Canadians having less sex

Forget the romantic notion of snuggling up to survive the long winter. Compared to other countries, Canadians are having sex less often — and are quite good at making excuses to avoid it, says a newly released international poll.

For the online survey*, researchers looked at 13,000 adults in 13 countries, including Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Mexico, Portugal, Romania, South Korea, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Each country had a minimum of 1,000 participants.

The findings indicated that Canadians between the ages of 46 and 60 have sex an average of 1.35 times a week. This compares with a global average of 1.41.

And who is having the most sex? According to the survey, people living in Portugal have it 1.96 times a week, followed by Mexico at 1.89 times.

“Sorry darling, but I have a headache”

Further, more than 40 per cent of Canadian respondents admitted to coming up with excuses to avoid sex. Some of the top excuses included fatigue (71 per cent), pain and muscle aches (29 per cent), and headaches and joint pain (29 per cent).

And when it comes to having sex, Canadians also showed less spontaneity than other countries. Internationally, 86 per cent of the respondents viewed sex as a spontaneous act, but in Canada that number fell to 79 per cent.

“This research reveals important information about the sexual behaviour of Canadians. When you compare our results to other nations, it’s clear that Canadians aren’t necessarily experiencing the most active or vibrant sex lives,” said Dr. Gerald Brock, Professor of Surgery, Division of Urology from the University of Western Ontario, in a news release. “While work and family pressures are likely to be a factor in this equation, medical problems such as erectile dysfunction may also be playing a role.”

Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects approximately 40 per cent of men over 40, according to the survey.

“While there is no cure for ED, almost all cases can be treated, and newer medications including daily and on-demand therapies are helping men and their partners return to the unconstrained intimacy they previously enjoyed,” Dr Brock added.

(*The online survey was conducted in August 2011 by SKIM Healthcare on behalf of Eli Lilly and Company.)

Bringing back the romance

Sex can provide a myriad of emotional and healthy benefits. In fact, studies have shown that sex can help you look and feel younger, foster intimacy, reduce stress, boost immunity, and improve cardiovascular health. And that’s not all. Research has also indicated that frequent sex can also reduce risk for certain cancers, lower blood pressure and lead to a longer life.

Yet, as the survey indicated, life’s stresses and strains often get in the way. In Tips for a healthy sex life, Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo writes, “Often my clients tell me they are not as sexually active as they might like to be because they are just too stressed out. Well, here is the deal. Sex is not something to do only if you are feeling calm and relaxed. Research shows sex reduces stress. So instead of ‘not tonight honey, I’m too stressed out’, think ‘yes please, tonight, honey. I’m so stressed out.'”

Want to bring more romance into your relationship? Here are a few more tips:

— Make it a priority. Don’t wait until you ‘have time’ or the mood strikes.

— Exercise. Studies have shown that people who exercise have a more active sex life than those who do not.

— Break up the routine. It’s all too easy to get into a romantic rut, especially if you’ve been with your partner for a long time. So change things up. Open yourself up to spontaneity. Try a new position, time of day, or room.

— Talk about it. Communication is key to intimacy and a healthy sex life. If you want to amp up the romance, talk about it and share your fantasies with your partner.

— Set the mood. Bring romance to the setting with candles, soft lighting, and sexy music. Prepare a romantic dinner — and turn off the phone! (See 10 aphrodisiac foods you’ll love.)

Additional sources: CNW release; CBC; CNN; Journal of Sexual Medicine abstract; WebMD.

Photo © Abel Mitja Varela

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