Bedroom Insider

A blog about relationships, intimacy and sex toys.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

What We Learned About Sexuality in 2017

A couple is lying on a white bed. The girl lies on her stomach. The guy lies on it and gently kisses her. They are in the bright bedroom.
If you're not one to read research papers, you might have missed some of the studies that were published over the last year. However, 2017 illuminated both how far sexuality research has come and how far we have yet to go to understand the complexity that is human sexuality.


Men Still Don't Know How Often Women Orgasm

File this under “Frustrating sigh.” One of last year's surveys looked into how often women orgasm during sex with male partners, with vaginal penetration alone and with clitoral stimulation. The results aren't surprising. Women come more often with clitoral stimulation (up to 60% of the time compared to up to 30% of the time with penetration alone). In fact, women are more likely to describe themselves as having an orgasm when the wording references clit stimulation.

While men recognize the importance of clitoral stimulation to a man's orgasm, they overestimate how often their partners orgasm in both situations. Men estimated that women had orgasms between 61% and 70% of the time with clitoral stimulation, but they were even further off when it came to unassisted orgasms. Men assumed women had orgasms closer to half of the time rather than less a quarter of the time.

Women Experience Variations in Orgasm

Another study looked not just at how often women orgasm but at the quality of their orgasms and the factors that play into this. As expected, women were significantly more likely to orgasm when clitoral stimulation was involved.

77% of women said that their orgasms varied in quality. Influences that lead to more satisfying orgasms included taking their time, a partner who knows them, emotional intimacy, and clitoral stimulation during sex.


Building Up A Tolerance? Maybe Not

One study from 2017 looked at the porn viewing habits of over 2,000 adults. Slightly more than half of the participants were women, the  split between being single or in a relationship was about even. Researchers asked participants about their preferences regarding 27 different pornographic themes from the mainstream (PIV) to the hardcore (fetish).

While you might expect that people into more hardcore porn would tend to favor their favorite porn genre, the study actually found that the people who became aroused from less mainstream porn were likely to become even more aroused by porn in general. This was especially true for men and lesbians.

This study might play a role in disproving the idea that a person can build up a tolerance to porn, which would require them to rely on kinkier porn to get off.

People Who Feel Most Guilty About Porn Aren't the Ones Using It the Most

Another study examined attitudes about porn use. One study found that while many people generally felt positive about their porn use, including some of the most avid viewers, one particular group experienced greater guilt and distressed feelings from using porn. In fact, these people were more likely to call themselves porn addicts even though they were not consuming the most porn. These people were more religious or conservative.

It appears that the people who watch porn the most frequently are those who are the most okay with the idea.

If you're wondering what porn was popular in 2017, we've got answers, too! PornHub released data for 2017 that shows the most popular search terms were “lesbian,” “hentai,” and “MILF.” That second one might seem a little outside of the mainstream, so it's interesting that it jumped up six places. For those unfamiliar, Pornhub describes hentai as “a subgenre of the Japanese genres of manga and anime, containing overtly sexualized characters and sexually explicit images.”

Kink and BDSM

More Kink Happens in Committed Relationships

Dr. Justin Lehmiller followed up an earlier survey about casual sex with new research into BDSM and group sex with casual sex partners. The study found that people were more likely to engage in BDSM activities inside the confines of a relationship, perhaps because those activities can demand more trust and intimacy than vanilla sex.

Plenty of People Are Kinky

A study by researchers at the University of Quebec at Trois-Riviere over 1,040 Canadians found that just under half of them had interest in a sexual fetish and that 26% of those people had actually engaged in kinky behaviors.

Thus study adds to the previous study by suggesting that most people prefer to explore their kinks with partners rather than solo.

Sexual Health

Taking Antibiotics After Unprotected Sex Reduces Risk of STI Spreading

This study about sex paints a more positive picture for sexual health. A group of 232 were split, with one half taking an antibiotic called doxycycline within three days of unprotected sex with other men. Results showed that only 24% of the antibiotic group contracted an STI, while 39% of the control group became infected.

Mental Health

Bisexuals More Likely to Be Depressed

Bisexual experience greater levels of depression when compared to heterosexuals and, in some case, when compared to homosexuals. Researchers suggest that while bisexuals experience some of the same distress as gays and lesbians, they also struggle with being invisible in society overall.

Sex Is Good For Mental Health

Here's a no-brainer: sex boosts your mood. A survey of 152 college students uncovered improved moods the days after they had sex. This study actually backs up a 2010 study that found couples were more likely to be cheerful the day after having sex than days following no sex.

Sexual Frequency

Pot Smokes Have More Sex

Plenty of people reach for a drink or a smoke to accompany sex and, in some cases, to ease the jitters around sex. One of the more recent studies looked into marijuana use and sexual frequency. While researchers expected that they might have less sex, perhaps because of the associated of the lazy stoner, this was actually not the case. Specifically, people who smoke more pot had more sex.

People Are Having Less Sex

Various studies have looked at how often people have sex, and if you're a fan of doing the dirty and often, you might be disappointed. The results? People are having less sex than ever – and with fewer partners. And out of all the demographics, millennials are having the least sex of all.

Researchers tried to pin down why this might be and eliminated porn and working more hours (the latter actually equates to having more sex). The numbers show that millennials wait to get married and that married people have more sex than singles do.

Lifestyles have also changed. For example, more millennials are taking anti-depressants, which are known to kill libido, at a younger age. Finally, technology plays a larger role in our lives, taking up time that might have once been spent having sex.

Of course, none of these studies is definitive in and of itself, so it will be interesting to see what

By: Adriana Ravenlust
Follow on Twitter @adriana_r