Previous: 8 Effing Sex Projects
Next: Peter Tingle (an erection story)



View count:1,093
Last sync:2019-10-09 22:30
This episode is sex stats that surprised me to learn is sponsored by, a counseling service that I personally use to work with helping professionals on my brain and behaviors. If you're feeling down or you want a boost at all, please check out their site, do a free 7-day trial if you're able, and invest in the care you deserve. I want you to experience your muchness.

Support Sexplanations by becoming a sexpla(i)naut:
This video is sponsored by BetterHelp, an affordable and accessible therapy service that I'll tell you more about at the end of the video.  October 10th is World Mental Health Day.


Hi, I'm Dr. Lindsey Doe, a clinical sexologist.  I've dedicated my professional life to studying sexuality and sharing what I learn with others.  One way of doing this is looking at statistics, facts of data from large studies that summarize a situation, estimate the experiences of populations, and/or make projections about sexuality in the future.  Average penis length, for example, is 5.1 to 5.6 inches erect.  What does this tell you?  Maybe how your penis compares to others.  Maybe it gives you an idea of size if you haven't seen one before. 

Statistics aren't always conclusive or comprehensive or important, but they're one data point to work from.  According to the (?~0:46) Sexual Wellbeing survey of 26 countries, Mexicans and Nigerians reported having the most exciting sex lives.  US Americans, meh.  Maybe that's not surprising to you.  Here are some stats that I think are very surprising, or at least interesting.

When asked, "Would you say you 'had sex' with someone if the most intimate behavior you engaged in was you touched, fondled, or manually stimulated a partner's genitals?", 45% of participants answered yes.  Did you think it would be lower?  Higher?  Here's a chart of more behaviors and statistics.  I'm surprised what influenced peoples' responses.  Duration.  Who came.  If they came.  People in the study were less likely to say they'd had sex if they used a condom or if it was anal.  

Of people engaging in sexual behaviors, despite whether or not they call it sex, 80% will contract a sexually transmitted infection, and the majority, 66% of them, won't have symptoms like burning, discharge, itching.  Nothing that might indicate that something is wrong.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than one million people are living with HIV in the United States, and 1 in every 7 of them don't know it.  Please get tested.

Here's a stat I recently learned.  More than 1/3 of people with a uterus will undergo a hysterectomy by age 60.  This is shocking to me.  Can you imagine if testicles were removed from 1 in 3 ballsacks?  Fortunately, there's an increase in alternatives to address the concerns that lead to hysterectomies so that over time, there will be fewer of these procedures performed.  Get one if you need it or want it.  If you're unsure, please seek a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th opinion.

Fast stats!  The largest LGBT+ event in the world to date was Sao Paolo, Brazil's Pride, with 5 million attendees.  

22% of the US population has engaged in consensual non-monogamy.

15-20% of men in the US have hired a sex worker, around 8% in the UK, 37% in Japan, and up to 80% in Cambodia.  I don't have stats for the other genders, but I do know that men aren't the only ones who pay for sex.

1.8% of sexually active people said that they had been involved in BDSM in the previous year.  I think it's probably even higher now that people are more educated about engaging safely and negotiating their kinks.  Watts the Safeword!

Even in 1953, slightly more than half of people who participated in Kinsey's research said that they responded erotically to being bitten.  

Here are some stats that I want to do a whole separate episode on.  

The change or evolution of sexual orientation with gender transitioning.  Auer and colleagues found that 22% of transmen and 33% of trans women shifted their attractions, which is a much higher prevalence than the general population. 

This article, published in The Archives of Sexual Behavior Rights, "Of those who described themselves as "unsure" of their orientation identity at any point, 66% identified as completely heterosexual at other reports and never went on to describe themselves as a sexual minority."  What does that mean to you?  What do you take from that?  

I think one of the most powerful statistics is about the prevalence of abortion.  There's still so much shame around it and yet 1 in 4 or 25% of pregnancies end with induced abortions, surgery or medicine, and there's an estimated 10-20% more spontaneous abortions, when the embryo or fetus dies within the first five months.  Total, that's 35-45% of pregnancies that end in abortions that we know of.   Given that some people don't even know that they're pregnant 'cause embryos are really small, the Mayo Clinic holds that the rates are probably even higher, like 3 in 4 pregnancies end in abortion.  What do you take from all of this? 

How we interpret data can deeply influence the way we think.  It can affect our outlook on bodies, behaviors, whether or not we're normal or extraordinary.  It can make us feel part of or isolated from.  I would encourage you to use statistics as a starting point for curiosity but never to bully or hurt someone.  Numbers can help us understand parts of each other and ourselves, but we are much more than research and calculations.  Every individual is unique, not quantifiable.  Stay curious.

One more stat.  Half of us will experience mental illness in our lives and even more than that will have bouts of confusion, anxiety, or depression that deserve attention.  I get down when the seasons change and I'm grieving, but a lot of my struggling is inexplicable.  It's a true illness.  There isn't an environmental fix like sunshine and puppies to cure it.  To nurture my mind, my brain, my biggest sex organ, I work with professionals who can help me. makes it easy for me to hire a therapist who matches my learning style and health needs.  They make it easy for me to message my therapist when and how it works best for me, and I'm able to track all the conversations, including my feelings and thinking over time so that I can see for myself the improvement., free seven day trial.  Make yourself a mental health date.  Give yourself the care you deserve.


I think it's probably even higher now that people are more educated about engaging safely and negotiating their kinks, (cough) safeword.  (Bleep)