A voyeuristic curiosity about the sexual habits of others is common, even if only to wonder where exactly your experiences fit in.
Now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has analyzed the way a representative sample of 9,175 American adults answered a long list of very personal questions.
The data was collected between 2011 and 2013, but the agency just published its findings for all to see.
While people are known to lie in these kinds of surveys, researchers have tried to reduce that here by letting participants enter answers into a computer without having to directly respond to a researcher's prying, in-person or on-the-phone questions.
Here's how common certain sexual behaviors, attractions, and identities are, based on participants' responses:
Skye Gould/Tech Insider
One interesting thing the researchers note in their analysis is that "three dimensions of sexuality - behavior, attraction, and orientation - [show] varying patterns of association." In other words, people's sexual experiences don't always match up with who they are attracted to or how they identify; and those are three distinct "dimensions of sexuality" that shouldn't be conflated.
For example, 81% of women report feelings of attraction "only to the opposite sex," suggesting that 19% experience some same-sex attraction; 17.4% of women have experienced same-sex contact. Yet only 6.8% of women identify as gay or bisexual.
The researchers also looked back at the results from the last time they collected this data, between 2006 and 2010. In the most recent survey, more men and women identified as bisexual than the last time around, and more women reported same-sex sexual contact.
The CDC will use the data they collect through these surveys to help them better understand the sexual behaviors of Americans so that they can develop better strategies for identifying and protecting populations that are most at-risk for sexually transmitted infections.