Stress of modern life disastrous for Brit’s sex lives
27th November 2013
sexWhether it is money worries due to a crippling recession, or keeping busy on social media such Facebook or Twitter, there seems to always be something to distract us Brits in our day-to-day lives. So much so that it seems these factors could be behind the revelation that couples in Britain appear to be having sex less now than at any other time during the last two decades. This is according to the findings extracted from a national survey on sex habits. The figures from the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal) – conducted only once per decade - involved 15,000 participants aged 16 to 74. It would seem that modern life is having an impact on the libido of people from all ages. To understand the decline, men polled during 2010 to 2012 stated that they had sex on average 4.9 times a month and women were around the same at 4.8. The survey, the third in the series, was carried out between September 2010 and August 2012. However, the same survey from 1999 to 2001 found that men had sex roughly 6.2 times on average per month, whilst women were again at about the same number; 6.3. Even further back, during 1990 to 1991 shows that men were having sex 6.4 times on average per month and for women it was 6.1 times. Clearly something has changed in the subsequent years. Dr Cath Mercer, from University College London, said: "People are worried about their jobs, worried about money. They are not in the mood for sex. But we also think modern technologies are behind the trend too. People have tablets and smartphones and they are taking them into the bedroom, using Twitter and Facebook, answering emails." Dr Mercer also deduced from the survey’s findings that couples aged 16 to 44 could even be turning to online pornography as an alternative to sex. Lead Natsal author Professor Kaye Wellings, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said that stress caused by the recession and more people working even when away from the office are likely to be key factors for the decline. “In a recession we find an association between unemployment and a low number of sexual partners, perhaps due to low self-esteem,” she commented. Professor Wellings added: “The change in women's behaviour across the three surveys has been remarkable. In some areas of sexual behaviour we have seen a narrowing of the gender gap, but in others we have seen women overtaking men in the diversity of their behaviour. These trends need to be seen against the backdrop of the profound changes in the position of women in society, the norms governing their lifestyles and media representations of female sexuality.” The survey, analysed by researchers from University College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, also quizzed older people about their sex lives. According to the results, 60% of men and 42% of women aged 65 to 74 had had sex in the previous year, albeit not on a regular basis compared to other groups. On average, men aged 65 to 74 were having sex 2.3 times per month and only 1.4 times for women. There were also some other interesting findings from the survey, for instance: .  A sixth of UK pregnancies are not planned. . Half of men reported a recent sexual problem; impotence or a sexually transmitted infection are just some of these ‘problems’. Only a tenth were worried or distressed about their sex lives however. . Around 15% of men had experienced a lack of interest in sex. . Women under the age of 44 have an average of sexual 7.7 partners, while for men it is 11.7. . After the survey in the year 2000, more people accept same-sex relationships but are now less tolerant of a cheating partner. . Around 3.6% of men admitted to paying for sex in the previous five years, compared to hardly any women.