National Sex Survey Reveals….

Posted by: on Oct 2, 2014 | No Comments

Very little really.

The key finding in The Guardian’s “British sex survey 2014″ is, apparently, that “the nation has lost some of its sexual swagger.”  The results interpret the fact that an increasing number of couples are both, having less sex, and placing less emphasis on it, as evidence of a loss of sexual confidence. I would suggest that it reflects a greater degree of honesty in the way in which people respond to surveys. In the past, when the ‘twice a week’ myth abounded, people automatically responded to questions about sexual frequency with “twice a week” because they knew it made them sound ‘normal’. Now that more people understand that it is normal for sex to ebb and flow and that quality is more important to quantity, they are more likely to tell the truth to researchers. The survey itself had a tiny sample size –  just 1,052 adults – and the information on demographics and how they were recruited is scant. It is difficult to see how these results could possibly compare to those of rigorous sex surveys such as NATSAL, but if you are interested, here are the questions and results. You can read the full article here.


How would you define your sexuality?
Heterosexual = 92%
Homosexual = 4%
Bisexual = 4%


Rating of sex drive.
Very high sex drive (5) = 11%
High (4) = 23%
Average (3) = 42%
Low (2) = 13%
Very low sex drive (1) = 12%
Mean = 3.08

Rating of sexual performance.
Very good lover (5) = 10%
Good (4) = 23%
Average (3) = 58%
Poor (2) = 6%
Very poor lover (1) = 3%
Mean = 3.31

Rating of the sexual performance of most recent partner.
Very good lover (5) = 16%
Good (4) = 28%
Average (3) = 43%
Poor (2) = 8%
Very poor lover (1) = 4%
Mean = 3.44

How adventurous do you think your sex life is?
Very adventurous (5) = 9%
Adventurous (4) = 22%
Average (3) = 41%
Unadventurous (2) = 12%
Very unadventurous (1) = 17%

Have you ever used sex aids (such as sex toys)?
Yes = 46%
No = 54%


Are you currently in a stable relationship?
Yes = 72%
No = 28%

How long have you been in your current relationship?
Base = all in a relationship
Less than 6 months = 4%
Between 6 months and 1 year = 5%
Between 1 and 2 years = 5%
Between 2 and 3 years = 7%
Between 3 and 5 years = 9%
Between 5 and 10 years = 15%
Between 10 and 15 years = 13%
Between 15 and 20 years = 7%
Between 20 and 30 years = 11%
More than 30 years = 24%
Mean length = 15.8 years

Do you think it is possible to maintain a happy marriage/relationship without sex?
Yes = 61%
No = 39%


Which of the following best describes how frequently you have been unfaithful?
Base = all who have been unfaithful to their current partner
Regularly = 19%
Occasionally = 21%
Rarely = 32%
Only once = 29%

To the best of your knowledge, has your current partner ever been unfaithful to you?
Base = all in a relationship
Yes = 13%
No = 87%
Have you ever been unfaithful with someone who is a friend of your partner or known to your partner?

Base = all who have been unfaithful to their current partner
Yes = 53%
No = 47%

Do you have any close friends of the opposite sex?
Yes = 67%
No = 33%

Are you sexually attracted to your close friends of the opposite sex?
Base = all heterosexuals who have friends of the opposite sex
Yes – all of them = 4%
Yes – some of them = 40%
No = 56%


Do you believe that monogamy (being faithful to one person) is natural?
Yes = 77%
No = 23%

Do you believe that monogamy (being faithful to one person) is desirable?
Yes = 92%
No = 8%

Sexual partners

Almost one in five (19%) of Britons lost their virginity before 16, the legal age of consent, but the average Briton is 18 when they lose their virginity. Current 16-24s are losing their virginities at a younger age (16.5) than any other age group did. Those living in London or the south-east tend to lose their virginity later (19) than in the rest of the country. Perhaps surprisingly, there is no clear gender difference in this respect.

The average Briton has had 10 sexual partners, a slight increase from 2008, while just under a quarter (23%) have had more than 10 partners. Men, on average, have had 12 partners, while women have had just seven. Londoners have a lower than average number of partners (nine). Those living in the south-west or Wales have had the most sexual partners (12 on average). Homosexuals and bisexuals tend to have a greater number of partners than heterosexuals, with averages of 12 and nine respectively.

Overall, are you currently satisfied with your sex life?
Yes = 63%
No = 37%

Casual sex

Have you ever had a one-night stand?
Yes = 49%
No = 51%

Have you ever used dating websites to specifically look for casual sex?
Yes, regularly = 4%
Yes, occasionally = 10%
No = 87%

Have you ever had casual sex with someone you met on the internet?
Yes = 14%
No = 86%

Have you ever slept with someone whose name you did not know?
Yes = 20%
No = 80%


Do you believe that your children have ever watched pornography on the internet?
Base: all who have children
Yes = 36%
No = 64%

Do you ever read erotica (eg Fifty Shades of Grey)?
Yes, regularly = 7%
Yes, occasionally = 37%
No = 57%

Do you believe that watching pornography on the internet has had an effect on your expectations for your sex life?
Base: all who have watched pornography on the internet
Yes = 28%
No = 72%


Do you believe that it is right that same-sex couples can now get married?
Yes = 63%
No = 37%

Do you believe that it is right for same-sex couples to adopt children?
Yes = 61%
No = 39%

Do you believe that the age of consent for homosexual sex should be the same as it is for heterosexual sex?
Yes, it should be the same age = 74%
No, it should be higher = 26%

Do you think that gay sex should be made illegal?
Yes = 16%
No = 84%

Race and difference

Have you ever had sex with someone of a different colour to you?
Yes = 29%
No = 71%

Would you ever consider having sex with someone of a different colour to you?
Yes = 77%
No = 23%

Have you ever had sex with someone with a physical disability?
Yes = 7%
No, but I would not rule it out = 50%
No, and I don’t think I would = 44%



Have you ever visited a prostitute?
Yes = 11%
No = 89%

Would you ever consider paying for sex?
Base = all who have never visited a prostitute
Yes = 7%
No = 93%

Do you believe that prostitution should be legalised?
Yes = 62%
No = 38%

Would you consider having sex for money if the amount offered was large enough?
Yes, definitely = 13%
Yes, would consider it = 28%
No = 58%

Contraception & STDs

Have you ever had a sexually transmitted disease?
Yes = 11%
No = 89%

Have you ever had an HIV test?
Yes = 21%
No = 79%

Men, on average, have significantly more sexual partners than women so it is unsurprising that they are at greater risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD). About 13% of men have had an STD at some point, compared with 9% of women. In total, 11% of Britons have had an STD, down from 12% in 2008. Despite this slight reduction, the proportion who have been tested for HIV (21%) has increased by two points since 2008 and eight points since 2002. Homosexuals are significantly more likely than heterosexuals to have contracted an STD (39% and 9% respectively) but there is relatively little difference in the likelihood of being tested for HIV (23% of homosexuals have, compared with 20% of heterosexuals). The 25-34 age group are the most likely to have contracted an STD (21%) and also the most likely to have been tested for HIV (36%).

How worried are you about sexually transmitted diseases in general?
Very worried = 7%
Fairly worried = 21%
Not particularly worried = 37%
Not at all worried = 36%

Which of the following is closest to your own views about HIV and Aids in this country?
Only homosexuals and intravenous drug users are at risk from HIV = 3%
HIV presented a huge risk in the past but is now under control = 11%
Everyone is at risk from HIV if they do not take the necessary precautions = 86%

Do you think the government should spend more money on education and information policies about HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases?
Yes = 73%
No = 27%

Do you always practise safe sex with new partners?
Yes = 74%
No = 26%

Cosmetic surgery

Which of the following best describes your opinion of cosmetic surgery?
I have had cosmetic surgery in the past and would have it again = 3%
I have had cosmetic surgery in the past and would not have it done again = 4%
I have not had cosmetic surgery but would consider it in the future = 19%
I have not had cosmetic surgery and would not consider it in the future = 74%

Would you be any more likely to consider cosmetic surgery if you thought it would enhance your sex life?
Base: all who have not had cosmetic surgery
Yes, definitely = 3%
Yes, possibly = 17%
No = 80%

Has cosmetic surgery had an effect on your sex life?
Base: all who have had cosmetic surgery
Yes, it has enhanced my sex life = 40%
Yes, it has had a negative effect on my sex life = 38%
No, it has had no impact on my sex life = 22%

Sex & work

Have you ever had sex with a work colleague?
Yes = 36%
No = 64%

Would you ever sleep with someone to further your career?
Yes = 14%
No = 86%


Do you believe children are more at risk from paedophiles than they were… 10 years ago?
Yes = 59%
No = 41%

… 20 years ago?
Yes = 59%
No = 41%

… 50 years ago?
Yes = 55%
No = 45%


A sample of 1,052 UK adults was interviewed by Opinium Research between 8 and 14 July 2014 via an online methodology, ensuring absolute anonymity. Interviews were conducted with respondents across the country and the results have been weighted to reflect the profile of all UK adults. Not all percentages add up to 100 due to rounding.

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