Is your sex life a bit busier than most? If you’re a “25-year-old, high school-educated, married, Catholic jazz fan who earns $10,000 a year and who smokes and drinks regularly,” than you are probably having more sex than a college-educated, non-smoking, non-drinking Protestant.
Studies have gotten that exact.
In trying to answer the ageless inquiry of “Who’s having the most sex?” research found that if you belong to any one of these groups, you are likelier to be having more sex than the rest of us.
Furthermore, research has found that certain personality traits and careers can make for a more sexually active person.
So, how does your profile fare? Who exactly should you want to seek out for a little bit -- or a lot -- of loving? Or, who should make you want to turn on a heel and run?
For years, investigators have been gathering information on people’s sex lives using the General Social Survey. This instrument, sponsored by the University of Chicago’s National Foundation, surveys about 3,000 people every other year on their sexual behaviors.
In conducting a large-scale statistical analysis of the survey’s data, John Robinson, of the University of Maryland, and Geoffrey Godbey, of Penn State University (and a former professor of mine!), revealed that 15 percent of adults are having half of all sexual liaisons. It further appears that 40 percent of them can claim 85 percent of all sexual encounters. So who are these lucky people?
Robinson and Godbey’s numbers show the following:
— Jazz fans are 30 percent more sexually active than others.
— People of the Jewish faith and agnostics are 20 percent more sexually active than Christians. On the average, Protestants are less sexually active than Catholics. Presbyterians and Lutherans report less sex than Baptists.
— Extreme liberals are having more sex than extreme conservatives, but both groups are being outdone by people who consider themselves political moderates. Moderates are also outdoing those who identify as mostly conservative or slightly conservative.
— Those making the least and most money have more sex than anyone in between.
— Those who participate in extracurricular activities (even watching TV counts) have more sex.
— Smokers report a 10 percent increase in sexual activity and drinkers report 20 percent more sex than average. Those who drink and smoke have twice as much sex as someone who does neither.
If you’re not finding any of those traits too tantalizing, for yourself or a potential lover, consider the role of simply being very – that’s very -- nice. In looking more at the role of a person’s personality, researchers at Villanova University in Pennsylvania found those who have stronger personality types -- as in very “warm” or “cold” -- have the most sex.
These two groups, however, are seeking out sexual encounters for very different reasons. The friendly people long to spread the love. People who are less friendly fear rejection and intimacy. Hence, they seek to avoid monogamy by having lots of sex.
If you aren’t the monogamous sort, you may want to consider becoming -- or finding -- an artist or poet. Research from the United Kingdom found professional artists and poets have about twice as many sexual partners (meaning between four and 10) as those who aren’t so creatively inclined in their activities.
This wasn’t too surprising to investigators given that artists and poets were found to share certain traits with mentally ill patients -- traits that are linked with increased sexual activity. Therefore, the more creative the individual, the greater the number of sex partners.
Researchers suggested this could be because creative people are often attractive people, therefore they get more attention. They also tend to be charismatic, maybe since their talents grab others’ interest. Such a track record tends to be more accepted among creative people, given their enviable bohemian lifestyle.
While these research tidbits are interesting, I think that I am going to take them with a grain of salt. I don’t fit into any of these extreme categories -- for the most part -- and I don’t like the idea of a trait determining my sex-bunny status. Given what researchers have learned about my education level, I can’t let it. I’d never get any!
Robinson and Godbey found the more education people have, the fewer sexual episodes they have (I’m glad I didn’t know that when I was in graduate school studying this sex stuff!). It’s actually those with high school diplomas or a few years of college who see the most action. I have to wonder, though, if that discovery would change if they specifically looked at the sex lives of those who have majored in sex. Something tells me this group would be among the higher ranking sex rabbits ...
Dr. Yvonne Kristín Fulbright is a sex educator, relationship expert, columnist and founder of Sexuality Source Inc. She is the author of several books including, "Touch Me There! A Hands-On Guide to Your Orgasmic Hot Spots."