common causes of unfulfilling sex

Satisfying Sex Life?

By Alison Rahn

Which people have a satisfying sex life?

A number of studies have shown that sex is important to men and women, irrespective of age or location. Most people agree that sex is enjoyable and beneficial to their quality of life.

However, it seems that, for a significant proportion of the world’s population, sexual pleasure and satisfaction are not a regular part of life.

The Durex Sexual Wellbeing Global Survey 07/08 revealed that only 44% are fully satisfied with their sex lives. Most people expressed desire for more time, more love and tenderness, and more variety and creativity in their sex lives.

Women’s experience of sex is generally less positive than men’s. However, people in committed relationships are more likely to report sexual satisfaction.

Older men and women in Western countries appear to be more satisfied with their sexual relationships than their counterparts of Asia, the Middle East, and South America.

Among western nations, sexual pleasure for those over forty is highest in Austria, Spain and the United States and lowest in Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The lowest levels of sexual pleasure globally in this age group were reported in Japan (17.6%), Algeria (21.1%), and Taiwan (21.5%).

Worldwide, across all ages, the Japanese and French are least satisfied, and the Nigerians and Mexicans are most satisfied with their sex lives.

Lack of sexual desire is the most common problem worldwide. It is more prevalent in women, affecting approximately a third of women (USA 33%, Sweden 34%), with one exception being Denmark (11%).

About half as many men report lack of desire (16% in both United States and Sweden).

Many people report an inability to orgasm. According to the Durex study only 48% of people said they usually orgasm.

Men are more likely to reach orgasm than women.

Inability to orgasm was reported by almost a quarter of women in the United States (as opposed to 8% of men) versus 7% of women in Denmark.

Satisfaction was linked to both quality and quantity of sex, with approximately 65% of people saying they do not have sex often enough, and half saying sex lacks excitement and variety.

A significant proportion of Americans do not experience pleasure during intercourse (14% of women and 3% of men).

In Australia

Australians agree that sex is important for a sense of well-being. Similar trends are found here as compared to overseas.

According to the Durex study, only 60% of sexually active Australians have sex weekly, which is lower than most other countries surveyed, especially when compared to Greece (87%) and Brazil (82%) but higher than Canada (59%), UK (55%), Nigeria (53%), USA (53%), and Japan (34%).

Approximately three quarters of Australians are in heterosexual relationships. Most find sex pleasurable, no matter what age, and most have sex just under twice per week.

In the over forty age range, approximately 67% of men and 63% of women report that their sexual relationship is physically pleasurable.

Almost a quarter of men, and less than 10% of women, report that they would like to have sex more often.

However, in one study, almost 22% of men aged over forty who were in monogamous relationships reported no sexual activity in the past year.

Australian women seem to be fairing poorly when compared with their overseas sisters.

Lack of sexual desire is particularly prevalent, affecting 55% of women, along with worries about body image (36%), much higher levels of performance anxiety (17%), lack of sexual pleasure (27%) and inability to orgasm (29%-31%) than American women.

Women who are sexually satisfied are more likely to have a partner who provides oral and/or manual stimulation and who delays ejaculation during intercourse.

The more the variety of activities, the greater the likelihood of the woman reaching orgasm.

Australian men in general desire more sex than they are currently having.

On the other hand, men have their share of lack of desire (25% of men), performance anxiety (16%), and are more likely to report coming to orgasm too quickly (24%), compared to 29% of American men.

Men are more likely to reach orgasm during sexual intercourse.

Recommendations to increase sexual pleasure

Although none of the literature makes explicit recommendations about how to increase levels of sexual satisfaction some key areas were identified:

The first thigns was gender equality contributes to greater sexual satisfaction

There is a need for:

 more romance, love, tenderness, variety and creativity in sexual encounters
 extended foreplay
 more adventure and creativity in sexual interactions
 more products and information to enhance sexual pleasure, and
 better access to information and advice to alleviate sexual concerns

In summary, it appears that the entire human race could do more to make sex a priority and put more time and creative effort into generating fulfilling sexual encounters for our individual, mutual and collective wellbeing (my opinion).

In addition to this, we need to love and respect our partners and take their needs into account.

About Alison Rahn MHSc (Sexual Health)
Alison is a sex therapist, sex educator, energy worker and architect living near Byron Bay. She has immersed herself in spiritual sexual practices since 2002 including Chuluqui Quodoushka spiritual sexuality.

As well as her academic studies she has been personally trained by Jack Painter, Shantam Nityama and Ruth Doherty in profound energy healing and bodywork techniques.
 For more information see


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