Roundups Sexuality

This Week in Sex, Valentine’s Day Edition: Dating Is Not Dead

Martha Kempner

In today’s Internet world, Valentine’s Day is for roses, chocolate, and surveys. Many websites and companies (and some academics) choose this most romantic of holidays to tell us what other people are doing and thinking when it comes to love, dating, and, of course, sex.

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

In today’s Internet world, Valentine’s Day is for roses, chocolate, and surveys. Many websites and companies (and some academics) choose this most romantic of holidays to tell us what other people are doing and thinking when it comes to love, dating, and, of course, sex.

Many Millennials Likely To Be Having Sex on Valentine’s Day

The SKYN Condoms Millennials Sex Survey asked 5,000 sexually active men and women between the ages of 18 and 34 about their sex lives and found that 73 percent of them have sex on Valentine’s Day. But for this group of randy young people, February 14 might just be a normal day—7 out of 10 of them reported having sex at least once a week. Much of this sex seems to take place outside of the bedroom or even outside of the house: 78 percent are having it on a couch, 74 percent in the shower, and 64 percent in a car. Less popular, but still surprisingly common, locations include the laundry room (24 percent), the beach (23 percent), and the great (public) outdoors (22 percent). The good news is that regardless of where they’re having sex, they’re enjoying it. Almost all men (97 percent) and a good majority of women (89 percent) have at least one orgasm during sex.

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One Night Stands Can Lead to More, and Other News From the Online Dating World

In honor of Valentine’s Day, released its sixth annual survey, Singles in America, asking over 5,500 singles about dating and sex. The survey found that what you do on the first date is a good predictor of whether or not you get that all-important second date. You’re 107 percent less likely to get a second date if you skip dinner or drinks and, for example, just meet for coffee. The best way to ensure that second date? Sushi. Those who chose this Japanese cuisine on the first date were 170 percent more likely to make it to date number two. And, don’t listen to anyone who tells you to keep the conversation light—80 percent of singles think politics, religion, and money are good topics for a first date. As for how the date ends, 7 percent of women would like it to end with “making out” and 6 percent of men expect it to end with sex. Half of singles, however, agree that a good date ends with a kiss.

Although, singles are (or want to be) doing much more than kissing—48 percent of men have had sex in public, for example, and 16 percent of women say they’re open to making a sex tape. (We at “This Week in Sex” would like to remind those singles of rule #1: It always ends up on the Internet.)

Today’s singles are not, however, doing it with all that many people. Though 46 percent of singles have had a “friend with benefits,” the clear majority (75 percent) have had fewer than 15 lifetime partners and 50 percent have had six at most.

And, finally, there is some good news for those who have had a hook-up but really wanted more. The survey found that 25 percent of singles had a one-night stand turn into a relationship.

Not the Sunshine State; the Sex Toy State

Parts of Florida are going to see very low temperatures this Valentine’s Day weekend with overnight lows in the 40s in Jacksonville. However, we shouldn’t worry because Sunshine State residents do seem to know how to keep warm. According to Amazon, three cities in Florida were among those that bought the most sexual wellness products in 2015. The online mega-retailer compiled a list of purchases in cities with more than 100,000 residents. The sexual wellness category, by the way, includes condoms, lubes, and vibes as well as bondage gear, sex furniture, and fetish jewelry.

Miami took the top spot, but two other Florida cities made the list: Orlando in number two and Gainesville as number nine. The other cities on the list (in order): Alexandria, Virginia; Cambridge, Massachusetts; Seattle, Washington; Berkeley, California; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Atlanta, Georgia; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Interestingly, the Big Apple did not make the list. We here at “This Week in Sex” lived in New York City for years and can’t help but think that this is not because New Yorkers aren’t interested in sex products but because they have many other options of where to buy them or how to get them delivered right to their door.

Don’t Believe the Hype, Dating Is Not Dead

Good news for romantics out there—dating is not dead. Recent reports that courtships have evaporated, dating is deceased, and the only thing young people are interested in is casually hooking up are not true according to a new study released by the Council on Contemporary Families. Researchers at the universities of North and South Carolina examined data collected between 2005 and 2011 from over 24,000 college students at 22 schools across the country.

It’s true that college kids are hooking up62 percent said they had done so since entering college. But almost the same number, 61 percent, also said they had gone out on a date. Only 8 percent said they had hooked up without being in a long-term relationship or dating, whereas far more (26.5 percent) said they’d never hooked up but had dated or been in a long-term relationship instead. And, long-term relationships are what 71 percent of men and 67 percent of women said they really want. (Read that sentence closely, it’s not a typo—more men said they wanted long-term relationships than women.)

While this may be seen as good news for those who enjoy traditional visions of Friday night dates and committed couples, we should remember that hooking-up is not inherently bad. Most men (48 percent) and women (45 percent) were happy with their most recent hook-up experience, and only 14.5 percent of women and 12 percent of men regretted it, with the rest falling somewhere in between happiness and regret.

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