“The media tells us that everyone is having sex all the time but in fact we’re having less sex, less often and enjoying it less.”
Matt Walmsley was one of the guest speakers at FamilyLife’s latest Vision & Equipping event which this year was looking at the topic: Sex …the BIG questions. He presented some data about sex that was really quite surprising! See what you think…
In 2018, market research company Ipsos took a poll:
Men guessed that British men aged 18-29 have sex 180 times a year. The reality is 50 times a year.
Men guessed that British women aged 18-29 have sex 22 times a month. The reality is 5 times a month.
In 2014, the British National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyle found:
As a nation we are having sex on average 2-3 times a week. In previous decades it was 5 times a week.
In 2018, Public Health England found:
Half of women aged 25-34 don’t enjoy sex.
The Observer sex survey between 2008 and 2014 found: Satisfaction from sex was in decline, the number of people rating themselves as good at sex had decreased from 55% to 33% and the average number of sexual partners within a person’s lifetime had increased to between 6 and 10.
The stats knock FOMO on the head! If there is such a difference between belief and reality, don’t we need to talk about this stuff more to get the truth out in the open?
Matt presented the argument that we can often be pulled into the narrative of the stories that surround us through the media, films, tv etc. The story around sex is that love, romance, intimacy and sex are ultimate. We must be experiencing sex for life to be worth living because it is so wonderful, so satisfying and so crucial to happiness. Our culture has elevated sex to the status of King!
There’s been nearly 60 years since the sexual revolution and Matt’s simple question was ‘how is it going?’
Research shows that whilst culture’s stories around sex are appealing, they may not be working.
Whilst we as Christians don’t always talk about sex in the most helpful way, the Bible is clear that God invented sex and meant it to be good (if in doubt – read Song of Solomon in the Bible and be wowed). Sex is more than a physical act, it’s a way of communicating love at its most vulnerable. We might kick against it, but the framework of a loving, trusting, faithful and committed relationship – marriage – is a healthy and good place for sex.
In a deeper sense, sex is part of our human need for intimacy. Though it’s important to recognise that we can experience intimacy without having sex, through friendships with people and with God.
So how can we get a true picture of sex and relationships? How do we decipher between truth and myth?
Throughout the event, one message came through loud and clear: a strong community helps us to deal with problems regarding sex, ranging from porn addiction, to issues in a marriage. Chatting things through with trusted people helps to shed light in dark situations and bring relief to painful ones.
Imagine the difference it could make, if we share our lives openly and honestly with one another, welcoming people in no matter what, talking about this huge topic within loving community, and not allow silence and assumptions about sex and sexuality to reign. Just imagine that!
Very aptly, next year’s V&E (8 Feb 2020) will be on the topic Community. Please put the date in your diary and check back on the website for registration.
If you’d like to try A Day Together which includes a helpful section on sex, click here.
There’s lots on the topic of expressing love and sex in relationships in our Toucan App. Check it out here https://toucantogether.com/