In the United States, Terri Fisher, a psychology professor in Ohio State University, wanted to test the reliability of surveys related to sex. She created two groups: one in which men and women were hooked up to a lie detector, and the other in which they weren’t. The men in the lie detector group claimed to have had far fewer partners than in the second group, and the women in the lie detector group claimed more. So what were the numbers like?
Different results depending on the study
According to the study published by Terri Fisher in 2013, the real number of sexual partners is mainly identical between men and women, reaching between 6 and 10 depending on the country.
But according to an Ipsos online study for the website Amorelie.fr, carried out in 2015 on 1,005 French people aged 18 and over, the results were a little different: the French had an average of 9.5 sexual partners throughout the course of their lives. Men had more sexual partners (11 on average) than women (8 on average).
Obviously, these results should be put in perspective and compared with the results of Terri Fisher’s study.
According to the French study, 12% of men and 9% of women have had 11 to 20 sexual partners, and 10% of men and 5% of women have had more than 20. Depending on the region, this figure varied between 8 and 16.
Among the 72% of people in this study who had at least two sexual partners in their lives, 43% estimate that only half of their sexual partners brought them pleasure.
Among people under 35 years old, 58% of women said they did not get pleasure from half or fewer of their sexual partners, while 68% of men were satisfied.
At the same time, 20% of the people surveyed claimed to have only had one sexual partner (22% of women and 18% of men).