WEDNESDAY, Nov. 30, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- An active sex life and creativity may go hand-in-hand, according to a new British study that finds professional artists and poets have about twice as many sexual partners as other people.
While writers and artists from Byron to Picasso have perpetuated the notion of the amorous artist, the new study may be the first to offer up some real proof, according to the researchers.
"Creative people are often considered to be very attractive and get lots of attention as a result. They tend to be charismatic and produce art and poetry that grabs people's interest," study lead author Dr. Daniel Nettle, a lecturer in psychology at Newcastle University's School of Biology, said in a prepared statement.
His team's study of 425 British men and women included a sampling of visual artists and poets. The study participants were interviewed about how much poetry and visual art they created, their psychiatric history, and their sexual encounters since age 18.
The average number of sexual partners for poets and creative artists was between four and 10, compared with an average of three for non-creative people. The more creative a person was, the higher the number of sexual encounters, the researcher reported in the Nov. 29 issue of The Proceedings of the Royal Society (B).
The artistic personality may encourage sexual exploration, Nettle speculated.
"It could also be that very creative types lead a bohemian lifestyle and tend to act on more sexual impulses and opportunities, often purely for experience's sake, than the average person would," he said. "Moreover, it's common to find that this sexual behavior is tolerated in creative people. Partners, even long-term ones, are less likely to expect loyalty and fidelity from them."
The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy has information about infidelity.