The Secret Kinks and Desires of Americans [2021 Survey]
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In what will come as no surprise to anyone who knows they’re kinky and embraces it, apparently people (Americans specifically) are kinkier than they’re willing to admit to their partners. According to survey results from OnePoll and MysteryVibe, a lot of people have kink fantasies they’re not talking about and a fear of opening up to their partners, even though communication is something people want to improve.
Confused yet? People are complicated and what one person wants, another person definitely doesn’t. That’s just one lesson from these survey results. Check out the results below. We react to the results of the survey in episode 270 of the podcast (scroll to the end to watch the video version).
Fear of Judgement
More than a third of survey respondents admitted they have a kink their partner doesn’t know about. Almost half (46 percent) of people in a relationship want to spice up their sex life but worry their partner will judge them. Respondents also admitted to a desire to incorporate sex toys into their sex lives, but fear being judged by their partner for mentioning it: 42 percent of men and 23 percent of women.
That’s a lot of fear and worry surrounding sex and pleasure to carry around in a relationship, though none of it is surprising. We live in a world that demonizes sex and pleasure and makes kink seem like the worst thing you could do (spoiler: it’s not). In America, most of us barely receive any form of sex education and none of the things we need to know to have happy, healthy relationships ever enters the conversation. How do we get over the fear? It requires taking a leap of faith with a partner, admitting to our desires, and hoping they can listen in a non-judgmental way, even if they won’t go down that path with us.
Open to Exploration
Not everyone in the survey expressed fear, though. Forty percent of respondents said they were open to exploring their sexual desires, more so now than before the plague. What do they want to try?
This is the top 10, according to the survey results:
- Public sex (23 percent)
- BDSM (22 percent)
- Role play (21 percent)
- Multiple partners or group sex (20 percent)
- Anal (18 percent)
- Orgasm control (18 percent)
- Impact play (17 percent)
- Phone/webcam sex (15 percent)
- Sadism/Masochism (13 percent)
- Voyeurism (12 percent)
Not everyone is into everything (obviously) and there were some activities that respondents felt were “too taboo” to even try:
- Group sex (27 percent)
- Sadism/Masochism (26 percent)
- BDSM (24 percent)
- Golden showers (21 percent)
Funny how something can be in the list that people want to try and also in the list of “too taboo” to even attempt. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that golden showers came in fourth on this list.
On Sex Toys
Hopefully it comes as no surprise that we’re fans of sex toys around here. John Brownstone’s collection is now bigger than mine! We know our views on sex toys aren’t the same as the non-kinky population, though, so some of these results aren’t overly surprising.
As mentioned above, four in ten people want to try sex toys but are afraid of their partners reaction. Half of men say they’re uncomfortable bringing up the topic to their partners, while only 31 percent of women said the same. Fifty-six percent of men also said they think it’s more socially acceptable for women to use sex toys.
What’s socially acceptable is in the eye of the beholder but sex toys for cis-women’s use and pleasure is often talked about in a more empowering way than it is for any other gender. At least in mainstream-ish media. At the same time, the Fleshlight has been around for more than 20 years and is often touted as the top-selling men’s sex toy of all time. That means cis-men are definitely using toys, even if no one’s talking about it.
The general idea of sex toys isn’t the only thing making people nervous. Apparently, specific sex toys incite intimidation, too. The top three include:
- Butt plugs (27 percent)
- Anal beads (24 percent)
- Whips (23 percent)
As an aside, we have a bone to pick with the adult industry that uses “whips” as a catch-all for all impact play toys. That one word has to do a lot of heavy lifting for paddles, floggers, crops, whips, and more. For some (myself included) a whip is a bit intimidating but paddles, floggers, and crops aren’t. So what are people actually intimidated by??
That being said, sex toys are also something respondents said they would like to try with their partners (86 percent). The top five include:
- Vibrators (48 percent)
- Dildos (37 percent)
- Cuffs (30 percent)
- Blindfolds (30 percent)
- Cock rings (25 percent)
Two interesting (to us) numbers that came out of this survey are specific to relationships:
- 25 percent of people would break-up with a partner unwilling to experiment in bed
- 57 percent want to have better communication with their partner but don’t know how
Both numbers surprise us a bit but the one that gives us hope is that so many people want to communicate more effectively. Not knowing how makes it more difficult, but the desire for it means at least some of those people may seek out the tools they need to achieve that goal. Ultimately, better/more communication helps us all have more of the sex we want to have.
Curious about our thoughts on these results? Check out our reaction video: