Valentine's day sex romance

Anything to report? Shelby and Bill Costa of Virginia Beach, Va., renew their marriage vows Friday at the Empire State Building in New York. Indiana University's Kinsey Institute has an app that allows users to anonymously report public displays of affection as well as private sexual activity or fantasies on this day of romance. (Richard Drew / Associated Press / February 14, 2014)

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Psssst! Do you want to get freaky, give voice to your wildest or most romantic sexual Valentine's Day fantasies, and at the same time, contribute to legitimate scientific research? There's an app for that.

The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, which has tracked and chronicled Americans' changing sexual habits and mores for more than 60 years, invites you download their free Kinsey Reporter app and dish on the erotic activities you have engaged in -- or wish you could engage in -- this Valentine's Day.

Kinsey's mobile app, available from the Apple App Store and Google Play, allows scientists at Indiana University to collect anonymous data on sexual activity in the United States and around the world, and to make the organization's anonymous data and analyses available for public view.

This Valentine's Day, the Kinsey Reporter is asking those with the app to answer such questions as "What does one's heart most desire on Valentine's Day?" and "What happened on Valentine's Day?"

Visitors are invited to provide more detail on the sex they had and the sex they would like to have had (but were perhaps either too shy to ask for) on this day of romantic celebration.

Stephanie Sanders, the interim director of the Kinsey Institute, said researchers there would like to compare the data received on Valentine's Day with that received throughout the rest of the year. Beyond sexual activity itself, the researchers are interested in tracking a wide range of activities, from fantasies, flirting and public displays of affection to unwanted sexual overtures.

These aggregated data can be presented by geographic region via interactive maps, timelines and charts. And visitors (presumably those not actually engaged in data production) can manipulate the data available on the site to perform their own analyses and create their own maps and charts.

“We are getting thousands of reports from around the world -- from at least 45 countries so far -- but the great majority have been from the U.S.,” said Filippo Menczer, director of Indiana University's Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research, which helped design the app. “And as we’d hoped, we are beginning to observe some interesting patterns in the data.”

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