Sex, scientifically-speaking, is generally a good thing. Men and women who enjoy an active sex life tend to be fitter and happier. Our levels of oxytocin – the hormone that promotes feelings of bonding and wellbeing – go up when we hug or have orgasms, making us feel more relaxed and perhaps even helping stave off anxiety and depression.
In the face of these benefits, the news that Britons are having less sex now than in recent years might seem strange. If sex is so good for us, why do we seem to be having less of it?
Talking publicly about sex has become more acceptable, so this begs the question whether people are also becoming more open and honest about their own behaviour. While we still know little about the quality of people’s sexual encounters, in a recent national survey 34,000 British men and women were asked to report how many times they had sex in the past month. For people over 25 and those who were married or living with a partner, the odds of having sex 10 or more times in the last month halved between 1991 and 2012. Read more