The average British man or woman has slept with 2.8 million people --albeit indirectly, according to figures released to promote awareness of sexual health.
A British pharmacy chain has launched an online calculator which helps you work out how many partners you have had, in the sense of exposure to risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STIs).
The "Sex Degrees of Separation" ready reckoner tots up the numbers based on your number of partners, then their previous partners, and their former lovers, and so on for six "generations" of partners.
According to it, the average British man claims to have actually slept with nine people, while women put the figure at 6.3, giving an average of 7.65. South Africans have about the same hit rate, according to Health24's 2008 Great South African Sex Survey.
"When we sleep with someone, we are, in effect, not only sleeping with them, but also their previous partners and their partners' previous partners, and so on," said Clare Kerr, head of sexual health at Lloyds Pharmacy.
"It's important that people understand how exposed they are to STIs and take appropriate precautions including using condoms and getting themselves checked out where appropriate."
How do South Africans compare?
According to the Great South African Sex Survey, the numbers are relatively similar:
- 23% of South African men have slept with between three and five partners, and 17% with between 17 and 30 partners; compared with 29% of 11% respectively of women
- SA men are quite careless, though: 39% of men couldn't remember the names of all their sexual partners (only 18% of women were that forgetful).
A total of 11 181 people completed the Great South African Sex Survey, and responses were weighted using variables from Statistics SA’s General Household Survey, to make them representative of the habits and attitudes of 2,6 million urban metro adults, aged 20 years and older, who earn at least R2 500 a month.
The Great South African Sex Survey also found out that:
- We like porn –90% of men and 70% of women say it blows their hair back all or some of the time
- Women are slower starters: more than 20% of women first masturbated only after turning 18, whereas the majority of men (62%) began masturbating at 14 years of age or younger (only 4% of men waited until they were old enough to order a beer in a bar before they began masturbating)
- Almost three-quarters (73%) of us have had sex in a public place (car, beach, at a party etc)
- We still pretty much stick to what we know: one quarter of men and 21% of women have only had sex with someone of their own race
- More than 41% of women claim to fake orgasms “sometimes”, with the biggest offenders being women who are involved in a relationship but not married (72%).
(Health24 and AFP, September 2009)
All the 2009 Sex Survey results
Sexual fantasies rule, OK!