Just when you thought that social scientists were getting too serious in regards to their research topics came the booty-call. Researchers from the University of West Florida, Singapore Management University, and New Mexico State University initiated a research study to learn more about what they defined as “a communication initiated towards a non-long-term relationship partner with the urgent intent either stated or implied, of having sexual activity and/or intercourse.’’ Hence, the term booty-call. The research findings were published in The Journal of Sex Research in 2011. There has been an interest in the relationship for a while, going back to at least 1990. Although by definition it’s not considered, a serious relationship.

To be fair, a lot of research has been done on one night stands and bonded relationships, like long-term cohabitation and marriage, but very little research had been conducted, at least in a scientific way on relationships that were sexual, but non-committal. Those types of relationships could also be termed, ‘friends-with-benefits’, essentially more sexual than emotional.

The research has shown that there is a high value placed on physical attraction in booty-call relationships. Eight separate research studies conducted between 1990 and 2006, postulated that the booty-call appeals to both men and women – but for differing reasons. For men, it is sex with a very low investment. For women, it allows them, according to the research, to give potential mates a bit of a ‘test ride’. An alternative, but speculative, explanation has been proposed that the booty-call relationship is a type of place-holder relationship until something better materializes.

Just how prevalent are they? Professional estimates range between 30 and 65% of post secondary school relationships are booty-call relationships. Probably one of the most important things about this type of relationship is that both parties should realize and accept that it is just about sex.

If you get bored? Move on.

The study found that men and women equally reported an average of 7 booty call relationships over a 12 month period. Researchers also found that there was a wider repertoire of sex acts, which they attributed to the frequency of hook ups. Talking and hand holding are less frequent in booty-calls than in serious relationships. When it came to kissing on the lips, which is practically non-existent in the one night stand, is also less frequent in the booty-call relationship. Lip locks are generally defined as a romantic behaviour. Overall, according to the study, men were less likely to engage in smooching than women. The researchers speculated that women would initiate attempts, as a test of willingness of the male partner, to potentially commit to furthering the relationship to a more committed level.

Now you know…