A recent survey by Alternet listing the 12 most sexually satisfied countries in the world did not include the USA. As a sex therapist, I can honestly say I’m not surprised. I meet a lot of couples who are not getting the sex they want.
What factors contribute to these twelve countries making the list?
Open discussion and education around sex seems to be one of the leading reasons many of these countries are sexually satisfied. Additionally, socially progressive laws regarding same-sex relationships and sex work appear to be a common thread. On the other hand, more socially repressed countries such as India, Nigeria, and China made the list above the USA. Why? My guess is it’s a matter of tradition. In India, the home of Tantra, men tend to pay a lot of attention to foreplay and seduction. The data reveals that Nigerian men also take their time, having sex for 24 minutes on average. China’s population is integrating technology and sex toys into their sex lives more than any other country. I wonder if there’s a correlation between the strict gender roles and social traditions of marriage in these countries and how often they have sex? Is sex between married spouses a cultural expectation and do couples schedule in time for intimacy?
Why are Americans generally sexually not satisfied?
The puritanical culture that’s dominant in America puts a judgmental hush on healthy sexual exploration and expression. Instead of teaching our children about pleasure and safety, we teach our children to fear and avoid genitals. Many children grow up thinking their sexual organs and erogenous zones are dirty, untouchable areas. When they become teenagers and young adults, fall in love or give in to their raging hormones, they feel a lot of shame around sexual desire. Additionally, the puritanical American culture includes a lot of outspoken judgment against any sex beyond missionary under the sheets with the lights off. Slut-shaming is a prevalent and concerning issue that discourages sexual exploration in the pursuit of genuine pleasure and satisfaction.
But let’s not forget America’s increasing obsession with body image. Photoshopped and airbrushed models create an unattainable and dangerous standard of beauty that few women can realistically achieve. Body dissatisfaction impacts psychosocial health, including a person’s comfort with being exposed and vulnerable with a lover.
Why is sexual satisfaction important?
Sex is a major component in overall physical and emotional wellbeing. Sex has many health benefits including boosting the immune system, lowers blood pressure, pain relief, strengthens pelvic floor muscles, prevents prostate cancer, and eases stress. Additionally, couples who are sexually intimate are more likely to be emotionally intimate, strengthening the bonds in families. With divorce rates remaining steady at approximately 50% of marriages ending in divorce, shouldn’t we reconsider our attitudes towards sex?
I would love to hear your thoughts on why America didn’t make the list of The 12 most sexually satisfied countries in the world.
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