Time Out London Sex Survey 2013: the results are in!

And they're absolutely filthy. Find out where you rank in the depravity of it all with our interactive sex map, saucy statistical breakdowns and barely believable tales of good times gone wrong

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© Neil Beckerman


We asked Londoners to tell us all about their sex lives: the good, the bad and so-ugly-they-left-with-a-fake-name. Ten thousand of you shared your most intimate secrets with us, and now we're going to blab about them to everybody else. Read on for six surprising stats, and then find out how much sex Londoners are really having, peruse our London sex map, cringe at the city's most embarrassing stories, and find out where men and women really differ.


1) Think you're better in bed than average? There's a one-in-three chance you're wrong.

It stands to reason that half of people must be better in bed than average, and half of people worse. We asked you which half you thought you were in.


And it turns out, an implausible 76% of you claimed you were 'better than average'. The painful but statistical truth is that some of you are kidding yourselves:


Of all the 'worse than average' types, more than half have no idea. So even if you think you're a great lay, don't rest on your laurels. Make passionate love to your laurels. Do that thing to your laurels that the laurels really like. You know, that thing.


Find out how many partners the average person has had.


2) Married couples have five times more sex than the young, free and single

'If you put a penny in a jar every time you make love in the first year of marriage, and then you take a penny out of the jar every time you make love in the second year, you know what you have? A jar full of pennies.' Roger Sterling, Mad Men 


It's the premise to a thousand stand-up routines, but how do our sex lives change as our relationships progress? Let's find out:



Sort of true. The average person 'in a relationship' has sex an average of ten times a month. Once you move in together, that declines to seven. And married couples have sex an average of five times a month – half that of their less committed counterparts, but still respectable.

But all these groups massively out-screw single people, who manage to have sex once a month, on average, if at all. (0 was the single most common result for singles.) So before you dream of sowing (or reaping) some wild oats, consider the grim reality: one-in-five singles categorized their sex lives as 'mostly crying'.


3) "We're just friends" means different things to guys and girls.

Windmill they or won't they?

Windmill they or won't they?

Can men and women ever be just friends? Well, of course they can! But as it turns out, that's often due to women's disinterest in their male friends.


We asked (straight) men and women the following question...


Men are three times more likely to say they'd 'definitely' tap that just-good-friend, while twice as many women exclaimed 'good grief, no' at the very prospect. All in all, 64% of men gave a positive answer, while 66% of women gave a negative one.


Next, we asked people to guess whether that same friend would be interested:


Both sides are moderating their estimates – although not quite enough to match reality. 58% of women suspected their guy friend probably would, slightly under the 66% of men that told us they would. Men try to keep it realistic too, with 43% of men thinking their friend would, quite a bit higher than (but at least in the ballpark of) the 33% of women that actually admitted as such.


An alternative explanation: men are gravitating towards 'women that might sleep with me' for their closest female friends, while women are choosing 'people that won't hit on me when I least expect it' as their boy-besties.


Read more about how men and women differ here.


4) You've had some alarmingly awful sex


We asked about your most embarrassing sexual encounters, and received over 3,000 eye-watering tales in return. You can see the most commonly used words above. While some tales suggest a lack of adventure ('I got a cramp!') others employed a turn of phrase ('a fountain of red and brown nightmares') that we won't soon forget.

Read the funniest tales of coital awkwardness, and get the stats on London's most frequent mishaps.

5) Zone 1: Zone-one-night-stand more like…

Just met someone? Well, this is crazy: ‘casual encounters’ are far more common in the central boroughs than they are in the suburbs. Here's our numbers: Nearly two thirds of respondents in Hackney and more than half from Lambeth, Wandsworth, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Islington, Camden and Lewisham said they’d slept with someone they’d met the same day, while the figure is as low as 21% (Sutton) in the outskirts.


Want to know where the wanking capital of London is? View our sex map of London, maybe.


6) You're more likely to have a threesome than get an STI

At least that's one interpretation of the data. Here are some of the responses you gave, from most-to-least common:


Users say

15 comments
Jonas F
Jonas F

Ah, so this survey only proves one thing really.. When people are asked questions about their sex life they lie.

Kate
Kate

I'm so shocked that only 3% of women watch porn 'most days'. Is it seen as a taboo or something? As many of my lady friends watch porn quite a bit including me. Also, the STI stat is worrying. My friend works in a clinic and is a specialist nurse in that particular field and her averages are WAY higher. For example, 7 out of 10 Londoners under 50 will get a HPV infection at some point. I think a major campaign to encourage testing is on the cards...

Bob
Bob

I'd like to see some factoring in this survey to account for the fact that Londoners are also the most conceited people in the UK, most likely to chat absolute S.H.I.T

Barney
Barney

How were the respondents recruited? And what form did the survey take?

donny
donny

haiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii............................

Allan
Allan

Would have been interesting to see a breakdown by age - next time perhaps. (I'm nearly 70 and stil willing - but these days a little less able!)

Hannah
Hannah

The first diagram is also wrong the basis that some people in who rate themselves as below average in bed, might actually be better in bed than average - and just modest! So the 50% "better than average in bed and know it" is probably incorrect and there might be a small subsection of "better in bed than average and don't 'know it".... BAD STATS!

Philip Taylor
Philip Taylor

"It stands to reason that half of people must be better in bed than average, and half of people worse." That's not true, unless you're talking about the median which is not what most people usually understand, or mean, by 'average'.

fulham2013
fulham2013

Me thinks a few people need to get an sti test/are lying....

shoreditch1
shoreditch1

89 percent have safe-ish sex. Really? How does that tally with the STD percentage?

Tobias
Tobias

The survey was a bit of fun, but not in any way technically reliable and I suspect therefore not properly representative. When filling it out, I noticed that the logic in the survey was badly coded, meaning that later pages in the survey registered my previous answers incorrectly. This could have been spotted by some of the survey team paying closer attention and doing more test run-throughs. Some of my friends noticed the exact same error as me. The survey is a giggle, sure, but not to be taken seriously as anything other than a bit of PR.

sarah jakes
sarah jakes

awkward sexual moment - my dog starting to lick the boy in my bed's penis when i wasnt looking :)

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