kitchen, bathroom) – 83%
- Using lubricants during sex – 82%
- Talking dirty during foreplay or sex – 63%
Sexual adventurousness has received little empirical attention, and when attention has been paid, engaging in adventurous sexual behaviors has been placed under the lens of risk or compulsivity rather than as a potential means for improving sexual satisfaction in sexual and/or romantic relationships. However, one of the most cited suggestions for “spicing up” ones sex life is introducing new sexual behaviors to the sexual repertoire of a couple. Therefore, it may be important to approach adventurous sexual experiences from a pleasure-perspective by focusing on the sexual satisfaction it may contribute to couples. Additionally, societal stigma toward some sexual activities have shifted and resulted in some sexual activities being more common than previously thought.
Data was collected through an online survey. Participants were recruited through various online forums (e.g., email listservs, online articles, social media websites) and directed to the study website. Potential participants were informed that a small incentive would be offered for involvement in the study (a code to redeem a free e-book from goodinbed.com, worth $5.95). There was an 89.9% completion rate with 3449 beginning the survey and 3126 participants completing the survey. Once all missing cases and participants who reported being under the age of 18 (n = 26) were removed the final sample consisted of 3100 participants: 1731 men (55.8%) and 1369 women (44.2%). For sample characteristics broken down by gender, see Table 1.
Upon accessing the survey, participants were presented with a number of questions that assessed various demographic variables and current (or most recent) relationship dynamics followed by stem questions of 22 sexual behaviors. Those participants who were in a relationship at the time of data collection were instructed to answer the questions with regard to their current partner. Those participants who were not in a relationship at the time of data collection were instructed to answer the questions with regard to their most recent relationship. The majority of the sample was married (56.5%), although 22.0% were seriously dating one person, 8.7% were single (not dating anyone), 7.1% were casually dating one or more person(s), 3.7% were engaged, and .4% were widowed at the time of data collection.
Participants were asked to report whether they had engaged in these 22 activities with their current partner (for those in a relationship at the time of data collection) or with their most recent partner (for those not in a relationship at the time of data collection). If participants had engaged in a behavior, they were asked about their satisfaction and their perception of their partner’s satisfaction with the particular sex act. If the participant had not engaged in the behavior, they were asked if they would be willing to engage in the behavior and whether they perceived their partner would be willing to engage in the behavior.
This study used a web-based data collection method. Internet surveys provide a more comfortable environment to collect data on sensitive issues such as sexuality, and therefore individuals were more likely to submit accurate sexual and relationship information online. All responses were completely anonymous and we did not collect any identifying information from participants.
- 1731 men (55.8%)
- 1369 women (44.2%)
- 91.0% heterosexual, .8% gay or lesbian, 6.2% bisexual, 1.0% uncertain or questioning, 1.0% other
- 8.7% single (not dating anyone)
- 7.1% casually dating one or more person(s)
- 17.2% seriously dating one person
- 3.7% engaged
- 56.5% married
- 4.8% common-law or living together
- .4% widowed
- 9.0% have been in their relationship for 6 months or less
- 5.9% have been in their relationship one year or less
- 13.2% have been in their relationship between 1 and 3 years
- 14.3% have been in their relationship between 3 and 7 years
- 20.1% have been in their relationship between 7 and 15 years
- 28.5% have been in their relationship for more than 15 years
- 61.3% have children – of those, 12.9% have 1 child, 26% have 2 children, 13.7% have 3 children, 5% have 4 children, 3.5% have 5 or more children
- 38.5% don’t have children
The rest of the report is available in pdf format.
This post was originally on Good in Bed