LIFESTYLE

Sex Talk: Nearly Half Of Brits Unhappy With Sex Lives Because Of Pressure To Perform

06/08/2015 00:00 BST | Updated 06/08/2015 12:59 BST

If you haven't had sex this month then don't worry, you're certainly not alone.

A study of 6,000 people found that just under half (45%) of adults in the UK are unhappy with their sex life and 51% haven't had sex in the past month.

Experts from relationships charity, Relate, believe the nationwide bedroom drought stems from pressure to perform.

"People often put so much pressure on themselves to have ‘amazing sex’ that they end up avoiding it altogether or do not notice what is good about their sex lives," said a spokesperson for the charity.

"But just thinking differently could work wonders for the nation’s sex lives."

bad sex

To combat the UK's growing lack of intimacy, Relate has issued a new guide explaining how to relieve the pressure and rev up the pleasure in the bedroom.

Psychosexual therapist Cate Campbell - who has written the guide - argues that planning sex, talking about fantasies and kissing and cuddling in front of the children are perfectly normal things to do.

"It’s sad that so few people are sexually satisfied and put pressure on themselves to perform," said Campbell. "Noticing what is going well, rather than dwelling on problems, is quite difficult when we’re all bombarded with messages about how sex ‘ought’ to be.

"Sex definitely doesn’t have to be disappointing - there's plenty that can turn your situation around so you can enjoy a sustained, fulfilling sex life."

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She added: "What constitutes a satisfying sex life can vary wildly from one person to the next, so working out what makes you tick is a great starting point.

"People may feel concerned if they haven’t had sex in the past month but there are plenty of other ways to be sexy that don’t involve full intercourse."

It's not the only survey that's shown a red flag when it comes to sexy time.

At the end of July, a study by Durex found that one in 10 people (11%) hadn't tried anything new in the bedroom for over six years.

Off the back of the research, Relate has issued a series of tips to help people think differently about sex:

  • Reassess what sex is: People often mean full intercourse when they talk about sex, but sex is about so much more than just penetration. Flirting, kissing, cuddling and even just feeling you look great can be sexy.

  • Find your sexual balance: It’s often difficult to fit sex into busy lives, but worrying about it makes it less likely to happen. Sometimes, a reassuring or sexy cuddle may be all you have time for or need and some people are happy with very little sex. It’s what works for both of you that matters.

  • Bear in mind spontaneity isn’t essential: People who come to Relate often say they want to bring spontaneity back to their sex lives but sex is rarely truly spontaneous and busy people sometimes have to plan for intimacy.

  • Know it’s fine to fantasise: Some people feel it’s wrong to fantasise especially if it involves somebody else or something they’re not comfortable with. But the whole point of fantasy is it’s not real and just thinking something doesn’t mean you want it to happen.

  • Feel free to cuddle in front of the kids: In the past, parents were often taught to avoid showing physical affection in front of the kids but it actually reassures them that you love one another.

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