Roundups Sexuality

This Week in Sex: Condoms in Porn, Sex on Vacation, and What Millennials Are Doing in Bed

Martha Kempner

This week, a survey gives us insight into the sex lives of millennials, a study finds women engage in riskier sex on vacation, and advocates try another tactic for mandating condoms in porn.

This Week in Sex is a weekly summary of news and research related to sexual behavior, sexuality education, contraception, STIs, and more.

Survey Says: Millennials Are Using Condoms, Lubes, and Toys, and They’re Having Orgasms

A new survey by condom manufacturer Ansell targeted over 5,000 men and women ages 18 to 34 and asked them 69 questions (yep, not 70, and probably not a coincidence) about sexuality and relationships.

It found that 43 percent of millennials are using lubricants and over a quarter are using vibrators. This could explain why so many of the women are climaxing—89 percent of women respondents said they typically have an orgasm during sex.

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And as for that sex, the most common position is doggy style, followed by missionary and cowgirl. Men reportedly said they prefer doggy style, while the women in the survey said they liked missionary better. The most common day for sex: a birthday.

The survey also found that the more academic degrees millennials have, the more likely they are to use condoms, though there is no way of knowing whether they are actually getting a formal sex education in schools. What the findings do show is that 65 percent of individuals with a professional degree reported using condoms, compared to 44 percent of respondents with a high school diploma. And, 58 percent of millennials currently enrolled at a university reported using condoms.

When they’re not actually having sex, respondents appear to be using their phones to talk about sex. Over half (57 percent) of millennials reported sexting, with 7 percent saying they sext daily and 11 percent saying they do it several times per week. And some of those sexts include art: 49 percent of millennials have sent naked pictures on their mobile phones, and 25 percent sent such pictures via Snapchat.

But don’t expect them to stop using their mobile phones—at least not the 37 percent of respondents who said they would rather give up sex than the Internet for a year.

Women Have Riskier Sex When on Vacation

Vacation sex is not a new concept, but researchers from the University of Illinois and the University of Florida wanted to know if individuals engaged in riskier behavior while on holiday than they do at home.

They surveyed more than 850 women ages 18 to 50 online and asked about their own behavior as well as their perceptions about which tourist activities and destinations were most conducive to sexual risk-taking.

The results suggest that tourist experiences in tropical destinations or European countries are seen as the ultimate settings for sex with a steady or at least known sexual partner, and a group tour is best for casual sex with an acquaintance.

What is it about vacation that leads to sex? Well, there are many factors—lack of schedule and responsibility, a disconnect from everyday life, and anonymity were all brought up by respondents. One major facilitator of vacation sex: heavy drinking. Some women, however, just saw risk itself as part of the vacation experience.

Women were also asked to rank 23 sexual practices—such as going to a sex club, having unprotected sex with a stranger, or having sex in a restroom—in order of perceived risk. Not surprisingly, those women who reported having engaged in risky sex while a tourist perceived these activities as less risky than their peers did.

Though sex on the beach may not seem like a serious subject for academic study, the researchers point out that there are public health ramifications. As one of the researchers said in a press release: “The fact that women have tendencies to underestimate the risks involved in non-penetrative sexual activities, overestimate the protection of condoms, and attribute sexual risk-taking to alcohol consumption are factors that sexual health information campaigns might want to address.”

Measure Requiring Porn Actors to Wear Condoms May Be on the 2016 Ballot in California

Advocates announced last week that they have gathered enough signatures to put a measure requiring condoms in all adult films shot in California on the 2016 ballot.

As Rewire has been reporting, the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has been working on various measures over the last few years to mandate condoms in porn films with mixed success. Attempts to get the LA City Council to agree to the mandate failed a number of times, but in 2012 voters in that city approved “Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act,” known as Measure B, despite producers’ threats that they would simply film elsewhere. Enforcement of the rule has been difficult, and last year AHF took its fight to the state legislature, where efforts to pass a new policy failed.

Now, AHF is turning once again to the voters with a statewide ballot initiative that would require all production companies to certify, under the penalty of perjury, that condoms were used in all acts of vaginal and anal sex. Violators would face fines of up to $70,000. Production companies would also have to post a sign on set notifying actors that condoms are required.

The adult film industry is opposed to any such requirements, arguing that it is capable of keeping its performers safe. Many others in the state oppose the measure as well because of the financial implications. Since Measure B passed in Los Angeles, the number of permits given to adult films has dropped by 90 percent. The state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office, a non-partisan fiscal advisor, says that if passed, the ballot initiative will not only cost the state millions of dollars to enforce each year, the state will simultaneously lose tens of millions of dollars each year in tax revenue.

Still, AHF President Michael Weinstein believes that voters will go for the measure. He told the Los Angeles Times, “unlike most politicians, voters were not squeamish about this issue, seeing it as a means to protect the health and safety of performers working in the industry.”

The secretary of state confirmed last week that the initiative had received enough signatures—365,880—to be placed on the ballot. The signatures still have to be validated by state officials.

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