Most Americans have a new kink they’d like try, but are too scared to share it with their partner

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A recent study conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Thistle and Spire explores the realm of sexual comfort and intimacy. (Photo by Mahrael Boutros from Pexels)

Half of Americans have a kink they’d like to try with their partner — but haven’t yet brought it up, according to new research.

A survey of 2,000 sexually-active Americans found it takes the average respondent a little over three months to feel comfortable bringing up a personal sexual interest to their partner.

The top reason they wait? Results found 40% haven’t brought their kink up because they’re worried their partner will leave, while the same number are worried about being judged.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of the sex-positive lingerie brand Thistle and Spire, the survey delved into respondents’ “sexplorations” and how comfortable respondents feel with their partner.

The survey found open communication is essential — especially when trying something new.

Forty-one percent of respondents have been asked to try something that made them feel uncomfortable. Of those, 85% were comfortable letting their partner know they felt uneasy and 25% said they tried it eventually.

And 75% of respondents are comfortable letting their partner know when they’re unsatisfied in bed, which is important, seeing as the average respondent fakes an orgasm 26% of the time.

When partners are comfortable expressing their own needs, it leads to better sex — according to 90% of respondents.

That doesn’t always happen overnight though, and results found it takes the average respondent a little over three months to be fully comfortable having sex with a new partner.

“At Thistle and Spire, we believe that speaking up for oneself and one’s pleasure is important. We support the idea that confidence in the bedroom leads to confidence in other areas of one’s life,” said Maggie Bacon, Founder and CEO of Thistle and Spire. “A satisfying sex life has benefits on one’s overall stress and attitude, yet negative body image can get in the way that.

“Most people struggle with accepting themselves, but we can all benefit from practicing positive affirmations and treating our bodies like the beautiful gifts that they are. Gifting oneself beautiful lingerie can be an intoxicating way to celebrate your body in all its glory.”

In fact, 90% of respondents believe knowing — and being comfortable in — your own body leads to better sex.

The average respondent said their partner has turned them onto seven new things — sex toys, new positions or kinks — and reports trying about two new things with their partner each month.

But 78% of respondents would like to be more adventurous than they currently are, and one way they’re exploring this is through nude photos.

The survey found the top reason for sending nudes is to keep the romance alive (37%), while 29% send nudes because it makes them feel confident or sexy.

But nudes are only one way respondents are spicing things. Turns out, the top thing respondents have tried is simply wearing lingerie (36%).

Half of respondents (51%) were interested in lingerie because it turns their partner on, while 44% said they wear lingerie for their own confidence and sexiness.

“For individuals who are looking to explore their sexuality, lingerie can be a great place to start,” said Maggie Bacon, Founder and CEO of Thistle and Spire. “Whether you are wearing lingerie for yourself or your partner, lingerie allows you to frame your favorite parts of your body while also expressing different parts of your identity.

“Simply wearing lingerie can evoke feelings of sensuality and confidence. Our favorite part of lingerie is the ability to show as much or as little as one pleases while still reaping all the benefits of wearing underwear that makes you feel more confident.”


1. Wearing lingerie 36%
2. Sexting during the day 33%
3. A new sexual position 33%
4. Having sex outside of the bedroom 32%
5. A new sexual act 25%
6. Buying a sex toy together 24%
7. Watching porn together 23%
8. Setting a romantic scene 22%
9. Using a new sex toy 22%
10. Giving or receiving a sexy massage 20%


1. I’m trying to keep the romance alive 37%
2. I want to surprise my partner 36%
3. My partner asked 32%
4. It makes me feel sexy and/or confident 29%
5. To get myself/my partner off 25%

>> Download the video & infographic for this research story <<
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