What would you say is your favorite part of sex? In a paper published in the journal PLOS One, researchers conducted a first-of-its-kind study to see what kinds of sexual behaviors Americans are interested in as well as how much they really like them. While obvious some sex acts may come to mind, it might surprise you to know that the most popular sexual behaviors are actually kind of sweet.
Researchers from the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington and the Center for Sexual Health Promotion conducted a survey of 2,000 men and women who've engaged in a variety of sexual behaviors. As they found, an average person will engage in over 30 different types of behaviors. Most of them are fairly common, some are not. But in total, researchers looked into the level of appeal of nearly 50 sexual behaviors, or how much people really desired a specific act or behavior.
According to their findings, both men and women say they desire romantic and affectionate behavior above anything else. So while dirty talk and wild sex positions can certainly have its appeal, people are actually craving the more romantic things like setting the mood with candles or music, kissing often, and whispering sweet and romantic things during sex.
"Finally, more and more people are expanding their definition of sex!" Karolina Pasko, registered sex and divorce therapist tells Bustle. When sex revolves solely around intercourse and orgasms, you can't help but find yourself bored out of your mind (not to mention that this definition of sex excludes tons of people who don't have PIV sex or can't get off). The passion may or may not be there, but the intimacy will definitely be lacking. Intimacy is what tends to make sex in a long-term, committed relationship much better than a one night stand.
"I work with a lot of men who don't know how to ask their wives for a hug because they don't want to look weak."
Although people want romance and affection, the study also found that few people actually engaged in them within the past month or year. As the authors wrote, it definitely highlights the need for more open communication between couples. "People need to become more comfortable with asking for affection and love," Pasko says. "I work with a lot of men who don't know how to ask their wives for a hug because they don't want to look weak. So they go for sex instead even when they don't want it."
So if romance and affection are what you're craving, here are some ways to bring more of it into your relationship: