You may want to not rule out being romantic during a session between the sheets as according to a recent study, your partner may be into some good old-fashioned kissing and cuddling.
Researchers at the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington and the Centre for Sexual Health Promotion have published a new U.S. nationally representative study of sexual behaviour, the first of its kind to capture a wide range of diverse sexual behaviours not previously examined in the general population.
The paper highlights results from the Sexual Exploration in America Study, in which a sample of Americans were asked about whether they have engaged in more than 30 sexual behaviours. In addition, researchers investigated the level of appeal of nearly 50 sexual behaviours.
Researchers found that in the more than 2,000 men and women who completed the survey many have engaged in a wide variety of behaviours and that some are fairly common.
"Contrary to some stereotypes, the most appealing behaviours, even for men, are romantic and affectionate behaviours," said lead author Debby Herbenick. "These included kissing more often during sex, cuddling, saying sweet/romantic things during sex, making the room feel romantic in preparation for sex, and so on."
The researchers also noted that, although many men and women rated a range of sexual behaviours as appealing and may have tried them in the distant past, fewer engaged in them in the past month or year.
"These data highlight opportunities for couples to talk more openly with one another about their sexual desires and interests," said Herbenick. "Together they may find new ways of being romantic or sexual with one another, enhancing both their sexual satisfaction and relationship happiness."
As a first-of-a-kind study in terms of the breadth of sexual behaviours examined, this research has many implications for the future understanding of adult sexual behaviours beyond those that have been previously recorded and studied. Sexuality educators, clinicians as well as people in the general population will now have a better understanding of the prevalence and diversity of sexual behaviours experienced by adults in the U.S. general population.
The study is published in PLOS One.