The 2013 Sex Survey: Part 5 | Sex + Romance | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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The 2013 Sex Survey: Part 5

Turn-ons and Turn-offs


Published February 27, 2013 at 1:00 p.m.


I never thought I'd enjoy _____, but damn, do I ever!

Butt revelations abound! Of the 553 responses to this question, more than half were all about ass. You guys are surprised to love anal sex in all its forms. And it seems you’ll put anything up there: fingers, tongues, dildos, vibrators, beads, dongs and veggies.

BDSM was the other hot ticket — could it be the Fifty Shades of Grey effect? You like being tied up, choked, blindfolded, dominated, bitten, flogged, spanked and “handled roughly.”

Many of you are just discovering the joys of giving oral sex. And a few even decided that monogamy isn’t so boring, after all.

Here are other pleasures that surprised you:

  • Beating the shit out of my boyfriend while we’re doing it
  • Being “under arrest”
  • Being peed on
  • Celibacy
  • Cold vegetables!
  • Fantasizing so much about married men
  • Filming myself
  • Girls who don’t shower
  • Having my toes pulled
  • Hot water on my balls
  • Masturbating to gay porn
  • Men in makeup
  • Old broads
  • Seeing a woman in my underwear

The quickest way to turn me off is…

While you take issue with everything from talking too much during sex to wearing tighty whities, we noticed an overarching theme to your turn-offs. One fiftysomething hetero male eloquently dubbed it “The Stink.”

Whether it’s “bad breath all up in my face” or smelling funky “down yonder,” poor hygiene is the biggest no-no when it comes to getting down. “Please shower first,” requested one nurse practitioner, while a female baker gleefully called out her partner: “Farting, picking of the nose, body odor ... Dear Hubs, are you listening?”

Hairy armpits and legs, bad manscaping habits and the accidental “poop during sex” prove equally repulsive. So remember to tidy up before hitting those bedsheets, OK?

Another common mood killer: when your mattress mate rushes through foreplay or doesn’t pay enough attention to your needs. So not cool. It’s also a sexual downer when your partner isn’t “100 percent into it.” Smokers and stress rank high on the list of sexytime turn-offs — as do little kids knocking on the door when you’re trying to get some action.

Outside the bedroom, people who talk too much — about their exes, in particular — put a damper on sexual chemistry. For one twentysomething male Democrat, the same goes for talking “about why Mitt Romney would be a better president.”

Duly noted, everyone?

My biggest turn-on is…

OK, we know you love a hard cock, soft kisses on your neck and ears, and some tongue action. So do we. So does your mom.

Some of the more romantic among you favor being in love and enjoy giving even more than receiving. On the other end of the spectrum, many of you like it rough, mentioning choking, domination and rape fantasies.

Who turns you on? For many hetero men, it’s a woman in yoga pants or black stockings. Straight women are into beards, broad shoulders and flannel. (And you’re in luck: That describes the majority of Vermont’s male population.)

But some of you are rather more specific. In the interest of science (or something), we present the top 10 quirkiest, most poetic or simply most perplexing answers to what turns you on.

  1. A woman in a garter belt and an adult diaper
  2. Nice Jewish boys with a wild side
  3. My wife doing dishes
  4. Eating my own cum
  5. Penetration after I’ve already orgasmed ... for a second orgasm
  6. Graceful-looking wrists
  7. Goggle tan
  8. That sexy “V” made by the iliac crests and abdomen of a fit woman
  9. The knock on the door
  10. Vodka

At what point in a relationship do you tell your partner about a specific fetish/kink you have?

Only 876 people responded to this question. Since one of the multiple-choice responses was “I don’t really have any kinks,” we can only assume the rest of you don’t know the meaning of fetish/kink — or you haven’t formulated your approach on this one yet. But almost half of the respondents went with a sensible “after we’ve had sex a few times.” Twenty-three bold souls announce “exactly what I’m into” in their personal ads, while more than 100 will let it rip “only if my partner pries it out of me.” Would that be a tool fetish?

How do you most often communicate your desires to a partner?

The art of conversation is not dead! Almost 65 percent of all respondents agreed that “talking in person” is still the most effective way to get your points across. The 10 percent who rely on sexting or email — or, for that matter, the 25 percent who think “body language” will suffice — may want to take a tip from the talkers.

If you’re in an exclusive relationship, how would you react to the discovery that your partner is cheating?

It seems you become more forgiving — and maybe a bit more adventurous — as you get older.

Nearly 60 percent of twentysomethings and 50 percent of thirtysomethings said they would break off the relationship immediately. Many elaborated with vitriolic details. “Fuck her friends and tell her about it,” wrote a bisexual musician. “Cry and cry and be ruined forever,” lamented one married woman. “Why isn’t ‘kill the motherfucker’ an option here?” fumed another.

On the other end of the age spectrum, forgiveness reigns supreme. Nearly 50 percent of sixtysomethings said they would forgive and forget. And those who elaborated often said they’d be open to a threesome. One retired gent wrote that he would “join in the fun.” Another man in his golden years said he’d “ask for explicit details while having sex.” A married educator dismissed the whole thing, writing, “It’s not important to me.”

What is your biggest insecurity when it comes to sex?

It took a whole lot of weeding through humble-braggarts claiming to be insecure about their unspeakable good looks, or moaning about their intimidatingly awesome sex skills, to make it to the vulnerable heart of these 531 responses. But we made it.

A heartwarming number of you said you’re most insecure about pleasing your partner. Simply performing is enough to make some of you tense up. A single, twentysomething woman wrote, “I’m afraid I’ll have to fake it.” And no matter how long the relationship, rejection always stings. One married fellow in his fifties wrote, “Getting turned down when I’m raring to go and having to sneak off to engage in ‘self-congress.’”

Many respondents have a fear of farting while doing the deed, or are squeamish about unexpected bodily functions and smells (see embarrassment, below).

Many women reported feeling awkward when “on top.” One twentysomething was insecure about “how sore my legs feel after riding my boyfriend … and how weird I feel when he stares at my ass while I do it.”

One young married guy feels bad that he’s “occasionally quick on the draw.” And, sadly, one professional dude in his thirties confessed to “the fear that my wife is just humoring me.”

Bodies are definitely the biggest cause of emotional turmoil. You fussed about the size of your breasts, your penis, your beer belly. A thirtysomething trans guy worried about “my lack of standard-issue genitalia.” One fellow with a “pretty unspectacular Johnson” wrote that he fears, “as Randy Newman so eloquently put it, that she’ll ‘laugh at my mighty sword.’”

A twentysomething farmhand admitted, “I am too dorky looking to feel sexy. Fortunately, the boyfriend is extremely farsighted.” A married woman in her thirties fretted “that I’ll look like an idiot. Or that my kids will walk in on me.”

One twentysomething pansexual guy revealed a complex insecurity: “Doing something which I would later perceive as inappropriate, wrong or just awkward.”

A single attorney in her forties was concerned that she could live without sex. But one fiftysomething married man took the cake: “Raised Irish Catholic, so insecure about it all.”

Illustration by Sean Metcalf.

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