How Often Do Men Think of Sex?

When it comes to men and sex, there is this popular myth that they think about getting down and dirty on a daily basis. But how true is that?

In a new study, researchers at Ohio State University tracked how often college-age participants thought about sex, food and sleep. Their findings show that sex is not on the brain as much as you might expect.

1. Every seven seconds

The idea that men think about sex every seven seconds is one of those statistics that gets bounced around as e-mail-forward wisdom, even though there’s no actual research behind it. But a new study from Ohio State University is trying to dispel the myth by bringing some real numbers to the table. In their experiment, researchers gave participants a clicker and asked them to hit it whenever they had a thought of sex, food, or sleep. Then they tallied up how many times each thing came up throughout the day. On average, the men in the study had 19 thoughts about sex, while women had about 10.

But those aren’t the only interesting findings from this study. Another cool thing is that the researchers found that a person’s comfort with sexuality was more important than their gender in terms of how often they had thoughts about getting down and dirty.

In fact, the top respondent in the study recorded 388 thoughts about sex, which comes out to thinking about sex every two minutes—still far less than the “every seven seconds” legend would suggest. And it’s also worth noting that most of those thoughts were probably harmless fantasies rather than actual planning or thinking about getting down and dirty. Still, it’s good to know that these studies are putting some truth to the myth that guys just can’t stop thinking about sex.

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2. Every day

The oft-quoted statistic that men think about sex every seven seconds is one of those bits of lore that everyone just kind of takes as fact. You hear it on the radio, see it in movies, read it in books. It’s one of those things that just sort of gets tossed around as “e-mail forward wisdom.” That doesn’t mean it’s true, though.

In fact, a study at Ohio State University debunks that myth in no uncertain terms. The researchers had college-age people track their daily thoughts by clicking a button whenever they thought about food, sleep, or sex. Those with the highest comfort level with their own sexuality (as measured by a questionnaire) reported thinking about sex more frequently, but that wasn’t the only factor at play. When factoring in sleep time, the participants who recorded the most sexual thoughts (a record 388 clicks) actually had a sexual thought about every 158 seconds, so far short of the “every seven seconds” that’s often quoted.

Even so, the study did show that men on average think about sex 19 times a day compared to women’s 10 thoughts. That’s not a huge gap, but it does suggest that the idea that men are slaves to their more carnal instincts is probably a bit of a myth. The study also revealed that those who have healthy sex lives tend to have more frequent sex thoughts, which could be because they’re more erotized overall and have access to the experience more often.

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3. Every week

A Kinsey Institute survey asking men and women how often they think about sex found that 54 percent of men said they think about it at least daily, 43 percent say a few times a week and 14 percent less than once a month. That’s a long way from every seven seconds, but it still proves that sex isn’t as big of a deal as many people think.

A new study published in the Journal of Sex Research also busts the myth that men think about sex more than women. Terri Fisher, a psychologist at Ohio State University, had a group of 163 female and 120 male college students record their thoughts about eating, sleeping and sex each day for a week. Then they used a golf-counter to tally how many times each thought occurred. The results were interesting. The average number of thoughts about sex for the men was 19 per day and 10 times per day for women.

The results are a far cry from the 8,000 times a day claim that is so popular, but they are a great example of how rumors spread. Even though it’s natural to have sexual thoughts, it is important not to let them dominate your life. You can control how much they influence your libido by getting plenty of sleep, eating healthy and spending time with friends and family.

4. Every month

The popular myth that men think about sex every seven seconds doesn’t really hold up. However, that doesn’t mean that men don’t think about sex at all. A recent study found that on average, men think about sex 19 times a day. That’s less than once every seven seconds, but still a lot more than you might expect.

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The study was done by giving people a special counter and asking them to record how often they thought about different things, including food, sleep, and sex. They were also asked to write down what they were thinking about during each event. The researchers then analyzed the data to see how often each topic came up. Interestingly, sex came up a lot more than things like work and bills.

It was also found that men think about sex more than women do. This could be because puberty is a time when testosterone and other hormones increase, and men’s bodies begin to change. Women, on the other hand, may think about sex more during their menstrual cycle, which is likely due to hormonal changes.

So, while it’s normal to think about sex sometimes, you should take steps to stop unwanted sexual thoughts if they’re disrupting your life. Try identifying what triggers these thoughts, and then find ways to keep your mind busy until the urge passes. If you’re unable to stop thinking about sex, talk to your doctor. They may be able to recommend some medications that can help.

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