6 Fascinating Facts About The Sex Lives Of American Women Today
Whether you're an avid news junkie or an average human woman living in 2018, you're probably aware that our cultural conceptions of sex are in flux. With waves upon waves of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape allegations hitting the headlines week after week, conversations about consent and sexual ethics are proliferating — as are conversations about women's sexual health. With so much focus on the destructive side of sex, it's important to also discuss its transformative aspects, too. The #MeToo movement is undeniably a watershed moment, and the next step to creating a true culture of consent is to discuss female sexual pleasure without stigma and without shame.
To explore the state of women's wellness in the United States, Everyday Health surveyed 3,000 U.S. women ages 25-65 in a 13-minute online survey in October of 2017. The questions they posed included all aspects of health, both physical and psychological, personal and professional. Sex of course was one major aspect of the equation, and women weighed in on how much sex they were having, how good it was, and how they believed it impacted their overall wellness.
The following are six things that the survey revealed about the sex lives of American women today.
1. Satisfying Sex Isn't The Norm
It's no shocker that American women aren't 100 percent satisfied with their sex lives. Whether this means they're not reaching orgasm, not receiving oral sex, or just feeling kinda "meh" about everything isn't clear, but 19 percent of the women surveyed by Everyday Health said they had never had satisfying sex in the past year, and only three percent said they had had satisfying sex daily.
2. Most Women Would Choose Food Over Sex
Would you prefer a sex session or an ice cream sundae? Sensual pleasure or a pizza? Everyday Health notes that a majority of women admit they'd much rather dine than do it. Seventy-three percent surveyed said they would "choose an amazing meal over amazing sex" — which does not bode well for the state of our sexual union. Then again, there are far fewer emotional and physical risks that come with a snack, so can we really blame them for preferring food?
3. Southern Women Prioritize Sex
Stereotypes of the randy Southern belle abound (hello Blanche Devereaux) and perhaps it's for good reason. When it comes to the top "wellness priorities" filtered by geography, "having a healthy and satisfying sex life" is the highest south of the Mason-Dixon line. Maybe it's something about the warmer temperatures, or the proliferation of religious prescriptions against sex that makes it more enticing, but either way, Southern women have distinct sexual standards they live by.
4. Sex Can Negatively Impact Your Personal Wellness
There are a lot of factors than can impact your health, from close friendships and career success to financial stability, but for some women, sex and intimacy have the power to make or break how they view their overall wellness. Only seven percent of women surveyed said that intimacy and their sex life was positively impacting their personal wellness, while 13 percent of women reported that their sex lives were in fact negatively impacting their personal wellness. Millennial women were unfortunately the most likely compared to other generations to have this view.
5. Few Women Feel Good Naked
Feeling confident in your skin and loving (or at least not actively hating) your body helps make any kind of sexual activity more enjoyable, but it's not a given for most women. According to the survey, 68 percent of women said that the "thought of being naked" makes them "cringe," while only 32 percent said the same thought makes them "smile."
6. Millennials Are Having The Most Satisfying Sex
Between Baby Boomers, Generation Xers, and Millennials, the youngest of the group is having the best sex most frequently. Of all the women surveyed, 37 percent of Millennials had satisfying sex daily/weekly in the past 12 months compared with 31 percent of Gen Xers and 25 percent of Baby Boomers. If there's one thing Millennials have over the other generations (besides the ability to waste money on avocado toast) it's how to have a good sex life on the regs.
Although there are a variety of factors that contribute to a full life and how we conceive of personal wellness, for many women, sex is a vital contributor to their overall happiness. We have a long way to go before all women are in a position to embrace body positivity, sex positivity, and the pleasure that they desire, but the more we know about women's sex lives in the process, the better.