On Monday, researchers revealed data from the largest, most comprehensive national survey of Americans' sexual behavior since 1994.
The study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine offers detailed findings on how often Americans have sex, with whom, and how they respond. More than 5,865 people, ranging in age from 14 to 94, participated in the survey.
Lead researchers, from Indiana University's Center for Sexual Health Promotion, said major changes have occurred since 1994 include the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, the types of sex education available to young people, the advent of same-sex marriage and the emergence of the Internet as a tool for social interaction.
The lead author of the study's section about teen sex said the overall findings provide reassurance to Americans who are curious about how their sex lives compare with others.
Also, researchers said they were struck by the variety of ways in which the subjects engaged in sex (41 different combinations of sexual acts were tallied.)
Men are more likely to experience orgasm when vaginal intercourse is involved, while women are more likely to reach orgasm when they engage in variety of acts, including oral sex said researchers. Also, there was a gap in perceptions - 85 percent of the men said their latest sexual partner had an orgasm, while only 64 percent of the women reported having an orgasm in their most recent sexual event. Also, one-third of women experienced genital pain during their most recent sex, compared to 5 percent of men.
The study was funded by Church & Dwight Co., the manufacturer of Trojan condoms. Questions about condom usage figured prominently in the study.
Among the findings was a high rate of condom usage among 14 to 17-year-olds. Of the surveyed boys who had sexual intercourse, 79 percent reported using a condom on the most recent occasion, compared to 25 percent for all the men in the survey.
Another intriguing finding included the rates of condom usage among black and Hispanic men were significantly higher than for whites.