Five mind-boggling and interesting studies in sex research you need to know

According to writer and former neuroscientist Susannah Locke, “Sex is one of the most primal, most pleasurable, and — from an evolutionary standpoint — most essential of human functions. So it makes sense that biologists, psychologists, and other scientists would want to study it.” 

Sex isn’t as simple as we think it is; there are many factors to consider when exploring the realm of sex that make it different for each and every one of us. (We even spoke to a sex coach in The Sexytime Podcast about all things sex!) With that being said, let’s explore some interesting and mind-boggling studies in sex research. You might even learn a thing or two and get to apply some of these data points in the bedroom.

Post-pandemic sex culture.

A study conducted by Dr. Amanda Gesselman from the Kinsey Institute surveyed over 2,000 Americans on how the COVID-19 pandemic affected their relationships and sex life. Contrary to the rise of quarantine breakups and lack of sex, more than half of the respondents actually stated that over the course of the lockdown, their relationships improved and 30% of women stated they had better sex as compared to pre-pandemic. As for the singles, findings showed a trend towards commitment and a decrease in preference towards short-term relationships such as one night stands. They also prefer waiting for a longer period of time before meeting someone they knew from online dating  in person. In light of the COVID restrictions and health protocols, Gen-zers and millennials also reported that they are more careful now as 42% of them are “are more likely to ask potential partners about their physical health before consenting to sex.” You can find out more about this study on the Sex and Psychology Podcast here

Being more grateful can lead to better sex.

Gratitude has many benefits, leading to a better outlook on life and increasing positive emotions. But who knew it also has sexual benefits? A new study published in the Social Psychological and Personality Science journal found links between gratitude and sexual satisfaction within people in relationships. Over 100 couples were tasked to keep a gratitude journal wherein they kept track of how much gratitude they expressed over 3 weeks. A trait called sexual communal strength (SCS), defined as “the desire or willingness to meet a partner’s sexual needs, even when different from your own preferences” is a factor that contributes to long-term relationship satisfaction. Other factors that contribute to increasing SCS are still emerging, however, gratitude was found to be one of the elements that greatly supports it. According to the researchers, this can be explained by the simple experience of feeling or receiving gratitude from your partner and how it correspondingly increases your motivation to fulfill their sexual needs in the long run. View the whole study here.

Emojis speak louder than words.

Pickup lines are out, emojis are in! According to Amanda Gesselman (PhD), “people who use emojis in their texts get more dates and have more sex.” Yes, you read that right. With the rise of online dating and digital spaces, singles are learning how to use technology to their own advantage — with emojis to be exact. The study found that emojis offer daters a more effective way to communicate with their potential mates, opening up increased opportunities for dates or hookups. Here are some interesting statistics from the study itself:

  • Fifty-two percent of emoji-users in the study had at least one first date in 2014, compared with just 27 percent who never used them.
  • Emoji-users were also more sexually active, with 54 percent reporting sexual activity in 2014 compared with 31 percent of singles who don't use emojis. 
  • The disparity was even greater for younger singles. Among women in their 20s, 30s and 40s, for example, emoji-users were twice as likely to report having had sex at least once a month in 2014 than those who didn't take advantage of emojis.

Hips don’t lie.

According to Belgian sex researchers, the way you walk and move your hips can reveal how orgasmic you are. This study, published in the 2008 issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, studied 16 female university students in Belgium. Participants were tasked to walk and were taped from a distance. After completing the recordings, two sexology professors (who weren’t aware of their sexual or orgasmic history, obviously) were tasked to rate their vaginal orgasms solely based on these videotapes. Findings stated that “Vaginally orgasmic women may feel more confident about their sexuality, which might be reflected in their gait.”  Read the entire study here.

It’s sex-o-clock!

A survey conducted by the brand Lovehoney, an adult sex shop, asked over 2,300 people living in London the optimal time for sex was according to them. Based on the results, men were reported to want sex in the morning, whereas women wanted it before going to bed. To be more specific, women like getting frisky at 11:21 pm, and men want it at 7:54 in the morning. The study revealed that men and women experience their highest levels of sex drive at different times during the day, which is no wonder why some couples struggle to have a healthy sex life in the long run. (Here's some ways to increase your libido!) 

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