Sex in SA

Here are the key findings of the Woman’s Health and Men’s Health Sex Survey of 2013. It reveals many fascinating things you might not have suspected about your fellow South Africans. 

Over 1 200 women and 1 600 men took part in the survey.

1. Cheating is rife!

Of the WH respondents, 30% said they had cheated on a partner and 43% said they’d have sex with a married man, and 35% of women who cheated also said they had done it at home. On the other hand, 30% also said they would take back a partner who had cheated (against only 25% of men who would take back a cheating partner), suggesting, perhaps, that their own infidelities have made women more forgiving.

Also, the definition of cheating appears to be very broad: 18% would consider having a close friendship with a male colleague to be cheating; and 62% said flirting via SMS and social networks counted as cheating.

2. The rise of the Hollywood

When it comes to their ‘lady gardens’, 46% of respondents said they are shaved completely whilst 21% of men said the same, and 41% say they trim regularly.

Just 5% of WH respondents do absolutely no trimming at all, compared with 17% of men. But most WH respondents (57%) also said they felt “comfortable” or “very comfortable” when they are naked.

3. Women have mixed feelings about oral sex

A surprising 35% of women do it only because they know their partner enjoys it, but a third of the women did say they “loved” performing oral sex. The guys still beat them hands down though, with 59% saying they enjoyed performing oral sex.

Interestingly only 13% of WH respondents found receiving oral sex to be the ‘most pleasing’ activity in bed (thrusting technique and emotional connection rated much higher).

4. What’s the goal in bed?

The vast majority of women (46%), said that their primary goal during sex was to connect with their partner. Only 9% said an orgasm was their goal (which might explain why 10% said they never orgasm at all).

In the MH survey, 34% said their primary goal was her orgasm (1.6% said it was ‘feeling loved’).

5. Rushing foreplay is the biggest mistake a guy can make in the bedroom…

… and kissing is still the number one form of foreplay (as voted by both men [90%] and women [93%]).

6. SA women are kinkier than ever (is it the 50 Shades influence?)

A whopping 45% of respondents said they enjoyed being spanked!

And 61% had watched porn with a partner and 56% had engaged in phone/SMS/Skype or chatroom sex, while 20% had used handcuffs and 7% had had a threesome with another woman.

Also, 51% have had a friend with benefits.

7. Condoms are a priority, well, sort of

One in 10 women set out to use a condom with a new partner, but get carried away and often don't, but seven out of 10 say they always do. Just under half (48%) would say no to sex if there's no condom. In fact, there's a higher chance she'll have sex if he's married than if she's having her period; 57% of women said they would say no to sex if he's married; 38% if she's too drunk; and a whopping 71% if she's menstruating.

8. PDA rules!

A high 47% of WH respondents said sex in public was their biggest fantasy

9. Top of the charts

The majority of women (26%) agree that the “cowboy” position (woman on top) is their favourite but the one they’d most like to try is “sitting on his lap facing him”, while men’s favourite position was the “missionary with legs up”.

10. Friends with benefits

78% of WH and 77% of MH respondents said the best place to meet a partner is through mutual friends, which suggests online dating is still a niche for singles.

11. Masturbation shocker

A sexy 37% of women said they masturbate once or twice a week, compared with only 29% of men. One in seven men and women said they masturbated twice a week. Additionally it seems one in four women also admit to keeping this a secret from their partner – fantasising about other people was actually their biggest secret. Women aren't getting off to porn though – 70% of the female respondents said they don't watch porn on an average week, compared to 33% of men.

12. Morning glory

It seems when it comes to the time of day respondents felt the sexiest – both (30%) men and women (28%) agree that they prefer sex in the morning!

13. SA’s sexiest cities

East London got mixed reviews – whilst men rated themselves as having the most sex, they also had the highest rates of masturbation, and the most dissatisfaction according to women, who said that 60% of them faked orgasms, and 48% who said their partners rushed too much.

Bloemfontein was rated as the “hardest working” city, with the highest percentage of sex in the office place, whilst Pretoria had the most sex in cars

South Africa’s kinkiest city was Upington– with 60% of respondents who said they had used handcuffs and 30% who had been tied up.

Men's Health key stats

1. Women are having more sex than men

A quarter of the women we surveyed are having sex at least once a week, in comparison to just 18% of the men. More men than women are having no sex at all, in fact a far higher number than the men having sex at least once a week. But his dry spells are shorter: the majority of the female respondents have gone without sex for three to five months, versus the guys who have had a one-month dry spell.

2. Female [multiple] orgasm is on the rise...

One out of two women are typically having an orgasm during sex (versus one in 10 who never have an orgasm). Almost double the number of women say they're having three or more orgasms than none at all: 32% – the majority by 10 percent – said that clitoral stimulation by him was most likely to make them orgasm. Only three percent of women say they fake orgasm every time.

 3. Size doesn't matter; emotional connection does

The most important element to please her: emotional connection, followed in order by, thrusting technique, foreplay, oral sex technique, duration of intercourse and lastly penis size. Perhaps this is linked to the majority of female respondents who said that they're comfortable with sex toys, but don't always want them in bed.

Q: How do you feel about sex toys? 

A: It's an essential part of my sex life

Men 2%, vs Women 7%

4. Fifty shades of kinky

The female respondents were not afraid to experiment (and, coincidentally, pretty keen to use restraints). The list of erotic acts that she's tried and what she'd like on the menu:


1. Dirty talk: 64%

2. Watched porn with a partner: 61%

3. Phone/SMS/Skype/chatroom sex: 56%

4. One night stand: 52%

5. Used a vibrator on me: 48%

6. Spanked: 45%

7. Anal sex: 35%

8. Filmed/photographed ourselves: 33%

9. Tied up: 2%8

10. Spanked him: 26%

11. Tied him up: 25%

12. Used handcuffs: 20%

13. Same-sex experience: 15%

14. Used a vibrator on him: 14%

15. Threesome with another woman: 7%

16. Threesome with another man: 6%

17. Tried asphyxiation*: 2%



1. Dirty talk: 71%

2. Spanked her: 68%

3. Used a vibrator on her: 3%

4. Tied her up: 32%

5. Been spanked: 27%

6. Been tied up: 26%

7. Used handcuffs: 17%

8. Threesome with two girls 11

9. Used a vibrator on me: 9%

10. Threesome with another guy: 7%

Top 5 things she'd like to try:

1. Be tied up

2. Dress up and/or role play

3. Use handcuffs

4. Watch in a mirror

5. Tie him up

*Choking games were also last on her list of things to try.

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