Six of the Most Common Sexual Secrets Partners Hide From Each Other

Many of the sexual secrets we keep are likely shared by millions of people. We talk about the most common.
Six of the Most Common Sexual Secrets Partners Hide From Each Other
Sara González Juárez

Written and verified by the psychologist Sara González Juárez.

Last update: 15 February, 2024

Sincerity is one of the main pillars of a relationship. That said, everyone keeps something to themselves, secrets that are sometimes harmful and sometimes harmless. This is often the case with sexual secrets. In these cases, they’re usually embarrassing for the person who keeps them.

However, what leads an individual to keep certain aspects of their sex life to themselves? As a matter of fact, at times, they can even be harmless preferences that, if revealed, would help them enjoy sex more with their partner.

In this article, we talk about the most common sexual secrets and the reasons behind them. Interestingly, they say a lot about the sexual and social culture of today.

The most common sexual secrets partners hide

A study was conducted to discover the different kinds of sexual secrets and reasons for partners not sharing them with each other. The researchers administered a questionnaire to 195 university students. They found differences between men and women, both regarding the subjects of secrets and the reasons for keeping them.

More than a third of the participants, more specifically 36 percent, claimed to have kept at least one sexual secret. However, 55 percent also stated that they had revealed this secret to their partner at some point.

1. Having emotionally cheated on their partner

This secret was prevalent in both men and women. No distinction was made between cheating involving physical or purely emotional infidelity. In short, both sexes had experienced romantic feelings for people outside their relationships and hid the fact from their partners.

2. A taste for BDSM

The acronym BDSM encompasses sexual practices such as bondage, discipline and domination, submission, sadism, and masochism. It’s a series of alternative sexual practices based on mutual consent that play with pain thresholds and dominance-submission roles.

The majority of people who showed interest in BDSM were women.

3. The use of pornography

Both men and women claimed to have consumed pornographic material. That said, this practice is, today, far less hidden than before.

That’s because certain pornography is beginning to be produced that’s more resonant with the values of respect and consent. Nevertheless, it continues to be considered a somewhat shameful practice.

4. Having performed a threesome

Men scored higher than women here. Indeed, they more frequently hid having had sexual relations with two people at the same time. Moreover, in monogamous couples, reluctance to ask partners to experiment with this practice was often reported.

5. Interest in sex toys

Women scored highest when it came to sharing with their partner that they felt attracted to the use of sex toys. Normally, they first tried these objects alone and then introduced them to joint encounters.

In addition, women who liked these accessories reported greater satisfaction and self-knowledge in the field of sexuality.

6. The worst of sexual secrets: episodes of abuse

This study uncovered a painful fact: the secret at the top of the women’s lists was the existence of sexual abuse in their lives. Going through an experience like this usually leaves a deep and traumatic mark on the victims, but it’s also one of the least reported crimes. It seems that it’s also not shared too often with partners, even though they’re there to support and understand.

Why are sexual secrets hidden?

Why do people keep sexual secrets in relationships? Within the framework of this study, the researchers also asked the participants why they didn’t share their sexual secrets with their partners. The results were as follows:

  • Men kept certain kinds of information secret. For example, any infidelities or the consumption of pornography, for fear of provoking their partners’ disapproval. They also reported not wanting their secrets to affect or end their relationships.
  • The women reported that they didn’t reveal their sexual secrets because they perceived that their partners wouldn’t be understanding. There were also other reasons, such as fear of divulging their secrets and feelings of shame.

Many of the women who feared that their secrets would be revealed had also, at some point, experienced the public derision of revealing them. In addition, when they did tell their secrets to others, it was usually to those close to them such as friends, family, or ex-partners.

On the other hand, many people also reported positive experiences when revealing their sexual secrets. In the case of sexual tastes, there were even men and women who said they’d enriched their relationships thanks to their confessions.

On the contrary, there were others who said they’d experienced disapproval from their partners, had feelings of regret themselves, and even suffered relationship breakdowns.

Interestingly, the research areas opened up by this study converge on topics such as gender violence, sexual abuse, and social taboos regarding sexuality. The research also tells of a world that’s gradually opening up and talking about sexuality, an enriching practice.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Fox, K., Ashley, A. M., Ritter, L. J., Martin, T., & Knox, D. (2021). Gender Differences in Sex Secret Disclosure to a Romantic Partner. Sexuality & Culture, 1-20.
  • Felitti, K. (2016). Juegos y juguetes para la liberación sexual femenina. Apuntes CECYP, (28), 188-206.
  • Barimboim, D., Bonelli, A., Fuentes, A., & Mercado, D. (2013). Influencia de la sociedad de consumo en las prácticas sexuales.
  • Crempien, C., & Martínez, V. (2010). El sentimiento de vergüenza en mujeres sobrevivientes de abuso sexual infantil: implicancias clínicas. Revista argentina de clínica psicológica19(3), 237-246.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.