Results from a recent USA sexual diversity study reveal that behind closed doors Americans are naughty!

If you’re a regular reader then you’ll already know just how much I love any kind of research on kink and sexual behavior. If you didn’t know, keep reading.

I first came across the findings from The 2015 Sexual Exploration in America Study and I was interested to share the results. Especially as we have a large US following here at boldpleasures!

When I talk to Americans, they always tell me just how taboo kinky sex and BDSM is in the US compared to the Netherlands. But looking at this research, it doesn’t seem that way. Whilst the topic of kink remains a taboo to talk about, it is however certainly well practiced.

That’s a lot of people! If you compare those findings to another recent study on tennis players in the USA, that would mean less than 5.5% of the sexual behavior participants play tennis. Yet, nobody would say “Yo, you’re playing tennis, you’re a weirdo.”

What is striking is the numbers above are just an indication of folks actually doing it, more Americans identified behaviors as “appealing” rather than the physical engagement in them.

The Sexual Diversity Study

Over the years there have been several important US national studies on sexual behavior. These have always been limited and that’s mainly due to a narrow range around ages and what are actually being considered as the sexual behaviors.

For me this study by PLOS is particularly exciting. It recognizes that data on diverse sexual behaviors is needed to improve clinicians’, educators’, policymakers’ and the general public’s understanding of human sexual expression. And beyond that, the study also highlights that individuals who engage in kink behaviors experience shame or stigma. This recent data may help to contextualize diverse behaviors as normative in contemporary America.

I don’t need to add a lot more to that other than … Woohoo and finally!

The study also addresses how certain cultural moments influence sexual behavior. For example, PLOS claims that the popularity of the book Fifty Shades of Grey prompted journalists to ask how many people may feel aroused by, or participate in kink behaviors.

“Because sexual behaviors are often private, and because sexuality topics are often shrouded in secrecy and taboo, sexuality remains a particularly important topic to highlight in scientific research in order to expand knowledge and understanding of this important aspect of human life.”

The Study Demographics

The sample included 975 men and 1046 women.

With a mean age of 47.1 (SD = 17.3; range = 18–91). About 91% identified as heterosexual, with more women identifying as bisexual (3.6%) compared to lesbian (1.5%). More men identified as gay (5.8%) compared to bisexual (1.9%).

Most respondents reported being generally “very happy” or “pretty happy” (88%), and nearly 86% reported “good”, “very good”, or “excellent” general health. Most were in male-female romantic relationships (95.2% men, 96.8% women) and half were married.

Conclusion

I absolutely applaud this research – it’s got a lot of people talking about sex and its diverse forms. The more we talk about it, the quicker we lift the taboo.

So if you are interested in kink, we’ve already established before that you aren’t crazy and that your body chemistry is all for naughty business. Now you also know that probably 1 in 5 neighbours is into it too.

Sonja is a co-founder of boldpleasures. She's on a mission to free people to revel in their true sensuality by removing the stigma surrounding kink. Sonja writes about first steps, ditching the shame and how to combine kink and 'normal' family life. She's a mother of two and happily married.

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