Love knows no bounds: Love stories around the world
“The language of the body is universal” is something we hear all the time. However, ways of understanding sexuality and the attitudes towards it differ according to each country and culture. Education, seduction and the age at which individuals first experience sexual relations often reflect on cultural background. From the United States to Kazakhstan, Doctissimo takes you on a tour of the world of love.
Every day, 120 million people have sex in the world, and 400,000 babies are born. Before looking at the world of love, however, the term “sex” needs to be discussed. In the United States, according to a study published in 1999 in a scientific journal, two thirds of Americans do not consider orogenital contact as sexual relations. One in five Americans have the same attitude towards anal sex. But are these attitudes peculiar to American culture? Bill Clinton played on the vague nature of this definition, assuring his nation without even blushing that he did not have sexual relations with his intern, Monica Lewinski... But is the controversial reputation Americans gained after this “Sexgate” actually an exaggeration? Almost half (46%) prefer “a good night’s sleep” to sex. When it comes to French lovers, there’s not much to write home about either; 20% of French women say sex doesn’t interest them.
Sex lives uncovered
France has more to boast about when it comes to the frequency of sexual relations however, as it is estimated that a French person will make love more than 130 times in a year. Thailand, long associated with sexual tourism and fantasy, takes second place with Thai people having sex, on average, 100 times a year.
In the West, the cult of performance is deeply connected to strong sex. Medication and miracle pills promise an unfailing libido and sexual performance in the bedroom worthy of an Olympic athlete.
In contrast, in certain areas of Asia, sexual activity becomes just a pleasant memory after the age of forty. In India, in fact, many women abstain from sex once their daughters are married or when they become grandmothers.
Sex education and first experiences
At the dawn of sexual awakening, it is generally the case that adolescents begin to make love earlier than their parents’ generation. However, the average age worldwide seems to stay around the same mark. The most precocious adolescents are in Mali, Nigeria and the Czech Republic where love becomes sexual at 15, while the average age in Egypt, Kazakhstan and the Philippines is 20. Overall, the average usually settles at around 18 for women and 17 for men. Whatever the country, men and women tend to have sex for the first time at almost the same age.
The discovery of sexuality happens mostly through discussion with friends, watching pornography or through “trial and error”. Contrary to popular belief, sex education does not encourage adolescents to have sex earlier. In the United States, it has been shown that the age of the first sexual experience was increased by seven months following the introduction of sex education lessons.
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