If you have a tendency to roll your eyes when someone calls their partner “sugar drop” or “muffin”, you’re definitely not alone. But calling a partner a pet name is way more popular than you might think. A new survey from Superdrug Online Doctor, the U.K. medical resource site, asked more than 1,020 people between the ages of 20 and 71 about all about their feelings toward pet names — and found that 87 percent of Americans use them with a partner.
In a lot of cases, using a pet name can be a great thing. “I think pet names for couples is actually very positive in a relationship,” relationship therapist Aimee Hartstein, LCSW tells Bustle. “It cements the special bond between two people if you have special names that only the two of you use for each other.” That being said, sometimes they can be used as a derogative. “The only time the use of pet names is negative is if the names are critical or mean,” she says. But usually it’s a sign of endearment.
The survey results agreed. In fact, addressing your partner by a pet name was shown to increase relationship satisfaction by 16 percent for U.S. couples — and nine percent for European couples. So using a pet name can make you feel closer and happier. But that wasn’t all they found — here’s what else the survey revealed about our pet name usage, because some names really get on people’s nerves.
1. More Americans Use Pet Names Than Europeans
While pet names were popular all over the world, they seem to be more of a thing in the U.S. than in Europe. While 87 percent of Americans use pet names, only 74 percent of Europeans say the same.
2. “Daddy” & “Papi” Are The Most Hated Pet Names
Not all pet names are created equal. According to the survey, a whopping 73 percent didn’t like Papi as a pet name, while 72 percent didn’t like Daddy. Though, interestingly, while only seven percent of people use Daddy in a relationship, 12 percent of Americans use it in bed. Meanwhile, only three percent of Europeans use the term in a sexual context.
3. 40% Have Reused Pet Names From Past Relationships
Is a pet name really unique? The survey found that two-fifths of us have just straight up reused our cute little nickname for the next person we’re dating. In fact, 44 percent of men and 36 percent of women said they’ve reused an old pet name.
4. Men Are More Likely To Use Pet Names In Bed
Using a pet name in bed is less common than using it in a relationship context — although men are more likely to do it than women. Thirty-two percent of women have never used a pet name in bed, compared to just 21 percent of men.
5. Baby, Babe, & Honey Took The Top Spots In Bed
If we are using names in bed, what are they? Well, the top spots are all pretty common pet names, with Baby, Babe, and Honey making up the top three. Down at the bottom Sweet Pea, Sweet Cheeks, and Papi are the least popular of all of the pet names used in bed.
Using pet names is one of those things that can feel very irritating when other people do it, but totally natural when you do. But as this survey says, pet names are actually linked to happier relationships — so maybe it’s time to embrace them. Whether they’re your babe, sugar, or sweet cheeks, pet names can keep the intimacy alive.
Originally posted on Bustle