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Are Brits really bad at sex? UK 15-25 year olds lagging behind in bed, says survey

18th February 2014

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First time sex, webcam videos and one night stands - UK young people are far more reserved when it comes to sex than those in other countries, according to new sex stats.

The research, carried out by InSites Consulting, found that 40% of those aged 15-25 in the UK have watched porn (considering recent media concerns, surprisingly low?), 35% have had a one night stand and 36% have sent a naked picture or video of themselves to someone else.

Its main findings, though, suggest that young people in Blighty are far more conservative than their peers across the world -the UK average age for first time sex is 17 years and seven months, which is older than in many other European countries. In Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands, for example, youngsters are likely to be sexually active around their 16th birthday.

An average of four sex partners also makes British youth less experienced than many other countries, with Sweden and Germany (both with an average of seven) in pole position. In Britain, 35% of 15-25 year-olds questioned had had just one sexual partner, 18% had had two, 12% had had three - and just 16% more than seven.

The low number of sexual partners isn't because we're all in relationships, though - in fact, 75% of those surveyed were single.

We’re also far less into porn as a nation than might have been expected – only 40% of those aged 15-25 have watched any porn at all, which is significantly less than the global average of 70%. In Russia (82%), Poland (80%) and Germany (77%) the percentage of porn viewing among this age group is about twice as high.

Back in the UK, 35% of those surveyed had had a one night stand, 22% had cheated on their boyfriend/girlfriend, and 38% had had an erotic dream in which a teacher played a leading role (urgh...)

Despite this 20% of UK respondees put sex in their top three of leisure time activities - meaning it comes fifth overall, after the internet (really - cat videos are better than sex?), listening to music, socialising with friends and playing video games. Maybe not surprisingly, sex is named as a top leisure activity by more boys (28%) than girls (13%).

Post-sex, 21% had been tested for HIV and 23% thought at some point that they might have caught an STD. 23% of 15-to-25-year-old girls had used the morning-after pill, compared to the global average of 30%.

“Contrary to what people tend to think, these ages are not that different from previous youth generations”, says Joeri Van den Bergh, co-founder of InSights Consulting. “Both the first sexual experience age and the time elapsing between the first kiss and the first bed experience - generally about two years - remains constant throughout the generations.”

What is new, however, is the sending of sexy videos or pictures - more than 36% of 15-to-25-year-olds in the UK have sent a nude picture or video of themselves to someone else, almost a quarter have made an erotic home video and 28% have used their webcam for a virtual sex session.

This, despite the UK seemingly having less sex (and having it later, and with less people) than everywhere else? Based on these stats, it seems to us like virtual sex might be taking over from the real thing...

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