Top 10 American Sexual Behaviors

by Leo Cartland
half naked woman holding hand cuff in bedroom with man in bed

A recent study reported on the results of a sexual diversity survey conducted in 2015. The survey was conducted online, with more than 2,000 American respondents, focusing on the recent sexual activities of the respondents. More than fifty sexual behaviors were presented to the respondents and they were asked how appealing they found these behaviors.

The researchers found that for many of the sexual behaviors included in the study, more Americans only rated the behaviors as appealing but they did not actually do it. Sexual behaviors that were considered as romantic or affectionate had higher appeal ratings for both the male and female respondents. Moreover, the respondents had a tendency to identify a sexual behavior as appealing if he/she has already done it. Take a look at the most common American sexual behaviors.

#1 Masturbation

Among the respondents, 975 were men and 1046 were women. Of these, more than 60% of the men reported that they did masturbate within the last month. The number, however, was lower for women, with only about 40% reporting the behavior.

Interestingly, there were many who reported that they never actually masturbated in their entire life. Would you believe that 8% of the male respondents and almost 22% of the female respondents never engaged in this self-gratifying activity?

#2 Vaginal Sex

With regard to partnered sexual activity, both the male and female respondents had similar results, with around 52% reporting they had vaginal sex in the last month and just under 65% for sexual activity in the last year.

Surprisingly, it was the women who reported a higher engagement in vaginal sex in their lifetimes, with 91.1% of women saying they have had vaginal sex while for the men, it was only 86%. This may suggest that female Americans tend to be more sexually active than male Americans.

#3 Oral Sex

woman sucking on banana to symbolize blow job, oral sexThe numbers for giving oral sex are almost the same for both men and women, within the last month, the past year, and in their lifetime. What’s interesting is that only about 1 in 3 gave oral sex to their partners in the last month, but more than 80% said they gave their partner oral sex at some point in their lives.

However, when it comes to receiving oral sex, the percentages now greatly differ. In the past month, almost 40% of the men were on the receiving end, while it was only 32% for the women. Within the past year, the difference is greater, with 69% of men receiving oral sex while only 49% of the women had the pleasure.

#4 & 5 Masturbating In The Presence Of Others

This sexual behavior may be considered as almost similar to having sex in a public place, and yet it is also different. In the survey, there were two types of behaviors related to masturbation while others were present.

The first one was masturbating with another person, regardless of whether the other person was the sexual partner, a friend, or just anyone else. For this behavior, the numbers were not very different for the male and female respondents. Around 19% reported they masturbated with another person in the last month, and more than 50% said they’ve tried it at least once in their lives.

The second behavior was masturbating in front of the sexual partner. What’s interesting is that the numbers for this behavior are very much lower as compared to masturbating with another person.

For instance, only 43.7% of the men said that they’ve tried jacking off in front of their sexual partner at least once in their lives. For the women, the number is even lower at 39.4%. If we compare this to masturbating with another person wherein more than half of all the respondents said they’ve tried it, it would appear that Americans may feel more inhibited about masturbation if their partners are watching.

#6 Sexy Lingerie

Based on the results of the survey, one can say that wearing sexy lingerie is a female thing. In the last month, only 3% of the male respondents did so, while 17% of the women wore sexy underwear or lingerie. The numbers are even more skewed for the last year and the respondents’ lifetime reports of the behavior.

Less than 9% of the male respondents wore sexy lingerie in the past year and only 26.2% reported they ever did so in their entire lifetime. For the women, however, the numbers are significantly higher. Almost 36% wore sexy undies in the last month and almost 3 in 4 women reported that they wore sexy lingerie for their partner at some point in their lives.

#7 Spanking

woman's bare ass and holding a whip, spank, lashSometimes when you’re in the throes of passion, spanking just comes naturally. However, it’s not as common a sexual behavior as you might think although you probably see it all the time when you watch porn. According to the survey, only 30% of the men spanked or experienced having been spanked during sex, while it was slightly higher for women, at 34.1%

#8 Public Sex

It appears that having sex in a public place is no longer just for the adventurous ones. Although reports of the behavior were low for the past month, almost half of both the male and female respondents said that they’ve tried public sex.

#9 Tied Up

Being tied up as part of the sexual activity is not as common as one may think. This particular behavior may only be common in pornographic materials or in sexual partners with specific preferences. In any case, only about 20% of both the male and female respondents reported that they have tied up their partner or were tied up by their partner as part of their lovemaking.

#10 Licking Toes

This may not necessarily be a fetish for all of those who reported that they licked or sucked their partner’s toes at some point in their lifetimes. What’s interesting is that the numbers were always higher for the men in the past month, past year, and in their lifetime. For the latter, more than 25% of the male respondents said that they have tried licking or sucking their partner’s toes, while only 11% of the female respondents reported the behavior.



Herbenick D, Bowling J, Fu T-C(, Dodge B, Guerra-Reyes L, Sanders S (2017) Sexual diversity in the United States: Results from a nationally representative probability sample of adult women and men. PLoS ONE 12(7): e0181198.

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