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:


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


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


  1. Love and commitment
  2. Expression


  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.

Manu Chao At Red Rocks

About a month ago I was giving my girlfriend a hard time about never taking me out on a date. Well it turns out that she actually took my pestering to heart. I’m surprised she bit, I was really just needling her, trying to get a rise out of her. (Wow there was a lot of slang in that last sentence) Because of my prodding, she surprised me by taking me to my first Red Rocks show of the summer.

Gogol Bordello opened up for Manu Chao (I love his crazy website). Both shows were really good. I really want to see Gogol Bordello at a smaller venue but I couldn’t imagine Manu Chao in a small setting, he feeds off the audience and the crowd feeds off of him in return. It just wouldn’t have been the same in an “intimate setting”. I hadn’t heard of Manu Chao until a couple of weeks before the show, so his whole thing was totally new to me. I was even more shocked to learn he is one of the worlds best selling artists.

Man, what energy! Him and his band ended up doing something like four encores, and the stage nearly got rushed during one of them. Manu sings in French, Spanish, Arabic, Galician, Portuguese, English, and Wolof, and he’s often mixing them in the same song. His sound is a strange crossbreed of reggae infused with UK punk (The Clash) with hints of salsa, raï, ska and good old rock and roll sprinkled throughout.

Unfortunately I missed a half of Gogol Bordello’s set while helping my brother finish a flask of Southern Discomfort in the parking lot before the show. Oh well. Next time.

If you’re interested in more cause=time has a great review of the show in addition to some bootleg mp3s. There is another (Romanian) review of the Red Rocks show on this blog. There are some great photos of the show to be found on Flickr too. Below you’ll find a couple Manu Chao songs to listen to (and download) if I have piqued your interest.

Manu Chao – Me Gustas Tu
Manu Chao – Welcome To Tijuana

Inclined To, Characterized By, Or Inciting To Lust Or Lechery; Lascivious.

City Lights

I can’t quite place my finger on it. It might be the slightly sticky sort of dirtiness. Or maybe it’s the wonderful food constantly titillating the taste buds. It may be the tall buildings that give a dizzy vertigo when I crook my head skyward. Or it could be the throngs of incredibly good looking people smartly dressed and not afraid to flaunt it. Possibly it’s the slight whiff of danger or excitement that builds as the night sets in. But there is no doubt that there is something inherently sexy, almost lewd, and downright erotic about New York City.

My short vacation there didn’t last nearly long enough. The last time I was there I checked a whole bunch of things off my tourist list. This time is was much more relaxed and real, yet much shorter. Despite it’s quickness this trip taught me a few things about Manhattan that I didn’t learn before.

  • NY pizza isn’t always NY style pizza and not always what you would expect out of it.
  • You really don’t want to see it all.
  • New Yorks finest don’t look kindly on turnstyle hoppers. AT ALL. But that can’t catch you if they can’t see you.
  • Three hot dogs from three different places in three days is not considered a challenge in NYC.
  • I can drink more in the city.
  • Scalping tickets, under a subway track, from a sketchy dude in the Bronx, is not the same as doing it anywhere else.
  • The girls can shop forever in SoHo. For real.
  • Manhattan is one giant street fair on Memorial Day weekend.
  • Skirts are shorter here. I need to spend more time in the (dirty) south.
  • Areo beds aren’t so bad. In fact they’re good.
  • Not much beats properly prepared Eggs Benedict for brunch. Except a plate of bacon of course.
  • You can seriously get run over by a car, bus, train if you aren’t paying attention.
  • There are more different types of bars and clubs here than I’ll ever really comprehend.
  • Damn, I got it shooting out of both pant legs just thinking about it!