Updated 28 August 2014

What SA women's sex lives look like

A recent survey reveals interesting findings on the sexual well-being and satisfaction of SA women.


In an attempt to understand how urban South African women feel about their sexual well-being marketing research company Columinate, in partnership with Durex, conducted a Women’s Sexual Wellbeing survey. The results have shown that not only are women not satisfied when it comes to their sex lives, but also have worryingly low self-esteem – a possible contributor to the low satisfaction levels?

Read: Weight loss linked to better sex

When it comes to women’s perceived physical satisfaction - only 25% of women rarely experience an orgasm, leaving a solid 45% of women almost always climaxing. And, an overwhelming number of respondents (43%) experience a better orgasm with their partner. Whilst 45% of respondents experience an orgasm, 44% of women are not entirely satisfied with their sex life; and one can’t help but wonder why?

Read: Lesbians have more orgasms

Interestingly, women with high self-esteem (72%) are reported to be more satisfied with their sexual life than their counterparts with a lower self-esteem. This indicates that a woman’s sexual well-being runs far deeper than just being intimate, but is also affected by emotional, physical and social issues.

Is there a link between age, contraceptives and sexual satisfaction?

A key question that is often asked by young women has finally been answered – does sex get better with age…YES! Whilst after the age of 40, the frequency of sex may decrease, the quality increases. 52% of respondents over the age of 40 almost always experience an orgasm in comparison to 40% of their younger counterparts.  

Read: Older women enjoy sex more

According to the survey, while the over-whelming majority of South Africans are having sex less than 1-2 times per week, interestingly, those that are having sex most commonly use the male condom as a form of protection.

Other interesting findings include:

- While 77% of women agree that it is acceptable for women to masturbate, only 41% of women actually masturbate
- 61% of women feel they cannot live out their sexuality freely in South Africa

Elna Smit, Marketing Director for Columinate said, “By doing an online survey, women were very candidate and open about sharing their thoughts on their sexuality.

"What stood out from the survey was the disjoint between what women are saying about how sex should be viewed in society and what they are actually experiencing. It seems as if South African women are in agreement with the ideals of how women should be able to express their sexuality but when it comes to living it out, this does not mirror their ideals.”

“The survey clearly showed the relation between a women’s sexuality and her overall wellbeing in other areas of her life, thus a healthy sex life is paramount,” she said.

Thisile Mtyeku, Durex Brand Manager says, “Based on the results of the survey it is quite clear that there are many hindrances that are preventing women from being entirely happy with their sexual life, such as confidence and communication with their partner.”

Read more:
SA men have less sex than the global average
Expanded orgasm
Hit the spot!




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