Who has time for sex, anyway?
Work stress, money woes and even social media may have a negative effect on your sexual health, new research shows.
The National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles, a British poll that is conducted once a decade, looked at one of our most popular passions – sex – if only we could make time for it, that is.
The survey, conducted by NatCen Social Research and analyzed by researchers at University College London and the London School of Hygiene, revealed various findings regarding the sexual health of Brits with one clear standout: Men and women are having sex less frequently than in previous years.
The most recent poll surveyed 15,000 British men and women between the ages of 16 and 44 from 2010 to 2012. The results showed that men were having sex an average of 4.9 times per month, while women were having sex 4.8 times per month. These results show a decrease in sexual health from the previous two surveys carried out from 1990 to 1991 and 1999 to 2001.
During the 1990 to 1991 survey, men reported having sex 6.4 times per month and women 6.1 times per month. In the 1999 to 2001 study, men reported having sex 6.2 times per month and women 6.3 times per month.
The survey also revealed various other facts about sexual health in the UK. The 2010 to 2012 study found that more teenagers were engaging in sexual activity before the age of 16. A significant 31 percent of teenagers were having sex before the legal age of consent, an increase from the previous study from 1999 to 2001 which found that 29 percent of teens were having sex before the age of 16.
The most recent survey also found that a significant number of both men and women, at least four out of ten, reported having a recent sexual health problem, most commonly a lack of interest in sex. Of note, only one in ten reported being worried about their sexual health problem.
As for sexual partners, women under the age of 44 had an average of 7.7 sexual partners throughout their life while men in the same age group had 11.7 partners. Since the previous survey, people have become more tolerant of same-sex relationships and less tolerant of cheating partners.
Other key findings: One in six pregnancies in the UK is unplanned and 3.6 percent of men had paid for sex within the previous five years.
The researchers say modern life is taking its toll on sexual health: people worry about money and jobs, and are not in the mood for sex. They also point a finger at modern technology as sabotaging libido, including smart phones and tablets. People are taking these devices into the bedroom; they are using social media and answering emails and text messages while in bed, which may negatively affect sexual health. Not too romantic, is it?
Clearly, we need to focus on improving sexual health in order to maintain healthy relationships. Here, some tips to add some spice and enjoy a full and meaningful sex life:
*Make your bedroom a gadget free zone. Keep cell phones, tablets, etc. out of the bedroom. By removing distractions, you’ll be able to make your bedroom a place for better sex and good sleep.
*Learn to de-stress. Learn to manage and cope with your stress. Try yoga, meditation and deep breathing exercises and engage in regular exercise or seeking professional help if needed.
*Make time for sex. You may be busy, but make time for your significant other; sex should be a priority in your relationship.
*Try new things. Over time, things can get boring in the bedroom. Make an effort to try something new to shake up the routine for more excitement.
*Get to know yourself. Learn what you like and don’t like in bed and share this with your partner. Sex talk should not be taboo! This will help both of you enjoy your sex life more without the confusion of trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
Make sex a priority and you’ll reap the benefits of better health and a better outlook.
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