FOR SINGLES: What’s your number? New Data on Average Number of Sex Partners.

StdsWhen it comes to sexuality, the most common questions I get from my readers have to do with sexual experience and numbers of partners. Everyone wants to know if they are normal or not. As it turns out, the latest research does not support the media’s idea of a wild hook-up culture.

Recently the centers for disease control asked more than 6000 American men and women, aged 25-44, how many sexual partners they have had. It’s important to keep in mind that because of the sexual double standard, the one that awards points to men for sexual experience and gives women demerit points for the same experience, people tend to over or under report on sexual surveys, even anonymous ones. So, as you consider these numbers, remember to adjust a bit for the male bravado and female modesty. According to the CDC, the average number of lifetime partners for men was a whopping six and for women a mere four. Why don’t we just assume from that that the average American has about five partners before their mid-life crisis? And if you jump to the conclusion that most sexual behavior comes before the age of twenty-five, remember that college sex has been dropping since the 1980’s.

But the other interesting part of the data shows that 27% of men have had 15 or more partners. Since those guys, bring that average way up, you can assume that the other 73% of men have actually had fewer than the six they reported.

In the women’s category, the big winner (or loser, depending how you judge these numbers) are the ten per cent of women who also brag or admit to having had more than fifteen sexual partners. They also impact that four-partner average, so one might extrapolate here that ninety per cent of women between 15 and 44 have had about three partners.

Some of the most interesting data on male sexuality appears in Dr. Andrew P. Smiler’s book, Challenging Casanova. In one enlightening passage. Smiler quotes a fascinating study where young men are asked if they would prefer a hookup (a guarantee promise of no-strings-attached sex) over a romantic date. Not surprisingly to psychologists who study male sexuality, a whopping 75% of men sais they would prefer a romantic evening over a hook-up. And plenty know that getting lucky on a first date has some serious draw backs.



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