How Your Height And Weight Affect Your Number Of Sex Partners

Does size *really* matter?

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If you were casting the role of a player — a man with a huge sex number — you'd likely give the part to a tall man since that's the kind of man generally known to have sex with a lot of women. Or, would you cast a slightly overweight, average height guy?

If you wanted to cast a woman with a high sex number, you'd probably pick someone super-skinny who wears a size zero. Or, would you cast someone a little more fleshy?


Generally, we think that the kind of people who have the most partners are tall men and underweight woman, but it turns out that may not be the case.

Researchers at Chapman University, recently published research on how many sex partners people have in relation to their height and BMI. In other words, the study tried to determine if the size of our bodies correlates in any way to the number of sex partners we have.

The study focused on 60,058 heterosexual men (52 percent) and women (48 percent) who were asked their height, weight, and number of sex partners. The average number of sex partners reported for both men and woman (ages 30 to 44) was eight partners.


A total of 58 percent of men and 56 percent of women reported having more than five sex partners, while 29 percent of men and 23 percent of women reported more than 14 sex partners.

The researchers found that very short men and women had a lower sex number than those of average height, with underweight men and women also reporting lower than the average number.

The expectation that tall men would have the highest sex number was only partially supported, as there wasn't much of difference between the sex numbers of men of average height and extremely tall height. However, very short men were found to have fewer sex partners than those of other heights.

"These findings confirm that height is relevant on the mating market," said David Frederick, PhD., assistant professor of psychology at Chapman University, and lead author on the study.


"However, the relatively limited variation on sex partner number for men across much of the height continuum is difficult to explain. Research has repeatedly shown that women prefer men who are relatively taller than they are. It's possible that for most women here is a certain minimal threshold of height, after which they will consider a male as a potential sex partner, and thus men above that height will end up with similar numbers of sex partners."

Shorter men, rejoice! You've still got game.

While underweight men and women had lower sex numbers than average, men who were in the middle of their body mass indexes (BMI) and men who were considered technically overweight were found to have the most sex partners.

I guess all those chubby men with the hot wives on TV aren't such a stretch after all.


"Although it may be initially surprising that more overweight men reported the highest number of partners, it's important to note that the medical classification of overweight doesn't necessarily map onto social perceptions of overweight," Dr. Frederick said. Previous studies have shown that men in middle-BMI categories are thought of as muscular, athletic, and powerful.

But why would underweight women have less partners than average?

"They may be highly dissatisfied with their weight and suffering from anorexia and thus not motivated to show their bodies; additionally, being underweight is associated with a relatively high mortality rate and/or they could be suffering from a variety of ailments that cause weight loss and thus have fewer sex partners because they're dealing with serious health issues," said Dr. Frederick.


Your sex number isn't an indicator of how attractive or good at sex you are, so remember that quality over quantity can be a good thing.