Time Out London Sex Survey 2009: The results



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We've been finding out about Londoners' secrets, kinks, desires and fantasies - turns out many of our readers aren't backwards in coming forwards. Hundreds of you filled us in on the candid details in our 2009 sex survey and here are the results

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    Londoners are rarely shy – a fact proved by the unabashed and eye-wateringly honest response to this year’s Time Out sex survey. You exposed yourselves on subjects ranging from favourite position to sex injuries. 45 per cent of respondents were male, 55 per cent were female – and 100 per cent were, to a greater or lesser degree, filthy.

    So how many of you have masturbated at work? What are your most secret fantasies? How many times a week are you getting it? And would you shag Boris Johnson? We’re delighted to reveal the truth about what goes on in the capital’s bedrooms – not to mention parks, buses, taxis…

    Rate yourself as a lover (out of 5)

    Men On average, fellas rated themselves 3.7. A bravely honest 2% rated themselves as 1 out of 5. A cockier 13% gave themselves full marks.
    Women On average, women rated themselves as 3.6 for sexual skills. No girls admitted to being a 1, and only 2% boasted of being a 5.

    How old were you when you lost your virginity?

    Women The average age was just shy of 17.
    Men For the guys it was 17.5 – although this was possibly affected by one 26 year old who is still waiting (not by choice). 39%of men believe online infidelity ‘doesn’t count’. Whereas only 21% women think virtual cheating is acceptable.

    How often do you have sex?

    The men who responded have sex, on average, 2.6 times a week. The women have sex 3.2 times a week (0.6 times a week with each other, presumably).

    Pornography is...

    of men said porn was 'essential' - compared to just 14% of women. Nobody agreed that porn was 'revolting'.

    Who have you had sex with?

    Women 75% said 'only men', 25% said 'women and men'
    Men 76% said 'only women', 20% said 'men and women', 4% said 'only men'

    How often would you like sex?

    Women would like to be having a bit more sex – with the desirable amount averaging out at 5.9 times a week.
    Men were slightly more ambitious with their target, with the average number of times they’d like to have sex every week emerging as 24.5. Or more than three times a day. Good luck, gents.

    How many sexual partners have you had?

    Women On average, women have had 19 sexual partners in their lives. The average was boosted by the few who have had more than 50. Over half of women have had rather fewer – between 1 and 14 sexual partners.
    Men On average, guys have had 26 sexual partners. Again, the figures were skewed by the 13% who claimed between 50 and 300. More than half the men surveyed have had between 1 and 14 partners. One chap couldn’t even hazard a guess, though, claiming to have ‘lost count’.

    Monogamy is…

    ‘… a fact of life’ – 50%
    ‘… a relic of a bygone age’ – 2%
    ‘… an enhancement of life’ – 46%
    ‘… something I only practise on a Sunday’ – 2%

    ‘… a fact of life’ – 32% ‘
    ‘… a relic of a bygone age’ – 9%
    ‘… an enhancement of life’ – 55%
    ‘… something I only practise on a Sunday’ – 4%

    Have you ever injured yourself having sex?

    Coital injuries varied from the fairly prosaic…
    ‘I pulled a muscle or nerve in my leg and it still feels numb in that spot after five years.’
    ‘Chipped tooth in a moment of passion.’

    … to the more spectacular:
    ‘We climbed up into a building site late at night and I fell off some scaffolding!’
    ‘Concussion from headbutting the wooden headboard too many times whilst having sex on a waterbed.’
    ‘My boyfriend tried to throw me on to the bed, but missed and I hurt my back landing on the floor.’

    And from the graphically honest…
    ‘Most recently my partner’s long nails scratched my vagina.’
    ‘Carpet burns on my back.’
    ‘Red skin all over my penis due to friction.’

    … to one that sounds like a lyric from a folk song:
    ‘Sex under a tree, bruised my tailbone on a root.’

    Rate your sexual appetite…

    2% of men described their sexual appetite as ‘low’. All the other men said theirs was ‘healthy’.
    14% of women described their appetite as ‘low’, and the rest said ‘healthy’.

    Rate your kinkiness (out of 5)

    Women Girls averaged 3.3.
    Men Guys averaged 3.5.
    5% of women and 13% of men described themselves (‘practically perverted’) and awarded themselves a full 5 out of 5.

    What's your sexual fantasy?

    27% of respondents said their favourite sexual fantasy involved more than one partner.
    Multiple partners Ideal configurations ranged from ‘threesomes’ and ‘foursomes’ to ‘a huge orgy’ and a ‘threesome with her sister or mum (sorry)’. It was also one man’s dream to have ‘LOADS of men, all for me!’

    Fear factor Plenty of fantasies involved being outdoors and nearly being caught, and lots involved ‘being tied up’. One person said ‘vampires’ and another man said ‘wearing tights and the woman wearing them also’.

    Role-playing Here’s a selection of your favourite scenarios:
    ‘It involves being kidnapped and used as a fucktoy by female cyborgs.’
    ‘An old-fashioned train sleeper compartment and a very wicked conductor.’
    ‘Naughty schoolgirl being taught new tricks.’
    ‘Probably set in periodic [sic] drama, shagging the maid in the barn, or stable boy ruts lady of the house. Lots of corsets etc.’

    Have you ever taken part in an orgy?

    16% of men have taken part in an orgy, compared with 11% of women. (We don't know if it was the same orgy.)

    How soon after meeting someone is it acceptable to have sex?

    26% of men and 57% of women said: after three dates
    52% of men and 39% of women said: on the first date
    22% of men and 4% of women said: within five minutes
    ... So there are probably 22% of men looking for 4% of women – and a spare five minutes.

    What's the strangest thing you find sexy?

    Handcuffs were an unoriginal turn on for many, as were feet, ears, necks and ankles. There were also two ‘armpits’ and one ‘sweaty socks’. ‘Gentle spanking’ was a bit of a hit as well.

    Among the less common kinks cited were:
    ‘Bubble-wrapping women.’
    A woman who has ‘a thing for men in fishnets’.
    A man who’s ‘into hermaphrodites’.
    ‘Being a pet.’
    ‘Having sex with a friend and his dad at the same time.’
    ‘Men who look like women and transsexuals.’
    ‘Feathers on my vagina.’
    ‘Pregnant women.’
    ‘Tacky girls.’
    ‘Girls in Arsenal shirts.’

    What’s your sexual insecurity?

    Men ‘My bum’, ‘My hairy anus’, ‘I’m a bit fat’. Numerous men said, ‘The size of my cock’. Surprisingly, several men also said, ‘Being rejected for liking to wear tights’. 10% of men worry about virility and early ejaculation.
    Women ‘Belly’, ‘Body hair’, ‘My bum’. Plenty of women said, ‘My breasts’. One woman worried about ‘how loud I can be’.

    If you've ever had sex in public, where did you do it?

    If you've ever had sex in public, where did you do it?
    2% of men and 5% of women said: on a bus
    22% of men and 43% of women said: in a park
    2% of men and 2% of women said: in a taxi
    40% of men and 14% of women said: on a train

    Have you ever masturbated at work?

    46% of women have masturbated at work, as have 64% of men.

    Who Londoners want to have sex with…

    13% of men want to have sex with secret crushes. 7% of men and 11% of women said if they could have sex with any Londoner it would be their partners.

    And who Londoners don’t want to have sex with…
    29% of women surveyed wouldn’t have sex with Boris Johnson. And 22% of males said the same. One man volunteered that he would ‘never, ever’ have sex with Time Out’s editor, Mark Frith. Both men and women said they wouldn’t sleep with Russell Brand (‘Who knows?’ said one man, ‘You might catch something’).

    Have you ever paid money for sex?

    24% of men admitted that they had paid for sex at least once. (None of the women did.)

    What's your preferred type of sex?

    22% of men and 21% of women said: oral
    13% of men and 2% of women said: anal
    2% of men and 3.5% of women said: masturbation
    63% of men and 73.5% women said: vaginal

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Users say

Randy Andy
Randy Andy

Consider what I see in my business travels about the U.K. I'm surprised that bad teeth aren't a common turn-on. Of course, if they were, everyone would be so randy they couldn't function in everyday activities. Arsenal shirt? Everyone knows that Man U rules.

Maggie Bob
Maggie Bob

I also thought it was strange that no lesbians appeared to have taken part in the survey, but then I wondered if women replied who would call themselves a lesbian, but have previously had sex with a man...


"7% of men and 11% of women said if they could have sex with any Londoner it would be their partners." I'm not disputing the figures here, but what proportion of this is people who actually have partners? or is it 7% and 11% people whether they have partners or not?

Your Friend
Your Friend

I would be surprised if there were more than ~50 people... you see, none of the statistic has


Hmmm in agreement with Johnny above - how many were in the survey? Also if the selection method was self response to magazine request (rather than a representative sample of londoners) then the survey is totally meaningless....

Jesse Broome
Jesse Broome

This had me in various states of hysteria. Its the comments by the timeout team that really got me. My favourite was ‘sex under a tree, bruised my tailbone on a root' all i could do was cover my mouth against the rising tide of laughter while my colleague looked at me strangely. Thanks for brightening my day!

Johnny Love
Johnny Love

It is ridiculous to discuss a survey without stating the number of people it involved it could have been 20 or 10 000. For a small sample the results are irrelevant! The fact that not one single woman was lesbian suggests that the sample must have been very small.

Another Anon
Another Anon

...is anyone else tentatively (seriously) considering 'checking out' the Central Line during the rush hour?!


Very interesting.You do a great Job.


Very interesting.You do a great Job.


what was the total number of respondents?


I wish I could have taken part in the survery - I'd like to be able to see how freaky I am!! Well - actually I alreay know but I wanted to share it ;)


Hmmm....I'd have liked to see you interviewing lesbians as well since they are a group that has been left out completely! Still, I think that some questions were not answered in honesty: 64% of men masturbated at work? I think it's an understatement. Shocked to see almost a quarter of men paid for sex.


Or an option for Frottage? Although it's clear that there are a lot of Londoners involved in it, The amount of this that takes place on the Central Line in Rush hour would make an experienced Prostitute weep


Nice to know Leo, nice to know.


I'm heavily into Cottaging- but there wasn't an option for that?


Yes, the tights theme is interesting. I winder if any women find them sexy on a guy?


There's a definate tights theme going on here... never found themsexy before but hey, don't knock it 'til you've tried it!?


I think what you mean is that you are in the minority and perhaps a little square too

Anonymous woman
Anonymous woman

Hmm. Well, I took part in this survey and I certainly said that porn was revolting so they got one that wrong. (Anonymous woman)