When It Comes to Sex, Men & Women Both Enjoy Romance & Affection

A new national study of sexual behavior looks at a wide range of diverse sexual behaviors and finds, perhaps surprisingly, that men and women both find romance and affection the most appealing parts of sexuality.

Researchers at the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington and the Center for Sexual Health Promotion asked a sample of more than 2,000 men and women whether they have engaged in more than 30 sexual behaviors. In addition, researchers investigated the level of appeal of nearly 50 sexual behaviors.

Their paper describing the findings appears in PLOS One.

“Contrary to some stereotypes, the most appealing behaviors, even for men, are romantic and affectionate behaviors,” said Dr. Debby Herbenick, lead author on the study. “These included kissing more often during sex, cuddling, saying sweet/romantic things during sex, making the room feel romantic in preparation for sex, and so on.”

The researchers also noted that, although many men and women rated a range of sexual behaviors as appealing and may have tried them in the distant past, fewer engaged in them in the past month or year.

“These data highlight opportunities for couples to talk more openly with one another about their sexual desires and interests,” said Herbenick.

“Together they may find new ways of being romantic or sexual with one another, enhancing both their sexual satisfaction and relationship happiness.”

As a first-of-a-kind study in terms of the breadth of sexual behaviors examined, this research has many implications for the future understanding of adult sexual behaviors beyond those that have been previously recorded and studied.

Investigator believe the survey findings will help sexuality educators, clinicians as well as people in the general population better understand the prevalence and diversity of sexual behaviors of adults in the U.S. general population.

Source: Indiana University