Sex By Numbers

Men's Health |

Men’s Health has collected the hottest, dirtiest, most eyebrow-raising (never mind what else they’ll be raising) sex snippets of the year, straight from those with the most intimate knowledge on the matter – over 1 000 of our nation’s wives, girlfriends and girls-you-wish-you-were-hooking-up-with – 
in our annual Men’s Health/Women’s Health Sex Survey. From her sauciest secrets and deepest desires to the things you do that, well, she wishes you didn’t, here’s how to make your sex score add up to a perfect 10.


In any relationship you’ll need to discuss – and decide together – what is and what isn’t acceptable. “You can’t assume that you two are on the same page about exclusivity or what entails ‘cheating’,” says sex journalist and educator Dorothy Black. “You have to talk about it and ask the difficult questions. Is flirting with other men and women cheating? How do you both feel about open relationships? You need to establish comfortable boundaries for yourselves as individuals and as a couple.”

But can a relationship recover from a breach of trust? “Any relationship can move past it if people are willing to look at how they got there in the first place and honestly decide whether they think it is worth moving forward – as a unit. Some couples (not all) find that they are closer and more intimate after they’ve done the work to fix a relationship fractured by infidelity,” says Athena Lazarides, owner of

Here’s who else cheating partners strayed with:
One of my friends: 30%
A total stranger: 19%
A colleague: 16%
My ex: 15%
One of his friends: 12%
Other: 8%


We’ve all fantasised about being someone else – and doing someone else. Far from being abnormal or unhealthy, this type of fantasy is about being able to express sexual needs without fear of judgement from someone you know. As Lazarides explains: “Roleplaying is all about 
fantasy and actualisation. The idea of being someone different can lead to more sexual confidence, which in turn leads to 
a more liberated, fulfilling sexual experience. 
By dressing up or roleplaying, a different persona (mask) is taken on and with that, an altogether different sexual play. The clothing really just gives one permission to imagine erotically and then act it out.”

But don’t think that acting out that naughty nurse or lusty librarian fantasy means you can capture the action on camera – a massive 70% of women responded “Hell, no!” when asked if they’d ever filmed themselves having sex. We can probably blame the Kim K sex tape for that one.


If you’re thinking, “How does what she does in her ‘alone time’ have anything to do with what we do when we’re intimate together?”, or that her not getting herself off means it’s more likely she’ll turn to you for assistance, you might be overlooking one of the hottest fundamentals of female sexuality: the more she cums, the more she’ll want to. One study of varsity students found that those who masturbated more were also having more sex, while another published in the Journal of Sex Education and Therapy found that married women who masturbated to orgasm had greater marital and sexual satisfaction than women who did not masturbate.

Our numbers back it up: of the women who are married or involved in long-term relationships, more than half of those who described their sex lives as “Great!” reported masturbating at least once a week. Instead of viewing masturbation as a sign that she must be bored or that you’re not giving her enough, try to encourage it: the more she learns about how to pleasure herself and what feels good for her, the more she can guide you to do the same. “Partnered masturbation can be a healthy way of introducing this aspect of sexual play into the bedroom,” Lazarides says. “It also removes any stigma associated with masturbation, as you are both doing it.”

When you’re apart, use dirty talk to help inspire her to get in touch with herself – encourage her to fantasise and instead of asking what she’s thinking (she might not want to share that image of Ryan Gosling’s naked torso with you), ask her 
to describe what she’s doing, how she’s touching herself 
and how it feels – and be sure to tell her how much her pleasuring herself turns you on.


Ever tried to stick it in when she wasn’t ready? It’s awkward, uncomfortable and a definite mood-killer. As with any sexual act, you want to start a three-way with a whole lot of foreplay, lubrication and a gentle easing into things – and here we’re just talking about introducing the idea. “After an open discussion it may come up, that there is fear around one’s partner liking the third person more, so the actual threesome isn’t an issue but rather it’s the fear of losing one’s partner,” says Lazarides.

Foxy Box guest blogger and Joburg-based sex and relationship counsellor Casey Blake says that couples she’s spoken to who have successfully enjoyed threesomes have told her that they’re not having the threesome to “try out” new partners, with the intention of leaving the relationship. “They are having the threesome to enhance their sexual excitement, to watch each other receiving and giving pleasure. For them, watching their partner receiving pleasure from another person, or giving pleasure to 
the other person, is 
a huge turn-on.”

Remember, though, in order to successfully manage a ménage à trois that this isn’t like trying to agree on which restaurant to go to on a Friday night: her saying she’d be “okay” with it is not the same as her saying she wants it. You need to be equally enthusiastic about bringing a “plus one” into your bedroom to ensure that good things do, indeed, come in threes.


Porn – like threesomes or sex toys or so many of the things that actually turn us on most – straddles a fine line between intensely hot and just plain intimidating. “The biggest misconception about porn is that it’s always degrading and shameful,” says Dr Teesha Morgan, a Canadian sex therapist. “However,” she adds – like masturbation – “it can also empower women to take control of their sexuality.”

Says Black, “Not all porn is created equal and there is a lot that can be quite educational about it – new scenarios and positions being just some of the take-aways.”

Before you press play with her, think about what kind of porn you like and whether it relates to you sex life currently, says Lazarides. “If you are having good old missionary every night and drop a bomb that you enjoy latex, spanking and gagging, your partner may feel surprised and ultimately threatened. Begin by communicating with your partner. Tell them what turns you on. An open and frank discussion (without expectations or pressure) leads to better sex.”

You may find that the conversation alone gets you both so hot and bothered that you forget about the porn altogether and shift your focus straight to each other instead. As Lazarides says: “If you don’t communicate, your sex fantasies are just that – fantasies.” Porn can be a useful tool to put pictures to your desires.


“The client feedback that we receive at Foxy Box is often around foreplay,” says Lazarides, “with customers frequently complaining about routine sex lives and inadequate or lacking foreplay. The message is clear: women enjoy foreplay and want more of it. The saying ‘wetter is better’ couldn’t be more applicable here. Take the time to pleasure your partner and find out what her sexual needs and desires are, because each person is different. She’ll be grateful you did and you’ll see that gratitude when she screams – with real pleasure.”

Want to tickle more than just her fancy? Here’s what she wants from foreplay:

Kissing: 78%
Manual stimulation of my genitals: 74%
Manual stimulation of his genitals: 70%
Oral stimulation of my breasts: 70%
Manual stimulation of my breasts: 66%
Oral stimulation of my genitals: 57%
Oral stimulation of his genitals: 57%
Massage: 43%
Talking dirty: 26%
Penis-breast play: 24%
Mutual masturbation: 20%
Watching porn together: 18%
Using sex toys: 18%
Stimulation of his prostate: 15%
Other: 17%

Sex and 
Our Cities
Get to know South Africa 
a little more intimately…

Sex Central

The curry isn’t the only thing that’s hotter in Durban… Turns out Durbanites are having more sex than anyone else in the country, at an average of 2.3 romps a week. What’s more? Almost 30% of the Durbs dames rates their sex lives as “Great!” – unlike only 21% in Joburg. It must be something about the perpetual bikini weather, because Durban ladies come out tops in body confidence too, with a quarter reporting that they are “very comfortable” with their bodies. Wanna see how often the rest of the country 
is getting down?

Durban: 2.3 times/week
Cape Town: 2.0 times/week
Pretoria: 2.0 times/week
Joburg: 1.9 times/week

Singles City

It may be all work and no play in the City of Gold, which reported the lowest average number of sex session per week, but what Jozi lacks in clocking up time between the sheets, it makes up for in potential: almost a quarter of our Joburg respondents reported that they’re single (although at only 1% less, there might be some truth to what they say about Cape Town being like “Joburg by the sea”). Here’s how 
the other cities stacked up in 
the singles’ stakes:

Joburg: 25%
Cape Two: 24%
Pretoria: 17%
Durban: 13%

District of Distrust

Think Pretoria is conservative and well-behaved? Think again. A staggering 40% of the ladies we questioned from up north admitted to having cheated on a partner before, which may have something to do with the fact that 
only 19% regard their sex lives 
as “Great!”. Here’s a round up 
of our unfaithful hearts:

Pretoria: 40%
Cape Town: 37%
Joburg: 36%
Durban: 32%

More In the Mother City

Many a man has been lured to the Mother City by promises of the majestic mountain, beautiful beaches and the surely-improbably ratio of 10 women to every one man. While we didn’t figure out how much truth there is to that statement, what we can tell you is that Cape Town girls are more likely than any of their urban South African counterparts to have had upwards of 10 previous lovers (24% of them, in fact). Here’s how the rest are adding up: 10+ previous sexual partners

Cape Town: 24%
Joburg: 22%
Pretoria: 21%
Durban: 16%

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