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Variety Spices Up Americans' Sex Lives, Survey Says
Date:10/4/2010

f women said they actually had climaxed. While men were more likely to orgasm with vaginal intercourse, women generally needed a wider variety of activities.

"We can't help but notice the gender gap between male and female orgasms, men being a little bit clueless about their partner having an orgasm or maybe they're getting bad information," said Pepper Schwartz, a professor of sociology at the University of Washington in Seattle and a member of the Trojan Sexual Health Advisory Council.

  • Condoms are used for one of every four acts of vaginal intercourse by married couples (one in three for single people) and they are used more frequently by black and Hispanic Americans. The lowest rates of condom use are among adults aged 40 and over.
  • Adults and teens reported equally pleasurable sexual experiences whether the male was wearing a condom or not. "Today's condoms are not those that [older] Americans grew up with," said Michael Reece, associate professor of applied health science at Indiana University. "We need to update educational efforts."
  • Contrary to popular belief, the majority of teens are not engaging in sex with another person. For example, 40 percent of males aged 17 reported vaginal intercourse in the past year and only 27 percent had had sex over the last three months.
  • Roughly similar rates of men and women (8 percent and 7 percent, respectively) identified themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual.
  • The survey also addressed the "friends with benefits" phenomenon, finding that 13 percent of men and 11 percent of women aged 18 to 59 reported having had sex with a friend at their most recent encounter.
  • Some 30 percent of women reported chronic, ongoing pain associated with sex, much higher than previous estimates, Herbenick said.
  • Herbenick said the information from the survey can enhance Americans' sexual health. "Health care will best be served if we attend to the wide range of ways people
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