Study Says Couples Have More Sex When Women Make the First Move

It's all about the initiation process.

Study Says Couples Have More Sex When Women Make the First Move
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In any relationship article that explores what men wish women did more of, you’ll see the same answer pop up again and again: “initiate sex.” And yet, according to a new study published in the journal Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, men initiate sex more than three times as often as women do. But that’s to the detriment of both parties involved: Researchers found that sex was more frequent in couples where women made the first move.

In order to determine some of the factors that impact the frequency of sex in a serious relationship, researchers at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) surveyed 92 couples between the ages of 19 and 30 who had been together for as little as one month to as long as nine years and typically had sex two to three times a week. As a result of their findings, the researchers looked into what made women more likely to take initiative when it comes to sex.

They identified two key factors: a woman’s attitude toward casual sex in general and her level of passion. The latter fact—that a woman would be more inspired to make the first move if she strongly desired her partner—is hardly mind-blowing. But it’s interesting to note that women who had a more open approach to casual sex as a concept were more likely to initiate sex within their relationships.

Professor Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair of NTNU’s department of psychology, explained in a press release that in this case, casual sex “describes how much women distinguish between the sexual aspects of a relationship and its relational and emotional aspects.”

NTNU’s findings show that women open to casual sex exhibited “greater willingness to compromise on frequency of sex if sex is less related to expression of emotions and relational quality.” What this basically means is that these women were less likely to, say, withhold sex as a form of punishment for not doing the dishes or coming home late. They were therefore more likely to have sex with their partner, no matter the circumstances.

The NTNU study is limited by its small sample size and the fact that the results were self-reported. And—given all of the recent research indicating that people are having less sex and that couples are down to an average of just three times a month—the fact that the couples in the study had sex two or three times a week on average might indicate they were more sexual in general.

But the study still contributes to the growing amount of data that disputes the myth that men enjoy sex more than women. And if you’re thinking this is a generational divide, it’s worth mentioning that a November 2017 survey found that 90 percent of men over 50 would love it if a woman made the first move. This is all to say that when women take sexual initiative, everybody wins.

And for more tips on how to give your bedroom activity a boost, check out why Science Says People with This Personality Trait Have Better Sex.

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