People are having more adventurous sex with more partners….but less sex overall, according to a recent national sex survey in the United Kingdom.
More women are having sexual contact with other women (16 percent of women, compared to 4 percent in 1990). They are increasingly having oral and anal sex. People are increasingly tolerant of homosexuality, with half the population now saying a relationship between two men is “not wrong at all”.
People are having sex at younger ages than in the past. A third of people under 24 had their first sexual intercourse before or at the age of 16, compared with only 4 percent of people between 65 and 74. A younger sex age, a more permissive society, and delayed average marriage age mean that men and women are having more sexual partners in general. Women’s average number of sexual partners has doubled (3.7 to 7.7) in the past 20 years. Men’s average number of partners has gone down a bit from its peak in 2001 (12.6 partners) to 11.7 partners in 2012, which is still more than the 1991 average of 8.6 partners.
Despite having more partners, the amount of sex Britains are having is dropping. People are now having sex less than five times a week. In the 1990s, people reported having sex more than six times a week. More than 60 percent of people reported having sex recently and the same number said they were satisfied with their sex life. However, 1 in 4 people who are in a relationship say their partner does not share their same level of interest in sex. This could negatively impact their relationship satisfaction.
Couple’s happiness with their sex life rises or falls depending on how they believe they measure up to their peers. Having sex makes people happy, but thinking they hare having more sex than other people makes them even happier. Since people tend to compare up rather than down, more and more people are feeling like they’re not measuring up in the bedroom.
Perhaps that feeling of sexual inadequacy could be contributing to a growing trend – people are becoming less tolerant of cheating – which kind of makes me wonder what was going on in 1990. Back then 44 percent of men and 53 percent of women considered infidelity “always wrong”. Today, 63 percent of men and 70 percent of women say infidelity is always wrong.
It would appear society is splintering, with each side becoming more entrenched in their chosen lifestyle. Fewer and fewer people are getting married in the first place. In 2010, the marriage rate in Britain was at its lowest since 1895. Those who do get married are increasingly getting divorced, and increasing numbers are choosing cohabitation or civil partnerships over marriage in the first place. So perhaps those who do get marred and want to stay so are increasingly wary of any potential threat to their relationship’s stability.
In the meantime…prepare for crazy sex but a lot of lonely Friday nights. Thanks a lot, science.