Pressure takes toll on sex lives: survey

Updated: 2011-08-31 07:24

By Shan Juan (China Daily)

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BEIJING - The pressure of modern society is taking a toll on sexual satisfaction, experts say following the release of an online survey.

About 34 percent of people polled in the survey said that they are unsatisfied with their sex lives, with 6.5 percent "very unsatisfied".

Another 32 percent condemned their sex lives as "just so-so".

The survey interviewed more than 3,000 people, aged between 15 and 55, with men accounting for 74 percent of the interviewees.

It was conducted by the China Population Communication Center and the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences from May 1 to June 20. The survey did not give a margin of error.

Only 23 percent of respondents said that they are "satisfied" with their sex lives, with 3.6 percent "very satisfied", according to the survey.

But women seem to have a higher rate of satisfaction than men, with only 26 percent saying they are unsatisfied. The rate for men is 42 percent.

The rate of sexual satisfaction among Chinese people is below the global average of 44 percent, according to an earlier survey by Durex. The 2007 Durex Global Sexual Wellbeing Survey questioned more than 26,000 people in 26 countries about all aspects of their sex lives - including satisfaction levels.

Jiang Hui, president-elect of the Chinese Society of Andrology, attributed the lower rate of sexual satisfaction among Chinese people to rapid economic growth, which inevitably increases work and social pressure.

Health problems associated with a modern lifestyle, such as diabetes and hypertension, are also to blame, he said.

Jiang said his department of andrology used to receive about 10 patients a day 10 years ago. Now the figure has risen to more than 250.

Rising awareness of sex and a more open attitude toward the once-taboo topic among the public also contributed to higher sexual expectations, he said.

The survey also revealed that about 30 percent of respondents in the 35-55 age group had sex less than once a week.

"That rate is quite low, compared with the global average of 103 times a year, or 1.98 times a week," said Yang Xiong, who heads the social survey center at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

Only 16.9 percent of respondents said that they had sex more than 10 times a month. Most respondents had sex three to nine times every month.

About 8 percent of respondents said that they basically had no sex at all or it was too infrequent to be classified.

The survey seemed to find that the more you made, the less you had. Those who earned at least 9,000 yuan ($1,400) a month had less sex than those who earned less, according to the survey.

Among those making more than 9,000 yuan per month, over 70 percent said they had sex less than twice a month, compared with 16.5 percent for those with a monthly salary of less than 6,000 yuan.

The survey also found that when people run into problems with their sex lives, 83 percent turn to the Internet, rather than professionals, for help. Less than 6 percent said they would see doctors to solve sex-related problems.

Nearly 70 percent of those polled said they suffered from sexual health problems, such as erectile dysfunction (ED).

"Many patients, especially men, are reluctant to see a doctor, which they think harms their manhood," Jiang said.

According to a study conducted by the Chinese Society of Andrology, at least 40 percent of men aged 40 and above suffered from erectile dysfunction, roughly the global average.

But Yang, from the Shanghai academy, noted that surveys conducted online tend to produce far different results than those conducted face-to-face.

He expressed reservations about the survey's accuracy and said the public should only use the results for reference.