But hold the phone…how can this be? Weren't we raised on the rumor that men hit their sexual peak at age 18, and women at age 30? Aren't premenopausal women supposed to be raring to go? Herbenick has heard the theory of women being in their sexual prime at age 30, too, the research doesn't back up that claim.
"Data from our national sex survey suggests that men and women have more frequent sex when they're younger (more often, in their 20s for women and mid-20s to 30s for men); but we know that women more easily orgasm with age," she explains. "And as both men and women tend to prefer sex in a relationship compared to casual sex, that also tends to come in the mid-20s to 30s."
Interest in sex follow a predetermined pattern in young adults, she says. "I don't think there's such thing as a peak at these ages. Research suggests that there are ebbs and flows in people's sex lives, and that certain things are more common at certain ages than others."
Considering the biggest female-libido-killing-causers are stress, lack of sleep, and feeling fat, it's no wonder a woman's sex drive shifts into reverse this time of the year. What else is going to happen when you have to come home from work, stay up all night baking cookies, and then tell yourself not to eat them all?
"Though I know of no research on holiday-specific sex, it's fair to say that desire can be influenced by stress and poor body image," says Herbenick.
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