Relationships

The good, the bad, and the dirty: The iVillage 2013 married sex survey results

July 30, 2014 at 4:33 PM ET

How happy is your husband with his sex life? How happy are you? What turns him on the most about you? Is he the best sex of your life? Are you, his? We asked these questions (and much racier ones) in our new survey all about married sex. How does your sex life compare to what's going on in bedrooms across the country? We can't stop talking about the results!

A healthy sex life is a must
For both men and women a healthy, happy sexual relationship is crucial: Overall, 93 percent of respondents agreed on the importance of a good sex life. By the sexes, more than half of men reported it is extremely important, compared to 40 percent of women reported it is very important.

We're having predictable sex
More than 50 percent of women and 68 percent of men described their sex life as predictable, very predictable or extremely predictable. Men rated sex position as the most predictable (54 percent) aspect of their sex lives, while women chose location (67 percent). Close runners up for both men and women are duration (49% of women; 43% of men), foreplay (45% of women; 43% of men), time of day (43% of women; 46% of men) and technique (47% of women; 42% of men).

But it's not so bad—we're still happy!
While married sex may be predictable—that doesn't mean couples aren't happy with their under-the-sheets action. Especially husbands: 80 percent of men reported being very happy or happy with their sex life, compared to 60 percent of women.

Men think we're happier than what we are
While 79 percent of men think their wives are happy or very happy with their sex lives, only 60 percent of women say they actually are. Women, on the other hand, sell themselves short: 55 percent think their husbands are satisfied, while 77 percent of men rate themselves as happy or very happy.

Sex is better after marriage ... but not after kids
While over a third of men say their sex life got better after marriage, a third of women say their sex life was better before and a quarter say there's been no change. However—the sexes agree (52 percent of women; 49 percent of men) that they had hotter sex before they had kids. More than a third of men and nearly a third of women report that there have been no changes post-children, while 8 percent of women and 22 percent of men say sex actually got better after kids!

Yes, we're in the mood
We want sex—right now! Or at least, men do: 35 percent of men are currently in the mood to have sex, which is significantly higher than women (11 percent). Another 55 percent of men were in the mood within the last 7 days—and that's when women catch up: 43 percent of women were in the mood within the last week.

Men flirt more
While about 3 out of 10 married persons have sext/emailed sexy messages or watched online porn together —it's men who tech-flirt more with their partners. Men not only sext more (32 percent vs. 20 percent), email flirty dirties more (36 percent vs. 18 percent)—but they are almost three times (27 percent vs. 11 percent) more likely to leave a sexy voicemail and over two times (18 percent vs. 17 percent) more likely to Facebook a sexy note.

Men + women are turned on by love
What gets us going? For both sexes—it's love! Fifty-nine percent of women and half of men surveyed report feelings of love for their partner turns them on. However, it's true that men are mostly visual and women lust after the sentiments: 49 percent of women report their partner saying nice things to them as a fire starter, while men prefer the dirty talk (46 percent) over their partner complimenting them (28 percent). The biggest turn on for men, though? Sexy clothes (51 percent).

How many partners have we had?
A quarter of men have slept with 6-10 people, while over 30 percent of women have slept with 2-5 people. However, a fifth of men and women report only sleeping with one another!

We both have sex out of obligation
Fifty-seven percent of women and 39 percent of men report having sex out of obligation at least sometimes —but it's the guys who initiate action more often. Over half of men surveyed report they initiate sex all of the time or most of the time. Around a third of women and men report they initiate sex equally.

Every husband's wish list
The most popular desires on husbands' sex wish list? That their partner would initiate sex more often (42 percent), have more oral sex (41 percent) and have anal sex (30 percent). Other top lusts include saying sexy things (28 percent), more foreplay (27 percent) and that their wife would orgasm easier (29 percent).

Every wife's wish list
If women could have their partner do more of something in bed—it'd be foreplay (35 percent). Women also want their husbands to say more loving and sexy things (32 percent; 21 percent), last longer (28 percent) and have more oral sex (22 percent).

What turns us off
Both women (49 percent) and men (37 percent) say stress causes them to lose their desire for sex more than anything else. Other top distractors include exhaustion for women (46 percent) and having an argument with their spouse for men (29 percent). A third of women and a fifth of men say lack of romance is a factor, too.

Men check up on their partner more
1 in 5 of men and women surveyed admitted to cheating on their spouse—but men cheat more (28 percent vs. 13 percent) However, men are less trusting: 34 percent have checked their wife's phone sometimes or often for evidence of cheating, compared to 20 percent of women.

Men, watch out for your wife's ex-boyfriend
Men are significantly more likely to have an affair if they would have zero chance of getting caught (32 percent vs. 13 percent of women). Who would it be with? Women say an old flame (39 percent), while men say a hot celeb (21 percent) or a friend's spouse (20 percent).

50 shades of hotter sex
Looks like Christian and Anastasia are rubbing off in bedrooms across America—a fifth of men and women surveyed read Fifty Shades of Grey and of those who read it, 65 percent said their sex life did change as a result. In fact, men report a bigger change under the covers than women: 87 percent vs. 34 percent. How exactly? They had more foreplay (39 percent), had more sex (38 percent), bought sexy lingerie (38 percent), talked more about desires and fantasies (34 percent) and introduced more sex toys into the bedroom (34 percent).

Men watch more porn than we think they do
42 percent of women say their spouse never watches online porn, while only 21 percent of men report never watching online porn. Men are also more likely to admit to just watching online porn alone (75 percent vs. 33 percent women).

Men marry the best sex
When it comes to picking a partner for life, men are more likely to marry the girl with the hottest moves: 68 percent of men said they married the best sex of their life, compared to 45 percent of women.

A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.

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