Compared with Kinsey’s research groups, married women and men in the United States today appear to be engaging in a wider repertoire of sexual behaviors and enjoying sexual interaction more. The frequency and duration of sexual play before intercourse have increased, with more people focusing on such play itself rather than viewing it as preparation for coitus. Oral stimulation of the breasts and manual stimulation of the genitals have increased; so has oral-genital contact, both fellatio and cunnilingus (Cle­ments, 1994; Herbenick et al., 2010b; Laumann et al., 1994).

Sexual satisfaction and relationship quality in marriage are often found together—as in relationships other than marriage, in which sexual satisfaction is associated with rela­tionship satisfaction, love commitment, and stability (Aponte & Machado, 2006; Spre – cher, 2002). Data indicate slightly greater sexual satisfaction for married people than for single people, as shown in ■ Table 13.1. In an extensive analysis of the National Health and Social Life Survey (NHSLS) data, couples reported that the quality of sex in mar­riage became slightly less with greater duration of marriage (Liu, 2003). However, a recent

YOUR SEXUAL

HEALTH