Five surprising facts about what's "normal" in a happy couple's relationship
Curious about what very happy, even extremely happy people confess when asked intimate questions about their relationship? We have it!
The Normal Bar is the most in depth extensive study ever done on relationships; currently over 90,000 people have participated in the study. With millions of answers to every question you could imagine, the authors of The Normal Bar book, Chrisanna Northrup, Dr. Pepper Schwartz, and Dr. Jim Witte have all the answers.
Here are five fascinating findings on what happens behind doors-among even very happy and extremely happy couples!
The Normal Bar's Couples Book Club
The Normal Bar is launching its first couple's book club! We are giving away 20 books, to 20 couples in the month of March. We'll be bringing these 20 couples together via the internet, and other couples into the club to share ideas and spark up interesting conversation from The Normal Bar book.
Here's how it works...
- Send in your most romantic moment captured on video or photo, then describe this moment in 140 characters or less. If you don't have the moment captured in a photo or video, you can also just provide a written account of the moment.
- Please send your photo or video, and/or your written memory of the moment to our Twitter page @thenormalbar or to our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/TheNormalBar). If you don't have Facebook or Twitter, you can email your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you don't have a romantic moment caught on video or in a photo, create one! You have two weeks to get creative and capture that romantic moment with your partner. It could be a romantic moment that your partner created for you, or you for them.
- Submissions for photos, videos or a written account of the romantic memory begins March 12th and ends on March 26th.
- The top 20 photos, videos or written accounts with the most positive comments, retweets, shares, etc. WINS! (If you email us a photo, video, or written account, we will post it to our twitter or facebook page for you.) 20 signed books will be sent to those winning couples by the end of March to launch The Normal Bar's first couple's book club.
- We'll have a page dedicated to our couple's book club on The Normal Bar website, for club members to discuss and share ideas. After the first 20 couples are chosen, we will open the club up to everyone else who owns The Normal Bar book!
Please be sure you also check out our Inside Look page.
We have thousands of people's responses from our survey describing their most romantic memory and their ideal romantic date. We give you an inside look as to what the men had to say!
Please feel free to add in your own romantic memory or ideal romantic date, or add a comment to someone else's post.
My husband is much happier since I met Christian Grey
The Normal Bar's survey results on how reading 50 Shades of Grey has impacted relationships
How much more satisfying are couples’ sex lives after reading 50 Shades of Grey? We were curious, so we decided to conduct our own survey to find out.
It wasn’t too surprising to see our results confirming that most 50 Shades fans have decided to take a page from Ana and Christian’s playbook and turn up the heat and pleasure in their own relationship.
If they were in for a penny, they were in for a pound—which is to say, the majority of readers read all three books. They tended to prefer the first book (we agree) but the material - both the love story and the sexcapades - was hot enough to persuade 85% to stick around for the complete trilogy.
So what more did we find out? Too much for one blog -- but stick around for the next couple of blogs and we’ll share with you more of the surprising, and sexy, findings.
First and foremost, 52% of readers (men and women) believe the book has had a positive impact on the relationship they’re in. How so? Let’s break out the answers this way:
|One:||It gave them ideas and helped turn a vanilla sex life into coconut cream pie.|
|Two:||It made a hot sex life hotter.|
|Three:||It opened up communication.|
Here’s what some people had to say about turning a vanilla sex life into coconut pie...
"It changed the flavor or our sex life."
"We've been married 25 years... and now sex is better since when we first met."
"After 7 years of marriage sex seems so much more exciting and intimate. Like when we first got together."
"It has brought back the spice, heat, verbal foreplay and fun in our marriage. My husband loves it."
"I want to try different things now. It was plain vanilla, but now I know I really like the kinky f**kery (as they say in fifty shades) and I want to try new things"
"There has been no in depth discussions between us, but because we both read and enjoyed the books our sex life has mirrored some of the scenes and just sort of evolved to a slightly different level."
"My partner was a bit scared at first by my requests, but after we started relaxing, we both enjoyed it. Vanilla will never again be enough."
As for making an already hot sex life hotter, some readers started out pretty adventurous but turned up the dial even further. Here are their responses:
"The book made me feel more powerful in a secure sense of the word. More adventurous too."
"My husband & I had already experimented with things that are safe, and not considered hard core so to speak. But reading the books has peaked my curiosity to try more."
"My husband and I have been together 28 years and were still enjoying an active sex life before 50 Shades of Grey, but the books have certainly spiced it up. By the way, he also read and enjoyed the books."
"Reading the books…just made our already kinky side a little more intense."
And finally when it came to opening up communication, we learned from readers' responses that, whether or not a couple tried any new bedroom moves, a lot achieved greater intimacy because they were now talking about their previously private thoughts and, what they liked (or didn't). Here’s what they had to say on that topic:
"I am more vocal about my needs & desires."
"It enabled me to talk about sex and what I liked"
"The book produced more fun in bed and talking about all that stuff a lot more with my man"
"I am now, more open with fantasies"
"The impact of the book was... mostly more communication and a steamier and more frequent sex life."
"Very informative. Brought out discussion of subject that sometime were difficult to talk about with you sex partner"
"The books made it ok to talk about these things, and really opened up my mind in the bedroom. I realized it doesn't have to be boring, even after 8 years of marriage! Totally turned me on, which my husband loved..."
Bottom line: Anna and Christian have obviously made a lot of beds warmer, more exciting, and - best of all - more intimate.
Into the Grey
Introducing our 50 Shades of Grey Survey
The Normal Bar is a deep dive into what relationships look like now, not just in the United States but across the world. We ‘re far from the only ones interested in what’s going on in marriages and committed relationships, however we live in a media-saturated culture and much of the increase in coverage concerns itself with relationships. Subjects that were formerly taboo are now fair game and insider information about celebrity marriages, reports of spousal misconduct or infidelity, and dating foibles and flaws wash over us in a steady stream.
All of this explosive detail about who did what - and to whom - makes us curious about whether the media’s version of what is “normal” matches reality, and whether our decision making may, in fact, be based on false premises. It’s not just reality shows and movies that explore every aspect of dating, mating, cheating or uncoupling. Bestselling books do too, and none has had greater impact recently than The New York Times bestselling trilogy 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James. According to CNN, since March 2012 50 Shades of Grey has sold 20 million copies sold in the United States and 31 million worldwide.
What are people finding between the covers of Fifty Shades? Certainly, this is not your mother’s potboiler! Featured in the book are explicit scenes of bondage and discipline where one partner assumes a dominant role, and the other a submissive one. Readers learn about the relationship between receiving or giving pain and arousal (at least, in the imagination of E.L. James). And all of this is wrapped in a love story between a handsome, ridiculously wealthy, charismatic, mildly sadistic man and a beautiful, smart, sexually naïve - even virginal - young woman who becomes emotionally and sexually fascinated with him, and ultimately transforms his need to control her into love and adoration. Of course. there are other details - but this is the heart of it.
Yes, Fifty Shades is in some ways an old fashioned love story of a woman’s love reforming a sexual scoundrel, but the details are very different from most stories of romance hitting the bestseller list. It seems like every book club in America and abroad is reading and discussing the sexual shenanigans of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. So we wondered, Is this changing anything in the bedroom or in women’s and men’s fantasies? Is it opening up new sexual terrain, creating new satisfactions or dissatisfactions, or is it merely a moment in time for a titillating read - and that’s the end of it?
To find out, we offer our own set of questions based on the sexual themes on display in the book. We hope you’ll take a look at them and let us know if you practiced any of these behaviors or contemplated any of these thoughts before you read - or heard about - Fifty Shades. In essence, what we want to know is if the book or its notoriety has changed you in any way.
Thanks for being part of The Normal Bar research!