Diving into the male psyche can be a dangerous game — especially when it comes to sex — but we took the plunge and asked more than 700 men 61 intimate questions. Forewarned is forearmed: read this and never be surprised at men again. Remember, knowledge is power.
SO WHAT EXACTLY ARE MEN GETTING UP TO?
First things first: most men lost their virginity between 16 and 19. An energetic 3% claim to have slept with over 100 women, but overall they were less promiscuous than you might imagine, with only half having had a one-night stand.
WHAT KEEPS HIM AWAKE AT NIGHT?
His biggest sex fear? 51.2% of men are most worried about disappointing their partner. Cosmo’s sex psychotherapist Rachel Morris says it’s great he cares about our pleasure but this could say more about his insecurities. «Men are secretly terrified you’ll tell your friends if you’ve had bad sex. Satisfying a woman may be something he thinks he needs to do to ‘keep’ her. It’s also self-gratifying for him.» Not being able to get an erection was the second highest fear, which of course ties in with not pleasing a partner.
Men’s sexual confidence changes depending on their relationship status too. 40% of loved-up guys think they’re good in bed, but this slides to 26% when they get engaged. Thankfully, guys’ belief in their performance picks up again when the stress of wedding planning is over, with 33% of married men feeling good about it again.
«It’s the classic ‘men wish they’d slept with more and women wish they’d slept with less’ scenario,» says Rachel. «Men’s sexual prowess is as much a part of their ego as their job or their car. Plus, he has a fear of not being ‘special’ if you have a lot of men to compare him with.»
Here’s the stat we probably didn’t want to see: 42% of men have cheated on a girl (although 82% felt guilty). The most popular reason for cheating is boredom (ouch!), but doing it for the thrill and an ego boost were also given as reasons. And what about porn? Not exactly playing away, but 37% of men who watch it feel the need to hide it from their partner.
WHAT MEN REALLY WANT IN BED…
The one thing they want above all else is a confident partner who is enjoying what she is doing and the fact that she’s with him. In fact, 76% said it’s confidence they love the most. If you’re feeling adventurous, they like variety to spice things up. 37% have filmed sex and 72% have had text sex. Plus, 28% of men have tried S&M (so the Fifty Shades effect isn’t a myth, then!), and a further 23% said they want to try bondage. And the No.1 fantasy? A threesome — over half of all men want to give it a go, and 21% have already tried it. Rachel says this is down to simple maths: «They think two mouths, two vaginas and two pairs of breasts will result in their every urge being met, which porn should take some of the blame for; the reality normally won’t match up to this fantasy»‘ But even though they want to try out more risque things such as threesomes and anal sex, they also like romance.
IS BAD SEX A DEAL-BREAKER?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, men consider hot sex to be a really important part of their relationship. But 70% of men said although bad sex isn’t a deal-breaker to begin with, it can cause problems if it doesn’t improve.