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Part 4: Sexual Behavior and Contemporary Society Chapter Eleven

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1 Part 4: Sexual Behavior and Contemporary Society Chapter Eleven
Solitary Sex and Shared Sex Chapter 11 discusses specific sexual behaviors in some detail. Although masturbation and coitus have been mentioned previously, they are examined here from various perspectives as human behaviors. The chapter begins with some fundamental information about the use of statistics on sexual behavior from the National Health and Social Life Survey (NHSLS), including some caveats concerning generalizability. The issue of normalcy and abnormalcy is revisited briefly in light of these statistics. NHSLS statistics are the most reliable we have on human sexual behavior in the United States.

2 Solitary Sex: The Private World
Gender Differences Males seek out erotic materials more Males think about sex more Guilt about masturbation influences females more than males Frequency correlated with shared sex Not a substitute for shared Thoughts and fantasies Erotic materials Erotic toys Masturbation Solitary sex includes thoughts and fantasies, erotic materials and toys, and masturbation. Males think about sex and seek out erotic materials more frequently than do females. The frequency with which people experience private sexual pleasure seems to be positively correlated with how frequently they seek shared sex. Solitary sex does not seem to be a compensation for lack of availability of a sexual partner.

3 Masturbation Self-stimulation of genitals
Males mostly penis Females mostly clitoris Most people participate at one time or another 60 percent men and 40 percent women in past year Occurs at all stages of life Does not produce physical weakness Negative attitudes persist and may cause guilt, as influenced by religious and/or social standards Masturbation, or self-stimulation of the genitals, is a sexual activity in which most people participate at one time or another. Masturbation can occur at all stages of life. Medically speaking, there is no such thing as excessive masturbation; it does not produce physical weakness or illness. Negative attitudes persist concerning masturbation, and some people feel guilty about the practice. Guilt does not affect frequency of masturbation in males, but it does to some extent in females.

4 Shared Sexual Behavior
Vaginal intercourse is most popular of all shared sexual behaviors in all age groups, men and women Nongenital oral stimulation Kissing, licking, nibbling Stimulation of erogenous zones Mouth, earlobes, breasts, buttocks, lower abdomen, inner thighs, anal-perineal, penis, clitoris Oral-genital sex (fellatio and cunnilingus) Increased in popularity More common in young, highly-educated whites Vaginal intercourse is the most popular of shared sexual behaviors, followed by watching a partner undress and oral sex. Fellatio is oral stimulation of the penis, and cunnilingus is oral stimulation of the clitoris and other areas of the vulva. Oral sex has become more acceptable in recent years but is more common among young, better-educated white people. There are many forms of shared nongenital stimulation that are considered intimate and arousing. Kissing and massaging of erogenous zones may be highly erotic.


6 Additional Shared Sexual Behaviors
Mutual manual stimulation and masturbation Interfemoral (nonvaginal) intercourse Anal intercourse Somewhat more appealing to males High-risk behavior for HIV transmission Vibrators, pornography, and fantasies Aphrodisiacs The penis may be inserted between a partner’s legs, breasts, or buttocks, or into the anus. Anal intercourse is somewhat more appealing to males than females and is one of the high-risk behaviors for transmission of HIV. There are many myths about foods or chemicals leading to sexual arousal. Substances that create erotic stimulation are labeled aphrodisiacs, although they are believed to operate largely on suggestion and imagination. Following the end of shared sexual activity may be a quiet, warm, and comfortable time for communication between partners, or it may become a time of tension and further misunderstanding.

7 Same Gender Sexual Sharing
Partners share a full range of sexual activity Oral-gential contact common Lesbian couples have sex less frequently than heterosexual or gay male couples, but report more satisfaction and greater intimacy Couples of the same gender share a whole range of sexual activities, depending on individual preferences and tastes. Male-to-male oral sex is more common than anal sex; female couples often prefer nonpenetrative activities.

8 Heterosexual Intercourse
Often surrounded by strict moral and social codes Has different meanings for different couples in different circumstances, influenced by Knowledge, capacity to accept differences, attitudes One transmission mode for HIV Associated with marriage customs in most cultures Intromission requires Penile erection, lubrication, relaxation of vaginal opening, cooperation of partners Intercourse is closely associated with marriage customs in most cultures. In North America, sex is considered to be a significant part of the marital relationship, with vaginal intercourse being the most preferred activity. Heterosexual intercourse is often subject to strict moral, social, and relational codes of behavior. It is also one possible mode of transmitting HIV.

9 Data from the NHSLS found that about 70 percent of people said they spent from 15 minutes to an hour during their last sexual event. It is up to each couple to work on developing the duration of sexual activity most suitable for them. Open and specific communication can be an important help in this process.

10 Intercourse Positions
Reclining Face-Face Man on top, woman supine Woman on top, man supine Side-by-side Face-Face Variations Woman on edge of bed or chair Partners seated Partners standing Rear Vaginal Entry Partners kneeling Man on top, woman on abdomen Side-by-side Partners standing Partners seated The techniques and timing of intercourse are variable, as are the positions in which a woman and man can share penile-vaginal penetration.

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