Forget gender stereotypes. As it turns out, kissing and cuddling in order to be happy in a relationship, as well as in bed, is more important to men than women, according to a survey by the Kinsey Institute. For women, though, this type of physical intimacy is only important to enhancing their sex life. These surprising results, published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, come from an international survey of over 1,000 middle-aged or older men and their female partners. Most of the relationships examined were long-term, with half of the couples together for 25 years or more. In general, a large number of the couples were happy with their relationship. Men, however, reported greater relationship satisfaction, while women were more likely to be satisfied sexually. This was the opposite of what the researchers expected. More frequent sex, of course, led to greater sexual satisfaction, but it didn’t influence how happy the couples were with the relationship. Good sexual functioning—such as the ability to have an erection or orgasm—was needed for both the relationship and sex life. Surprisingly, women thought this was more important than man did in terms of sexual satisfaction. Men were also less likely to be happy with their sex life if they had a greater number of sexual partners during their life. On average, the men surveyed had around 12 partners, while women had five. Relationship happiness increased for men the longer they were with their partner. Women, however, tended to be happiest when she had been with her partner between 20 and 50 years. Women, though, experienced greater sexual satisfaction than men during the later years.
Get the Men's Fitness newsletter!