Lifestyle

New Book Release: The Normal Bar

Did you know that 44 percent of men wish their partner was more romantic, while only 29 percent of women share the sentiment? Or, did you know that 40 percent of couples have sex three or four times per week? Did you also know that 43 percent of men and 33 percent of women are keeping a secret from their significant other? If any of these facts are surprising, you’re in for an eyeful with the new book, “The Normal Bar.”

The book, which hits stands, iPads and Kindles today, aims to redefine what’s considered normal in romantic relationships. Spearheaded by wellness expert Christina Northup and co-written by a team of researchers and experts that includes two of America’s top sociologists, Yale Ph.D Pepper Schwartz and Harvard Ph.D. James Witte, the book studies the online findings of roughly 100,000 people globally to establish what is normal in all aspects of today’s romantic relationships—emotionally, mentally and sexually.

This resulted in what the researchers consider “the clearest picture yet of how well couples around the world are communicating, romancing each other, satisfying each other in the bedroom, sharing financial responsibilities and staying faithful—or not,” explains the website. The forces behind “The Normal Bar” also explain that because the analysis breaks down the data by age, gender, race, geographical region and sexual preferences, the authors are able to reveal what happens to passion as we grow older, what each gender expects from sex, the factors that spur marital strife, how kids figure in, how being gay or bisexual turns out to be both different and the same, and the tiny habits that drive partners crazy.

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The book goes into details such as the most favored sexual position and how often happy and unhappy couples kiss. Though saturated in percents and averages, “The Normal Bar” also takes an extra step and uses their findings to give advice on how to improve areas in which a relationship might be lacking. For example, if a couple wants to increase their sexual satisfaction, the book suggests sleeping naked or kissing more often as a sign of affection, rather than as an act of sexuality. It turns out that those who kiss more as a sign of affection reported greater sexual satisfaction.

While the buzz about the new book is sure to be loud, there is some criticism about the U.S. sample included. The study was not nationally representative or randomly selected, and includes 89 percent white, 68 percent women and 56 percent ages 35 and older as respondents. In an interview with USA Today, sociologist John DeLamater of the University of Wisconsin-Madison said, "Probably at best, it tells us something about the white, probably better-educated, somewhat higher-income population in the U.S., which is a population we know a fair amount about already." He added, “What we really, really need are studies that look at these diverse groups in the U.S. That would go a long way in addressing the whole issue of 'normal.' "

Regardless of criticism, one thing is for certain: this book includes some very interesting facts and is sure to make any couple reexamine their relationship and try to improve it.

To find out how you and your partner are faring up against the rest of the world, visit www.thenormalbar.com to order your copy of “The Normal Bar.”

Tagged in: relationships, love, book, sex, relationship management, communication, the normal bar,

Lifestyle / Wellness

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