We run an on-ongoing research program that uses a variety of research techniques to give us key insights into the way consumers think and feel so we can keep up-to-date with the latest thoughts, trends and innovations.

In 2006/2007 we conducted a Sexual Wellbeing survey and interviewed 26,000 people, aged 16 and older, across 26 countries. Here's what we found.

So, are people sexually satisfied?

Sex worldwide could be better. Apparently, we have lost our sense of adventure, our libidos and our interest.

60 per cent of us say that sex is fun, enjoyable and a vital part of life. However, only of 44 per cent of people are fully satisfied with their sex lives.

We've established that we become less satisfied with our sex lives as we get older, more for men than women. This is partly because we tend to have sex less often and we have been in relationships for longer.

We tend to find this less exciting and more monotonous. Interestingly, having children doesn't negatively impact upon satisfaction.

What are the physical drivers of satisfaction?

  • Free from stress and good mental and physical health
  • Free from stress to achieve orgasm
  • Free from sexual dysfunction
  • Frequency of sex and foreplay

In general, we need to be free from stress and be in good mental and physical health.

Achieving orgasm is a key driver of sexual satisfaction. Just 48 per cent of us said that they usually orgasm. Globally, twice as many men (64 per cent) as women regularly have orgasms.

Maintaining an erection and having enough lubrication to enjoy sex is another important component according to our findings. Thirty four per cent of women questioned have, at some point in their lives, experienced vaginal dryness; 24 per cent of men have reported difficulties getting an erection and 29 per cent have had problems sustaining one.

Having sex frequently enough also affects satisfaction levels for both sexes, along with having sufficient foreplay. Frequency of sex and sexual satisfaction peaks between the ages of 20 and 34 but it is still important, as people get older: those over 65 are still having sex more than once a week. Frequency of sex differs between countries.

What are the emotional drivers of satisfaction?

  • Feeling close to your partner
  • Having an exciting sex life
  • Free from sexual dysfunction
  • A good first sexual experience

Sexual priorities are changing. We are looking for the softer, more sophisticated side of sex-quality-time with our partners, romance and sense of security within the bedroom.

Feeling close to your partner, feeling loved, respected and secure, all impact strongly on our ability to achieve sexual satisfaction

Mutual respect plays a vital role in a satisfying sex life. Eighty two per cent of us who are sexually satisfied say they feel respected by our partner during sex. Thirty nine per cent are looking for more love and romance; 36 per cent would like more quality time alone with their partner; 31 per cent would like more fun and better communication and intimacy with their partner and 29 per cent a higher sex drive. Thirty seven per cent want to feel less stressed out and tired.

Having an exciting sex life is also important, although this decreases during a relationship. Those who have been in a relationship over 3 years tend to be less inhibited. It's important to try to keep your sex life as exciting as possible. Fifty three per cent of us see the benefits of introducing a little experimentation into our sex lives through role-play, massage, sexual fantasies or bondage.

What does all this mean?

We all need to devote more time and energy to our sex lives and adding more romance and fun would definitely help! We all need to try to be less inhibited, being more open and better informed about achieving and giving more pleasure. We should also consider using products that enhance our sex lives. 2/3rds of people don't use products to enhance their sex lives, but half us would like to.

How do I get more satisfaction?

As outlined above, the fundamental elements of sexual satisfaction are as follows:

  • Physical and Emotional Health

We all need to have good general health and to be free from stress

  • Physiological Issues

We need to be free from sexual dysfunction

  • Emotional relationships

We need to feel loved, respected, feel at ease and secure in our relationship

  • Excitement

We need to have enough excitement, variety and fun!

There are many ways that Durex can help you to work towards achieving sexual satisfaction. Let's start with Physical and Emotional Health: while this isn't something we can have a direct impact upon, we fully understand its importance. We'd suggest that you take some time to consider this element and how this may be affecting your personal satisfaction levels. With regard to Physiological Issues you can explore our products to help overcome both male and female sexual dysfunction.

The summary

We hope the findings from our survey have been both interesting and relevant. Hopefully it will give you a better idea of how to achieve ultimate satisfaction. It's a combination of both physical and emotional elements and having an understanding of what works best for you. For most of us this may be injecting some fun and adventure back into our sex lives. What this study does prove is that frequency of sex isn't the key driver of sexual satisfaction.