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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. Hook-up activities may include a wide range of sexual behaviors, such as kissing, oral sex, and penetrative intercourse.
Inwe conducted a cross-sectional, Internet-based, U. The survey was titled the Sexual Exploration in America Study and survey completion took about 12 to 15 minutes. The appeal of particular behaviors was associated with greater odds that the individual had ever engaged in the behavior.
This study contributes to our understanding of more diverse adult sexual behaviors than has ly been captured in U. Implications for sexuality educators, clinicians, and individuals in the general population are discussed.
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attributionwhich permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Funding: Funding for this study was provided by No. Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Alfred Kinsey and colleagues documented sexual diversity in the United States U. Because sexual behaviors are often private, and because sexuality topics are often shrouded in secrecy and taboo, sexuality remains a particularly important topic to highlight in scientific research in order to expand knowledge and understanding of this important aspect of human life.
Thus, although human sexual behaviors were established as diverse, the population-based prevalence of such behaviors was unknown. The NHSLS answered some of these important questions particularly those related to the prevalence of masturbation, vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, oral sex, and the appeal of a range of Mature Indiana female who wants sex experiencesyet the survey was also limited to younger adults ages 18—59 [ 3 ].
Although the NSSHB assesses a fairly broad range of sexual behaviors among a range of ages, the focus has still largely been on solo and partnered masturbation, oral sex, vaginal sex, anal sex, digital penetration of the vagina and anus, and the use of condoms, lubricants, and sex toys.
Occasional population-based benchmarks of sexual behaviors are also helpful in understanding whether certain cultural moments influence sexual behavior. In fact, the book series and film release have been linked to increases in rope sales in hardware stores [ 20 ], sex toy sales [ 2122 ], as well as BDSM sex toy-related injuries [ 23 ]. Technological innovations have resulted in greater access to sexually explicit material and greater ease of taking and sharing sexually explicit photographs and videos. Using data from the Sexual Exploration in America Studya nationally representative probability sample of U.
Research panels accessed through GfK are based on a U. GfK panel members are invited to take a small of surveys per month often just one or two and can earn points for completing surveys that they can then accumulate and exchange for products.
No additional incentives were offered for completing of the present survey. In addition, questions regarding perceived happiness and health status from the General Social Survey were asked. Another option was to describe it some other way, with a text box offered. Respondents were also asked how recently they had engaged in 32 sexual behaviors using a response scale common to the NSSHB [ 8 ] past monthpast yearmore than a year agonever for the purposes of context and, where applicable, comparison.
Item order within this section was randomized. Prior to asking these items, participants read a screen that said:. Some are common and many people do them.
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Others may be less common. Remember: your answers are completely confidential. In measuring the appeal of more than 50 sexual behaviors, the response options used in the NHSLS [ 35 ] were presented to participants very appealingsomewhat appealingnot appealingnot at all appealing to facilitate comparison for the few parallel items.
Analyses were conducted using SPSS version A general population weight calculated and provided by GfK was applied to the data in order to minimize bias and variance due to nonsampling error. Given the large of sexual behaviors asked about, for purposes of creating more manageable tables, we grouped the sexual behaviors as solo and partnered sexual behaviors e.
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These groupings are utilized solely for presentation in the present manuscript and do not reflect the order items were asked in the survey, which was randomized as described earlier. Our goal was to set the overall familywise error rate at 0.
Using the Bonferroni correction, we thus needed to use a p-value of. Multivariate logistic regression was used to examine the effect of appeal on having engaged in the relevant behavior. For example, the appeal of oral sex was examined in relation to whether participants had actually engaged in the behavior.
The dichotomized behavior variable was the outcome, and the corresponding dichotomized appeal variable was the predictor of interest. generating p-values less than 0. The sample included men and women see Table 1 for demographic information and presentations of both unweighted and weighted total sample with a mean age of Of those in relationships, most were in male-female romantic relationships About half were married.
In thinking about the past year, most of the respondents who were in relationships reported being entirely monogamous More than 1 in 10 partnered respondents were currently in monogamous but sexless relationships Additionally, 4.
ificantly more women reported having engaged in lifetime vaginal sex but not recent vaginal sexreceptive anal sex, and having worn sexy underwear for a partner. ificantly more men than women There were no statistically ificant differences by gender in terms of spanking, whipping, partnered masturbation, role playing, tying up a partner or being tied up, giving or receiving oral sex, or having sex in public. ificantly more women than men reported having used a vibrator or dildo ificantly more men reported having used a phone app related to sex, looked at a sexually explicit magazine, watched a sexually explicit video or DVD, used over the counter enhancement herbs or pills, and having received nude or semi-nude photos of someone.
Similarly, ificantly more men reported having ever engaged in a threesome For more than 20 sexual behavior items, there were no statistically ificant gender differences in terms of ratings of appeal. Additionally, large proportions of Americans found the following to be somewhat or very appealing: having sex in other parts of the house, having sex more often, and vaginal intercourse.
However, there were more than 25 behavioral items that ificantly more men rated as appealing compared to women. However, it is important to note that just because men rated these items as more appealing than women does not mean that they were generally appealing. There were 5 sexual behaviors rated as ificantly more appealing by women as compared to men. After adjusting for age, relationship status, relationship duration, and perceived health status, the appeal of a behavior ificantly increased the odds of having recently engaged in the behavior for both men and women for all of the behaviors analyzed Table 6.
To our knowledge, this paper also includes the first data from a U. In comparison to the NSSHB, the most common lifetime behaviors were the same—solo masturbation for men and vaginal intercourse for women. For masturbation with a partner, we found higher rates for both men and women in the last month and over the lifetime. The NSHLS found that vaginal sex was one of the behaviors that both men and women found very appealing [ 35 ].
The reason for this is unclear.
However, our participants rated many more behaviors as appealing compared to vaginal sex. This may be because we included more behaviors that were less genital-focused or less influenced by gender or sexual orientation e.
This finding is consistent with an increased reporting of sex toy use in the U. The most appealing behaviors for all participants, regardless of gender, were those commonly associated with romance and affection. Similarly, Joyal, Cossette, and Lapierre [ 37 ] included over 1, Canadian adults in a non-representative sample study of 55 fantasy themes and found some of the most common fantasies for both men and women included romantic elements. Although fantasies and the appeal of behaviors are similar, they are different in the perceived potential of the behavior—e.
In addition, other researchers have found a ificant and strong relationship between affectionate behaviors and sexual satisfaction. As some individuals who engage in kink behaviors may experience shame or stigma [ 38 ], these data may help to contextualize diverse behaviors as normative in contemporary America, albeit infrequent. As the reported recency of several light kink behaviors e. Even anal intercourse was reported by few respondents as having occurred in the past month, though about 10 times as many Americans reported ever having tried it in their lifetime.
Spanking and vibrator use were also somewhat closer in terms of their recent and lifetime prevalence. The often sizable differences between recent versus lifetime behaviors indicate some of the more regularly practiced sexual behaviors compared to those that may more often be part of sexual exploration, experimentation, or particular to certain past partners or life stages.
It may also be that some individuals engage in more diverse sexual behaviors over time as they become more comfortable exploring together or in response to sexual Mature Indiana female who wants sex. 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.
This study adds to our understanding of diverse human sexual expression.
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Findings may inform mental and physical health clinicians in ways that improve their practices. Stereotypes that suggest men are uninterested in kissing, cuddling, or other forms of romance may also be challenged by these and other data that demonstrate the value of romantic and affection behaviors to both women and men [ 39 ]. Clinicians in various settings working with adults in the U.
Because we aimed to make population estimates, we utilized U. Even so, American culture continues to be marked by stigma, shame, and taboo around certain aspects of sexuality and thus a limitation is that some people may have felt this stigma and thus chosen to not participate in our study or to not provide accurate reports. Then again, it is possible that some people—in response to stigma or shape—felt encouraged by a chance to report openly about their sexual lives in a confidential survey. The reported prevalence of oral sex, vaginal intercourse, and anal intercourse was remarkably consistent with Mature Indiana female who wants sex recent U.
As happens with most studies, we were limited by time and funding and thus had to make difficult choices about which items to include. We asked about a far greater of sexual behaviors than other national probability surveys whether in the U. We also did not differentiate between whether people had been the giver or receiver of certain behaviors for example, whether they had spanked or been spanked; these were combined in a single item and we left some descriptions open to subjective interpretation. Although this is a limitation of our current research, it is similarly a limitation of most research that assesses seemingly banal behaviors such as vaginal intercourse or masturbation, given the many different ways each can be enacted and interpreted.
Had we asked specifically about the kinds of phone apps related to sex e. The inability to clarify meaning to respondents or to ask them for their interpretation of items is a limitation of survey research.