These Personality Types Apparently Have More Sex Than Everyone Else
Kelly Gonsalves is a sex educator, relationship coach, and journalist. She received her journalism degree from Northwestern University, and her writings on sex, relationships, identity, and wellness have appeared at The Cut, Vice, Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and elsewhere.
It's probably safe to assume from anecdotal evidence that more physically attractive people have an easier time scoring in bed—because if they are interested in getting intimate, there's probably a lot of people who are interested in getting intimate with them.
Now how about for personalities? Are there certain types of personalities that tend to have more sex?
Apparently yes, according to a new study published in the Personality and Individual Differences journal. Researchers surveyed nearly 3,000 straight men and 1,500 straight women between ages 18 and 81 pooled from an Australian dating service. They were asked questions about their personalities and how often they got hot in the sheets each week. The most sexually active among them? The extroverts.
The more extroverted a person was—that is, those who are more social and enjoy being around other people—the more frequently they had sex. This was true for both straight men and straight women.
"Extroverts are more likely to acquire sexual knowledge at a younger age and have more liberal attitudes toward different forms of sexual intercourse," the authors explain in the paper. "As extroverts show higher levels of proactive socialization behavior, such salience of extroverts in the mating market (compared to introverts) may increase their access to more potential mates and in turn increase opportunity for copulation."
So, if you love being around people, you'll probably hear about sex from an earlier age and have more of an opportunity to engage in it yourself.
Why sexually active men's and women's personality trends differ.
There were also some pretty interesting findings about each gender, particularly for the guys. Men who were more conscientious (i.e., responsible and morally upstanding), more emotionally stable, and less agreeable (ugh) also tended to have more regular sex. There were also certain combinations of personality traits that seemed to correlate to more sex: guys who had high extroversion and high agreeableness, high extroversion and high conscientiousness, or high agreeableness and high conscientiousness also got in the sheets more frequently.
For women, there weren't any particularly notable personality trends other than extroversion that correlated with more sex. In other words, personality seemed to matter more in determining a guy's sexual activity than it did for a woman. The researchers have a theory of why: "As males, theoretically, are the sex that must compete harder for sexual access, greater variation in traits and particular combinations thereof may provide select males with a point of increased differentiation," they write. "Evolutionary pressure may have historically been greater on males to show wider variance in personality with which to successfully secure mates to reproduce."
Of course, men have dynamic personalities for reasons other than to get "access" to sex, and nowadays people have sex for plenty of reasons other than as a tool for reproduction. The idea of women as society's sexual gatekeepers—as in, they're the ones who decide whether sex happens or not—is also a bit of an outdated concept that casts women as solely receivers of sex instead of seekers of it. The concept perhaps made some sense before second- and third-wave feminism granted women greater sexual freedom and agency, allowing them to express sexual desire without being shamed for it (for the most part). Today women have sex with essentially the same frequency as men do, which this study itself found, and just as casually.
So what's another possible explanation for why personality determines straight men's sexual activity more than it does for straight women? Plenty of past studies have found men, particularly straight men, are enculturated and encouraged to care more about their partners' appearances than their characters. So perhaps women just tend to care more about their partners' insides than men do? It's a possible theory.
Are introverts doomed to sorry sex lives?
Sure, extroverts get laid more. But if extroversion is not your strong suit, this is by no means a death sentence on your sexual future. It's fun to pull out intriguing trends about types of people who are better at ABC or more likely to XYZ, but it's important that we don't make assumptions about the why behind those trends.
One way to read these findings is to assume extroverts are the more attractive sexual partner to others, the same way physically beautiful people are. But the other way to read this is simply that extroverted people probably tend to enjoy having sex more than those of us who don't like being around others as much, and so extroverts might thus be more likely to seek sex out.
That means being an introvert is not by default a ding on your sexual draw. If you're an introvert who does love sex, all you need to do is go out there and find someone else who wants it with you. At the end of the day, different kinds of people are drawn to all sorts of different qualities in each other.
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