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Knowledge is power, especially in bed.
Let’s talk about sex, baby.
We should all know the basics when it comes to sex: Ask for consent, use protection at all times, respect your partner’s needs, and have fun. But knowing the simple steps to getting down and dirty doesn’t lead you to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It’s the lesser-known facts that can not only make you smarter in bed but can also improve your sex life.
For the next time you’re thinking of getting busy with your partner, here are a few interesting facts about sex to stimulate your brain and your downstairs.
16 interesting facts about sex
1) Your partner may be fantasizing about another during sex
The survey showed 46 percent of women fantasize about another person during sex with their partner, compared to 42 percent of men. However, the study surveyed 1,300 straight women, so this confession doesn’t apply to everyone who identifies as a woman.
Who knows the real reason why straight women are thinking of someone else during sex, but maybe it’s because some of their partners aren’t fulfilling their needs in the bed.
2) Besides men, lesbians have the most orgasms
A study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine surveyed 6,151 single adults by observing the connection between sexual orientation and how many times someone has an orgasm. For men, the results aren’t surprising. Straight men climax 85.5 percent of the time, gay men 84.7 percent of the time, and bisexual men climaxed 77.6 percent.
However, women showed the largest gap. Lesbian women achieved an orgasm the most at 74.7 percent, straight women 61.6 percent of the time, and bisexual women 58 percent. It turns out that women who focus more on oral sex and clitoral stimulation rather than penetration (which is more common in a heterosexual relationship) the more they will reach a climax.
No matter who you are sleeping with, get creative in bed and prolong foreplay. Women are more complex than men when it comes to sex, but that’s what makes it exciting.
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3) Your nipples can give you an orgasm
If you like nipple play, science has some good news for you. Nipple orgasms, or “nipplegasms,” are real and can be achievable for those who are sensitive to touch in that area. A brain imaging study (fMRI) in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, showed that a woman’s brain “lit up” with arousal exactly same as it did from stimulation down under. And according to Men’s Health, 29 percent out of 213 women have experienced one.
So science is pretty much saying that playing with a woman’s nipples (or yours) can give women the same tingly feelings as a clitoris does. Sign me up.
4) Most Americans have an STD
Researchers at the National Center for Health Statistics found that nearly 42 percent of healthy Americans between the ages of 18 and 59 have contracted a form of human papillomavirus (HPV). While that number is alarming, most of the strains in the body are harmless and can remain dormant for years or go away completely. There is currently no HPV test for men, though.
The news is not the greatest, but it’s more reason to use condoms or a form of protection when getting busy.
5) Apples can get you in the mood
The crisp and juicy fruit is rumored to keep the doctor away, but it can also apparently improve women’s sex life. One 2014 study in the journal of Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics found that women who ate an apple a day had better overall sexual function and lubrication that women who didn’t.
Maybe lay off the oysters and opt for an apple instead. They smell better anyway.
6) Semen is diet-friendly
The average calorie intake when swallowing is around 15 to 20 calories per tablespoon. However, even though your partner may be, their semen isn’t a substantial snack.
7) “Mowing the lawn” could make you susceptible to diseases
People who like to shave their pubic hair frequently are at a higher risk for syphilis, herpes, and HPV according to doctors at University of California, San Francisco.
The study was published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections and found that people who have shaved at least once are twice as likely to get infected, and those who shave frequently are four times as likely. Shaving any hair from your body causes small tears in the skin, and if you’re doing the deed right afterward, the open wounds make it easier for bacteria to get in.
“Pubic hair is there for a reason,” Gunter said. “It’s a mechanical barrier, like your eyebrows. It traps bacteria and debris. And there could be health consequences to removing it.”
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8) Heavier men have more endurance than thin ones
Researchers in Turkey did a yearlong study on the relationship between (BMI) and male sexual performance. It turns out that men who have a higher BMI last an average of 7.3 minutes in bed while smaller men can barely keep it going for 108 seconds.
The study says that larger men excess fat develop more female sex hormones, which prolongs reaching the finish line, and leaner men showed a greater chance of premature ejaculation. So while a lean guy may fit the status quo, it looks like larger men win the trophy in the end.
9) Men fake orgasms too
Women seem to always receive criticism for faking orgasms (like it’s totally unfathomable), but as it turns out, men have been faking it too all along.
According to Time Out New York‘s 2014 study, more than 30 percent of men have faked an orgasm. The study is bound by the men walking the streets of New York, but we can only take a guess that it’s applicable to more than just one city of fish.
10) Sex can help fight the common cold
Sex has a lot of health benefits like reducing stress, improving your fitness, and lifting your mood. It also can boost your immune system to help fight off seasonal bugs. Congratulations, you now have a health-related reason to get it on more often!
11) Men in the U.S. have average size penises
Men’s penises in the U.S. are on average 5 inches long, landing in the middle of the spectrum compared to other countries. France takes the cake with some of the largest penises erecting at 6.2 inches and South Korea with the smallest at 3.6 inches.
Something to keep in mind is penis size doesn’t matter all that much, it’s all about how you use it that counts.
12) A man’s ejaculate contains millions of sperm
When a man ejaculates, each teaspoon of fluid contains around 300 to 500 million sperm. And in a bigger picture, in two weeks a man produces enough of the little guys to impregnate every fertile woman on Earth.
So if you’re trying to not get pregnant, contraceptives should be your best friend.
13) Using lube increases your chances of having an orgasm
Multiple studies have shown that using lube increases your chance of having an orgasm, especially for women. Some of the best lubes are natural and simply enhance your experience, while others provide totally new sensations. Don’t have name-brand lubrication on hand? Check your kitchen cabinets. Your go-to cooking and moisturizing fave, coconut oil, is also all-natural, anti-fungal, and great at providing long-term lubrication.
14) Women have longer-lasting orgasms than men
The average male orgasm lasts six seconds while the average female orgasm lasts 20 seconds, according to scary (and super interesting) fact book Scared Sh*tless: 1,003 Facts That Will Scare the Sh*t Out of You. Women who experience vaginal orgasm also have a greater chance than men at achieving multiple orgasms. The more (and the longer) the better!
15) Only 20 percent of women report that vaginal penetration alone is enough to orgasm
According to a June 2015 study, 40 percent of women reported that they need clitoral stimulation to orgasm. Long story short: Clitoral stimulation is essential for most women to come. Even if not essential, it definitely makes the whole experience much more pleasurable.
16) Sex can help reduce pain from headaches or migraines
If you suffer from regular migraines or chronic headaches, you’ll be happy to know that having an orgasm greatly decreases pain and can help your body recover more quickly. “It could be masturbation, it could be oral sex, it could be intercourse—as long as there’s an orgasm the body is going to release certain chemicals,” women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, MD, told the Daily Dot.
Editor’s note: This article is regularly updated for relevance.
Kristen Hubby is a tech and lifestyle reporter. Her writing focuses on sex, pop culture, streaming entertainment, and social media, with an emphasis on major platforms like Snapchat, YouTube, and Spotify. Her work has also appeared in Austin Monthly and the Austin American-Statesman, where she covered local news and the dining scene in Austin, Texas.