Research Reveals Couple's Sexual Desires

Research Reveals Couple's Sexual Desires

Wouldn’t you like to be a fly on the wall and find out what other people are doing in their bedrooms? Your answer to this question will depend on whether or not you’re a voyeur, of course, but knowing what other people find sexy can be interesting. 

If you’re curious to learn about other people’s sex lives, you’re in luck. Let’s look at some of the recent research and findings on couples’ sexual desires and fantasies and see what exactly turns people on.



So, what do couples crave in the bedroom? Couples’ wellness platform Arya surveyed over 6,000 cisgender people and found three distinct desires that the majority of the couples share. The people in the survey were in long-term relationships (anywhere from 1 year to up to 20+ years). Some have kids, while others don’t. The age range is between 20 and 40+ years old.

The top three categories were:

  • Make sex more adventurous – 25.3%.
  • Bridging sexual desires and kinks – 20.5%.
  • More foreplay – 19.3%.

The majority of couples want to make sex more adventurous, no matter their age, gender, relationship duration, or sexual experience. Now these findings make sense – we, as humans, crave novelty in our relationships and sex. 

The phenomenon that explains it is called The Coolidge Effect, and it’s been observed in animals and humans. One study found that men who were shown the same stimuli over and over again experienced deceased arousal over time. And it’s not only men – research shows that women show signs of decreased arousal over time to the repeated erotic stimuli too. 

So, the desire for more adventurous sex and more variety is normal and to be expected in long-term relationships. 

When it comes to couples’ desire to make sex kinkier, it’s no surprise either. The Kinsey Institute conducted a report in 2021 that examined people’s sex lives post-pandemic. Apparently, the pandemic made couples much keener for adventures in the bedroom and made them kinkier – 51% of couples were more experimental, and even 71% of those couples said they were interested in exploring kink.

More desire for foreplay by couples is a great sign that people are interested in their and their partner’s pleasure more. It’s no secret that the orgasm gap is still a thing, especially in heterosexual relationships and people with vulvas do need more time and warm up to achieve an orgasm. 

Extending foreplay, and making more time for it in the relationship and during sex is the key to more orgasms and better sexual satisfaction. 


PornHub is a mainstream porn website, and it’s the fourth most popular website worldwide. Every year, the PornHub team compiles a review that gives insights into what people are searching, watching, and loving the most. 

The 2023 review had some interesting findings – group sex (including orgies, gangbangs, threesomes, and double penetration) was the third most popular porn category. Outdoor sex followed in the fourth place, with positions in the fifth. 

The popularity of porn featuring group sex is no surprise (we’ll talk about that more in-depth in a moment), but the interest in outdoor sex and the positions shows that people are interested in ways to be more adventurous with sex. Or, at least their sexual fantasies.

Another interesting finding from PornHub is that the bondage category (especially femdom and female domination) has seen increased interest and takes the seventh spot as the most popular category. BDSM has been growing in popularity in recent years, and with couples being interested in adventures and kink exploration, it makes sense that they are seeking inspiration in porn. 


One of the largest studies on sexual fantasies to date was done by social psychologist Justin Lehmiller. He surveyed over 4,000 people while doing research for his book Tell Me What You Want, on their sexual fantasies and fantasizing habits. 

His research revealed that almost everyone has sexual fantasies, and they have them often. It’s a normal and healthy part of being a human. He also found that certain fantasies are extremely popular amongst all people. 

The number one most popular sexual fantasy that people have is multipartnered sex. That explains people’s interest in group sex porn as per PornHub’s yearly review. 

The second most popular sexual fantasy that people have are BDSM kinks – powerplay, control, and rough sex. It can range from very mild activities to pretty wild and kinky sex. The findings in Lovehoney’s survey and the State of Intimacy report further confirm that kink is something that’s on people’s minds and is making its way into their bedrooms too. 

In the third place, the most popular sexual fantasies people have are novelty and adventure. What does that mean? Well, any sexual activities that are new, unique, different, and experimental. Things like different locations and even “pegging” were on people’s lists. 

The finding from Lovehoney’s survey, State of Intimacy report, and even PornHub seem to align with Lehmiller’s research, with couples seeking out adventures in the bedroom and different ways to explore sexuality with their partners. 


While we’re on the topic of sexual desires and fantasies, and what couples are choosing to try in reality, it’s very important to note that fantasy doesn’t always translate to reality when it comes to sex. 

You might have a fantasy of watching your partner have sex with another person in front of you, and it can be a huge turn-on. But it doesn’t mean that you might want to try it in real life and incorporate it into your sexual repertoire. 

Sometimes fantasies do overlap with desired things to try with your partner. And if you both are fully on board and excited to bring your fantasies to life, then more power to you! However – there is no pressure to live out all of your sexual fantasies. 

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