copyright © 2007 Betsy L. Angert
Sex is in the city and in the country. Americans are aroused and sizzling. They are hot and ready to trot. Numerous are running rampant. Others await Mister or Miss Right; these persons are tenuously evaluating the situation. Some saunter into the sex scene. A few wait on the sidelines. Many find more than one partner that pleases them. Nonetheless . . .
Ninety-six percent of American adults have had sex. According to an article in the Chicago Sun-Times, Sex study finds men far more likely to play the field. Women are doing the deed as well; however, these recent finding suggest feminine wiles are used sparingly.
(Twenty-nine) 29 percent of American men report having [fifteen] 15 or more female sexual partners in a lifetime, while only [nine] 9 percent of women report having sex with [fifteen] 15 or more men.
The median number of lifetime female sexual partners for men was seven; the median number of male partners for women was four.
We might contrast this information with an earlier, 2004 analysis, and realize numbers do not tell the whole story.
For the first time since the government began the National Survey of Family Growth in 1973, more girls (47 percent) say they have had sex than boys (46 percent).
We cannot be certain why younger women are doing the deed more than they once were. Nor can we establish that the results from one study represent the sexual exploits of all men, women, adolescent boys, and girls.
Age matters, as does the era. Exposure to the elements is a consideration; Sexually Transmitted Diseases, may alter the dialogue and influence the doings. Trends may elicit a changing moral standard. Perhaps, among adolescents, the feminine factor differs; possibly, it does not. Young men now may be as they were, decades ago, or they might be as we all are, similar; yet unique. The possibilities are endless. People are people, fascinating, and never truly predictable.
We must trust that everyone has his or her tales to tell. However, few do, at least not to those asking about the numbers of sexual partners. It is for this reason that this recently released study may be a slightly more accurate.
Six thousand, two hundred, and thirty-seven [6,237] adults, ages 20 to 59 disclosed their deliverance secretly. Heterosexual men and women shared their stories with a curious computer. Face-to-face interviews were not conducted. Scientists feared people might be less forthcoming when discussing their escapades with another human being. Many people prefer not to kiss and tell. Individuals believe they have an image to protect, his and hers.
Appearances are important. However, often we learn that nothing is as it seems. When we met, Michael was tall, nice looking, a scholar. He was a Professor. He taught Economics at two local Universities, a private college, and a State school. He was, and I believe is to this day, politically Conservative, Michael is articulate, astute, and to me amazing. I was and am a woman mesmerized by brains. Brawn never was interesting or appealing to me. Show me gray matter that gyrates and I am stimulated.
Michael inspired me to think, to dream, and to wonder. I was captivated by the capacity of this man?s mind and that energy extended to his body. We became friends and soon after lovers.
We were in our twenties at the time. One night as we were “getting to know each other” Michael shared a story I never forgot. When he was a sophomore in college, he and a male friend entered into a competition. They were competing for “love.” The two young gents decided they wanted to know who could “sleep with” more women during the course of a given semester.
Michael, being the high achiever he was, and may still be, was passionately intent. He knew his objective, and had no doubt, success would be his. Michael was certain he could and would stand erect. He was up to the task. This wondrous chap would lift skirts up or pull pants down. He would do whatever was necessary to take the prize. He had pride and a reputation to secure. This man was or would become a super-stud.
Michael began his pursuit. All was going well. He found women a plenty. He came; they went. Then, long before the term ended, Michael tired of the “game.” The rivalry began to wear on him. This marvelous man, an academic, and obviously, or so I thought, not a player said, “I reached one hundred and forty-one and thought, ‘What am I doing?’ Michael decided he could not or had no desire to stay in the race. The chase no longer brought him to climax. Doing the bump and grind without reason, upon reflection seemed ridiculous to him. Nevertheless, he did it for quite some time.
As Michael shared the details of his adventure with me that evening I thought, Wow! These numbers are astounding, even staggering. I could not imagine ever reaching such a peak. Yet, as time went on, I engaged in what brought little excitement and what passes for much. A bodily orgasm did not fulfill any fantasies; nor did it create a meaningful connection.
I realized early on, I am a one-man woman. I cannot, more precisely I will not do more. For me, the remorse, the regret, and the confusion I feel within is overwhelming. I am willing to absorb the shock that comes from filling a bed in an attempt to gratify my heart. I enjoy my own company and believe no one can complete me. With myself, I am whole. Empty sex does not satisfy me. I am not able to tell myself I “love” or “like” someone I barely know.
Sex for sex’s sake was not a challenge. Very early on, I discovered as Michael had, it bored me. Unlike Michael, I realized this long before faces became a blur. I never felt the urge to surge. In fact, I feared the prospect.
Perhaps, other Americans do too. The numbers presented demonstrate Americans are not doing as Michael had done.
Sixteen percent of adults first had sex before age 15, while 15 percent abstained from sex until at least age 21.
Seventeen percent of men and 10 percent of women reported having two or more sexual partners in the past year.
Twenty-five percent of women and 17 percent of men reporting having no more than one partner of the other sex in their lifetime.
Adults who were married or had more than a high school education were less likely to use street drugs than others.
Yet, as I observe others, I wonder. One lovely I know has her bed filled on most weekend nights. Rarely is she with the same man. His door swings open daily, or almost. Another, a man has a woman occupying his chaise lounge on Mondays and Tuesdays. A beauty graces his boudoir on Fridays and Saturdays. Wednesday and Thursday are reserved for a raven-haired lass. Sunday is a day of rest.
I met many. Numerous women count men as they count the shoes in their closets. I have yet to calculate the number of males in my drawers. I do acknowledge there are less than there might have been and more than I am proud of. Men, I am told carve notches in their bedposts.
I do not think most are intending as Michael and his schoolmate were. I trust that most people male and female are looking for love in all the right and wrong places.
Many believe the intense muscle tightening in the genitals, the exchange of corporal fluids protecting mucous membranes is the ultimate in bonding experiences.
Men frequently think if a woman is willing to spread her legs for him, her heart is open to the very special person he is. Women wistfully wonder; is he the one. If he calls continuously, it must be because he loves me. Some realize sex, semen joining with the gush of juices may make babies; however, these do not always give birth to the blissful music of love.
The findings of this report certainly intrigued me.. I went looking for greater enlightenment, the spark that might move me. I discovered the original stud-yreport, Drug Use and Sexual Behaviors Reported by Adults: United States, 1999-2002. The findings were released on June 22, 2007. Interestingly enough, when I read the text I was struck by a nuance barely touched on in the news articles.
Drug-related and sex-related behaviors are of great public health importance. Use of illicit drugs has been shown to influence sexual behavior and present risk factors for disease (1).
Risky sexual behaviors can result in sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancies. This report is intended to provide overall prevalence estimates of drug use and sexual behaviors in adults from a nationally representative sample of the U.S. civilian non-institutionalized population.
As I read this I smiled. It seems much of the survey was omitted in the news reports. There was a blurb.
Twenty-six percent of men and 17 percent of women have tried cocaine or other street drugs (not including marijuana) at some time in their life. Seven percent of men and 4 percent of women had done so within the past 12 months.
However, I think the intent of the study may have been missed in the many calculations presented to the public en masse.
Shyly, I admit, I met Michael in a restaurant bar. He and I were not there to imbibe. We were each meeting friends that worked in the establishment. Nonetheless, I understand numerous people look for that significant someone while drowning their sorrows with intoxicating beverages. Drugs too I am told, add to the high. The survey attempted to make allowances for this. The researchers admit, the numbers may be as deceiving as people knowingly or unintentionally are when under the influence.
Limitations of self-reported data include recall problems and intentional misreporting of behaviors.
For me, my presence in a pub was then and is now an oddity. In my entire life, I have not had a drink of alcohol. That scene was not I. In my younger years, I realized that meeting men or even friendly females in that forum would not benefit me. Yet, even in my insolated world men intent on opening my thighs think the way to me “heart” is through wining and dining me.
A few years ago, I engaged in what seemed an endless discussion. All that know me, acknowledge I am extremely approachable, honest, willing to share all my stories. There are no skeletons in my closet. Indeed, I have no wardrobes with doors or locks on them. Nonetheless, a man courting me insisted there was.
Adam was adamant, I must sip a cocktail or two. He said an alcoholic beverage would quench my thirst, or his? I think access was his quest. This longtime bachelor was certain much was concealed. However, verbally, intellectually, emotionally nothing was. Adam repeatedly assured me alcohol would open doors; perchance it was my privates that he thought too closed. Sex, combined with drugs are just not what rocks me to roll in the hay. Perhaps, this too is a subject for research.
Drugs too are my dread. For many being alone is the fear. Depression often sets in when people are forlorn. In the minds of many, sex is release. The pressure passes with ejaculation.
For others, intercourse creates greater unrest. It is not sleep deprivation they fear, it is intimacy.
Those that marry may have more sex, or at least more satisfying intercourse, and less partners. However, that cannot be assumed.
Widows and widowers cannot be characterized as clinging or free to be foot loose and fancy. They are as are we all, uniquely engaged or disengaged for reasons that are physical, physiological, and physiological related to our peers, our personal history, our individual perceptions, and perhaps numerous other factors.
Chronological age and Auto Immune Deficiency (AIDS) are aspects that influence our decisions to dive deeply, just as the Age of Aquarius did. Baby Boomers, some of which were surveyed in this recent study might believe that they suffer from obsolagnium. Therefore, they are less active.
You may not find it [obsolagnium] in an ordinary dictionary. But if you are over 50, you may well be familiar with the concept, because it means waning sexual desire resulting from age.
In fact, it is rarely age per se that accounts for declines in libido among those in the second half-century of life. Rather, it can be any of a dozen or more factors more common in older people that account for the changes. Many of these factors are subject to modification that can restore, if not the sexual energy of youth, at least the desire to seek, and the ability to enjoy sex.
Nor is it just hormones. Addressing only the distaff half of the population, the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective, in its newest work, Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause, points out: Our sexual desire and satisfaction may be influenced by our life circumstances, including the quality of our sexual relationships, our emotional and physical health, and our values and thoughts about sexuality, as well as by the aging process and the shifting hormone levels that occur during the menopause transition.
The same, of course, is true of men. Difficult life circumstances can do much to dampen anyone’s libido. Stress at work or home, looming bankruptcy, impending divorce, serious illness, depression, a history of sexual abuse and a host of medications are among the many things that can put a big crimp in your desire for sex at any age.
While this recently released report tenderly touches on the dynamics of our sex drive, while the statistics titillate and tantalize the public, there is so much missing from this survey.
People ponder and read the results wondering, Is it normal to forego fondling? Are we weird if we want or do not want a partner, a playmate, or perhaps something is wrong with society if men stray more than women. Any and all of these queries are valid; yet without answer.
This survey implicitly states Sex alone is not a significant indicator of what is. Statistics may measure the size and scope of an issue while not satisfying the soul.
The study of intercourse while under the influence of drugs or alcohol may elicit information that is more revealing. Nevertheless, after assessing all the data, I think we must come to the same conclusion. For the most part, sex is in the city and it occurs throughout the country. Many citizens in America are hot and trotting. Might you be a person off to the races. Do you seek lovemaking or sex for conquest. Is the act an indulgence when in a drug induced stupor, or is a real connection your quest. Do the numbers make you more or less of a cad or are they an occurrence in your evolution?
There is much to think about. I will ponder as I rest. I wish you pleasant dreams.
Sex, the Sources . . .
- Sex study finds men far more likely to play the field, New Data; Nearly a third of males have had 15 or more partners. By David Crary. Chicago Sun-Times. June 23, 2007
- Gender. (Tables 5-10) Drug Use and Sexual Behaviors Reported by Adults: United States, 1999-2002, By William D. Mosher, Ph.D.; Anjani Chandra, Ph.D.; and Jo Jones, Ph.D. Cheryl D. Fryar, M.S.P.H.; Rosemarie Hirsch, M.D., M.P.H.; Kathryn S. Porter, M.D., M.S.; Benny Kottiri, Ph.D.; Debra J. Brody, M.P.H.; Tatiana Louis, M.S., Division of Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. June 28, 2007
- More U.S. Teens Delay Having Sex, Study Finds, By Ceci Connolly. Washington Post. Saturday, December 11, 2004; Page A01
- pdf More U.S. Teens Delay Having Sex, Study Finds, By Ceci Connolly. Washington Post. Saturday, December 11, 2004; Page A01
- Drug Use and Sexual Behaviors Reported by Adults: United States, 1999?2002, By William D. Mosher, Ph.D.; Anjani Chandra, Ph.D.; and Jo Jones, Ph.D. Cheryl D. Fryar, M.S.P.H.; Rosemarie Hirsch, M.D., M.P.H.; Kathryn S. Porter, M.D., M.S.; Benny Kottiri, Ph.D.; Debra J. Brody, M.P.H.; Tatiana Louis, M.S., Division of Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. June 28, 2007
- New Study Details Sex Habits, Drug Use. By David Crary. Associated Press. June 23, 2007
- pdf New Study Details Sex Habits, Drug Use, By David Crary. Associated Press. June 23, 2007
- Studies Find Big Benefits in Marriage, By Jennifer Steinhauer. The New York Times. April 10, 1995
- pdf Studies Find Big Benefits in Marriage, By Jennifer Steinhauer. The New York Times. April 10, 1995
- A Lively Libido Isn’t Reserved for the Young, By Jane E. Broady. The New York Times. April 10, 2007
- pdf A Lively Libido Isn’t Reserved for the Young, By Jane E. Broady. The New York Times. April 10, 2007
- Auto Immune Deficiency AIDS.org.
- Age of Aquarius.