Why SA men have far less sex than the global average

2014-07-22 12:23

South African men are having far less sex than their global counterparts and they’re blaming it on the unstable economy, work pressures and social media, a new survey has revealed.

The survey, conducted by pharmaceutical company Pharma Dynamics, showed that on average a South African man has sex 52 times a year compared with 104 times globally.

It also revealed that 22% of South African men are having sex less than three times a month, and a further 16% are considered to be in a sexless relationship.

Many of the more than 500 men between the ages of 18 and 55 surveyed cited the troubled economy, mounting work pressures and the distraction of social media as the reasons for having less sex, says Mariska van Aswegen, spokesperson for Pharma Dynamics.

Van Aswegen explains that contrary to popular belief, “when men are worried about their jobs and about money, they are generally not in the mood for sex”.

“It’s a fallacy that men are always up to the task. Stress and anxiety activates the survival system of the body and inhibits libido. When you’re very depressed you lose your appetite for a lot of things in life, including sex,” she says.

Some of the participants in the survey had low sex drives because of sexual health problems. The survey revealed that 23% of men surveyed admitted to suffering from erectile dysfunction. Some 12% of them had lived with the condition for several years – some for five years and longer.

Van Aswegen said: “If sexual dysfunction like premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction (ED) or orgasmic dysfunction is present, it can reactively cause a low desire as part of avoidance behaviour.

“Fears and anxiety typically manifest themselves in a sexual situation where the subconscious mind will protect a man from experiencing negative emotions by inhibiting his desire. This then keeps him from engaging in sexual activity and [he] could possibly even set himself up for failure,” she says.

Erectile dysfunction is a common problem among men. Research shows that it affects more than 40% of men between the age of 40 and 70 years.

However, urologists have noted cases of ED recently among young men as well, says Van Aswegen.

“It used to be thought of as an old man’s disease, but nowadays we are seeing it more often in younger men too. About a quarter of men complaining of ED are younger than 40,” she adds.

» This article was updated after first published.

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