We asked Men’s Health readers in 30 countries about their sex lives. Then (brace yourselves) we asked Women’s Health readers across the globe how their men measure up in bed.
By MH Staff - Posted on 18th June 2014
One thing every nation can agree: sex is awesome and we should have more of it. But which country’s best?
Brazilian men are modern-day Don Juans. “We have a machismo culture,” says Dr Elisabeth Meloni Vieira, an associate professor of social medicine at the University of São Paulo. “People believe that men have uncontrollable sexual desire – that’s considered very natural.” So natural, in fact, that sex is equated with wellbeing for men. A British study of sex around the globe found that 91% of Brazilians consider sex beneficial to their health and wellbeing. Only 67% of South Africans said the same. Is it because we look at sex as a duty or a performance? “Then it starts to feel like work,” says Engler. “The truth is, sex helps restore us – it helps regulate our hormones, immune system, everything.” So start regulating! Make sex a non-negotiable part of your day – as essential as drinking coffee or hitting the gym. To keep your romps from becoming routine, set aside one “his” night and one “hers” night per week. “She gives you a massage, totally takes care of you,” Engler says. “Then, on another night, you do all of that for her.” Where women love going down on guys: Brazil
American women’s oral sex mindset: “I do it because he likes it.” A bit of a boner killer, right? Brazilian babes, on the other hand, consider blowjobs a form of personal pleasure. “They satisfy themselves with the satisfaction of their partners. They feel powerful when they arouse men,” says Dr Carmita Abdo, a University of São Paulo psychiatrist. It’s no coincidence that, according to the Durex survey, Brazilians have some of the most exciting sex in the world. In fact, in a University of São Paulo study, Brazilian women who engaged in oral were more likely to dabble in unconventional sexual practices such as exhibitionism and threesomes. So how can you switch her attitude from acceptance to enthusiasm? “I ask women over and over again why they don’t like blowjobs,” says Engler. “It can feel like a subservient, humiliating act, or like a duty.” Communication is critical: make it clear you view oral sex as a loving act – or even something that makes you feel at her sexual mercy. Only when you understand sexual boundaries can you break them.
Russian men know romance – and sex is a critical part of their erotic equation. And while the Russians are getting it right, their counterparts in American appear to do getting it all wrong. In a study in the journal Cross-Cultural Research, Russians were twice as likely as Americans to say they associate sex with romantic love. And while people in the US equate friendship, caring, and comfort with romance, Russian lovers typically view it as an “unreal” fantasyland. “When Americans date, we really try to incorporate the other person into our lives,” says study author Dr Victor de Munck “In Russia, the idea of couples being best friends is not seen as natural.” The result: they create their own private fairytale – where romance, sex included, is a no-holds-barred affair.
The American approach isn’t bad – friendship is what cements your bond as a couple, after all. But a dose of romance keeps that bond from feeling suffocating. Learn from both sides of the Cold War divide, and borrow the Russians’ strategies for seduction: take walks along empty streets, meet at sunrise, share candlelight dinners, hold hands, and give her unexpected kisses. And vodka can’t hurt.
If your partner is shy about masturbating in front of you, simply suggest she closes her eyes. “People get embarrassed because of eye contact,” says Tracey Cox, author of Dare: What Happens When Fantasies Come True. Another option: turn the lights off in your bedroom, but switch them on in the master bathroom. “Put your hand on top of hers,” says Cox. “Once you’ve felt her pressure and stroke, switch: put your hand on her clitoris, and she puts her hand of top of yours to guide you.”
63: percentage of American women who’ve faked it
The sad part: 76% of US men think their partners’ O’s are always or usually authentic. Women across the pond, on the other hand, rarely fake it. “British guys are happy to admit their girlfriends don’t climax all the time,” says Tracey Cox, a British sex expert. “There’s no need for women to fake it if admitting they didn’t climax is okay.” Translation: accepting that she won’t always orgasm – and can enjoy 0-less encounters –may promote honesty (and enjoyment) between the sheets.