Where women are having sex outside of relationships, mapped

Joe Vesey-Byrne
Tuesday 15 August 2017 14:00
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Picture:(Joe Vesey-Byrne/CARTO)

Research by the Kinsey Institute, and women's health app Clue, has looked into how our sex lives are changing thanks to technology.

Online dating, and pleasure seeking apps such as Tinder, Grindr and Thrinder have transformed our daily lives.

The results found that more of us are using apps to find relationships.

Clue, an app which tracks menstruation cycles and offers a variety of advice about health, surveyed 140,000 of its users in 198 countries.*

Sex, there's an app for that

30 per cent of respondents from around the world used an app to find a sexual partner.

While dating apps are often linked to promiscuity, the survey found that more people use them to find a long-term and short-term relationship (15 per cent), than for one-night-stands (10 per cent).

Amanda Gesselman, a research scientist at the Kinsey Institute said:

Using apps to find either long-term or short-term partners, but not friends with benefits, may signal a reliance on tech/apps for either commitment or spontaneity, but not for regular sex with no romantic connection.

As well as using apps to find sex, the survey found that many people were using an app to learn about sex.

23 per cent of Men were willing to use an app to improve their sexual relationship, compared to just 12 per cent of all participants.

Gesselman theorises this may be because woman have friendship networks for discussing sexual technique:

Cultural norms of masculinity make it difficult to speak to friends about these issues. This finding shows that men are looking for other ways to learn about sexual intimacy.

No strings attached sex

One such finding are the places in the world where women have experienced sex outside of a relationship.

Participants were asked 'Which types of sexual relationships have you had in the past?' The figures below indicate the proportion of women from each country who answered 'Outside of a relationship'.

This includes one-night stands, hook-ups, and 'friends with benefits' sex.

China is bottom of the list of 49 countries surveyed. Only 18.8 per cent of the women in the People's Republic have had sex outside of a relationship.

Sweden has the highest percentage, 66.5 per cent. This was followed by Denmark (66 per cent), Ireland (60 per cent), and Norway (59 per cent).

In the United Kingdom a majority of women (57.1 per cent) have had sex outside of a relationship.

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Here's a link to the map.

In the UK, 36 per cent of male and female Britons have used apps to find sexual or romantic partners, most commonly for long-term relationships (18 per cent).

Other uses were:

  • Short-term relationship (17 per cent)
  • One-night stands (10 per cent)
  • Regular sex without romantic connection (8 per cent)
  • Chatting and sexting (14 per cent)

The founder and CEO of Clue, Ida Tin, said the data showed technology had not replaced our normal methods of romance.

...I find it most compelling that while apps are so common in so many countries and cultures, technology doesn’t yet dominate our sex lives and relationships. Instead, it’s part of the whole picture.

* Due to the nature of the app, there were more female (134,000) participants than gender queer, non-binary, or male respondents (4,600), yet the sample sizes were nevertheless large enough to be statistically legitimate.

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