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Only a third of UK adults are satisfied with their sex life

INTIMACY: A third (32%) of UK adults said they had experienced a sexual problem such as loss of desire, according to a new report

LEVELS OF sexual satisfaction in the UK appear to be decreasing with only a third (34%) of UK adults now satisfied with their sex lives, compared to just under half (45%) in 2015 and 2014 (46).

This is according to a new report by leading relationships charities Relate and Relationships Scotland which also found that a third of people (32%) have experienced a sexual problem and that many counsellors have seen a rise in relationship problems linked to porn use.

With sexual satisfaction strongly linked to overall relationship quality and health and wellbeing, the charities say that more needs to be done to support the nation’s sex lives.

1 in 3 have experienced a ‘sexual problem’

The Let’s talk about sex report is based on a study of 5,000 UK adults. It paints a picture of a nation experiencing a variety of problems that are leading to widespread sexual dissatisfaction. In total, one-in-five respondents reported that low libido or differing sex drives is placing a strain on their relationship.

This is backed up by a survey of relationship support professionals, one-in-four (24%) of whom said they had seen more clients in the last year who were experiencing sex-related problems which were impacting on their relationship. In addition, almost half (47%) of the professionals asked said that they are seeing an increasing number of clients where pornography is causing problems in their relationship.

A third (32%) of UK adults said they had experienced a sexual problem such as loss of desire or problems keeping or maintaining an erection. Women were more likely to say they had experienced a sexual problem than men (37% compared to 26%).

Relationship support practitioners said the top three most common causes of sexual problems for women were lack of emotional intimacy, lack of communication between partners and tiredness. For men however, the professionals said lack of communication between partners, stress and sexual dysfunction were the top three causes.

Relate Counsellor and Sex Therapist Denise Knowles said: “Sex is a big part of couple relationships but when things go wrong we’re not always great at talking about it. I often see couples sweep sexual problems under the carpet, sometimes turning to the ‘quick fix’ of porn to meet their needs rather than working on their relationship and sex life together. Of course many couples enjoy watching porn, but the danger can come when people begin choosing it over real life sex with their partner.”

“We’d all benefit from talking more openly about sex and shouldn’t be afraid to seek professional help if we aren’t feeling satisfied or are experiencing a sexual problem. Sex Therapy helps to unpick what isn’t working so you can enjoy a healthy sex life again. The result is often a happier relationship and improved wellbeing. Given the impact that porn is having on relationships, we also need to educate young people about what healthy sexual relationships look like and about the pros and cons of porn.”

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