How many sexual partners have you had? How was your last performance in bed?
New research from Duke University found people may be overestimating the amount and quality of sex they’re having.
For the study, more than 200 subjects were interviewed about how frequently they think about sex and how often they engage in it.
For 30 consecutive days, participants assessed their sexual thoughts and activities, rating each from one to five.
At the close of the study, they were asked to complete a questionnaire reviewing the full month.
The study participants were evenly split between men and women, but the predictor of how well they “remembered” had less to do with gender than overall mood.
“Those in a ‘good mood’ overreported their sexual
encounters and exaggerated their performance.”
Those considered to be in a “good” mood were found to have overreported their sexual encounters and exaggerated their own performance level. Those in a “bad” mood were found to underplay these responses.
Study author Kevin P. Weinfurt, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke Medicine and member of the Duke Clinical Research Institute, explained the results:
“The study arose from a need to understand how best to measure the effects of disease on people’s sexual health,” he said. “We know these effects can make patients’ lives difficult. Researchers should be aware that mood can affect the accuracy of people’s reports of sexual function.”
In the future, sex health specialists at the clinical level may wish to gauge a person’s mood in addition to their history, Weinfurt said.