Let’s face it: We humans are prone to making poor assumptions about each other and sex. Whether it’s unfair judgments based on each other’s appearance, ingrained cultural stereotypes we struggle (or don’t) to let go of, or notions about sex and gender, our perception of others is often way off the mark.
As a recent survey conducted by Ipsos demonstrates, these flawed perceptions definitely extends into our beliefs about how often other people have sex in an average month — and as it turns out, we generally set our guesses too high. According to Ipsos, when it comes to younger people, our assumptions are wildly off the mark, with our guesses ranging four to five times higher than the actual number.
What are the implications of this discrepancy, and what is the source of our mistaken assumptions? Also, do men really have sex that much more often than women, or are they just full of shit? As Calico sees it, she can at least take comfort in the thought that no matter how far off her guess is about most people, simple math suggests she’s still right in her belief about a couple of people who are near and dear to her.
Read all about it in Calico’s latest post, “The Good News Is, This Still Means My Parents Are Having Zero Sex”
by Calico Rudasill, Sssh.com Porn For Women and Couples
With the possible exception of the current President of the United States, I think we humans all know our perception doesn’t necessarily always align with reality. This is particularly true when it comes to the assumptions we make about each other, which are often based on nothing more than some baseless preconception swimming around in our heads.
Just the other day, for example, I was certain a man I saw approaching me in a parking lot was a shifty grifter character who was looking to run some kind of short con on me – when in truth it was just a life-size Sauvage advertising poster being blown around by the wind.
Let Me Guess: They Based Their Estimate On Gonzo Porn Plots, Right?
As part of a series of studies on human misperception, Ipsos recently conducted a survey of people in the U.S. and Britain asking them to guess how frequently their countrymen aged 18-29 had sex over the previous four weeks.
According to Ipsos, the average guess concerning young men in both countries was 14 times – which is just a little higher than the “actual” number (if you can call it that), which was five in Britain and four in the U.S.
In an article about the study published on The Conversation, it explains that as off the mark as the guesses about young men were, their hunch as to how often young women had sex in the last month was even further from the bullseye.
“Men think British and American young women are having an incredible amount of sex – 22 times a month in Britain, and 23 times a month in the US,” the article states. “These guesses would be the equivalent of the average young woman having sex every weekday, plus two or three times on one special day each month. In reality, it’s around five times.”
I have a guess of my own: The male respondents in this survey were picturing all the various porn clichés they’ve encountered over the years and basing their estimates on how often they figure young women engage the services of pizza delivery guys, plumbers and/or pool boys.
You’re Telling Me A Lot of Men Exaggerate Their Sexual Exploits? Mind. Blown.
Another curious aspect of the data collected by Ipsos is an enormous discrepancy between the number of sexual partners men and women report having by the time they reach the 45-54 age range: Women reported having half the number of sexual partners as men by the time they reach that age threshold.
“Given that both men and women are reporting pairings, and they make up roughly equal proportions of the (heterosexual) population, the numbers should roughly match,” the researchers say. “There are a number of suggested explanations for this – everything from men’s use of prostitutes to how the different genders interpret the question… But it seems most likely to be a mix of men’s tendency to be more rough and ready when they add up, combined with men’s conscious or unconscious bumping up of their figure, and women’s tendency to deflate theirs.”
“Men’s conscious or unconscious bumping up of their figure” is a nice way of saying guys falsely boast about how much sex they’ve had in their lives – a notion which I’m sure comes as a huge shock to any American woman who has ever had a brother, male friend, or boyfriend who didn’t know when to shut the fuck up.
I’m No Mathematician, But I Can Multiply Any Number By Zero Just Fine
As I see it, the bright side to all this sex-estimating is that it has absolutely no impact on one of my biggest, most fundamental and cherished sexual assumptions concerning other people’s sex lives.
I’m speaking, of course, of my assumption about how often my parents have sex.
Whether my parents are having four times as much sex as I choose to believe they do, or one-fourth as much sex as I choose to believe, the total number of times they have sex in a month is the same: ZERO.
To be clear, I’m not making this assumption because I have something against my parents and want them to be punished with a sexless existence – I just can’t handle the thought it happening, so the number of times they have sex is zero, zilch, nada, zip, the big goose egg. Because it must be. End of story!
Besides, I know my mother would never lie to me – and I vividly recall something she told me about storks delivering babies when I was a kid. And while I’ve never confirmed it, given the number of babies who are born each day, I’ve always strongly suspected the stork was subcontracting at least some of the leg work to Santa Claus.
Calico’s work has appeared under various pen names in adult industry trade journals and on several mainstream op-ed portals, including the Huffington Post.