Where in the world would you imagine people have the most sex, if you were asked to guess with nothing to go on? Many of us might reckon that the renowned Italian and French lovers would feature near the top of that list. Are these countries, in fact, among the top 10 for nations spending the longest under the covers?
Have you ever considered how religion might limit bedroom activities for some, and increase it for others? Or how times of war or other struggles like famine might affect how often – and for how long – people do it? In an unusual circumstances like intense war, perhaps many are spurned on to grab their chances earlier than they otherwise may have. But in an African nation where tribal fighting and warfare have become almost a norm, we can surmise survival may be more of a priority than sex for pleasure.
It is interesting to consider how much times have changed in the last 60 to 100 years. It is generally accepted that people have sex much more for pleasure now than in the past – or at least, they admit to it more. Where the purpose of intercourse used to be procreation, religion is not as much in the fore in many Christian-based societies as it used to be. There is easier access to birth control, and less judgment, with greater privacy in the anonymity of larger cities and towns. Why we have sex, how we have sex, and who we have sex with—all these things have changed.
Spreadsheets, an unusual new sex-tracking App which has been causing a stir this year, has collected data from 13,000 people in 133 countries to calculate average duration times of sex sessions around the world, as well as where people are having the most sex. There are two figures listed per country; where they fit on a 1-10 list, in terms of who is having the most sex, and how many minutes an average sex-session lasts in that country. This list is ordered according to the frequency of sex people are having, but how long partners are lasting between the sheets is recorded, too. In which countries are people busiest in bed? Take note, travelers…
10. Italy: 2:50 minutes
Jeanette Winterson’s The Passion tells the story of an immense love, a love so strong the main characters meet despite dangerous odds of discovery and possible accompanying violence. This is a country of passion, the country in which the story of Romeo and Juliet is set, the land of romance on the Venice Canal and the poet Petrarch’s love sonnets – and still today, Italians are some of the most active lovers in the world. Beating out 123 other countries, Italians nevertheless have the lowest duration among the top 10 in terms of the time spent per sex session. Do Italian men desire so strongly that when they achieve their goal they simply cannot last as long? Or are the women so passionate they insist on quicker satisfaction? Despite the quickies, Italians are definitely getting lots of action.
9. Spain: 3:22 minutes
The country that was home to Don Juan almost 400 years ago is the ninth most sexually active country in the world. At 3:23 minutes per sex session, Spaniards come fifth on this list for duration. Men in Spain are forthright, calling publicly to women they find attractive. Words like, “morena” (literally “brunette,” although it is used indiscriminately for any attractive female) and “guapa” (“lovely”) can be heard peppering public places as younger men try to catch the attention of females in hopes of that 3:22 minutes of pure pleasure. Is 3:22 enough, senoritas?
8. Mexico: 3:23 minutes
Mexicans last one second longer than Spaniards during intercourse, possibly indicating that the New World is the place to be…? Coming in eighth for frequency of sexual activity these citizens partake in, it is not hard to imagine the reasons for their collective libido—a hot climate, passionate people, beautiful beaches and waters, and a languid way of life clearly translates into sex as an R & R priority in Mexico.
7. Australia: 4:02 minutes
At 4:02, Australians have the most staying power on this list, so while they’re only number 7 in the world in terms of frequency, they manage to commit when they do get between the sheets. Being No. 7 on the world’s list for frequency of sex is nothing to sneeze at, in any case. So get out your snorkeling gear, wax your surfboards and light up the BBQ. That’s not the only thing that’s lit up in Australia…
6. France: 2:53 minutes
This country which was infamous, in bygone eras, for having the most sophisticated courtesans and the most unabashed and unapologetic adulterers comes in sixth on this list for frequency of sex. Surprisingly, the act itself does not last too long when compared with this country’s global counterparts. Perhaps Monsieur is too fatigued from his session earlier in the day with another demoiselle? Or the ladies keep things short and sweet, so that the guys keep coming back for more. Whatever their secrets, the French are not saying. Keeping secrets hidden under covers might be okay, though – after all, whispered endearments under the sheets translate in any language.
5. Russia: 3:31 minutes
The setting for obsession-filled romantic tragedies such as Anna Karenina and Dr. Zhivago, Russia does prove to be a country filled with passionate lovers, at No. 5 on the list in terms of frequency and third in duration of the sex act itself. Whether the vodka is flowing or in short supply during these moments of intimacy isn’t clear, but people are evidently having sex whether sober or not, and everyone performs admirably. Perhaps libidos came to life with the downfall of Communism in the former USSR? Us outsiders can never know, but only envy our Russian counterparts their strength and vitality.
4. United Kingdom: 2:56 minutes
Just seventh on the list in terms of how long they last during copulation, Brits are doing it more than 129 other countries worldwide. From a country whose literature was often more conservative than their continental European neighbors, this nation has nonetheless come up with some literary sexual fiends: D.H. Lawrence (Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Women in Love, Sons and Lovers), Shakespeare (“Graze on my lips; and if those hills be dry/Stray lower, where the pleasant fountains lie”), John Cleland (of the very risqué 18th century work, Fanny Hill) and of course, the recent Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. Perhaps the stiff upper lip is not all that is stiff…
3. Canada: 3:41 minutes
Cold, eh? Brrr…. Canadians must be busy keeping warm, coming in at No. 3 for frequency of copulation and coincidentally for duration as well. Is it because these Northern folk are shivering in their long johns, or is it simply the melting pot of cultures in this immigrant-friendly and peaceful country that heats things up in the bedroom? Quebec is reported to take the greatest credit for the nation’s physical prowess, but there are nine other provinces as well as three territories in this second-largest (by area) country in the world where the citizens are also getting pretty busy. Next time you hear someone cite the cliche of the lacklustre and unassuming Canuck, remember that they’re more active lovers than most of the world.
2. China: 2:40 minutes
At the absolute lowest in terms of time spent on intercourse, the Chinese are still doing it more than all but one of the world’s 133 nations surveyed. Could the amount of sex these people are having account for the nation’s oversized population? When outsiders think of China, a strong work ethic, focus and discipline comes to mind. Hmmm… focus and discipline sounds about the right combination!
1. United States: 3:45 minutes
Everything’s bigger in America…or so some say. Is this the reason these people are reported to do it most? Not just having sex frequently, but second only to Australia for duration on this list, Americans are having it lots and having it long. This New World nation brought us some of the world’s boldest literature, with hot works like Tropic of Capricorn and Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller and the more contemporary female writer, Zane (Addicted and The Sex Chronicles). When one considers the parallels that have been drawn between this empire and that of the Romans, doing everything to excess is certainly on the table… or in the bedroom.