Great scientific discoveries change the way we think about the world and our place in it. These ideas challenge old beliefs, open up new fields of research and inspire new ideas that wouldn’t previously have been considered. New scientific findings can also be a bit of a game-changer when it comes to our personal relationships with friends, family members and partners. A recent blog post on the ScienceDirect website discussed three key discoveries in the field of sex research that continue to stand out as groundbreaking today. From how we view monogamy to how we see sexual orientation, these findings have changed our approach to discussing and understanding sex in the 21st century.
People don’t need to have sex to feel connected to their partners.
Sexual intercourse is the most common way to define a couple’s relationship as “sexual”. If a couple is having sex, they are “a couple who has sex”. This is an understandable approach to relationships, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The new science of sex is understanding that sexual intercourse is just one way to express intimacy, connection and attraction to a person. There are many other ways besides intercourse that people can experience sexual satisfaction, even if they aren’t having “real” sex. Touching, cuddling, kissing and stroking someone’s hair are all other ways people can feel sexually connected to their partners.
Bisexuality is a real sexual orientation.
For years, people who identified as bisexual were told by many that they were “confused”, “going through a phase”, or didn’t know what they actually wanted in life. These assumptions were largely based on the idea that everyone has an innate sexual preference towards one sex or another, and true bisexuality is impossible. This assumption was debunked in the 1990s. A large-scale study found that, actually, bisexuality is a real sexual orientation. The study found that many people who identify as bisexual enjoy sex with partners of multiple genders. This finding raises the question, “if a bisexual person is having sex with a partner of a different sex, are they suddenly not bisexual anymore?”
There is no correlation between porn consumption and relationship success.
A lot of people assume that, because porn is so prevalent in our society today, watching porn must make you more likely to break up with your partner. However, a recent study found no correlation between the amount of porn consumed and the success of an individual’s relationship. The study found that people who watch a moderate amount of porn (about once a week) were just as likely to be satisfied with the quality of their romantic relationship as those who didn’t watch any. There are a few caveats to this finding, though. First, this study focused on heterosexual couples, so we can’t assume the same results apply across other sexual identities. Second, the study doesn’t say anything about watching other sexually explicit material besides pornography.
These three findings show us that there is much more to human sexuality than we might have previously thought. Sexuality is fluid and complex, and not something that can be easily defined by a number, a percentage or the amount of time you spend in bed together. It is important to keep an open mind and remember that not everything can be proven with numbers alone. Great scientific discoveries change the way we think about the world and our place in it. These ideas challenge old beliefs, open up new fields of research and inspire new ideas that wouldn’t previously have been considered. New scientific findings can also be a bit of a game-changer when it comes to our personal relationships with friends, family members and partners.