Deep Dive: Is Your Sex Life Normal?
Sex raises a lot of questions, but none so common as, “Am I normal?” A new study on singles and sexual health aims to answer exactly that. Superdrug Online Doctor quizzed 813 straight single men and women between the ages of 18 to 64 about their sex lives to better figure out what the average single person’s sex life looks like. From the frequency of getting laid to contraception preference to friends-with-benefits arrangements, these researchers didn’t shy away from any dirty details. To figure out how deviant (or not) you are, ask yourself the following questions and compare your answers with the stats. Chances are, you’re not as freaky — or as lame — as you thought you were.
Cover Photo: Deagreez (Getty Images)
Deep Dive: Is Porn Ruining Your Sex Life?
What's your number?
You shouldn't need more than four fingers to answer this question. That's because this survey only focused on the number of partners respondents had in the past month. For most men (62.1 percent), that was just one lover. Ditto for women (71.4 percent). As the number of partners reported per month rose, the percentages dwindled. Translation: the likelihood that anyone is sleeping with four or more people in a month? Minuscule, at 7.7 percent for men and 4.6 percent of women.
How often do you do it?
Most men (40.8 percent) and women (40.3 percent) have sex once or twice a week. If you thought everyone else was a sex machine, you're wrong. It's rarer to be getting it on three or more times weekly (20.7 percent of men and 19.4 percent of women) than it is to be getting some less than once a week (38.5 percent of men and 40.3 percent of women).
A reassuring trend: while the likelihood that you're having sex three or more times per week is only 18 percent in your 20s, in your 30s it rises to 21.7 percent, and in your 40s it hits a peak at 24.6 percent, meaning that the older you get, the more sex you can expect. Aging apparently has its benefits!
How many one-night stands have you had?
The average number of one-night stands reported by men during their single years was four while the average for women was two...which makes us wonder who the dudes were having those one-night stands with (or if what constitutes a one-night stand is open to interpretation). Hmm...
Do you have friends with benefits?
Just over 70 percent of both men and women copped to having sex with friends. For 47 percent of women, this kind of arrangement made them feel safer; the same was true for 46.4 percent of men. While a majority of men (50.3 percent) and women (49.3 percent) said it made no difference if their lover was also a friend, it certainly doesn't hurt to do it with someone you know and trust (just over 3 percent of both genders said it made them feel less safe). As for how many FWBs they have in rotation? Both men and women reported an average number of two "recurring partners."
How do you like your sex?
Surprisingly, most men (45.7 percent) and women (58.7 percent) prefer having sex in the context of a relationship. Those who prefer sex while single are far fewer -- 28.4 percent of men and 20.1 percent of women. If you needed a reason to give a relationship a go, there you have it.
What do you worry about most?
Overwhelmingly, everyone's biggest sex-related fear was about STIs, with 59.8 percent of men and 60.1 percent of women admitting to this concern. Pregnancy was somewhat less worrisome, cited by 40.2 percent of men and 39.9 percent of women as a concern.
Have you been tested?
If you have, you're in the majority...but not by much. Over 42 percent of men have not been tested for STIs; the same is true for 36.1 percent of women. This means there are a lot of people out there who have no idea if they're walking around with a dangerous -- or even deadly -- disease that they could transfer do you while doing the deed.
How often do you raw dog?
People may know better, but they don't necessarily do better. A majority of men (56.8 percent) and women (53.3 percent) have had unprotected sex. Over the course of their single years, men reported having unprotected sex an average of six times while women reported four raw-dogging incidents. That number tended to increase the longer people were single as well as with age. The over-50 crowd reported a whopping nine trysts without protection, over twice what people in their 20s reported.
Scary stat: Among those who didn't use protection, 40 percent of men and 31 percent of women neglected to get tested for STIs afterwards. Yikes!
What do you use for birth control?
Barrier methods, like condoms, are by far the most popular contraceptive, with 83.1 percent of men and 73.3 percent of women opting for them during their last encounter. A close second is birth control. Sadly, 25.3 percent of men and 35 percent of women said they felt pressured to skip protection during sex. (We say if that's the case, it's time for a new partner!)
If you think your sex life is lacking, it might just be your perspective that needs to change. People aren’t really having that much sex, with as many partners, as we might perceive them to be. So that’s reassuring. Unfortunately, when people do have sex, it isn’t always safe, and that’s putting you at risk. This survey is a good reminder to take the initiative when it comes to protection. If you haven’t been tested, do so now, and continue to do so every year. Want to feel emotionally safer during sex? Sleep with a friend. Want a more satisfying sex life? Get into a relationship. Who knew that settling down could be a boon for your sex life? And if all else fails, don’t despair; it appears that you’ll be getting plenty of sex the closer you get to age 50. Now that’s something to look forward to!