SA's singles have the least satisfactory sex lives: survey

Wait, what?! asks Paige Nick. Here's what else she found intriguing about the results of the 2017 Sunday Times Lifestyle Sex Survey

05 November 2017 - 00:00 By Paige Nick
On a scale of 1 to 10, SA's singletons rated their sex lives a mediocre 5.4 - which is below the national average.
On a scale of 1 to 10, SA's singletons rated their sex lives a mediocre 5.4 - which is below the national average.
Image: 123RF/fotobyjuliet

Are you having tons of wild and crazy sex? Yes, no, maybe, while doing handstands, or all of the above? No, don't tell me, I'll tell you.

The recent Sunday Times Lifestyle Sex Survey* has had a good rummage around in the drawers of South Africans of all races, colours and genders, to see what we've been getting up to in the boom-chicka-wa-wa department.

I have the results right here, so I could tell you how often you masturbate, who you're really thinking about while you have sex, or how many of you like anal. But while I was poring through the results, something else grabbed me by the short and curlies.

I expect to see that 35% of you masturbate every week, or that the good old vibrator is the most popular sex toy, with only 5.4% of you citing butt plugs. And I expect that women are better equipped to deal with a sexual drought than men, none of this is really news. It's the responses I didn't expect that are more interesting.

Did you know that in South Africa, those between 41 and 50 have more sex than any other age group? Closely followed by 50- to 65-year-olds.

It's unexpected news, I was having way more sex in my 20s and 30s than I am now. I want to know who in our age range is bringing up the statistics. Is it all those AfrikaBurners? I checked out this demographic in the queue at Woolies yesterday, and again at the post office and Dis-Chem, it really doesn't look like any of them are getting it at all, let alone more than millennials.

Or maybe millennials spend so much time growing their own granola, longboarding to work and searching out the perfect jaunty hat and artisanal bread, that they don't have as much time for sex as we did at their age, and so we've managed to overtake them on the inside corner?

The next surprising statistic might provide some insight into the previous one. Married couples have double the amount of sex than singles and more sex than those in relationships too. And there I thought married people went through that whole less-sex thing, and therefore needed more porn, disillusionment, passive-aggressive road rage, wine and divorce.

But the truth according to these new stats, is that singles are sexually unhappy right now, with a score way below the national average. Which is surprising in this age of Tinder, the internet, high-performance condoms and the acceptability of random hookups. We haven't been this poised for fun, chandelier-swinging sex with strangers since Mick Jagger first put on leather pants, and yet here we are.

And when it comes to where all this older-folk sex is taking place, more surprises. The Western Cape outsexes all provinces, followed by KwaZulu-Natal, with Gauteng bringing up the rear (not literally, only 14% of you have anal sex, and then only on special occasions).

Females are more open-minded than men when it comes to BDSM. Although I suspect that's a function of the 50 Shades phenomenon.

And in the category of bizarre, in response to the question "Which of these fantasies do you fancy the most?", 4.5% admit to fantasising about sleeping with their partner's sibling; 27% copped to fantasising about a liaison with a colleague in the photocopy room; 31% of you are fantasising about group sex; and a massive 36.7% of South Africans are fantasising about "an excursion to a farmyard". What the actual hell does that even mean? No judgies, but what is wrong with you people?

I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Sex itself is one massive hard-on wrapped in a bunch of anomalies. The only question I thought was missing though was, "How honest are you when you answer sex surveys?"

How hot are South African's sex lives?

We asked South Africans to rate their sex lives on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being 'zzzzzzzzz' and 10 being 'continuous exploding fireworks'.

Couples in a relationship enjoyed sex the most giving their sex lives an average score of 7/10.

Married couples also seem fairly satisfied with an average score 6.2.

Singles seem to be sexually unhappy with a low average score of 5.4, which is below the national average of 6.4.

The Sunday Times Lifestyle Sex Survey was conducted in association with local research house Ratepop, using their proprietary chatbot technology. Over 2,000 individual South Africans answered the survey, which was hosted on Facebook Messenger. The respondent's identities were kept strictly confidential.

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