Is Switzerland really a land of sex and love?

Love is in the air in Switzerland, according to sex surveys imagepoint

The Swiss are not shy when it comes to lovemaking – 123 times a year, according to a global sex survey. The worldwide average is 103.

This content was published on April 21, 2007 - 10:50

But some experts have doubts about whether the report reveals what is really going on between the sheets in Switzerland.

The first part of the Sexual Wellbeing Global Survey, by condom maker Durex, was released earlier this week.

The online survey questioned more than 26,000 adults of all orientations in 26 countries about their sexual activities and experiences. In all, 557 people answered in Switzerland.

Topping the list of those who had the most sex were the Greeks at 164. Following the land of Aphrodite were the Brazilians (145).

The most modest were the Japanese, where kimonos only come off 48 times a year.

Switzerland's score of 123 meant it did better than neighbouring Latin lovers Italy (121), France (120).

"This is one of the most surprising results," Miriam Abel, product manager at Durex Switzerland, told swissinfo. "People have something in their mind when it comes to these countries and love."

Swiss lovers were also ahead of other neighbours Germany (117), the United States (85) and Britain (92).

Good stamina

The Swiss were also found to have good stamina. At 19 minutes, the Swiss made love one minute longer than the world average.

World champions in this respect were the Nigerians at 24 minutes, with the fun only lasting 13 minutes in India.

However, despite all this good news, the Swiss were still found to be unhappy with their love lives, with only 42 per cent saying they were totally satisfied.

The happiest were the Nigerians at 67 per cent and at the bottom of the league were – again – the poor old Japanese at 15 per cent.

Around half of the Swiss surveyed said that less stress and tiredness would mean more frolicking in the bedroom. They thought a bit more fun and romance would not go amiss as well.

Durex said the disparity between wanting more fun, but not being willing to experiment – only 45 per cent said they wanted to do so - may have contributed to the low figure.

But including those "largely satisfied", the figure rose to around 72 per cent.

Dream figure

Experts were sceptical about whether the results reflected reality. Esther Elisabeth Schütz, a clinical sex therapist from near Zurich, said she thought the Swiss may simply have wished to have sex 123 times per year – or two times a week.

"There are many couples who do it once a month, others who for many months don't have any contact at all... men and women don't have so much sex [in reality] but they of course dream of having it [at least] once a week," she told swissinfo.

But Schütz, who commented on the report for Durex, found it positive that many respondents indicated that sexual wellbeing was very important for their overall health – and by association for their partnerships.

The Durex survey is not the only sex study to have been published in Switzerland.

Recent research by Bern University on around 6,500 people in the German-speaking part of the country found some similarities to the Durex study.

Active Swiss

Daniel Regli, a psychologist involved in the Bern study, said this online research – also conducted online - found that people had sex one to three times a week.

The satisfaction percentage was higher - 88-90 per cent of those in a partnership - but this was using a young sample, he explained.

"That is one of the limitations of online research - you have younger, better educated people answering," Regli told swissinfo.

He said although it was easy to gather data, it was hard to make a serious scientific study from it. Nevertheless an online survey like Durex's could give a good global overview.

"It's a good kind of PR for Durex. It's interesting and it's a big sample, but for real analysis you need the background," said Regli.

swissinfo, Isobel Leybold-Johnson

Durex survey

The Sexual Wellbeing Global Survey was conducted online in 25 countries between August and September last year. In Nigeria face-to-face interviews were conducted owing to lack of internet access.

The survey was carried out by the specialist company Harris Interactive. Participants, who were chosen from panels, were at least 16+ or 18+. 53% were men and 47% women.

90% were heterosexual, 3% gay and 3% bisexual. 4% did not give an answer, which Durex says is because in some countries homosexuality is illegal.

Tuesday's report was the first data from the survey, and will be followed by 3-4 more releases. Other topics to be covered are experimentation, emotional aspects and sexual knowledge.

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