Good in Bed Survey on What Would You Do?

The full report is available in pdf format.

What Would You Do?


A number of key findings emerged from this survey. They are summarized below:

You realize your partner is faking orgasm, what next:

  • 63% would confront their partner about it, but a significant number of participants worried that something was wrong with their lovemaking skills, sexual attractiveness, or that there were other things their partner wasn't telling them.
  • Men (13.8%) were more likely than women (8.8%) to brush it off and not say anything to their partner.

Your partner can't reach orgasm:

  • Rather than getting frustrated or giving up on it, an overwhelming majority (76%) would go out of their way to try something else to please their partner.
  • Women were more likely than men to worry that their partner was not attracted to them or that their partner is distracted with something else.

Your boss sends you inappropriate sexual text messages:

  • Majority of participants would send a message back to their boss saying it is inappropriate, and a large number would either go directly to HR to report it or ignore it completely.
  • Women were more likely than men to send their boss a message indicating that the sext was inappropriate and were more likely than men to go directly to HR to report it.

You catch your partner sexting with someone else:

  • 32% wouldn't confront their partner about it, and 23% would check their partner's phone behind their back. Almost a third of the sample would ask their partner if they could see all of the messages, and 19% indicated they would leave their partner.
  • Men were more likely than women to talk to their partner about it and women were more likely than men to confront their partner, snoop their phone, and leave their partner for this behavior.

You cheat on your partner with a one-night stand:

  • A lot of people, 33.5% of women and 24.5% of men, said they would tell their partner right away, but 34.6% of men and 26.2% of women thought they would keep it a secret. In general, the majority of participants indicated they would feel guilty about it.
  • Although both men and women indicated guilt as a major reaction to this scenario, women reported guilt more frequently than men.

You had a hunch your partner was up to something unfaithful:

  • Most of the participants would be upfront with their partner and ask them about it, however, a large minority (about a quarter of men and about a third of women) would snoop through their partner's emails, Facebook, or phone.

You catch your partner snooping through your personal messages:

  • More than half of the sample would want to get to the root of why their partner was snooping, but a large minority expressed genuine concern for their partner's distrust, and would reassure their partner that they have nothing to worry about.

You walk in on your partner masturbating:

  • More than half of the sample indicated that they would join in or ask if their partner wanted them to join in.
  • Men were more likely to watch their partner while their partner saw them watching, and women were more likely to feel a little uncomfortable than men.

You're attracted to someone you just met and they want to take you home:

  • More than half of the men and almost a quarter of the women would happily go with them, but women were more likely to exchange numbers with the person instead.

You have HPV, but no symptoms, do you tell your partner:

  • A large majority of the sample (68.4%) would tell the person they are sleeping with, but women were more likely than men to accompany that news with accurate information about the virus.


The purpose of this survey was to gain insight into what people would do when faced with awkward, fun, or kinky sexual and relationship situations. We wanted to survey a large sample of people to tell us what to expect when these common (and not-so- common) situations arise.


Data was collected through an online survey. Participants were recruited through various online forums (e.g., email listservs, online articles, social media websites) and directed to the study website. Potential participants were informed that a small incentive would be offered for involvement in the study (a code to redeem a free e-book from, worth $5.95) and were asked whether they consented to participate in the study. The analytic sample consisted of 4,799 participants: 2,112 men (44.0%), 2,678 women (55.8%), and 9 individuals identified as other (0.2%; specified as FtM trans (n = 2) and gender queer (n = 7)). For sample characteristics broken down by gender, see table below for details.

Upon accessing the survey, participants were presented with a number of questions that assessed various demographic variables and current relationship dynamics followed by 58 questions with the root question of "what would you do if..." Participants were asked to put themselves in the shoes of the individual described in the scenario when answering the questions. For example, a single participant would answer questions about relationships as though they were someone in a relationship at the time of the survey.

This study used a web-based data collection method. Internet surveys provide a more comfortable environment to collect data on sensitive issues such as sexuality, and therefore individuals were more likely to submit accurate sexual and relationship information online. All responses were completely anonymous and we did not collect any identifying information from participants.


  • 44.0% male
  • 55.8% female
  • 0.2% gender non-conforming
  • 92.1% heterosexual, 1.7% gay or lesbian, 5.3% bisexual, 0.5% uncertain or questioning, 0.1% asexual, and 0.5% other
  • 21.8% single, not married or currently partnered
  • 45.1% married, living with spouse
  • 1.5% married, not living with spouse
  • 11.8% partnered, living with partner
  • 13.7% partnered, not living with partner
  • 1.4% separated
  • 3.4% divorced
  • 0.4% widowed

The full report is available in pdf format.