This Week in Sex: What People Think About Sex, Love, Porn, and Valentine’s Day


This Week in Sex is a weekly summary of news and research related to sexual behavior, sexuality education, contraception, STIs, and more.

This week, we take a look at a number of surveys from across the Internet to see what people (allegedly!) think about sex, love, porn, and Valentine’s Day.

Most of these surveys are not at all scientific, nor were the results published in peer-reviewed journals. As such, they are likely not generalizable to either the whole population or that guy you have a crush on. Still, they give us a fun peek into the brains of others. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Good Grammar and Clean Teeth: The Keys to a Second Date
The online dating site Match.com released its fourth annual Singles in America survey last week, asking more than 150 questions to more than 5,000 participants. The results will make romantics (and cosmetic dentists) very happy. The majority of men and women (74 percent) said they would date a person of a different ethnic background. Most men also said they would date a woman who makes more money and/or is smarter than him. Women, on the other hand, said they don’t want to date a man who is less intellectual or shorter than they are. And the three things men and women look for most on the first date? Good grammar, good teeth, and confidence.
As for that all-important first date, 92 percent of single men said they feel comfortable when a woman asks them out, dinner is still the number one first-date activity, and 51 percent of singles said they will spend part of that dinner thinking about a future with the person sitting across the table. Straight singles under 40 are most likely to believe that the man should always pay on the first date. What’s more, 35 percent of women and 46 percent of men follow up the day after the first date, and only 6 percent of men follow the “three day” rule espoused by romantic comedies.
Your date probably does have sex on the mind, as the majority of single men (68 percent) and women (57 percent) want to have more sex this year than last. But most singles (56 percent of men and 48 percent of women) said they don’t want to know their partner’s sexual history, and 21 percent of women and 23 percent of men said they have lied about this (either by increasing or decreasing the number).
Finally, all the romantics and bridal salons out their should feel pleased to know that most people do believe in one true love: 89 percent of singles in this completely unscientific survey said they think it’s possible to live happily ever after with someone, and 53 percent want to get married. Among them are 43 percent of lesbians and 41 percent of gay men who want to get hitched.

Don’t Overspend on Valentine’s Gifts—Many People Would Prefer Sex

A survey of 1,200 adults conducted by Chase Blueprint (yes, the credit card company) found that men and women expect their significant other to spend about $240 on their Valentine’s Day gift(s), but in reality the money spent is closer to $98 for men and $71 dollars for women.

Bu it’s worth noting that many men (43 percent) and women (about 21 percent) don’t want a gift at all. In fact, two-thirds of men and 30 percent of women said they’d rather have sex than get a gift.

Or You Could Stay Home and Watch Porn Together?

Cam4, a social media site designed for voyeurs, commissioned a survey of a representative sample of more than 1,000 Americans ages 18 and older and claims the results shatter our notions about who watches pornography and for what reasons.

Over 90 percent of men and 60 percent of women in the survey said they had viewed pornography. Contrary to the myth that “only the lonely need porn,” the survey found that the greatest consumption of porn was among those who had the most partners or were the most sexually active. In fact, 53 percent of participants said they view adult material as a couple.

Many couples also reported that viewing adult videos inspires them to be more creative and try positions and situations found in the videos watched. Is take-out and porn the new Valentine’s Day date of choice?

Most of Us Object to V Day, But Will Celebrate It Anyways

Most Americans don’t buy into Valentine’s Day, and yet many of us are willing to buy for it, according to a survey of 2,000 adults by Internet survey company Toluna QuickSurvey. More than half of respondents (54 percent) referred to the holiday as “corny,” “stupid,” or inspired by Hallmark, and 26 percent said they shun the day altogether.

Still, even some people who think V Day is silly will celebrate. Fifty-five percent of respondents admitted to buying some sort of Valentine’s Day gift—a card (49 percent), candy (34 percent), electronics (11 percent), lingerie (8 percent).

Parents seem to look forward to February 14 far more than others, with 63 percent of them saying they expect some or a lot of romance that day, compared to just 39 percent of single adults. Of course, other people are looking to the romantic day to become parents: One in 25 respondents said they were trying to conceive this Friday.

Sex and Coffee in the Morning, Please

Our next survey comes from the coffee company HiLine Coffee, which makes Nespresso coffee capsules. Its survey asked more than 1,100 U.S. adults what they wanted for Valentine’s Day in the morning and at night. Coffee, sex, and love won the morning, with 43 percent saying they wanted their partner to either initiate sex, bring them coffee and breakfast in bed, or confess their love.

As for nighttime, 52 percent wanted a nice dinner out, but only 19 percent wanted flowers, chocolate, jewelry, a sentimental card, or a gift at all.

The TV-Watching Habits of the Romantically Involved

Finally, a survey conducted by STRATA, a media buying company, finds that most couples like to stay home and watch TV.

The survey asked more than 630 adults who were in a relationship about their TV-watching habits. Most couples (69 percent of married couples and 68 percent of dating couples) seem to think of TV watching as a bonding experience, and 87 percent said choosing what to watch rarely caused conflict. Married couples were more likely to watch different shows—only 28 percent of them said they’d never go into the other room to watch their show, compared to 52 percent of dating couples who said they’d never do that.

When together, couples are most likely to watch dramas (34 percent) and comedies (31 percent) and least likely to watch reality television. The Big Bang Theory, a CBS sitcom, was the show most watched together by couples—it was picked twice as frequently by respondents than the second place show, Modern Family. Tying for third: NCIS and The Walking Dead.

Zombies and pizza on Valentine’s Day, anyone?

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