often do Brits have sex?
From The Times
Sex & The Psyche by Brett Karh
What are the secrets of the British
bedroom? Psychotherapist Brett Kahr has teamed up with the polling
organisation YouGov to conduct the biggest ever survey of our sex lives.
Here, in an extract from his new book, he reveals how often people have
sex and who they have it with.
The British Sexual Fantasy Research
Project can claim to be more highly statistically representative of the
British population at large; and, to the best of my knowledge, at the
time of writing, this study constitutes the largest published survey on
the psychology of adult male and adult female sexual fantasies. There
were 13,553 respondents to a questionnaire administered by YouGov, the
Just over 90% of the country defines itself as heterosexual, and 3%
defines itself as homosexual, less than a third of the figure usually
reported for homosexuality. Of course, if one includes the self-defined
“bisexual” individuals, as well as that small but still marked
percentage of people who would regard themselves as “undecided”, then we
have a somewhat higher percentage for whom homosexuality may be a
serious option: 8% rather than 3%.
Many people will be quite keen to know
the answer to some critical questions: “How often do other people do
it? And am I getting enough by comparison? Just what is the national
Contrary to what one might imagine, a very large percentage of British
adults admitted having no sex at all at the present time. As many as 18%
of contemporary Britons do not currently engage in sexual behaviour with
a partner, which translates to approximately 8.1 million people. This
figure combines the 2% of celibate Britons who have never had sexual
relations with a partner with the 16% who have had sexual experience or
experiences in the past but now live without regular sex. This cluster
of 18% of behaviourally sexless Britons may well have fantasies and
desires, may well masturbate or use pornography; but these individuals do
not engage in genital sex with another human being. In fact, British
women have much less sex than British men: some 21% of women, as
compared with 15% of men, have no sex, an amalgamation of those who have
never had sex and those who have had sexual relations in the past but do
not do so at present.
For the rest of the population who do have sex, frequency of sexual
contact ranges from less than once each year to two or more times a day,
seven days of the week.
As many as 32% of British adults could be classified as low sexual
frequency (less than once a month) practitioners, 44% as medium sexual
frequency (between once monthly and twice weekly) practitioners and only
19% as high sexual frequency (three times a week or more) practitioners.
Most Britons have sex once or twice weekly, and most would be
characterised as moderate indulgers in sexual activity with another
In terms of heterosexual behaviour,
the British Sexual Fantasy Research Project data reveals that the
average British heterosexual male will have had actual sexual contact,
defined as “oral sex”, “vaginal sex”, “anal sex” or any combination
thereof, with an average of 15.64 women during his lifetime. The typical
British heterosexual female will have will have had comparable sexual
contact with an average of 14.56 men during her lifetime.
In fact, approximately 1.8 million British adults will have had sexual
contact with more than 100 partners during their lifetime. Although
nearly two million adults will have had intimate genital contact with
over 100 other people, the vast majority of Britons have only one sexual
partner in any given calendar year, with men averaging 1.18 partners per
year, and women somewhat more loyal at an average of 0.7 partners per