I’m still blushing

My mind has been thoroughly in the gutter the last few days.

Health24’s second annual Great South African Sex Survey wrapped up a few weeks ago, and I’ve been blushingly buried in the results.

If you’re one of the more than 11 000 people who filled in the survey, you’ll be anxious to find out how you compare to the rest of the nation: click here for the full results. Oh alright, the rest of you who didn’t give us the benefit of the insider’s view of your love life, can go off and compare yourselves too. Some results are really interesting. We found out, for instance, at what stage we can expect to have the best bedtime of our lives. We found out when – for the sake of our love lives – is the best time to have babies.

But it’s in reading the comments left by many of the participants that I’ve learned the most about the muddled, befuddled, contradictory, naughty, soulful nature of the Health24 community.

‘It is rude to ask if a person is a virgin or not,’ admonished one. ‘That is a very personal very private thing.’ Well, yes. So is asking how many lovers someone has had in their lifetime, and whether they’ve picked up any diseases along the way, and to what extent they’ve employed batteries and technology for their sweet-nothings. Personal questions is what a survey of this nature does, dear.

What it hasn’t explored nearly deeply enough, according to the feedback, is the female orgasm, adventurous positions (my correspondents spoke about helicopters and the reverse pivot, side knots and side winders), and... well, any more of this and your spam filter is going to kick this newsletter into touch. Many who filled in the survey used the comments box at the end as an opportunity to ask questions, brag about their lovely love lives, offer advice and tips, and lodge their complaints about the world, or their insecurities about, for instance, penis size (ho hum).

What also came through very strongly was sadness. Sadness and frustration about libido, or the lack of it. Sadness and loneliness about the lack of romance, both in bed and out. Sadness about lives not delivering love.

So I’m not going to send you Valentine’s roses and fluffy bears with hearts on their feet. I’m not going to phone the radio station with a love song request for you on V-Day. I’m going to give you the Great SA Sex Survey, and tell you to concentrate: take the love in your life very seriously – even if you yourself are your only lover. Benign neglect of what we take for granted can end up killing it.

(Heather Parker, Health24, February 2009)

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