Trojan, the condom manufacturer, sponsors a research company to conduct a sex survey every year. Appropriately enough, the survey is called the Trojan® U.S. SEX CENSUS.
The survey makes headlines each time it's published because it ranks various cities according to their sexual practices. For example, one recent headline was, "San Francisco Loses, Houston Wins in Trojan Sex Survey."
I found one data point in the survey to be very personally disturbing. But before I get to that datum, I thought I should share some of the dubious details of how the survey was conducted.
We all know that statistics can be twisted to say just about anything and that surveys are a common tool used to create misleading statistics. By carefully wording a question, or by asking a leading question first, you can influence people to answer a certain way. For example, 'Do you approve of President Obama's authorization to kill Osama Bin Laden?' followed by 'Do you approve of President Obama's performance as Commander-in-Chief?' versus 'Do you approve of the US government's deficit spending?' followed by 'Do you approve of President Obama's performance as US President?'
I can't comment about the exact questions used in the Trojan survey because they were not publicly disclosed. But this is what we do know about how the survey was conducted: "The Sex Census presented by Trojan® condoms is based on two studies conducted by StrategyOne [a public opinion research company] from March 15-21, 2011. The first, a national sample of 1,000 10-minute surveys were conducted online among U.S. Adults 18+. The results are nationally representative based on the U.S. Census indicators. With 95% confidence, the margin of error is +/- 3.1%. The data was weighted to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population according to U.S. Census figures. The second is a study conducted online in ten major U.S. cities among Adults 18+. The cities are: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Washington D.C. Atlanta, and Houston. A total of 2,000 10-minute surveys were conducted. Sample size of 200 per city. With 95% confidence, the margins of error within each individual city is +/- 2.2%."
I'm no statistician but it seems to me that 200 people per city isn't much of a sample size. +/- 2.2% per city? Really? I'm skeptical.
The part of the methodology that most interests me is that "The results are nationally representative based on the U.S. Census indicators." I'm skeptical that nearly 40 women who are at least 75 years old took a ten minute on-line Trojan sex survey. They're only 4% of the sample group, but still, are the results truly representative of the actual U.S. population? It seems to me that there would be many more 20-somethings who would spend time on a ten minute Trojan sex survey than any other demographic. And doesn't the fact that it's a Trojan sex survey bias the results??
Anyway...the reason I'm bitching is because I don't like the primary result. According to the survey, the average American has sex 120 times per year.
120?!!!! Are you kidding me???! Once every three days?!!
Wow. At this point, I'd be thrilled to get laid once a month. I literally can't imagine having sex with my wife every third day, week in and week out, all year long. The whole idea blows my mind.
The more I've thought about it, the more I've realized...I'm 18 + 26...that means for the last 26 years I should have been having sex more than twice a week...but actually...I don't think I've ever had that much sex for more than a continuous month or two! Even when I add in my encounters with men and my FWBs, yes there were months when I had sex more than twice a week. But a whole year? Maybe one.
As I've thought about what I can do to make my marriage work I've wondered how much sex is enough. I'd be happy with once a month. My wife? I don't even know. I get conflicting opinions from her. She's been complaining that we didn't have sex often enough in our pre-Charlie years and yet now she says she's not really interested in me or Charlie or hardly anyone else. Of course it doesn't matter how much sex other couples are having, all that matters is that we're happy. But I'll say this...if a "normal" heterosexual woman wants to have sex every three days then I could never be married to a "normal" heterosexual woman. Three or maybe four times a month would be fun. Seven or eight times a month would be a stretch. But ten times a month, every month? I literally couldn't do it.
Now...what if I flip the question around? What if I had a male partner? Sex every three days, no matter what? No problem! That would be effortless...
Yes, I'm gay and I'd be happy to have regular straight sex with my wife - but not too much of it. The good news is that, although my low level of straight desire might make me incompatible with many women, I don't see it as much of an issue for my wife.
Mostly, the Trojan survey makes me feel like a big loser. Not just because the average person is having way more sex than me (not a surprise) but because even if I desperately wanted to be straight I couldn't do it.
One of the most common observations from straight wives after their husband comes out is that they knew something was wrong in the bedroom. Sometimes their husband can't perform, sometimes he doesn't seem very into it, sometimes he's robotic or "not present."
All of this makes me wonder what would happen if more women took the Trojan survey very seriously. We closeted men think we're so clever. No one would ever guess we're not straight. Right? Um, sure...until we have to actually perform like a straight man on a consistent basis.
I'm curious...especially about men who identify as bisexual...do you have sex with your female partner an average of 120 times a year? If not, could you consistently perform at that level? What if you only had sex with men? Would that be any different and if so, would it be a lot, somewhat, or a little easier or more difficult compared to women?
Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to me that the ability to consistently perform may be the best indicator of one's true sexuality. Thoughts?