Dating & Relationship Blog

June 12th, 2014 by Jess Downey

According to Researchers These Are the 237 Reasons People Have Sex

sex
I would tend to assume that people have sex for a handful of reasons and that’s probably stretching it. I feel like most people have it because they’re in the mood (and sex satisfies that mood) or because they want to have a baby. And, I would also wager a guess that most people would feel the same way. Right? Well, what if I told you there’s actually over 200 reasons people have sex?

Seriously. There is.

Two researchers at University of Texas at Austin, David Buss and Cindy Meston, studied reasons people were motivated to have sex and found that there’s 237.

Seriously. Am I the only one who thinks that’s an outrageous number of reasons? I mean, I could stand behind like 5. But 237? Wow. That’s more than I would have ever thought of.

Buss and Meston conducted two studies. In the first, they asked more than 400 men and women to identify reasons people have sex. In the second, the researchers asked more than 1,500 undergraduate students about their experiences and attitudes.

People’s motivations were all across the board. Ranging from love and commitment to revenge and obligation. The researchers identified four major factors and 13 sub-factors for why people have sex:

Physical (stress relief, pleasure, improve their experience, attraction to their partner)

Goals (wanting to have a baby, being a cool kid, revenge)

Emotional reasons (love, saying thank you)

Insecurity (self-esteem, obligation, to keep partner from going elsewhere)

So, basically any reason you can think of. Seriously. Someone likely named it. Some were bored. Others wanted to feel closer to god. Some wanted to make someone else feel better or get something for themselves. Some wanted the power. Others wanted to devalue themselves.

Now, I think it’s important to point out that this study was conducted with undergraduate students. So, obviously that explains a whole lot.

Not that I want to judge or anything, but I know what I was like in my early 20s. I think as you get older, your thoughts about most things evolve. Your feelings about yourself (ahem, your self-esteem) definitely change a whole lot as you get older. I know my motivations for sex were far different when I was 21 than they are now. So perhaps if the researchers talked to a variety of ages, they might find different results. I’d actually be interested in seeing some of those results.

I’d also be curious to know the actual numbers here. I mean, how many people said they do the deed to feel closer to god or for revenge or as an obligation? Not that I am doubting that anyone said it or judging anyone for doing so, I’m just curious how many people said things like this.

I’m also curious what the majority said. I mean, if there’s a lot of guys and gals doing it for revenge we might have a bigger issue on our hands. Just sayin’.

Nevertheless, I find this study utterly fascinating. In fact, I kind of want to go make a list of all the reasons I’ve ever been motivated to have sex. Maybe there are a few more than I thought.

Image via wehearti

Jess is a freelance writer and online columnist living in New York City. She recently got engaged to the man of her dreams (whom she met online, of course!) and is always eager to share her online dating tips with the world.

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