How to be British: Attitudes to Sex

When asked about the general attitude to sex in Britain, many will argue that our society is too uptight, formal and inexpressive when it comes to sexuality. Our media thrives on the ‘No Sex Please, We’re British’ vibe, such as is seen in Miranda Hart’s BBC show.– Miranda Hart, ‘sex’

So how is it, then, that the UK has been known to be the home of promiscuous citizens, and a place of extraordinarily high teenage pregnancies?

There appears to be an inverted and paradoxical relationship between attitudes to sex, and the actual act, as the more liberal our society is becoming, the ‘better-behaved’ we are being.Can I be so bold as to suggest that as relaxed attitudes to sex rise, the idea of sex as a ‘taboo’ subject is falling, therefore the desire to engage in the act flippantly has decreased?

The snub-nosed portion of the population who insist that students these days are simply horny teenagers whose sole purpose of a night out is to get laid, that 16-year-olds’ ambition is to get pregnant and that homosexual relationships are wrong will have an overwhelming wealth of evidence against them!

Studies such as the Durex Sexual Wellbeing Global Survey and the British Sex Survey all show that the number of people having sex before their 16th birthday is falling rapidly, notably from 32% in 2002 to 20% in 2006. The number of virgins over the age of 20 is on the increase, too. Over 80% of people support the government’s advice that all schools should teach pupils about sexual behaviour and relationships, not just the basic biology of reproduction. This could perhaps be off the back of knowledge we have of The Netherland’s sex education, which ensures that children are taught about love and the importance of a steady relationship before jumping into bed with someone.

There have been interesting developments that have occurred in the form of internet ‘dating’ sites. Entrepreneur Tom Thurlow created the website ‘’, a sexually fuelled website encouraging students to get it on with similar-minded individuals, which has been found to be dominated by young women at Oxford University. Since this site opened in October 2012, an enormous 722 Oxford girls have signed up! Blimey.

This carefree attitude to sex may be fun to some, however sexual psychotherapist Paula Hall claims that ‘we are clearly not any happier’, upon finding that 1/5 is dissatisfied with their sex life. Also, as our life expectancy is increasing, the idea of monogamy is not an attractive one, with just over 60% of the population believing that it is ‘natural’. Naughty…

But who can forget the 50 shades trilogy, plastered over newspapers, seen in bookshop windows, and most obviously in the hands of people who may force you to double take. I think it is becoming clear that the ‘No Sex Please, We’re British’ phrase is well and truly dying off for this generation and those to come.

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