Study Reveals Habits of Sexually Satisfied Couples
It's not always easy to keep the passion alive in a long-term relationship, but many couples manage to do it. In a recent study published to The Journal of Sex Research, scientists sought to learn the secrets of partners in sexually satisfying relationships. What do they do that those in sexually dissatisfying relationships do not?
Led by Chapman University Professor David Frederick, the team of researchers examined a massive data set of over 38,000 men and women who reported being in a relationship for at least three years. The subjects completed an in-depth, anonymous survey hosted on NBCNews.com back in 2006, in which they responded to a host of questions about their backgrounds, their relationships, and their sex lives.
From the data, the researchers discovered a number of habits associated with a sexual satisfaction. Men and women in sexually satisfying relationships were far more likely to try new sexual positions, talk dirty during sex, wear titillating lingerie, bathe together, give each other massages, go on romantic getaways, try anal stimulation, use sex toys, and say "I love you" during sex.
Most importantly, sexually satisfied men and women were far more likely to communicate openly about their sexual desires. The vast majority of men and women who said they were dissatisfied with their sex lives indicated that it was important to them to have an exciting sex life, yet over sixty percent of them agreed with the statement, "I feel that my partner doesn’t know how to excite me." That is a problem that can be solved by maintaining an open and honest dialogue about sex.
The survey benefited from its placement on a popular website -- the study group was immense and diverse. However, the study is limited by self-selection -- subjects weren't chosen at random.
During a recent interview on the Savage Lovecast, lead author David Frederick cautioned that the data is correlational. Merely adopting the habits of sexually satisfied couples isn't guaranteed to transform a sexually dissatisfying relationship, but it just might.
"For the dissatisfied couples, it's something they can take a look at and say 'Why don't we try this and see what happens?'"
Source: David A. Frederick, Janet Lever, Brian Joseph Gillespie & Justin R. Garcia (2016): What Keeps Passion Alive? Sexual Satisfaction Is Associated With Sexual Communication, Mood Setting, Sexual Variety, Oral Sex, Orgasm, and Sex Frequency in a National U.S. Study, The Journal of Sex Research, DOI: 10.1080/00224499.2015.1137854