Lets Talk About Sex, Baby

Yes, sorry about that title but I’m wondering if I will get a sudden surge in hits with a title like that and I don’t have a ‘sex’ category so this is going under ‘dating’ as sex and dating go tongue in mouth – I mean – hand in hand. (And no, I’m not going to make a ‘sex’ category, you perve.)

The English have got a bit of an undeserved reputation about sex, it seems that, in the eyes of the world, the English are cold and unimaginative lovers and will avoid sex at all costs. I’m not too sure where this rumour started, my instinct is the blame the French – but that’s because I blame the French for everything, as my best friend, whom is French of course knows,  but I imagine Victorian England has something to do with it as well.

There’s a famous passage in a diary by Lady Alice Hillingdon from 1912 that goes like this “I am happy now that George calls on my bedchamber less frequently than of old. As it is, I now endure but two calls a week, and when I hear his steps outside my door I lie down on my bed, close my eyes, open my legs, and think of England”  and many English will recognise the phrase ‘lie back and think of England’ and ponder that English woman don’t actually like sex.

However, if you do a little bit of investigating and dig deeper then a completely different picture emerges. What’s not published is that Lady Alice Hillington was born on the 23rd of June, 1857 and therefore was 55 when she was scripting all this. So, a 55yr old Victorian lady was having sex roughly twice a week – when I say roughly I mean that as a figure of speech (but George might have liked a bit of role playing for all we know, he never kept a dairy!) but anyway, so they were having sex twice a week, she was at 55 and George was 57 and this was less frequently so one must assume they were having a lot more sex in the previous 20 years of their marriage, so one wonders why we think of Victorian England as a sex free zone.

Additionally, it seems there were a hell of a lot of prostitutes in London at that time, figures vary wildly but some estimates put it at one prostitute for every twelve working men, London had a population of roughly two million and when you look at all the guesstimates it seems there were about 50,000 prostitutes working in London – mostly aged from 18 to 23 where upon they ‘retired’ and settled down (and usually married one of their clients). So 50,000 plus prostitutes (or fallen woman as the Victorians called them) working the pubs of Victorian London (a place where no ‘lady’ would ever frequent) means that at the very least, Victorian Londoners were enjoying a not inconsiderable amount of sex.

And yet, there is still this misconception (groan!) that the English don’t like sex but here’s the thing, Mr Google ran an analysis on which country submits the word ‘porn’ into it’s search engine and rather surprisingly it was England that came third in the whole world. The US was second but I’ll let you guess who was top of the table..*

Additionally, it seems that the UK tops the league for the most promiscuous country in the western nations, it actually comes eleventh in world rankings but it is deemed more promiscuous than the States were the research was conducted by David Schmitt. So, it seem that the British actually do like sex and movies like No Sex Please, We’re British give other countries the wrong impression.

So, there would appear to be a conflict between the impression that the English don’t like sex and the reality, and I wonder how that has come about.  I know ‘there are lies, damn lies and statistics’ and a lot of this research is open to interpretation but I wonder a few things;

(a) Perhaps these surveys are actually surveying which country fibs the most, after all, asking a couple in the street how many times they have had sex this month is a loaded question and I’m not exactly sure just how many folk would be honest about their response.

(b) I wonder what the results would be if the people asking these surveys were of a different nationality, say French or Italian, I’d lie blatantly to both of those question takers, France and Italy and I have history!

( c) I wonder which country actually does have the most sex – because I wanna go live there. (Please, God don’t let it be Ireland, that would not be funny!)

* It was us, you idiot, the Irish!