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Survey Reveals Couples Talking, Playing More to Get in the Mood for Sex

A survey of 3,335 adults reveals how couples are getting in the mood for sex.

Couple kissing outdoors with masks.
Kissing is still most people’s favorite way to get in the mood for sex.

When it comes to making love, old fashioned kissing is still how most people prefer to get in the mood, according to a recent survey of more than 3,000 adults.

Purpose Built Families Foundation, a nationally accredited nonprofit in Pembroke Pines, Florida, invited people to anonymously share their perfect love-making scenarios. CEO Seth Eisenberg said there were some surprises in the 3,335 responses.

Couples are talking more to get in the mood for sex
Couple are talking more to get in the mood for sex.

While kissing topped the list, talking before becoming physically intimate was a close second overall, and most important for many, Eisenberg said. “Various ways of touching, cuddling and hugging, playing together, and showering were also among the most common activities adults said they valued before going further,” he reported.

A Dance of Two Dimensions

“Given that bonding – that unique blend of emotional and physical intimacy – is a basic need for humans, it makes sense that aspects of both are part of the act of making love,” said Marriage and Family Therapist Marisol Wetzstein. “It’s the dance of the two dimensions – imagination and physical, mind and flesh.”

The survey began prior to COVID-19. Eisenberg said talking and playing together became increasingly frequent top mentions in the months after lockdowns starting impacting couples worldwide.

“COVID has forced couples across the globe to get to know each other in new ways,” Eisenberg said. “Working at home, living at work, increased isolation and for many, increased anxiety — that’s all forced couples to either learn to embrace each other in deeper ways or quickly find their homes separated into demilitarized zones full of pain, sadness and despair.”

Therapist Marisol Wetzstein teaches couples to find their own answers.

Couples Find New Ways to Get Close

Wetzstein said the survey shows couples are finding ways to meet their needs for closeness. This month, she led an online PAIRS training for singles and couples seeking to improve communication, conflict resolution, and emotional closeness.

“In that unique space in between two human beings, a space that can become a fountain of anticipatory pleasure, each partner brings a hope of an unmet need for attachment, validation, closeness,” Wetzstein said. “It can be a most healing experience of body, mind and soul when each partner’s vulnerability is met with empathy – or one partner’s open heart is met with presence.  The art of desire is one of courage and surrender:  To feel safe enough to be vulnerable to go further.”

Despite COVID precautions, kissing is still how most adults like to get in the mood for sex.

Most Frequent Mentions for Getting in the Mood for Sex

  • Kissing
  • Talking
  • Touching, Cuddling and Hugging
  • Expressing Feelings of Love
  • Getting in Bed
  • Showering
  • Playing Together

Learning to Heal Each Other

“Although at times stereotyped to each gender, these statistics echo others in the field and suggest what perhaps most poetry already knows,” Wetzstein said. “Each invitation to connect, if met with the same level of resonance, only enhances the experience for both partners and has the potential to be new and healing for both each time.”

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