237 Reasons To Have Sex

Technically you only need one reason, actually, any reason. But you are so much more complicated than that, aren’t you?

Well that is what psychologists Cindy Meston and Dr. Dave Buss, professors of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, think. In fact, they have put out a report (pdf) analyzing 327 reasons people have sex. That’s pretty complicated in my book. The reasons breakdown into four major groups, each of the breakdown into 13 subgroups as follows:

Physical

  1. Stress reduction
  2. Pleasure
  3. Physical
  4. Desirability

Goal-directed

  1. Resources
  2. Social Status
  3. Revenge
  4. Utilitarian

Emotional

  1. Love and commitment
  2. Expression

Insecurity

  1. Self-esteem boost
  2. Duty/pressure
  3. Mate guarding

According to the study, the most and least frequently endorsed reasons for having sex were common among the great majority who were surveyed. There were nine themes that appeared to characterize the most frequently endorsed reasons for having intercourse:

  1. pure attraction to the other person in general
  2. experiencing physical pleasure
  3. expression of love
  4. having sex because of feeling desired by the other
  5. having sex to escalate the depth of the relationship
  6. curiosity or seeking new experiences
  7. marking a special occasion for celebration
  8. mere opportunity
  9. sex just happening due to seemingly uncontrollable circumstances

Their studies reaffirmed many sexual stereotypes about men and women. On the other hand, some of these stereotypes were contradicted. When examining the most frequently cited reasons for having sex, men and women were remarkably similar in the 20 of the top 25 reasons given were identical for men and women.

Men showed significantly greater endorsement of having sex due to physical reasons, such as ‘‘The person had a desirable body’’; ‘‘The person was too ‘‘hot’’ (sexy) to resist,’’ and simply because the opportunity presented itself: ‘‘The person was available’’; ‘‘The person had too much to drink and I was able to take advantage of them.’’ Men exceeded women on many items that pertained to physical pleasure such as, ‘‘I wanted to achieve an orgasm,’’ and ‘‘It feels good.’’ Men more than women reported having sex as a way to improve their social status (e.g., ‘‘I wanted to enhance my reputation’’; ‘‘I wanted to brag to my friends about my conquests’’) and their sexual experience (e.g., ‘‘I needed another notch on my belt’’; ‘‘I wanted to improve my sexual skills’’). Finally, men exceeded women on endorsing a variety of utilitarian reasons for sex: ‘‘I wanted to change the topic of conversation’’; ‘‘I wanted to improve my sexual skills.’’ Women exceeded men on only three of the 237 reasons: ‘‘I wanted to feel feminine’’; ‘‘I wanted to express my love for the person’’; ‘‘I realized that I was in love.’’

Their findings contradict the stereotype that women, more than men, use sex to obtain special favors. In their study, men were more likely to endorse reasons for having sex that involved utilitarian goals (“To get a favor from someone”).

Below is a table that list nearly all of the 237 reasons Meston and Buss derived from their surveys. Along with each reason is the the category that that particular reason belongs to and the score for that reason (somply put the score refers to the commonality of that reason used between the sexes, please read the full report for a more precise understanding).

[table “2” not found /]

However, in the end Meston and Buss conclude that:

All of these diverse theoretical perspectives, when taken together, point to a singular conclusion: The reasons people have sex are likely to be far more numerous and psychologically complex than previous taxonomists have envisioned.

There, they said it, you are complicated.

I Feel like there are already enough reasons to have sex. I mean after all, one is enough for me. But Dr. Buss and Dr. Meston are working on a new project: a list of reasons to say no to sex. If you want a chance to help out, interested participants are invited to fill out a questionnaire.

For Lovers

In the traditional sense, I’m not very romantic. Much to my girlfriends chagrin, I’m sure. I don’t see romance in the conventional means of chocolate, flowers, large glasses of red wine (though the wine can definitely help things along), and Marvin Gaye songs. This is not to say that I find romance silly, or “the hard way to get what I want”. It is just that the objects that are commonly found romantic, I find quite horrid. And maybe it’s because they are just that – common (and horrible). I find most of my romance in humor, and music, and nostalgia, and words, and sometimes in tragedy. For instance, L.A. Hunter would drive me absolutely nuts, but the story of Abelard and Heloise (the dude gets his balls chopped off) is romantic in my eyes. Despite my somewhat uncharacteristic beliefs in where romance is found, this has to be one of the most sentimental, adoring, affectionate and… lets face it… romantic, ideas I have heard in a while.

One of the Eternal City’s oldest bridges has this summer become the focus a grand romantic ritual that has seized the imagination of hundreds of couples from Rome and abroad. Lovers testify to their everlasting love by attaching a chain and a small padlock to a lamp-post on the northern end of the Ponte Milvio Bridge. They write their names on the lock in felt-tip pen and then throw the keys into the River Tiber.

I found out about this in Italy Magazine and can’t wait to do this with my true love. Have you ever carved your lovers initials in a tree?

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Happy Belated Props, Pops

Damn, has it been another entire week since an update. I’m sorry. I’ve been doing a lot lately, some of it really exciting; other parts are just… well they’re nothing really. Routine you could call it I guess.

I celebrated my father’s birthday last Wednesday. We all went out to Mr. Sushi. Pandy, my brother and I got him a dvd so he can figure out to how work his global positioning system. We also got him a carrying case for protection of his expensive technology, in case the time came that he should ever figure out how to work it. He expressed his enjoyment in the harassment by flipping us all the bird and laughing heartily.

Just When I Thought I Heard The Last Bell

I got a call yesterday from my pops. We were going to go have a look at his new house. He said he had the garage door opener and we could probably sneak through the back door to have a snoop around. I told him I’m gonna opt out till he actually has a key to the place. He laughed and said that was understandable. Then he announced he was getting married. He said he didn’t want to tell me over the phone but he couldn’t wait. I’m really excited for him. He said they are thinking of setting a date for sometime in spring. It’s been, I don’t know, four, maybe five years since the divorce. Not that it matters how long it’s been really. I’m just glad he’s happy. She’s a wonderful woman and they’ve known each other for a long time. They are both fantastic and loving people. Very deserving of each other. Congratulations pops!