Just when you think times have changed and we’re all talking openly and freely about sex, along comes some research to dash those hopes.
There’s something elegant and admirable about the British reserve – but not when it comes to sex. And our continuing reserved attitudes are prevalent throughout a new European health study, ‘The Future of Health Report 2020′ (STADA, KY Jelly).
With 24,000 respondents across 12 European countries – 2,010 who were Brits – it uncovered some not terribly encouraging statistics.
Like the fact that we’re STILL not talking openly about sex.
LET’S NOT TALK ABOUT SEX
When asked about which sex topics they discussed openly with their partner or friends, Brits were the most reserved nationality among European countries surveyed – by far!
52% of Brits do NOT discuss sex topics compared to the 30% international average across the other 12 European countries. (Belgium came next, with 40 per cent of the population opting not to talk about sex.)
Just three in ten Brits (30%) were willing to discuss frequency of sexual intercourse, the lowest national total, and far below the survey average, which was 49%.
Even contraception – not exactly a saucy subject – wasn’t considered OK as a talking point. Only a quarter (24%) of Brits would discuss the issue, compared to the two-fifths (41%) average.
No surprise, then, that only 16% of people in the UK would discuss sexually transmitted diseases, barely half of the survey average was 30%.
ESPECIALLY NOT THINGS LIKE SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES
There was a glimmer of hope.
British people are generally slightly better informed than average among the 12 nationalities in their knowledge of what causes infections with sexually transmitted diseases. For instance, 77% were aware that oral sex is a risky activity, above the 70% survey average. And 26% of British people know that STIs can be transmitted through kissing, ahead of the 22% survey average.
But despite this, less than a third (31%) of people in the UK have been tested for a sexually transmitted disease, below the 39% survey average, with the UK joining Germany, Italy and Spain in being the countries to test the least.
And wait for it… a whopping 40% of Brits believe it is unnecessary to get tested for STIs. Only Belgians and Serbs are more likely to regard testing as pointless.
Less than one in ten (9%) of Brits get tested for STIs regularly, while barely a fifth (22%) have done so once or twice. A quarter (25%) of people in the UK had never thought about STI testing, above the survey average of 21%.
Come on Britain! We can do better than this! The more open we are about sex, the better sex will be for all of us. Isn’t that in everyone’s best interest?