Health

Flashback Friday: Can differing levels of sexual experience doom your relationship?

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Photo: flickr/inottawaEveryone has their number -- how many people you were "with" before your current relationship. This number is usually not revealed to one's partner... for good reason! But even if you don't tell, can it still impact your relationship? In this study, the researchers surveyed married, cohabitating, and dating couples to find out whether couples with different levels of sexual experience were more or less happy. As you might have guessed, many couples were pretty well-matched in terms of their sexual experience. However, those couples with very different numbers reported significantly lower levels of satisfaction with and commitment to their relationship. So, you might be wondering, how do most couples end up with matching levels of experience if they don't talk about it? The authors speculate that "because sexual experience is correlated with religiosity, social–political attitudes, and other variables, it is possible that as couples match on these variables, they also indirectly are matching on sexual experience." Matching in sexual experience for married, cohabitating, and dating couples. "The present study examined heterosexual romantic partners' number of intercourse partners prior to the initiation of their relationship to determine if a significant positive correlation (matching) occurred between partners, and if this matching was associated with their level of love, satisfaction with, and commitment to the relationship. One hundred and six couples who were dating, cohabitating, or married participated in this study. Results indicated that, with the exception of cohabitating couples, romantic partners showed a significant level of matching in the prior number of intercourse partners. Further, among the married couples, a higher discrepancy between men's and women's number of previous intercourse partners was related to lower levels of love, satisfaction, and commitment in the relationship." Related content: Women can judge sexual unfaithfulness from unfamiliar men’s faces.NCBI ROFL: The sea lion solution to sexual harrassment: keep fewer males around.NCBI ROFL: Men without a sense of smell exhibit a strongly reduced number of sexual relationships.

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