A couple of months ago, I posted a survey asking some questions about sexual drives, refractory periods and post-sex routines. I was hoping we could get 1,000 responses this time. Well, we made it! So, here’s my analysis of the responses, for your reading pleasure and edification.
Alright, some basic stuff first. We had 1022 total entries when I downloaded the data. 681 men, 338 women and 3 who decided to leave it blank. That gives us about a 2:1 ratio of men to women. Almost exactly actually.
That’s fairly typical of our surveys. While my readership seems to be even between men and women, men seem to be more willing to answer surveys. I’m not sure why that is. It’s not that they’re shy, because more women than men email me asking me questions, and they’re not shy about details. Actually, the men tend to be more shy about details in emails.
But, whatever the reason, at least it’s consistent (though I would like to see more women share their perspective).
Age, spouse’s age and years married are all pretty standard, so I won’t bother with those on their own. They might be useful later for finding patterns though.
Sex Drive & Desire
I don’t know if I’ll ask about sex drives again, as per this post, but since I did ask it, I guess I better look at the results.
Ladies first. When asking the women how they rate their sex drive,
35.5% said they have a high sex drive
42.9% said they have a medium sex drive
21.9% said they have a low sex drive
2.7% said they have a non-existent sex drive
As for the men,
62.5% said they have a high sex drive
33.7% said they have a medium sex drive
3.1% said they have a low sex drive
1.4% said theirs was non-existent
Now, of course, this is a survey on a blog about intimacy, so it’s more likely to attract those who consider themselves as having higher drives. So, we should not take this as a good indication of the splits in the general public. But, it will help us see some patterns amongst those in different groups.
I decided to track those against how often they’d like to have sex.
For the women:
Those who said they are high drive also said, on average, they’d like to have sex over 5 times per week. Medium drives said 3 times per week. Those who said they have a low drive said twice a week. Now here’s the surprising one. Those who said they have a non-existent sex life on average said they want sex once a week. I’m not sure exactly how that works.
Now, maybe they want sex for reasons other than what they consider linked to a sex drive. Or maybe there’s something else going on. I’m not sure
For the men, those who answered high drive want sex just over 4 times a week on average. Surprisingly less than the high drive wives. The mediums said 2.5 times per week and the lows said twice. The non-existent ones are … confusing. I’m thinking they didn’t understand the question. One answered twice a day, and another once a day. They skewed the numbers severely causing the average to be 5.5 times a week … So, I’m calling that category a miss.
Anyways, the most interesting thing here is that the women seem to want to have sex more often than the men, by category and on average (once we exclude the “non-existent” category). That sort of flies in the face of the stereotypes …
Sex Drive & Frequency
Does a higher sex drive mean you actually have more sex?
Turns out it does.
There seems to be a direct correlation between respondents’ sex drives and the amount of sex they have.
I’m honestly a little surprised by that. Well, only half surprised. I’m not surprised at all that the wife’s sex drive correlates to the amount of sex. That’s pretty typical. I’m surprised the husband’s does. Usually women are the gatekeepers of sex. I don’t think they should be, or that men should be, but that’s what often happens.
So, I’m surprised to see men’s drives correlating to the amount of sex people have, particularly when there isn’t a particularly strong correlation (R = 0.31) between spouse’s desired frequency of having sex.
Number of orgasms
This one you can really see the difference between the sexes.
When asked “During a session, how often do you orgasm?” 88.8% of the men said they only have one orgasm. 6.4% said “maybe once”, and only 4.3% said more than once. 0.5% said never. If you think the “never” are lying, I spent some time in that category, so I believe it.
Point is, almost all the men are having a singular orgasm every time.
The women are a little more diverse:
3.6% said they lose track of how many
2.1% said more than three times
11.6% said usually twice
40.5% said usually once
25.9% said maybe once
12.5% said never
I sort of expected the “never” category to be larger. So, I’m happy it’s not, but also sad for those in it. But, for all the jokes in our culture about women not having orgasms, I’m glad to see that the majority are having them regularly.
I was curious if reported sex drive played into this, and it does. Women who self-report as being high drive are more likely to have more orgasms whereas women who say they have low drive on average report that they have fewer orgasms. Now, maybe those women who are more orgasmic enjoy sex more, and thus want it more and so consider themselves high drive. Or maybe they’re just more excited about sex, and thus enjoy sex better. Hard to say.
An interesting experiment would be to get a bunch of self-reporting “low-drive” women to try to get excited about sex and see if their experience changes.
Orgasms and Ejaculation
So, we had a survey about female ejaculation a while back. But, I had a couple follow up questions. Plus, we didn’t ask the guys about their patterns.
This time I did.
On average, our female respondents say they ejaculate 18% of the time they have an orgasm, and men say they do 92% of the time. I can’t say anything is surprising in those numbers to me. I know some of you might be thinking “Wait … a man can have an orgasm without ejaculating?” Yes, they can. They are actually two separate biological occurrences. They just happen to be linked together in men most of the time.
There’s been a theory floating around since the 1980s that says that the reason women don’t often ejaculate is because they’re concerned about urinating during orgasm, and so never fully “let go”. Their PC muscles tighten so much that their urethra, which carries the ejaculate, closes, and the ejaculate goes back up into their bladder instead.
This might explain why so many women feel they need to go pee right after sex, and also possibly why many women get UTIs if they don’t. Anyways, it’s an interesting theory. I don’t know how valid it is.
A refractory period, in simplest terms, is how long before you can physically be aroused again after the previous orgasm. It has to do with prolactin being released into the system which blocks the ability of erectile tissue to engorge with blood.
It also gets complicated because prolactin is released with ejaculation, not orgasm. And, women don’t have the same reaction to prolactin.
Basically women don’t have a refractory period, technically. However, orgasm releases physical tension that’s needed for orgasm, so it does take most women time to build that tension back up. That’s not technically the same thing, but I’m going to assume that people think that’s a refractory period.
Likewise, most men cannot get an erection for a short to long while after orgasm. From seconds to days later. Generally it’s within a couple of hours, but this lengthens with age. A healthy 20 year old might have no noticeable refractory period.
As well, there is a small percentage of the population of men for whom prolactin doesn’t inhibit erections.
So, after you can start getting physically aroused again, you still have the arousal buildup, then orgasm. That’s not technically your refractory period either. But, as before, it’s probably how everyone answering understood it.
Point is, these answers are likely going to be the time from one orgasm to another. Even if it’s technically little or nothing to do with refractory periods. I don’t want anyone writing angry comments about it not being a real refractory period. Got it? Good.
Here’s the breakdown for how long it takes people to orgasm again, on average.
|Time between first and second orgasm||Female||Male|
|Immediately / within seconds||15.7%||0.7%|
|Under 5 minutes||20.3%||1.8%|
|Under 10 minutes||9.2%||4.4%|
|Under 15 minutes||6.8%||4.6%|
|Under 20 minutes||3.7%||5.8%|
|Under 30 minutes||4.9%||11.7%|
|Under an hour||2.5%||15.7%|
|Within a couple of hours||9.2%||22.6%|
|Within 6 hours||1.8%||7.1%|
|Within 12 hours||1.5%||5.9%|
|Within a day||8.9%||9.0%|
|Within a couple of days||2.8%||3.0%|
|I’ve never gotten the opportunity to test my refractory period||9.2%||7.5%|
|I’ve never had an orgasm||3.4%||0.1%|
For those who have no interest in a table, let me point out the interesting points. The largest concentration for women is in the immediately to under 5 minutes section. That’s about 35% of them. In fact, 52% of our women responders can have a second orgasm within 15 minutes.
50% of men, on the other hand, need between 30 minutes to 2 hours to recover.
I think what’s sad here is the 9.2% of women and 7.5% of men who have never been able to test their refractory period. I think we tend to be so goal-oriented that as soon as each have had an orgasm “well, that’s it I guess”. The game is over.
Which leads to our next question: How long before you want sex again?
|Time until next orgasm is desired||Female||Male|
|Immediately / within seconds||14.7%||3.4%|
|Under 5 minutes||6.5%||1.9%|
|Under 10 minutes||3.6%||2.8%|
|Under 15 minutes||3.3%||4.0%|
|Under 20 minutes||1.6%||3.2%|
|Under 30 minutes||2.0%||4.5%|
|Under an hour||2.9%||9.1%|
|Within a couple of hours||11.7%||16.8%|
|Within 6 hours||2.0%||4.9%|
|Within 12 hours||3.6%||7.7%|
|Within a day||15.0%||20.5%|
|Within a couple of days||18.2%||15.7%|
|Within a few days||5.2%||3.5%|
|Within a week||4.2%||1.4%|
|Within two weeks||2.0%||0.0%|
|Within a month||1.3%||0.0%|
|I’ve never waited long enough to build up a desire||1.3%||0.8%|
|I never feel a desire to have sex||1.0%||0.0%|
So, again for those who aren’t interested in the table, here are the key points I found. Firstly, about 15% of women want sex immediately after they have an orgasm. So, if you’re ending sex then … well, might want to check with your wife to see if that’s what she wants. 15% isn’t no one. In fact, 50% of women said they want sex again within 12 hours! Who knew?
Now, of course, that means the other 50% don’t feel a need to have sex again for the first 12 hours. That doesn’t mean they aren’t up for it. Just means they aren’t making the first move, or subtly giving you opportunities to make one.
Another 33% want sex within the next day or two. Are you paying attention guys? About 85% of the responding wives said they want sex again within 48 hours of their last orgasm. I hope someone is taking notes.
Luckily about 94% of the guys are also interested in that time-frame. So, if you both read this blog and fill out the surveys, there’s a pretty good chance you could easily be having sex at least every other day. If both spouses don’t … well, maybe you should start reading it to your spouse. It might help 🙂
Actually, what I found really interesting is that 87% of those who said they were “low drive” wives still want sex at least weekly. And 87% of those who said they were “high drive” wives want it at least daily.
Oh, and those who said they have a “non-existent” sex drive? Half of the women and all the men gave answers other than “I never feel a desire to have sex”. So, again, I think people are confused about that question … Or maybe I am.
When do people have sex?
It’s no surprise that most couples (59%) have sex primarily in the evening. Actually, I’m a bit surprised that number isn’t higher. A few more (10%) say in the middle of the night. I’m not exactly sure if that means they’re waking up to have sex, or they just get to bed late. Maybe they’re just going to bed late and that explains why the evening one is only 59%. I guess I should have been more specific in my question.
Only 3.4% said they have sex in the afternoon. No surprise as people have work. But, it’s too bad, because supposedly the afternoon is the best time for women to have sex, biologically. Cortisol (stress) levels are at their lowest, you’re not just waking up, nor are you depleted of energy. Supposedly it’s the easiest time to have an orgasm. But, I understand logistically it might be difficult.
There’s a joke in our church that after service, couples go to “lay activities”. I think some people are talking about naps, but I’m sure some are having some afternoon fun. Then again, some of the more conservative people in my church think sex is inappropriate on Sabbath … so, who knows.
And about 18% said they have sex “anytime we can”. I thought perhaps that was mostly retirees, but it’s not. In fact, the only category significantly skewed by age is “In the morning”. I guess you can have a more leisurely wake-up routine if you don’t have to worry about a job to go to.
This question was multiple choice, so the stats are going to get a bit weird. Don’t try adding them up, because people could pick multiple options.
Generally, after sex
65% of couples go to sleep
44% of couples cuddle
32% of couples talk
4% of couples pray
13% of couples take a shower
10% of couples start their day
10% of couples get some food
I can’t tell you how sad I am that the lowest category is “pray”. Now, I get some people may pray before, or at another time, but I’m willing to bet the vast majority aren’t praying together at all other than at mealtimes and church.
It’s cheesy, but the line “couples that pray together, stay together” is true. In fact, I remember us doing a survey in the past and showing that prayer and sexual frequency are strongly correlated! I just checked our stats here as well. Couples that don’t pray after sex have sex on average 1.7 times per week. Couples that do: 2.7 times per week. Want more sex? Start praying! Together!
I think that’s it for this survey. If you have any questions, or correlations you’d like me to check, just let me know. If not, stay tuned for our next survey. I already have one in mind.