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Sex Researchers Ask Americans About Their Last 'Event'

feet in bed

hide captionWhat's going on in there, America?

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If you go out with friends and have a few drinks, maybe somebody will get up the nerve to ask, "So, how was the last time you had sex?"

Researchers at Indiana University just surveyed Americans, asking, essentially, that question of about 1,900 people who'd had sex in the last year.

But the academics sure have a long-winded, drink-free way of doing it. To them, "event-level sexual repertoire" is who did what to whom. And "experience evaluation" is how it felt.

So what did the researchers find out? First, they confirmed some things you probably knew already.

  • Men kid themselves about how often their female partners have orgasms. Guys figure 85 percent do. Women say it's more like 64 percent.
  • As they get older, men have more trouble achieving and maintaining erections. Even so, only about 8 percent of men aged 50-59 (the group with the most trouble) reported taking a pill like Viagra to help.
  • The more different kinds of behavior a couple engaged in during sex, the more likely each partner was to have an orgasm.

Some of the thought-proving findings:

  • Men had better sex (greater arousal and pleasure, with fewer problems) when it was with their relationship partner. The researchers say this may be due to older men with erection difficulties being more comfortable with established partners.
  • Women, on the other hand, reported more trouble with arousal and lubrication if their sexual partners were people they were in relationships with.

Oh, and one other thing, "friends with benefits" aren't just for young people. Nearly 17 percent of men aged 50-59 reported their last sexual experience was with a friend, compared with 13 percent for those 18-24. The trend was reversed for women, with 16 percent of younger ones, aged 18-24, saying their last sexual experience was with a friend, compared with nearly 10 percent for those aged 50-59.

For the full results, see the paper provocatively titled (to sexologists), "An Event-Level Analysis of the Sexual Characteristics and Composition Among Adults Ages 18 to 59: Results from National  Probability Sample in the United States" in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

The inquiry is part of a larger national survey, one of the largest in two decades, that documented sexual experiences of nearly 6,000 people between the ages of 14 and 94.

In case you were wondering, the work was funded by Church & Dwight, maker of Arm & Hammer baking soda, Trojan condoms and First Response pregnancy tests.

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