35 titillating stats about South Africans' sex lives

Would you share the details of your sex life with a curious chatbot? Last month, 2,000 South Africans did just that when they took the Sunday Times Lifestyle Sex Survey

05 November 2017 - 00:00 By Staff reporter
41.6% of South Africans have had an interracial sexual relationship, according to the Sunday Times Lifestyle Sex Survey.
41.6% of South Africans have had an interracial sexual relationship, according to the Sunday Times Lifestyle Sex Survey.
Image: 123RF/gstockstudio

In October this year, Sunday Times Lifestyle conducted a sex survey in association with local research house Ratepop, using their proprietary chatbot technology. This chatbot is a computer program, designed to simulate conversation with human users, and is hosted on Facebook Messenger.  

As part of the survey, more than 2,000 ordinary South Africans with internet access answered a number of questions about their sex lives. 

The respondents' identities were kept strictly confidential, but they were segmented into the following demographics: age, sexual orientation, race, location, relationship status and gender.

This methodology allowed Ratepop to aggregate the overall results and analyse the data according to these demographic segments. 

Here are the results:

WHO'S HAVING THE MOST SEX?

  • South Africans aged 41 to 50 have more sex than any other age group.
  • Heterosexuals have sex more often than homosexuals.
  • Black South Africans have the highest sex drive, followed by whites, coloureds and lastly the Indian/Asian community.
  • People in the Western Cape have the most sex, followed by KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
  • Married couples have twice as much sex as singles.
  • Men claim to have sex more often than women.
  • 62.9% of South Africans said connecting with their partner was the main reason they had sex.

HOW SATISFIED ARE WE WITH OUR SEX LIVES?

  • Couples in a relationship enjoyed sex the most; they gave their sex lives an average score of 7 out of 10.
  • Married couples ranked their sex lives 6.2 out of 10.
  • Singles seem to be sexually unhappy with a low average score of 5.4, which is below the national average of 6.4.
  • 54.1% of women said they were most likely to orgasm while having sex with their partner, while 41.1% were more likely to climax while masturbating. 4.7% of women say they've never had an orgasm.

HOW IMPORTANT IS PENIS SIZE?

  • 47.5% of women felt that it's not the size of the penis that counts, but how you use it. 40.4% of men agree.
  • That said, 30.8% of black women and 19.9% of white women believe that, yes, size is very important. Only 24.3% of men agree.

WHAT DO WE THINK ABOUT DURING SEX?

  • 71.8% of men and 57.2% of women think about their partners during sex.
  • Of the 43% of women who don't think about their partners: 13.2% think about themselves; 1.1% think about their ex-partners; 20.1% think about nothing; 5.3% think about someone else; and 2.9% think about the ceiling.
Image: 123RF/Lasse Kristensen

HOW CLUED UP ARE WE ABOUT USING CONDOMS?

  • 16.9% of singles aged 18 to 24 have had sex without a condom because they were drunk, and 20% of them because there were no condoms around.

HERE'S HOW WE DEFINE A SEX DROUGHT:

  • 58.1% of men consider not having sex for more than a week a drought, compared to 39.4% of women.
  • Masturbation is how 56.2% of people 'survive' a sex drought.
  • Not having sex is a relationship deal breaker for 54.3% of men, whereas 52.8% of women feel that an emotional connection is more important than sex.

SPEAKING OF MASTURBATION AND PORN ... 

  • 25.2% of men and 9.8% of women masturbate daily.
  • 43% of people admitted to really liking porn, while 29.1% said they enjoyed it, but were ashamed to admit it.

SEX TOYS: YAE OR NAY?

  • 74.8% of heterosexual black women and 43.3% of heterosexual white women do not use sex toys.
  • The majority of women who do use sex toys named vibrators as being their toy of choice.
  • Only 18.1% of people chose the sex toy option when asked what they'd like to add to their sex lives. The majority would like to add more time or more orgasms.

AND BDSM?

  • It seems that women are more open-minded than men when it comes to BDSM. 51.5% of men said they wouldn't try it compared to 40.6% of women.

WHAT ABOUT ANAL SEX?

  • 66.8% of heterosexual women and 41.9% of heterosexual men said 'no thanks' to the idea of anal sex. Black women were the most conservative group in this regard with 72.% saying they wouldn't try it.
  • Around a third of all heterosexual men (31.7%) are game but their partners are not.
  • Some heterosexual South Africans (13.9%) said they enjoy anal sex only on special occasions. 

HOW DO WE FEEL ABOUT MONOGAMY?

  • 65.6% of South Africans believe that sex should be monogamous. Women feel more strongly on the subject with 73.3% saying 'yes, it should be monogamous' compared to 59.5% of men.
  • 46.6% of people have cheated on their partner once and consider it to have been a mistake.

HOW OPEN ARE WE TO INTERRACIAL SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS?

  • More than half of all South Africans (58.2%) have not had sex with someone of a different race. Of these, 37.9% said that they would try it, while 20.3% were not open to the idea. 
  • 41.6% have had an interracial sexual relationship. Of these, 14.2% admitted to doing so out of curiosity, while 27.4% don't have a type or preference when it comes to skin colour. 
  • The Indian/Asian community seems to be the most open to the idea. 56% don’t have a preference and only 7.5% would not have sex with someone of a different race.
  • 31.1% of whites - the highest percentage - and 13.8% of blacks are not interested in having sex with someone of a different race.

DO WE PAY FOR SEX?

  • 82.8% of South Africans have never paid for sex. Although some men (16.8%) have admitted to doing so when they're 'desperate'.
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