We asked the questions
More than 1,500 of you answered
TABARI MCCOY | CIN WEEKLY
Making sense of our first sex survey wasn't an easy task, but with a little help from University of Cincinnati human sexuality professor Amanda K. Emo, we have.
A 26-year-old fifth-year graduate student whose cell phone rings the theme song from American Gigolo, Emo helped tabulate the results of the 800 surveys we chose at random for our study. Since we didn't watch our respondents fill out their surveys, we don't guarantee the following data is 100 percent valid nor represents the entire Greater Cincinnati area. But one thing is certain - this stuff makes for interesting reading.
Read along as Emo breaks down some of the highlights of our survey results.
JUST LIKE RABBITS
Based on what we found, there must have been a lot of people around here sneaking around during their high school days.
Looking at men and women combined, 50 percent of the respondents reported having sex by the time they were 17 and another 44 percent said they had sex by age 24. Also, while only 6 percent of the men and women who responded said they have sex on a daily basis, a whopping 59.8 percent said they are doing the deed at least once a week.
If those numbers seem outrageous to you, consider this: Emo says the national average for a man's first sexual experience is 16.9 years of age, while for women it is 17.4. Emo also says Greater Cincinnati's men and women are pretty average when it comes to frequency of sexual activity.
THE MAGIC TOUCH
Poor Pee-Wee Herman - had he gotten caught with his hand in his own cookie jar in Cincinnati instead of Florida, he might still be a big star. 75.5 percent of the men and women responding to our survey reported masturbating at least once a week, and 20.4 percent do it daily. A smaller 15.1 percent answered once a month, and only 9 percent said they don't do it at all.
Emo says the fact that 68 percent of the respondents were men probably helps explain those numbers for several reasons.
"It tends to be more acceptable in men," Emo says. "Women tend to feel you need to be in a certain state to masturbate, so you have to have some level of pent up sexual aggression to masturbate, so some women never feel like they get to that point."
If you own a college degree, chances are you own a lot of lotion, too.
"The more educated you are, the more likely you are to masturbate," Emo says. "The guess on that is that the more educated you are, the more you understand about sexuality, the benefits of masturbation as a substitute for partner sex or as an accompaniment to partner sex, stress release or whatever as a valid part of sexual health and not something that's dirty or shameful."
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
Looking at gender differences in regards to pornography, our survey found men use adult magazines (10 vs. 3 percent) and the Internet (39.5 vs. 9.4 percent) more than women. Surprisingly, women were found to use adult videos (27.5 vs. 25 percent) and chat Web sites (6 vs. 4 percent) more than their male counterparts.
Emo says an understanding of the goals behind pornography use helps to explain the differences in the numbers here as well.
"We have the stereotype men view porn more than women, but really, they have the same interest in it; it's just the type of porn that they watch. Women are more interested in pornography with relationship themes. ... Men are more concerned with the sex act," she says. "Also, a lot of people use video as a precursor to sex (during) foreplay."
Emo says the numbers reveal Cincinnati is not as conservative as some people make it out to be, either.
"People in Cincinnati aren't any different than national averages in terms of how frequently they masturbate, how often they have sex, even how much they view porn," she says. "One-quarter of the (survey) participants are using pornographic videos - you had to get them from somewhere."
KISS AND TELL
Considering all the women he claimed to have slept with before his death, Wilt Chamberlain would have good luck looking for a date in Greater Cincinnati based on the results. A revealing 42 percent of respondents said they think one week or less is long enough to date someone before having sex with him or her, and 44 percent said they need between one and three months to do the same.
And if you're in the one week or less group, Emo - who thinks the number might be a little inflated - says you might want to think twice before bragging about your sexual prowess.
"Your goal in young adulthood (should be) to be able to establish intimacy, to integrate sex and love. ... That goal of integrating sex and love isn't happening if you're jumping right into bed," she says. "If you don't integrate sex and love together and aren't able to develop sex and intimacy together, you're not going to have any type of quality relationships later on. ... The one thing that always ties people together is their intimacy, and if they don't have that, they don't have a relationship."
POSITIVE VERSUS NEGATIVE
Despite our apparent love of making love, Greater Cincinnati is less enthused about always using protection. While she was not alarmed that only 26 percent of survey respondents say they use protection within a committed relationship, Emo calls the 42 percent that admitted they have had casual sex without it "a scary number." She also wondered if some of our respondents were lying about whether or not they've ever had a sexually transmitted disease (STD) since only 13.6 percent said "yes," compared to the national average of one in every four people having an STD by age 25.
KEEP YOUR FRIENDS CLOSE ...
Despite what many stand-up comics might tell you, gender apparently makes little difference when it comes to who cheats in Greater Cincinnati. 61 percent of men and 68 percent of women reported cheating on someone, while 49.5 percent of men and 51.5 percent of women reported being cheated on - numbers which prompted Emo to say "there's some people who've been cheated on who don't know about it."
Surprisingly, gender, being a cheater or being cheated on made little to no difference whether or not our respondents thought men and women could just be friends once they've had sex. Apparently, when Harry meets Sally in Cincinnati, there's a good chance that they're going to get screwed one way or another, but they'll be OK with it in the long run.
So what, if anything, can be learned from our first ever sex survey? According to Emo, it's simply that when it comes to sex, Cincinnati (and Northern Kentucky, too) is pretty much just like everybody else.
"Cole Porter said that birds do it and bees do it, and this survey shows that people in Cincinnati do it, too. We're normal sexually in Cincinnati. There's nothing I see that's out of the ordinary that sticks out," Emo says. "If you get past that sort of tough exterior of Cincinnati and just look at how people really are, we're the same as anywhere else in the country people, really. We're not the repressed, uptight Victorian people we're made out to be." source
As a added point of interest Amanda is my cousin who is a psychology major (ask me why she's a "human sexuality professor" at UC and I couldn't tell ya, she teaches a bunch of different classes *shrug*) anyways, she emailed me a link and I thought it was interesting. :p