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Exploring America's Top Sex Questions

Our recent Google search volume study revealed America's top sexual health worries.

Last Updated: Sep 25, 2022
America’s top sex questions

Stigmas about human sexuality can make asking other human beings about sex and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) awkward. The fact that sex is a part of basic human nature — and that about one in five Americans have an STD at any given point in time — doesn’t make asking questions any easier. But in the 21st century, asking a search engine is an easy way to get answers if asking someone else isn’t on the table.

What questions about sex and STDs do people feel like they can’t ask out loud? We recently analyzed Google Trends search data related to find out, revealing which sexual health searches are trending in the U.S. Read on to discover what most people want to know about reproductive health.

Key takeaways

  • Men are turning to natural remedies for erectile dysfunction (ED) and premature ejaculation: Searches for “olive oil and lemon juice for ED” and “how to last longer in bed naturally food” are up more than 5,000% in the last year.
  • Natural remedies are trending for women’s sexual health, too — searches for “essential oils for vaginal dryness” are up 110% and “home remedies for yeast infection with baking soda” are up by more than 900%.
  • Georgia is the state most concerned about STD testing.
  • Interest in women’s health issues is most prevalent in the South: Georgia is the state with the most search interest in vaginal dryness and bacterial vaginosis (BV).

Jump to:

What Google tells us about sex in America
Seeking sex skills
Men’s sexual health questions
Women’s sexual health questions
Searching for better health
Methodology
About Innerbody Research
Fair use statement

What Google tells us about sex in America

The Internet is the first place some people go for information about STDs. Maybe they’re having unusual symptoms or want to know how to protect themselves or others. Either way, interest in the topic has exploded online.

searching std solutions

Trichomoniasis has become more common in recent years but doesn’t yet have the name recognition of STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea. While trichomoniasis (or “trich”) is a typically symptomless STD caused by a parasite, it can lead to premature births if left untreated. The most recent CDC report estimated that there were 2.6 million trich cases in the U.S. in 2018. Considering that STD reporting (and testing) was increasing and then fell under the weight of the COVID-19 pandemic, this could explain why searches for the term are up a staggering 5,000% in the last year. Although it looks like we’re seeing a major outbreak, you shouldn’t worry too much: treatment is a simple round of oral antibiotics. Condoms and general safe-sex practices also significantly decrease a person’s risk of contracting trichomoniasis.

We also saw an increase in STD-related searches in general, which tracks with recent STD statistics. But most interesting was where these searches came from: “STD testing near me” searches were highly concentrated in the southern U.S. The highest numbers came from Georgia, where the search volume was 908 per 100,000 residents. While these trends correlate with Georgia’s high STD rate compared with the rest of the U.S., they may also suggest that Georgians are more proactive about testing than other states, or that STD testing spots are hard to come by.

Seeking sex skills

seeking sex skills

One of the top sex questions Americans asked the Internet was “how to last longer in bed.” This was the most frequent search, asked more than 62,000 times in the last month. But longer doesn’t always mean better. Many women point to longer sex being painful, so it’s crucial to improve quality before quantity.

How to Last Longer in Bed Search Volume Per 100k Residents

Adequate lubrication is essential to female pleasure during sex, but seeing over 28,000 searches for “how to get wet” suggests that many women place the responsibility of becoming aroused on themselves rather than as a shared effort with their partner. Combined with other common searches like, “Can you get an STD from a toilet seat?” and “Can you get pregnant in a hot tub?” some may turn to Google to learn basic sexual education.

Men’s sexual health questions

Men’s sexual health questions

Penis size was quite a topic of interest in the past year, with searches for “can apple juice grow your penis size?” up by 5,000%. “Does ashwagandha increase penis size?” was up 200%, and “penile lengthening surgery” searches were up 800%. Mechanical penis extenders are safe when used properly, but penis enlargement products don’t work for everyone and surgeries can be risky. However, some things serve as a great first step for almost everyone: communicating with your partner, getting into shape, or talking to a counselor.

Premature Ejaculation Search Volume per 100k Residents
Percentage increase in pej searches

Other common questions that men have Googled related to premature ejaculation. These concerns were much more predominant in the North, with New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts residents asking about it most frequently. But these querents may have nothing to worry about since what many consider “premature” is often not. According to sex therapist Laurie Mintz, Ph.D., “many young men think they have premature ejaculation when they’re well within normal limits.”

Erectile Dysfunction Treatment Search Volume per 100k Residents
By percentage increase of ed searches

Utah was the most inquisitive regarding erectile dysfunction (ED). Known to correlate with other health issues from depression to diabetes, ED can cause stress and erode self-confidence over time. However, many assume it’s a personal flaw. People have researched some surprising natural remedies for this problem, like olive oil and lemon juice — a search that has increased by more than 5,000%. They’re also looking to the popular cure-all CBD as another potential solution, with searches for “How to use CBD oil for erectile dysfunction?” up 300%.

Women’s sexual health questions

Vaginal Dryness Search Volume per 100k Residents
Vaginal dryness searches Bacterial Vaginosis Search Volume per 100k Residents
Bv search volume Yeast Infection Remedy Search Volume per 100k Residents
Yeast infection remedy search UTI Remedy Search Volume per 100k Residents
Uti treatment search volume

The South is once again responsible for most sexual health searches, but this time regarding vaginal dryness and bacterial vaginosis (BV). Georgia had the highest search volume for both issues. Virginia, Tennessee, and South Carolina were the top three states searching for yeast infection remedies. Women in the South are clearly struggling disproportionately with sexual health issues, and the relatively poor health and lack of sexual education associated with this region may be to blame.

Like men’s searches, women’s questions about sexual health often favored home remedies and holistic routes instead of medical prescriptions and procedures. For instance, searches for “natural cures for female dryness” increased by more than 100%, and there were just as many searches for dryness remedies involving essential oils. Home remedies that use baking soda to treat yeast infections were another popular search, up by 900%.

Searching for better health

Our study yielded some bigger answers about trends in sexual health information than the individual questions people searched for online. Questions about STDs revealed an increased propensity for proactive, research-based approaches to reproductive health in America. While men and women have different concerns about sex, they usually fall under the same umbrella of wanting to improve it. We hope everyone finds the best solutions for their predicament, whether diet and exercise were the answer, better arousal and lubrication techniques, or just apple juice.

Methodology

Search trend data was pulled from Google Trends and keywordtools.io in June 2022 (June 16 through June 20). Search volume data for the states was obtained from Google Adwords on July 1, 2022. All data are from the past 12 months.

About Innerbody Research

Innerbody Research helps guide people with copious research and trustworthy resources to make informed health-related decisions. For the past two decades, we’ve helped over 100 million people on the path toward better health and wellness.

Fair use statement

Innerbody Research is committed to providing objective, science-based suggestions and research to help our readers make more informed decisions regarding health and wellness. We invested the time and effort into creating this report and other sexual health-related articles to help answer common sexual health concerns and normalize discussion of sexual health topics. We hope to reach as many people as possible by making this information widely available. As such, please feel free to share our content for educational, editorial, or discussion purposes. We only ask that you link back to this page and credit the author as Innerbody.com.