Many universal truths and life lessons can be found in old episodes of Seinfeld. But in the episode The matchthe famous ’90s sitcom may have overlooked some subtle differences between men and women when it comes to being “master of your domain,” according to a major survey of sexual preferences.
In the episode, the main characters make a bet to see who can last the longest without masturbating, i.e, remain “queen of the castle.” The characters struggle with temptation – Kramer catches a glimpse of a naked exhibitionist in the apartment across the street, while Elaine shares a cab with handsome John F. Kennedy Jr. contest. In the end, Kramer ends up in bed with the exhibitionist, while Elaine misses the connection with her dream boat.
But according to the new study, it would be more realistic if their fortunes were reversed.
British researchers dug deep into the sexual preferences of nearly 5,000 men and 6,700 women and found that a sluggish interest in sex Lake common among men who reported going it alone, but fewer common among women who enjoyed a menage a moi.
In other words, the data suggests that men “scratch the itch” as a satisfying sex substitute, while women “butter their own muffin” as a sort of sexual aperitif or snack. So maybe Elaine should have been more determined than Kramer to fire her crush.
That said, the show did nail a real trend: women are generally less interested in sex.
This is according to a study published Thursday in BMJ opened, researchers found that women were twice as likely as men to report a lack of interest in sex. Of those surveyed in the nationally representative sample, 15 percent of men and 34 percent of women reported losing interest in sex for three months or more in the past year. That makes George’s initial suggestion of a 2:1 chance of Elaine winning the bet reasonable.
Breaking down the data, the researchers found that there are complex reasons why both women and men might lose interest in sex. Factors such as depression, stress, unemployment, raising young children, sexually transmitted diseases and general health problems all seemed to have the effect of a cold shower.
But the biggest factor – especially for women – was the state of one’s romantic relationship. Women’s sexual desires were strongly linked to their perceptions of the quality of their relationship, whether they felt they could openly discuss their sex lives with their partners, and their expectations and beliefs about sex. For example, if a woman believed that men’s sex drive is stronger than women’s, she was more likely to have less interest in sex. Past sexual experiences also seemed to play a role, for example if a couple started off hot and steamy or if one partner pressured the other into an awkward first encounter.
All in all, the authors argue, spicing up your sex life may not be as easy as popping a pill — for both sexes. And for women in particular, the findings “support the view that transient (and often adaptive) reductions in sexual desire are not evidence of ‘dysfunction’.”
BMJ opened2017. DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-016942 (About DOIs).