We've all been told that men think about you-know-what far too often — every seven seconds, by some accounts. Most of us have entertained this idea for long enough to be sceptical. However, rather than merely wonder about whether this is true, stop for a moment to consider how you could — or could not — prove it. If we believe the stats, thinking about sex every seven seconds adds up to times an hour. Or approximately 7, times during each waking day.
Intrusive thoughts about sex might fill your head because your birth control is making your horny. You might also try joining a single-sex team or a different league, for example. Therefore, Thinking of sex decided to promote our research to potential participants as a study of college student health. I could tell you stories but that's not the point. You also want to make sure your expectations are Amatuer girl nudity public with your partners. It contains a number of oral sex techniques that will give o man full-body, shaking orgasms.
Hommeade couple sex. Why It’s So Hard to Stop Thinking About Sex
Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan. There is a sense of urgency, as well, in her writing. Make specific plans. The most important is sex negativity, in which Western cultures consider sex to be a dangerous, destructive force. Yes No. On the bus. Getting lost in an engrossing Thinking of sex or movie is fun in Bra mature picture of itself, but it can also be Thining easy, low-energy way to avoid sexual thoughts, particularly in the short term. Rubin points out that we have learned to value other cultures as unique without seeing them as inferior, and we need to adopt a similar Thinking of sex of different sexual cultures as well. Think of sex in romantic terms. Log in Facebook Loading Don't beat yourself up. Literary Theory: An Anthology. Plus, you can talk with them about the event afterward and what you thought of it.
It's normal to think about sex — often or only once in a while.
- To most people, Rubin acknowledges, sex is a trivial matter, not rising to the seriousness of war, poverty, and other social issues.
- Show less
- Gayle S.
Verified by Psychology Today. The Sexual Continuum. Recently there has been a lot of attention in the media about a new study on frequency of sexual thoughts among men and women. I thought it would be informative to hear directly from the scientist who led the study describing in her own words the findings and their interpretation.
This blog entry is by the lead author of this study, Dr. Terri D. Most people have heard the popular claim that men think about sex every seven seconds around 8, times a day! The frequency of sexual thoughts has been studied in the past, but every study except for one has relied on self-report after the fact quick—how many times a day do you think about sex?
People aren't very good at assessing information like that, and their reports are likely to be influenced by what they have heard in the past about the frequency of sexual thoughts and by expectations for their gender. Even so, the previous research that examined actual numerical frequency has found daily sexual thought frequencies are not even in the double-digits.
In addition, the research has not always consistently revealed gender differences in frequency of sexual thoughts. This is a far cry from what most people and many psychologists believe to be true. A couple of years ago, I was discussing the lack of good research in this area with my Psychology of Human Sexuality students, and indicated that this would be an interesting area in which to do research, if any of them were interested.
Independently, two of my undergraduate students, Zachary Moore and Mary-Jo Pittenger, approached me about the undertaking, so we formed a research team to tackle the problem of studying sexual thoughts. We were primarily concerned with sex differences rather than absolute thought frequency because we were going to be using a college student sample, which is certainly not representative of all adults.
College students are a good sample to use when attempting to address previous findings, however, because so much sex research has been done with this population. Zach is the one who came up with the idea of using a golf tally counter or "clicker". Tally counters are small, inexpensive, and record one thing at a time. Participants can keep them in their pockets, clipped to their belts, in their bags, or in their hands.
We didn't want the participants to know that we were exclusively focused on sexuality, because that may have influenced who chose to participate in the study.
In addition, there are other types of need-based thoughts that people have in the course of the day, and we thought it would be interesting to use the frequency of those thoughts as a comparison for the frequency of sexual thoughts. Therefore, we decided to promote our research to potential participants as a study of college student health. We asked some participants to track their thoughts about sex, others to track their thoughts about food, and still others their thoughts about sleep.
They were told to record the total on their tally counter each night and then reset their tally counter for the next day. Prior to providing our participants with their tally counters, we gave them a series of surveys to complete regarding their attitudes toward sex, food, and sleep. We also asked them to estimate how many times in a hour period they thought about sex, food, and sleep.
We collected data from a total of students between the ages of 18 and 25 who kept track of one type of thought about sex, food, or sleep for a one week period. They were not allowed to tell anybody what type of thoughts they were recording. We added up the seven daily reports for each person and then divided by seven in order to get the average daily thought frequency.
It was immediately apparent that both men and women were quite variable in the frequency with which they engaged in sexual thoughts. The tally counts reported by the men ranged from 1 to The variation for the women was less extreme, but still quite large, ranging from 1 to Because there was so much variation, it makes most sense to talk about the median scores 50 th percentile , because medians are less influenced by extreme scores.
We found that the median number of sexual thoughts for men was In contrast, the average for men was Statistical tests indicated that the number of thoughts about sex was not statistically larger than the number of thoughts about food and sleep.
Men had more thoughts about all three of those areas than did women. These findings paint a rather different picture of men than does the urban legend of thinking about sex many times per minute. The typical men in this sample were thinking about sex once or twice an hour, and statistically no more and no less than they were thinking about eating or sleeping.
Even though our research is the best study to date of frequency of sexual thoughts, our research method was rudimentary. We weren't able to study how long the thoughts lasted or the nature of the thoughts. We also don't know if all of our participants followed the instructions and really clicked every time they had the sort of thought that they were supposed to track. However, even if they didn't, the fact that they were supposed to be clicking probably made them more aware of their thoughts about their assigned topic than they might otherwise have been, and that would have been reflected in their daily reports.
We also told them that we would know if they hadn't reset the clicker every day after they had recorded their daily tally. That wasn't really true, and when the study was over, we told them that wasn't true, but we wanted to do what we could to make sure that the participants did what they were supposed to be doing. There is some evidence that at least some women were reluctant to report certain types of thoughts. We administered a measure of social desirability, which is the degree to which a person is more concerned about looking good to others rather than telling the truth.
Social desirability didn't have any relationship with the recorded frequency of men's thoughts, but women who were higher in social desirability tended to report fewer thoughts about sex and about food. Women's social desirability scores were not related to their reports of thoughts about sleep, however, perhaps because there are no stereotypes about women and sleep the way there are about women and sex they aren't supposed to think about it as much as men and women and food they aren't supposed to eat it as much as men.
Another scale that we administered to the participants measured their degree of comfort with sexuality erotophilia. Participants with higher erotophilia scores also reported more sexual thoughts.
In fact, if you could know only one thing about people in order to best predict how often they think about sex, you would be better off knowing their degree of erotophilia rather than whether they are male or female. Interestingly, when participants had been asked prior to the start of the study to indicate how many times a day they thought about sex, food, and sleep, the men reported thinking more about sex than did the women, but there were no sex differences for the other two topics.
This, of course, is not what we found after the participants actually tracked their thoughts, illustrating the difference between the two methodologies. In addition, the estimated thought frequencies were quite a bit lower than the actual counted frequencies, for all three need-related topics. Even though this was a study of sex differences, much of the media coverage has focused only on the male findings. The notion that the sex difference is much smaller than people have previously been led to believe has been overlooked.
In addition, much of the media coverage of this study has left out the most interesting and valid aspects of our study and has focused only on the frequency statistics. We never intended our research to be used to draw conclusions about the entire population. We were interested only in comparing equivalent groups of women and men. The coverage has also confused or conflated the median and mean data, leading to some confusion.
Most importantly, very few reports of this study have stressed the degree to which the men were different from one another regarding their frequency of sexual thoughts. I used to worry that the old notion that men think about sex several times a minute was likely to make men who thought about sex less frequently which would have been all of the men in our study feel somehow as if they weren't the same as other men.
If the headlines had to focus only on men, they should have been "college men think about food and sleep as much as they think about sex" or "college men think about sex between 1 and times a day. The message that I hear from our data is that people are quite different from one another in terms of their frequency of thoughts about sex. Although on average, the men in our study did report more thoughts about sex than did the women, many of the women reported more sexual thoughts than many of the men.
The popular notion is that in the realm of sexuality, men and women are very different from each other. However, there is quite a bit of research to suggest that they are more similar than different, even among college students, who are likely at an age at which gender differences in sexuality are maximized. We obviously need much more research with individuals past the age of 25, but that is much harder to accomplish.
After our college student study was complete, I began a second study using a community sample of adults over the age of It was much harder to obtain that sample, and most of the participants did not follow through with the tally counter portion of the study because they had no real incentive to do so.
Fisher, T. Sex on the brain? An examination of frequency of sexual cognitions as a function of gender, erotophilia, and social desirability. Journal of Sex Research, 29 , Remember a healthy male who actually thinks about sex for anymore than a few seconds will start to get an erection which is not good in polite company!
After reading 'libido's comment I wondered if it is the same as "How often do men think about women. I think the research is all wrong. Counting the number of times in one day is nonsense. The mere fact that the subject of sex is an issue to be counted will encourage the thought itself. The questions need to be answered in a broader, more retrospective way to give rise to a general curve. I was specifically looking for stats across age groups to help me prove that, whilst a woman's libido rises then falls gradually, in a ladylike fashion -- called growing old gracefully - a man continues to find sex the number one essential in his life.
Only here cos my elderly gentlemen neighbours are shocking me with their appetite. Quote: "Remember a healthy male who actually thinks about sex for anymore than a few seconds will start to get an erection That may be true for healthy male teenagers, but adult men only get unwanted erections in their sleep unless there is some kind of physical stimulation going on.
This doesn't mean that adult men can't "will" an erection into existence anymore, but it takes more than just a fleeting thought or the sight of an attractive person walking by. As a woman, if I see an attractive man or woman, I think about sex for more than a few seconds, and I get distracted by the arousal, so I suppress it.
And yay you for being "quite sure" that men and women were "not correctly interpreting and tallying" their sexual urges. Heaven forbid that the researchers both asked them to self measure and then also did controls to evaluate how honest those self-measures were This post has made things a little bit clearer on this subject. I have always had the notion that men think about sex more than women, and I even found it annoying almost because I know a lot of guys flaunt their sex lives when they should just keep it to themselves.
I also find it to be really cool that they came up with the golf clicker idea. It's very innovative and cheap. Are the results accurate? Probably not. But, I do believe it gives decent figures and somewhere to start in a difficult topic to research. Most men would disagree with how many times they think about sex until I walk them through a mall, gym or theater lobby.
While men do fantisize about having sex without external stimulation, they think about it every time they see a potential mate. Take a man through an all female yoga class and his clicker would be clacking away.
Of course, you may still be attracted to someone else on your team or in your league, but you should be able to determine whether the benefits of playing outweigh the risk of worsening your thoughts about sex. However, if you want to distract yourself from sexual thoughts, try taking up a new hobby or interest to fill your time. Imagine you are inside your place of worship, if that'll help. Add safe filters like parental controls. Study Guide for Thinking Sex Thinking Sex study guide contains a biography of Gayle Rubin, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
Thinking of sex. Thinking Sex
She cites a campaign to repeal a gay rights ordinance in Dade County, Florida. That campaign called for the outing and criminalization of gay people. Throughout the country, Rubin says that since there has also been an increase in prosecutions for prostitution and obscenity. These sex panics are often defended, Rubin notices, by appealing to the need to protect children.
Rubin also discusses the case of Jacqueline Livingston, a professor of photography at Cornell who was fired and ostracized for her photographs of her nude seven-year-old son. Critics called this art photography a form of child pornography. Rubin also notes how sex is policed in the name of patriotism or nationalism. During the Cold War, conservative commentators linked sex outside marriage to communism.
Homosexuality was cast as a threat to national strength. If homosexual behavior were permitted, some argued, the United States would not be strong enough to fight the Soviets. In contrast, constructivists show that society creates the meanings we attach to sex, including what we think is natural and what we think is unnatural.
Looking at how society constructs sex is an important first step in social movements. It then becomes possible to confront, critique, and transform the system that makes some sex legitimate and some sex illegal.
In the remainder of this section, Rubin analyzes five other ideological formations that police sexuality. This is where policing comes into play. People universalize their sexual tastes, saying everyone should be like them and that difference is dangerous.
She believes that understanding the meanings society has attached to the past better elucidates the current state of affairs. This is for two reasons. First, reading the past lets us discover patterns. In this case, Rubin notices a pattern of hierarchically arranging sex acts, and this hierarchy recurs throughout history. Second, reading the past helps us understand what is unique and strange about the present. Sometimes, what we take for granted today is actually socially constructed and contingent.
For instance, as Rubin will discuss latter, our tendency to think of sexual behavior as an "identity" is a recent development; before the nineteenth century, these kinds of identities did not exist. At the same time that Rubin is recounting a history of sex panics, she is also participating in a history of activism and sexual liberation.
To better understand her position, it helps to place Rubin in relation to other social movements she will discuss later, including gay rights and feminism. As Rubin writes, in the s homosexuals were aggressively prosecuted.
As a result, this was also a decade in which gays and lesbians began to mobilize for their rights and safety. The Mattachine Society, for instance, was founded in ; it was one of the first gay rights organizations.
Organizations continued to develop over the next two decades, especially to protest the kinds of witch-hunts Rubin describes. While it might be easy to identify specific triggers or situational triggers, such as those above, try to see if you can isolate patterns to your triggers.
This understanding can help you become more proactive about the types of things to avoid when trying to decrease sexual thoughts. Do your triggers tend to be more visual or more verbal? Men, for example, tend to be more turned on by visual stimuli,  while women might be more affected by verbal ones. Know your own particular triggers. If a particular person, time of day, or emotion always leads you to distracting thoughts about sex, learn to identify those triggers that drag your mind into the gutter.
Create a list of your triggers. Maybe you always think about sex: First thing in the morning. During a particular class, like gym, yoga, etc. On the bus. When you're supposed to be studying or working. In bed. Make it difficult to look at pornography.
While it might seem like a way to satisfy sexual urges temporarily, developing an unhealthy reliance on or relationship with pornography could spiral into more and more sexual thoughts, making it very hard to get free of their grip.
Get rid of pornographic videos, magazines, calendars, and other materials in your house and, to the best of your ability, avoid watching it. If you have a firewall guard in your computer, try to enable parental controls, and put the profile to teen so you won't accidentally stumble across any pornography.
Keep a list of unsexy topics. This is basically what you consider the opposite of sexy. You could try turning yourself off by training yourself to think of unsexy things when your mind drifts into sexual territory. Anything that you would consider an unsexy mental diversion could work here. Try thinking about neutral pleasant topics like scenic outdoor views, underwater scenes, puppies, sports bloopers, or chess strategy. You could think of cold-related topics like big and bulky clothing, snow, or winter.
Replace your triggers with other thoughts and topics. Get in your own way and don't allow yourself to think about sex by focusing on these other things. It will become second nature before too long.
Find something to do immediately as a diversion. If you're always dwelling on sex during idle bus rides, for example, make a special effort to do something else during your ride, like finishing some homework, reading a new book, or talking to a friend. Or, if you start thinking about sex at boring points in a class, a meeting, or at work, for example, you might start taking notes.
By keeping your pen moving, you'll have to stay focused on the conversation at hand and not what's going on in your mind. Keep discussion topics top of mind. If you can't run into a particular person without thinking about sex and getting embarrassed, come up with three specific things you want to ask them next time you see them.
You could also come up with more thought-provoking topics that apply to most people, such as those surrounding current events, global affairs, the environment, or even politics. Make a commitment to yourself. Make a minimum goal to curb your sexual thoughts so that they don't distract you from your other daily activities, such as work or school, and commit to it. If you need help remembering your commitment, wear a piece of jewelry or a simple string around your wrist that will remind you to power through the temptation to get lost in sexual thought.
Tell someone about your goal. Telling a trusted friend or family member about your efforts is a good way to help you stay accountable. Reward yourself for keeping your commitment. This should be pretty straightforward. You could reward yourself with a favorite dessert, a shopping trip, or something else you like.
Don't beat yourself up. Thinking about sex is a big part of adolescence and adulthood, and you don't need to feel guilty about it. The only way sexual thoughts become a problem is if you can't focus on what you want to think about. Make specific plans. Fill idle time in your schedule by planning things in advance. Everyone needs time to relax, but finding yourself with hours of time on your hands might lead to backsliding and thinking about sex too much.
Schedule your day full with events and activities to better yourself. Leave a bit of time at the end of the day for reflection and relaxation, but not so much that you'll get bored or that your mind will wander toward sex. Be creative. Translate your sex drive into creative energy. Take the time you'd usually spend thinking about sex and instead devote it to a creative hobby.
If it's something you really enjoy, it can provide you with an alternate avenue for catharsis and satisfaction, keeping your mind busy and occupied. Writing, including journaling. Singing, playing a musical instrument, or spinning.
Painting, drawing, or sculpting. Knitting or sewing. Pick up a book or movie. Getting lost in an engrossing book or movie is fun in and of itself, but it can also be an easy, low-energy way to avoid sexual thoughts, particularly in the short term. Most animated, action, adventure, thriller, or mystery films and books could work here.
Go to a show or exhibit. This will keep your mind occupied with other things and could be a lot of fun. Going with friends is even better as they can further distract you. Plus, you can talk with them about the event afterward and what you thought of it. Consider attending a live performance, such as a concert, musical, play, lecture, or reading. You might also go to a museum, a new exhibit, an aquarium, or a zoo.
Remember to eat. Sexual thoughts or dissatisfaction might come from another sort of dissatisfaction: hunger. Try to eat three, healthy balanced meals per day, and remember to hydrate as well, particularly during hot weather. To keep your mind sharp enough to ward off sexual thoughts, try eating brain foods like celery, spinach, walnuts, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, beets, and even dark chocolate! Obviously, exercising is healthy itself, but it also does a few specific things that help damper sexual preoccupations.
Exercise can be engrossing and distracting, and when you work out hard enough, other distractions have a tendency of receding into the background.
Exercise provides a natural endorphin rush. Endorphins provide a generally good feeling, and help relieve depression. Take up a team sport. While playing an individual sport, you may have difficulty getting away from your own thoughts.
Choose the right type of sport and team. Of course, you may still be attracted to someone else on your team or in your league, but you should be able to determine whether the benefits of playing outweigh the risk of worsening your thoughts about sex. You might also try joining a single-sex team or a different league, for example. Sleep restfully. Lack of sleep reduces your alertness and concentration, and it can affect your mood.
Communicate with your partner. Getting thoughts out in the open is also a good way to keep them from growing or festering in your head, and it can improve your sex life instead. If you're sexually active, communicate with your partner to maintain a healthy and open sexual relationship that keeps you both fulfilled.
You can write your partner notes. As a couple, you could also read a book together or watch a film that shows or articulates your thoughts. If you're thinking about sex more than you'd like to even though you're not sexually active, is it because there's something lacking or frustrating about your sex life? Talk to your partner openly and truthfully. You also want to make sure your expectations are aligned with your partners.
You should know if and when, for example, your partner wants to begin having sex, and he should know when you want to have sex as well. Think of sex in romantic terms. If you are in a relationship, use your sexual drive to act in a loving and caring manner toward your partner. Be romantic instead of strictly sexual, per se. That way, you can build the emotional intimacy you share with each other. Develop healthy attitudes and practices about masturbation. With masturbation, there's nothing to feel guilty about, especially if it helps keep your sexual thoughts and urges in check.
Abstaining might even worsen your urges. If you're constantly thinking about finding a sexual partner, you can date regularly yet keep yourself partially sexually satisfied through masturbation. This can help free your mind to focus on more important things. Just make sure masturbation doesn't turn into a new addiction , however. Any topic that you think about too much or obsess over can seem all-consuming, and while sex is important and seems omnipresent, life is not entirely reduced to sex and sexual desires.
So, honor your various thoughts, interests, and abilities. Talk to a trusted family member. Even though parents may seem like dinosaurs when you get to your teenage years, your parents have been there before. Thinking about sex is a common struggle for teenagers and talking about it can help.
Gayle Rubin - Wikipedia
It's normal to think about sex — often or only once in a while. As people mature physically and emotionally, they become increasingly curious about their sexuality and their own bodies. As your body goes through many changes and your hormones fluctuate, you probably will start finding some people attractive. It's normal to feel a sexual attraction and even to find yourself daydreaming, often about no one in particular. Sometimes thinking about sex is unavoidable, like in dreams.
And sometimes, you might even start to think about it when you're around a lot of people — like school. Just know that it's natural to be curious and have thoughts about sex. Reviewed by: Amy W. Anzilotti, MD. Larger text size Large text size Regular text size.