| This sex trend is more popular in relationships than ever before

Would you try it?

What do the shows House of CardsGirls, and I Love Dick, have in common? They all feature couples in an open relationship, or relationships where you have more than one romantic or sexual partner.

But it’s not just a plot twist meant to keep your TV binge going strong. Apparently, more Americans are showing interest in polyamory in real life, according to a new study published in The Journal of Sex Research.

Read more: Scarlett Johansson Says Monogamy Isn’t Natural – Do You Agree?

For the study, Dr Amy Moors, director of social science research and evaluation for the College of Engineering at Purdue University, looked at data gathered from Google Trends (which stores what people are looking for using the Google search engine) between January 2006 and December 2015. Moors analysed the search volume for the terms “polyamory”, “open relationships” and “swingers”, comparing them to control keywords like “Facebook” and “quotes”. She discovered that searches for “polyamory” and “open relationships” increased over time, while searches for “swingers” – a more old-fashioned term – decreased over time.

Moors says that while it’s not possible to know why exactly people are searching for these terms, it’s clear that an increasing number of people are thinking about non-monogamy and looking for information about it.

“Analysing Google search query volume over the past 10 years allows us to gain access to what’s on the public’s mind,” Moors says. Unsurprisingly, part of the reason for an increased interest in open relationships is due to their appearance on TV. “Several of the large spikes in internet searches related to polyamory and open relationships are tied to popular TV shows and press,” she says. Though, she says, it’s hard to say whether people are Googling this info because they’re just curious about what they’re seeing on the small screen or they’re actually interested in trying it themselves, the topic is definitely on the public’s mind.

Read more: This Is The Real Reason Why Humans Are Monogamous

In the study, Moors notes that using Google Trends data has limitations – namely that people over 65 are much less likely to use the internet, and that people with an annual household income under $30,000 (R424 000) are less likely to have internet access than those with a household income over $30,000 a year. So older people and low-income populations are not accurately represented in this study.

Moors adds that non-monogamous relationships are widely misunderstood and stigmatised. “There isn’t scientific evidence to suggest that humans are unable to love and/or engage in sex with more than one person,” she says. “In fact, some of my recent work compared relationship quality based on trust, satisfaction, passionate love among people engaged in consensually non-monogamous, and monogamous relationships and found no differences.”

Despite the stigma, more Americans are down to learn about polyamory and open relationships, whether they end up choosing that option for themselves or not.

Read more: Your Partner Wants A Threesome And You Don’t – Should You Break Up?

“I anticipate that consensually non-monogamous relationships will become more mainstream,” Moors says. “Arguably, many people have been engaging in polyamory, open relationships, and swinging for years, but remain closeted due to fear of stigma and discrimination.”

Hopefully, this new surge in interest in open relationships will mean more freedom for everyone to share their relationship status.

Worried your partner might be having an affair? Here’s how affairs happen and how to move on, plus ask yourself these four questions if you’re thinking about having an affair.

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NEXT ON HEALTH24X | How many times could you have sex in a day?

As you might have overheard in the locker room, trying to have sex as many times as possible in one day is a thing. In pursuit of orgasmic pleasure, couples brave chafing, exhaustion, and dehydration – all in the name of setting a personal record (or just really enjoying sex).

Naturally, we wondered how many times ambitious couples had actually done the deed in the span of one day and how those steamy marathons panned out. So we asked a few people to give us their PBs – in bed. Prepare to slow clap.

Read more: The Best Sex Positions for Every Penis Size

1.“My man and I shacked up for the big snowstorm in New York City a few weekends ago. On that Saturday, we couldn’t really go out and do anything, so we started with morning sex and decided to have a ‘bed day.’ We alternated between boning, eating non-perishables, and watching TV. We did it six times in about 12 hours.” – Brenda F.

2. “I think we went four rounds, but I didn’t get off every time. I also think I was super-dehydrated, which is probably why I couldn’t finish. We had to drink a lot of fluids and use a lot of lube. Still, it was lots of fun.” – Jared M.

3. “I had some very hot sex with this guy I just started seeing, and we came up with the idea to get it on as many times as we could in 24 hours. We went four times and probably could have done more, but at a certain point it just becomes uncomfortable, physically. Oh, and it’s tiring, too.” – Hilary P.

4. “When you’re a teenager who has just discovered sex, you want to do it as much as you possibly can. His parents were out of town for the weekend, and we just went at it all over the place, including in his hot tub. When I sneezed the next day, my vagina hurt.” – Brittany T.

Read more: 10 Annoying Things You Do During Sex

5. “When I was on a beach trip with a bunch of friends, I hooked up with a female friend the first night. I came very quickly, which was embarrassing. But then a few nights later, I got really drunk on cheap beer, and we hooked up again. We ended up having sex three more times that night and once in the morning.” – Rob A.

6. “When my wife and I were on our honeymoon, we were supposed to go snorkeling and hiking, but the weather was terrible. Instead of getting upset, my wife just suggested that we have sex as many times as we could. The record was five times in one day.” – Zack N.

7. “I was doing ‘Netflix and Chill’ before it had a name. In college, I went over to a guy’s apartment and we spent the whole day having sex and watching movies. We had sex four times, but there were multiple orgasms during one of the sessions.” – Cara D.

8. “I had sex with my wife seven times in a row, and let me tell you something: It wasn’t as fun as I thought it would be. We were trying to have our first kid, and she was keeping track of her ovulation. On one of the peak days, she made me call in sick to work and then have sex with her all day. It was a lot, and my penis started to hurt and feel raw. That was the most times we did it in one day.” – Brandon E.

Related: The Best Tricks For Lasting Longer In Bed

9. “I’ve only ever had sex twice in one day. I feel like that’s enough for me. I don’t want to do it so many times in such a short period that I quit appreciating how awesome sex is.” – Nate A.

10. “After being with my boyfriend for about three years, he went on this study abroad trip to France. I went to visit him for a weekend and we had sex four times in one day. It took a big chunk of time out of doing touristy things, but oh well!” – Meredith L.

This article was originally published in Men’s Health

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