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50 Shades of Sex in America

    There’s a party going on in the South, and the rest of America is invited—if they want to come.

    Our first annual Ashley Madison Sex Shades Survey partnered with Léger, The Research Intelligence Group to ask 1,500 Americans nationwide how open they are to trying new things in the bedroom, and what they’re interested in trying.

    “Light Kinky Fun” is one of the top 10 preferences on, so we wanted to get a better idea of what this means for Americans. We found that an overwhelming number of people are experimenting in the bedroom with 86% of men and 71% of women saying they are open to trying new things suggested by their partner in the bedroom.

    Approximately a quarter of Americans are trying new things like handcuffs, blindfolds, and role play in the bedroom.

    Americans—and Ashley Madison members, love handcuffs

    Almost one-in-four survey respondents said they have tried handcuffs in the bedroom, totalling 23%. Another 15% say they haven’t tried it, but would like to! If handcuffs are too utilitarian for you, there are plenty of other bedroom restraints you may want to consider: leather cuffs, kits, velcro restraint sets, silk ties, and shibari rope.

    Blindfolds in the bedside table

    A total of 24% of Americans surveyed say they have used blindfolds—and an additional 19% said that while they haven’t yet, they want to try a little sensory deprivation in the boudoir. Men are the most interested in blindfolds, at 21%, with women finding it slightly less of a turn-on at only 17% interest.

    On acting out a role

    Nationwide, role play is one of America’s favorite bedroom activities when it comes to spicing things up. Three out of ten men and a quarter of women surveyed say they have incorporated role play to get things going.

    It’s safe to say that young lovers are a little more dramatic in the bedroom, with 42% of Americans aged 25 to 34 saying they or their partner have embodied a character to get themselves in the mood.

    Men are more open to experimenting

    Across the board, men and women answered positively about experimenting in the bedroom. When asked if they are curious about trying new things sexually, 77% of men and 60% of women agreed.

    The South is more adventurous—a lot more adventurous

    Across the board, respondents from the southern states admit to using handcuffs, blindfolds, and engaging in role play in the bedroom. When factoring in the number of people willing to try what some might call kinky play, more than 50% of Southerners say they’re down.

    • 26% said they’ve used handcuffs; 17% want to
    • 29% have used blindfolds; 22% want to
    • 34% have engaged in role play, 22% want to

    The Midwest and The Northeast are Game to Try New Things

    The Northeast leads in the role play department at 31%, slightly ahead of lovers in the Midwest, where 26% in the Midwest say they have tried role play in the bedroom. Close to 20% of Midwesterners say they haven’t tried role play yet, but would like to, compared to 14% of Northeasterners.

    When asked if they would try something new if their partner asked them to be open minded, 75% of those in the Northeast said they would be game to try and 74% of those in the Midwest also consider themselves open minded.

    The West knows what they want—and what they don’t

    Across the three categories, those in the Western states were the most likely to state that they haven’t tried, and aren’t interested in trying, certain 50 shades style acts. At 62%, those surveyed in the West say they aren’t interested in using handcuffs in the bedroom, and 57% aren’t interested in blindfolds either.

    Nationwide, 86% of men and 71% of women are open to trying something new. In fact, almost no one surveyed said they aren’t receptive to trying something new if their partner asked them to, with only 9% of American men and 18% of women saying they wouldn’t indulge their partner.

    Do these stats sound right for your region? How receptive are you to trying something new? Join us on Ashley Madison and expand your boundaries.

    About Ashley Madison

    Ashley Madison is a boundary-pushing community that attracts like-minded connections, and new experiences. Ashley Madison operates in 47 countries, and has attracted more than 50 million members since launch.  It’s quite likely the largest married dating website this side of Venus!

    Ashley Madison is owned and operated by ruby, the world’s largest open-minded relationship company.

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