What kind of sex are people having?

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What kind of sex are people having?

We have to look back to a previous edition of the survey to get more detailed data. Here are the numbers from the 2013-2015 survey question about how many partners people had in the previous 12 months:

There wasn’t a direct question for people who had both opposite and same sex partners, but about 2 percent didn’t answer yes to any of the above.

How often do people have sex?

According to another survey, the General Social Survey, there’s no overwhelmingly “normal” amount of sex to have on a regular basis. Here’s the breakdown, as percentages of people who answered the question with a number (leaving off those who didn’t answer or weren’t sure):

Frequency of sex changes over a person’s lifetime. As we saw, teenagers and young adults aren’t all having sex, but once they reach their twenties and thirties, they do it plenty.

Despite a lot of buzz about “hookup culture,” young people in 2004-2012 didn’t have any more sex than their counterparts in 1988-1996. They were, however, less likely to be in a steady relationship with the people they slept with.

In old age, people have less sex. Some of this is because older people lose their partners and don’t necessarily start dating again. But being in poor health, or on certain medications, can also make people less interested in sex. Here’s how a Journals of Gerontology study sum, using data from two other surveys, the National Health and Social Life Survey and the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project.

So what are people getting up to when they get together? These numbers are from people aged 15 to 44:

For a different way of looking at the question, the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior asked people what sex acts they had done in the past month, past year, and ever in their lifetime. This study was done over the internet, but they selected a sample before approaching anybody with the link to the study. (That makes this different than lazy internet polls where you never know who’s clicking through.) Here’s a summary of the “what did you do in the last 12 months” question, from the 2018 survey. These are adults aged 18 to 49, not separated by gender:

For any of these acts, there are plenty of people who do the thing and plenty who don’t do the thing; so no shame in being in either category.

How do we know if people are telling the truth?

You would probably reveal different things about your sexual history to a close friend than a casual one. You might be more willing to be honest on an anonymous web survey-but then again https://brightwomen.net/ryska-kvinnor/, you might also be more likely to make shit up for fun.

The National Survey of Family Growth is clever with their confidential self-surveying portion, but a British study found that people were more likely to admit to certain things-large numbers of sexual partners, use of drugs-on a web survey than on a survey done privately on an interviewer’s laptop. So we still don’t know what’s most accurate, but if people are lying on these surveys, it’s going to be difficult to find a more accurate source of information.

I ended up searching for a lot of sex-related statistics as I researched this piece, and discovered something unsettling about the results. When I looked for information about how often people have sex, I found plenty of articles assuming I wanted to know how often people should have sex.

You should have sex whenever you please. There’s no shame in doing it a lot or a little! People in unhappy relationships are more likely to have sex less than once a week; but among happy couples, more sex won’t make you happier. And if you’re having sex less often but you’re totally fine with it, that’s between you and your partner(s)-it’s none of anybody else’s business.

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