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A Snapshot of Sex in the US: 2010 February 19, 2011

Posted by Dev in Musings.
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A series of surveys on sexual behavior in the US were published last October in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. I am not sure how I missed this when it came out because I usually pay attention to this sort of thing. Maybe Ab and I were too busy having sex. 🙂  Anyway, I stumbled across it today through an article in Slate. If you want to read all the papers, you can download the journal here; it is available for free until December 2011. (You’ll have to answer a couple of survey questions first.)

The surveys were conducted by researchers at Indiana University. Astute readers will remember that’s where Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey, then a Professor of Zoology, became famous for his groundbreaking research on human sexuality, documented in publications in 1948 and 1953 respectively: Sexual Behavior in the Human Male and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female. Kinsey’s vision continues to this day at IU, through research conducted at the Kinsey Institute and the Center for Sexual Health Promotion. In an editorial that opens the collection, journal editor Irwin Goldstein, MD, comments:

At a time when we can have nudity on HBO but cannot use the names of our genitals on the evening news, there remains a need to continue research on sexual health.

[As an interesting aside, many consider Kinsey to be the first, pioneering researcher in the area of sexuality but two decades earlier, Ernest W. Burgess, PhD, Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago was undertaking grounded theory research on homosexuality, primarily through participant observation at the “pansy clubs” in Chicago. Burgess’s particular expertise was on marriage and the family but his work on homosexuality was never published. It has only recently come to light from researchers who have been studying his collected papers in the University of Chicago archives.]

I skimmed the articles in JSM. Since I work in a clinic where we care for people with HIV and AIDS, I was interested in the condom surveys. My takeaway: we still need to do more to promote condom use. And, of course, I was interested in the surveys on women.

The big change from the last time this survey was undertaken (1992) is that oral sex is no longer the hot game in town—now anal sex is. Surprise! Slate has an interesting synopsis of the findings, plus speculation on why women like it so much (hint: orgasms) so I won’t repeat it here. But it did cause me to reflect on Ab and me and our enjoyment of anal sex. This has been on my mind for a few days, prompted first by a question on the Chastity Forum and then by a blog post from L&N.

If you recall from this earlier post, I said I go through phases and one of those was my Brokeback Mountain phase. That was probably the time that we started experimenting with butt sex. No, we weren’t trying to be Jack and Ennis! LOL. I was hanging out on a couple of different Brokeback forums, however, and there was lots of discussion of sex, gay and otherwise. That was the first time in my life I had ever been in a community of people who were talking about sex in very intimate and frank detail. A lot of “Brokies” were married, straight women (myself included). All this talk about butt fucking naturally led to experimentation which was reported in (sometimes excruciating) detail. Unfortunately, many of these women tried anal intercourse with their husbands à la Ennis, that is, some spit in the hand and no warming up. It was not, as you can imagine, a satisfactory experience.

Fortunately for me, I had been reading Dan Savage for a few years at that point, so I knew a bit more about what to do, which is: 1) you can’t use too much lube; 2) take it slow; and 3) start small. And if you are us, maybe stay small. Ab once confessed a fisting fetish to me and although I think the concept is hot, I don’t think, realistically, it is ever going to happen.

I was thinking back to 1992. Was oral sex the big thing for us then? Actually, that’s when our children were toddlers so at that time, sex in general was sort of rare and anything was a big deal. 🙂 But truth be told, oral had been on the sexual menu forever. Enjoyment of anal sex is newer, though, which puts us/me in line with the survey findings.

For those who might be interested in experimenting but are still a little hesitant, consider this comment from William Saletan at Slate:

Anal sex, more so than vaginal sex, seems to correlate with intimacy and commitment.

That certainly aligns with a chastity perspective. There were also comments from readers that reinforce our chastity experience: anal sex requires more time and attention to the woman, a long-drawn out period of foreplay, as it were. Men who derive pleasure from their wife’s/partner’s orgasm also commented that they were anal sex proponents. What didn’t get said was if men were willing to forego an orgasm in lieu of their partner’s pleasure. However, here in the Devoted Lover household, we know that’s the case. 🙂

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Comments»

1. Michael - February 20, 2011

Dev,

You mentioned Ab has a fisting fetish. Melissa and I do this on occasion. It was something that just happened one night while I was fingering her. Before long I had four fingers and my palm inside her. We’ve gotten my entire fist inside her several times with lots of lube, patience, and massaging of her clitoris. It is intense and intimate. One time she had a sudden orgasm just from my fist being there. We recommend it!

Michael

Dev - February 20, 2011

Thanks for the comment, Michael. It seems that, from what I’ve read, time and patience is essential and that you also need to be in the right headspace. All the factors haven’t come together for us, yet, but as you know, I never say never! 😉

D


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