It’s been a big year for women, and in many ways, an exhausting one. Thanks to groundbreaking reporting about sexual harassment in the New York Times, Kristen Roupenian’s provocative short story “Cat Person” that went viral in the New Yorker, Rebecca Traister’s insightful feminist essays in New York Mag and, yes, the #metoo movement, sexuality — and the myriad ways that it intersects with gender and power — is dinner party conversation these days. (If you haven’t read Cat Person, it’s a must.)
Still, there’s been more positive breakthroughs in sexuality in 2017, too, namely a slew of eye-opening stories that report on sex from a woman’s point of view. Think: perspectives and lessons that you might take to the bedroom. Here are a few highlights.
When it comes to how much, there’s no such thing as “normal”
We know this instinctively, but no matter how satisfying our sex lives, what partner hasn’t wondered if they should be having more sex? According to a March article in Time magazine, once a week may be the ticket to a good relationship, since most marriages report having sex fifty-one times per year. Still, don’t sweat it if you have less. Researchers admitted that every couple is different. Some couples have less sex but are just as happy as those that have more. And forcing more sex doesn’t work. One report out of Carnegie Mellon in 2015 showed that couples that forced more sex reported decreased happiness levels since the act became a chore.
Scientists are finally studying the female orgasm.
Bring on the data. A study of the sexual preferences of 1,055 women between the ages of 18 and 94 published in the Journal of Marital and Sex Therapy concludes that women have some real preferences when it comes to sex and oral sex. “When it comes to manual and oral sex, about 64 percent of women said they enjoy an up-and-down motion on the vulva, and 52 percent also enjoyed circular movements. Just under a third of women said they liked “side-to-side movements,” reports Mind Body Green. Um, there’s a whole study to read about this. Fascinating.
Sleeping Is Key to Good Sex. Good Relationships. Good Everything.
When the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention declared sleep a public health epidemic, we all took notice. One trend to be on the lookout for in 2018 is a new kind of brag: how much sleep you’re getting. Forbes reports that even the top luxury hotels in the world are responding by offering wealthy vacations personal sleep curators and butlers. Since research shows that good sleep improves everything, including your sex life, here’s an excuse to turn in early.