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National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior Findings

5 Facts About Sex in the United States Today

Nobody knows what's going on between American sheets better than the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University. I know that will make none of us sleep easier, but at least it has legitimate reason to know what's going down. Researchers surveyed 5,865 people, ages 14 to 94, to determine what sex is like in 21st-century America.

Some findings will surprise you; most won't. But here are five highlights to get you up to date.

  • Old people use condoms the least, minorities the most
    Condoms are used twice as often for casual sex. Use is higher among black and Hispanic Americans than whites and other racial groups. Adults over 40? They use condoms the least.
  • Intercourse among teens is not an epidemic
    Maybe middle-age adults are so worried about teens because they're not using condoms? While teen sex will always be a popular after-school sport, it's not the epidemic worrywarts believe. Condoms are used regularly among teens, and sex typically occurs in relationships.
  • Faked orgasms may be as popular as ever
    Eighty-five percent of men report leading ladies to orgasms during their most recent sexual "event." Yet only 64 percent of women report orgasmic bliss. The conclusion? Men are lying, women are faking, or gay sex is throwing the findings off.

What else? Find out below.

  • Women like to mix it up to orgasm
    While vaginal intercourse is enough to make most men see the light, women need variety. The more sexual acts they include in one, um, laying, the more likely they are to orgasm.
  • Lots of Americans still in closet
    While about seven percent of women and eight percent of men identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, the percent of Americans getting it on with the same sex is higher.

What findings surprise you?

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Join The Conversation
Janine22 Janine22 6 years
Hmm so it sounds like she just does not like to give you oral sex, which is something you probably will not be able to change about her. Have you communicated to her how much you enjoy it when she does it and the fact that you would like to receive it more often? I think that this would be a fair request if you are giving it to her and satisfying her that way regularly. I think that communication is the most important thing between sex partners, along with intimacy. In my experience, many women need to feel that their male partner is totally commited to them before they can truly feel free sexually. I noticed that your relationship status on your profile page is single. I would take this to me that your relationship is not serious? I have had casual sex (before I met my current partner), and I find that during sex with him I have felt the highest level of intimacy and openness to try new things. It is difficult for a woman to feel emotionally connected and therefore sexually connected with a man if you think that he is interested in or having sex with other women, or that he is not certain that he wants to be in a long term commited relationship with you. A woman can let her guard down sexually more easily when she is certain that she is with a man that only wants to be with her. Of course, some women can let their guard down during casual sex but I think that most women feel that sex is better when there is a higher level of emotional intimacy, commitment and good communication. That is my 2 cents. :)
Venus1 Venus1 6 years
Like Janine I really can't imagine being in any sort of relationship/sexual friendship without oral, it is important to me and the best way to bring me to a powerful climax. The whole power of the thing is, for me, special. Once in a while I enjoy having oral only sessions too. Of course I'm happy to give as well, again you have the sense of achieving something special.
Jake2010 Jake2010 6 years
clairestrose - trust me... the proper use of tongue, lips, and fingers would send you over the edge.... guaranteed... you are not an exception.... it's not rocket science but it does take some know-how...
clairestrose clairestrose 6 years
I'm definitely one of those girls that needs to focus in one on activity for long enough to build up to climax. I like variety during foreplay to get me pumped, but no way will oral sex ever get me to orgasm. Rare exception? I don't know!
Jake2010 Jake2010 6 years
What you said I agree with... we should be looking for the excitement.... I guess it's a bit depressing to think along those lines for the relationship... what do you think about us talking with a sex therapist??
tlsgirl tlsgirl 6 years
I've never heard of a girl going through a phase like that. Like I said, usually the beginning of a relationship (I think you said you're in the first year or so) is the time when both partners are most excited about being exciting in bed :)
Jake2010 Jake2010 6 years
WOW! Thank you all for your feedback... this forum is helpful to be able to get a girl's opinion and point of view without the inevitable "follow on" questioning that comes when asking a significant other... :) Tlsgirl: I hear what you are saying and the thought has crossed my mind. I'm not a quitter, but I also know that I have to see things for what they really are... especially if the long term is considered... my question directed to you is... could this just be a phase she is going through? How could I tell? My understanding is that girls (more so than guys in most cases) are givers and nurturers... it seems that I'm always fussing on her... because I like to not to get something back... but honestly... when there is little or no attention paid to me then it gets me down and very unhappy... all I want is for us to treat each other well... to the best of our ability... to want to make each other happy (in and out of bed).... I don't think I'm asking too much... this is only MY idea of what a relationship should be... (btw: what does tlsgirl mean?) Venus: tlsgirl is becoming mine too ! :) Janine22: you're next :) Thanks for asking the tough questions... you're right... I can't "make" her... but I thought it to be a normal and generally wanted expression of loving a person... hygiene wise... I'm clean as a whistle and neat as a pin :) I have read enough on other sites and spent hours doing research to eliminate anything that is a distracter... hand jobs I have to request... why I don't know.... I totally enjoy them and once she gets started she seem to as well... but she doesn't naturally think of them... I take zinc tablets faithfully each day and it gives me a more than average volume of semen which she likes to watch as I climax... the more I produce, the more amazed she gets and the more she comments (this really boosts my ego and I love to hear her talk about it.... I guess it's a guy thing)....taste wise (after researching tons of material on semen) I'm at the sweet end of the scale.... I daily drink pineapple juice, watch what I eat/drink, limit my coffee, I'm a non-smoker.... at the risk of sounding crude... I have tasted my semen after intercourse and then going down on her... and (due to really struggling with this issue) once on a business trip I masturbated into my hand and tasted it directly... it was fine... (I hope that wasn't too graphic????)... but it's true... that's how much attention I am placing on this issue within the relationship.... I can try the sauce... I've done that to her (I like using honey on her though... chocolate sauce can look a bit odd in that area...)... okay now... the "lasting" thing I have never had a problem with... I can concentrate on baseball and space exploration better than most men I would say (not bragging - just proud)... I can work for 45 - 60 minutes on one erection and work up a pouring sweat (great workout routine on top of my regular one)... but after that I'm pooped... we have begun to use a vibrating ring on her and she loves it... I am totally open to trying new things... I like the variety and experimentation.... so I'm not too concerned with "staying power"... she likes intercourse because she says we connect emotionally best that way... and I agree... but missionary style gets boring for me.... I get it... and I give her that on a fairly regular basis... but there's more - so much more - to experience and to have fun with... I apologize for droning on and on... thanks for listening and the replies....
Janine22 Janine22 6 years
Jake2010, well you certainly can't make your girl enjoy giving you oral, some girls just don't like it, just as some guys do not like giving it to women (personally I could not be in a long term relationship with a guy that didn't like to do it)... anyways, perhaps she could give you more hand jobs? Sorry to ask this but is your personal hygiene good? What about using chocolate sauce or flavored lubes if she does not like the flavor? What about using a toy on her while she goes down on you? If you have not already, you should buy your partner a vibrator or a clitoral stimulator to use during intercourse, it makes all the difference for me during foreplay and sex. I suggest this because you mentioned that your partner said that she wants more intercourse, which probably means that she wants intercourse to last longer. If this is difficult for you, I would recommend that you masturbate before your date and then you will last longer during sex. Also, you can use the vibrator on her before and after sex if she wants more. Get a good quality lube that will not irritate her. I would recommend to try a tilted vibrater, or one that bends like a banana because this will hit her g-spot. Have fun. :)
Venus1 Venus1 6 years
As a great oral fan, Tlsgirl is my hero.!
tlsgirl tlsgirl 6 years
@Jake - Honestly, it sounds like you've done everything right. I guess you just have to ask yourself if you're willing to continue to work at something that's not fulfilling to you. Sex is obviously a huge part of any relationship, especially I think if you're looking at long term possibilities, so sexual incompatibility or differing levels of effort are just going to become more pronounced the longer the relationship lasts. If you're not willing within the honeymoon phase to make your partner happy (within reason, obvs), there's a much higher chance that slumps down the road will be much harder to deal with.
Venus1 Venus1 6 years
I am not based in the US, but as with amy survey I have ever come across, nobody has ever asked me!
Jake2010 Jake2010 6 years
Thanks for the ideas.... I agree that it isn't fair... and I have brought it up - outside the bedroom so as not to complicate things further - but it has either ended in one of 3 ways: 1. She says she will try to do it more often and better (go further) - which never happens.... for about a year I have logged each encounter - when, where, what activity, and climax strength 2. She just needs more love making (vaginal intercourse) 3. I focus on oral too much I feel funny asking... she already knows what I want (which has become an almost unbearable need)... I WANT her to WANT to desire it... I've read so many posts like yours where the girl WANTS to give back.... those guys are incredibly lucky.... I know this is one aspect of a relationship.... but it is beginning to consume more and more of my waking hours.. and now in my dreams.... I want to hold out hope for her to turn around... I've tried to fulfill her every fantasy (within reason) with the idea of making her feel more secure, happy, and willing to engage me more aggressively... ?? Am I doing something wrong?
tlsgirl tlsgirl 6 years
Well, as a girl who loves a little extra loving, I can say that I would never tell my BF that it's too much! As for the back and forth, that is a problem. I've met a lot of women who enjoy giving back, because it's just plain fun or because they enjoy giving their man the same pleasure that they receive. There should definitely be that balance in a relationship, or she's not really being very fair. Have you tried straight up asking her for a little more give with the taking? Or you could always try doing it at the same time. It's a little distracting, sure, but maybe it would jump start a little more action for you.
Jake2010 Jake2010 6 years
tlsgirl, OMG! I DO GIVE HER ORAL SEX!! I enjoy driving her crazy like that... she says I think about it too much.. !?!?! And I've mixed it up plenty.... even after intercourse I've "finished her off" orally... The problem comes in the reciprocating... it happens so rarely :( It really is a problem for me... any suggestions?
tlsgirl tlsgirl 6 years
Oral sex Jake. Lots of oral sex :)
Jake2010 Jake2010 6 years
Really? The only thing I found to be at all surprising is the "mix it up" comment. I was always under the impression that most women need to stick with one activity so that they can concentrate and ramp-up to climax.... I thought that mostly guys want to "do everything" in on night.... I've tried switching to different positions and activities, but it doesn't seem to push a woman farther or faster... Any other feedback would be appreciated... thanks :)
tlsgirl tlsgirl 6 years
None of them really surprise me, actually.
danakscully64 danakscully64 6 years
Lol. 40+ includes 70-somethings, I would say they're in the "old" category.
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