Wait, why'd you call me "tiger"?Researchers are experiencing shock and awe over a recent study from Kwantlen University in Canada that seems to find that lovers who describe themselves as selfish have partners who describe themselves as satisfied. This, they say, shows a startling conclusion: Selfish lovers are better lovers.
Listen, people, I was a horny 22-year-old myself, once upon a time. And I can see through this study like you could see through my Betsey Johnson baby-doll dress (guaranteed results in the early ‘90s, and I’ve got the lipstick-case notches to prove it).
Here’s how I think these results came about, and it’s not what these researchers concluded.
The study worked like this: Couples of different ages (30 aged 18-25, 30 aged 30+) were asked (a) why they have sex and (b) whether their partners satisfied them. The study found that, surprise-surprise, younger lovers gave reasons like “I have sex because I’m horny and it feels good,” while older lovers said things like “I have sex to connect with my partner and make her feel good.” Yet the younger lovers reported more sexual satisfaction across the board.
Their dubious conclusion, from this, is that being selfish somehow leads to the sexual satisfaction.
My less-dubious conclusion, looking at the numbers, is to point a few things out to these researchers:
- At 23, I thought I was sexually satisfied if I had an orgasm. My standards went up as my experience increased. For heaven’s sake, I can have an orgasm with a Hitachi magic wand, too. That doesn’t make it a super-lover. It makes it … handy. And that’s how I’d describe a lot of the guys I had sex with at that time. They were … there.
- Which leads me to this: When you’re horny, hormonal, and new to all this sex-stuff, you get from A to “Whee!” a lot easier. It’s not that the younger peeps are better at doing it. It’s that they’re easier to please.
- Conversely, over the age of 30, I was more often in a longer-term relationship, in which familiarity can breed contempt. If you’re not with the love/lust of your life, but spinning your wheels in a ho-hum twosome, you’re not going to report uberpassion -- no matter what your partner’s intent may be. Maybe he wants to make you feel good, but he’s annoying and wears socks to bed. So you are less likely to be satisfied. (This assumes that everyone is as emotionally late-bloomery as I am, of course.)
- Another by-product of age? Like I said, I had higher standards over the age of 30. A crucifix tattoo wasn’t going to do it for me anymore -- yeah, I get it, it’s transgressive for a Jewish girl to have sex face-to-face with a crown of thorns. Now, can we get to the cunnilingus, please? The good kind? Where you know what you’re doing?!
All this to say … researchers, use your heads. Reporting self-satisfaction is not the same as being self-satisfied. I don’t quite know how to fix the study, but that’s your job. My job is to be snarky and really embarrassingly self-revelatory about the whole thing.
What do you think about this study and its results? Were you more satisfied in your early 20s, or now? Why do you think? Tell us in the comments!