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Fantasy and Activity

Information Update
from Dr. Andrew D. Atwood, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

This material is presented for educational and informational purposes only. No other claims are made. Always consult your health care professional for specific recommendations.

ABC News’ Primetime Live has conducted a random-sample telephone poll of 1,501 adults. ABC says the “results comport with previous sex research,” which means that they believe it aligns with research previously reported. The poll was reported on the October 21, 2004 show. If you want to see their website, you will find it below. Sometime websites change, so if this link doesn’t work email me with the news. Learn about their methodology at the end of this article.


Fantasy and Activity

  Did it

about it

Cheated 16% 30%
Threesome 14 21
Sex at work 12 10
Wear something sexy 66  
Watched sexually explicit videos 30  
Looked at porn websites 25  


And an equal number of men and women have reported that they have engaged in rebound sex after a lost relationship.

Here come some of my reflections about the above behaviors as it pertains to those who are in a sexless marriage.

General Comments

These numbers look pretty accurate to me, but it depends on the population that responded to the survey. I suspect the porn website number is low, and I think the lingerie business would be a good investment!

Anyone who watches TV has been shown images of infidelity. So I have to believe the 30% number is reflective of those who have seriously contemplated an affair, not just fantasized about it. If this is a place you are stuck in your sexless marriage, then check out www.break-free-from-the-affair.com. A terrific site, and 90% of the people who go there report having been significantly helped. Trying to have a healthy sexual relationship after an affair can be a huge challenge. There can be a real sex problem after an affair problem.

I have to admit that I have only worked with one couple that admitted to this behavior. That is one couple in my clinical practice. And, in that case, I was dealing with the husband of a woman who engaged in a threesome with another couple. They divorced. A lot of porn is aimed at this behavior, so once again I suspect that the 21% number indicates those who have seriously considered a way to make this happen. From reports that I have read, it seems as though this sort of behavior is becoming more common.

Sex at work
What a great way to create a mental distraction for an otherwise routine work environment. The number of people who own their own businesses, or who have opportunity to be at work alone, probably accounts for this. I doubt that there are a lot of couples having sex in Dilbertville!

Wear something sexy
Of course, the number of people I work with who don’t every do this, who are probably counted among the 34% who don’t, are pretty significant. Many sexless couples report that one or the other partner does nothing to visually stimulate the other. Lights off, undresses in the dark or in another room, and never wears anything sexy. If you don’t want to have sex, why would you try to be provocative? On the other hand, if you do want sex, get past your anxiety (yours or your partner’s) and go to Victoria’s Secrets, online if you need to.

Watched sexually explicit videos
This can be an especially provocative experience for a couple that is trying to spice it up. There are ads in the back of many magazines for videos that are educational in nature. Maybe you have seen the ads. “Advanced Sexual Techniques” and “Advanced Oral Sex.” I’ve purchased them, and they are a form of pornography that I would describe as not raunchy. Maybe entertainment pornography would fit. But, educational? Not as I know education. Videos are for the voyeuristic tendencies so many of us have.

Looked at porn websites
I think this number is low. I have a material in my MEMBERS SECTION that addresses this issue more explicitly. The Internet porn business, which is almost entirely based out of Las Vegas as I have heard, is absolutely gigantic. And, the number of couples I have worked with who have been sidetracked by Internet porn, is absolutely gigantic. “I caught my husband up in the middle of the night looking at porn on the Internet. And we haven’t had sex in a year!” That is pretty common stuff. I address this in my eBook, and refer to Internet porn as the “crack cocaine of pornography.”

And an equal number of men and women have reported that they have engaged in rebound sex after a lost relationship.

“Was I rejected because I wasn’t good at sex? Let’s find out.” Men and women, apparently, get lonely, and/or insecure and need to prove to themselves that they still have it. Unfortunately, rebound sex is not, repeat NOT a good predictor of good marital sex. Sexual desire can be intense with someone you just met, in your apartment after a date. No sex problem there! But that is different than being in a committed relationship, and sexless. As in baseball, if you can hit the ball once, it doesn’t’ mean you can hit it every time. A home run after a lost relationship (remember the movie The Summer of 42) doesn’t mean you will even get to second base in a committed relationship.

(Below, you will find three paragraphs quoted directly from ABC. Following that are a couple of comments from myself. Dr.Atwood)

This ABC News "Primetime Live" survey was conducted by telephone, by female interviewers only, Aug. 2-9, 2004, among a random national sample of 1,501 adults. The results have a 2.5-point error margin for all respondents; as in any poll, sampling error is higher for subgroups. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by TNS of Horsham, Pa.

This survey was conducted in one-on-one telephone interviews with a representative sample of adult Americans who agreed to participate in a study of sexual attitudes and behavior. From the point initial respondents were informed of the subject matter, 92 percent went on to complete the entire questionnaire. The demographic composition of the sample closely matches that of ABC News surveys on other subjects, and the data reflect a high level of consistency across questions, and also with previous research.
The poll was conducted after a review of previous surveys, scientific and non-scientific, on sexual attitudes and behaviors. Many of the questions cover areas rarely if ever examined in national random-sample survey research. Some of the best-known surveys on sex — the Kinsey (1948 and 1953), Masters & Johnson (1966) and Hite (1976) reports — were not based on representative, random samples of the adult population

The key to any good sample is the survey population. Always, the question is, “Exactly, how random is this sample? How representative is it of the precise population you are trying to measure?”

In looking at the entire report, which you can find if you click on the link to ABC at the top, I am suspicious. The sample is likely fair with regards to age, marital status, gender, geographical location, etc. But, this seems like a far more adventurous group than I am familiar with, even though 42% of the respondents report themselves to be sexually adventurous. And, by the way, that 42% is close to the research on the Ready Adventurer around which I have an eCourse in m MEMBERS SECTION. I wonder if we are as adventuresome as the poll indicates. But, I’m in the Midwest, and that is a factor that needs to be considered. And, I wonder about the population that is willing to talk about their sex life with a woman over the phone.

Conservative people would be pretty reluctant to do so, and it is very unlikely that any Muslim would at all. You follow my line of reasoning. It is good to wonder about the sample population of any, and every poll.

Best wishes,
Dr. Atwood

Hopeful Solutions for Your Sexless Marriage is the BIG, 137 page eBook written by Dr. Atwood. The companion volume is You Can Save Your Marriage. You can find both at www.HopefulSolutions.net. Dr. Andrew D. Atwood, LMFT. 534 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 - Voice 616.456.1178 - Email DrAtwood@HopefulSolutions.net. ©2002-2004 Save Your Marriage, PLC. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer: The material presented on these pages if for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified health care provider in person. Please consult your health care provider in person if you have any questions or concerns. Always use common sense and research your own personal situation thoroughly.

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