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More Than Half Of Kiwis Practicing Unsafe Sex

12 October 2004

More Than Half Of Kiwis Practicing Unsafe Sex

***Major 2004 sex survey reveals unsafe sex is on the rise, Kiwi women have infrequent orgasms but high vibrator ownership, Queenstown voted most romantic town, and rugby's Daniel Carter is our sexiest man***

Results from the 2004 Durex Global Sex Survey, released today, found that New Zealanders are putting themselves at risk by continuing to practice unsafe sex.

Up to 57% of Kiwis surveyed admitted to having had unsafe sex without knowing their partner's sexual history. This is more than 20% higher than the global average of 35%, and an increase of 20% on 2003's sex survey, which found that 37% of Kiwis admitted to having had unsafe sex.

The survey also revealed that Kiwi women are having more unsafe sex than males ? 46% of women aged 16 -20 admitted to having had unsafe sex compared to 37% of their male counterparts. Furthermore, 64% of women aged 21 -24, compared to only 56% of Kiwi males the same age, stated they've had unsafe sex.

Globally, Kiwis rate the third highest for unsafe sex behind Sweden and Denmark (64%), South Africa, Norway and Japan (58%). Our friends across the Tasman are slightly lower, with 54% of Australians admitting they had practiced unsafe sex. The lowest risk-takers in the world are Vietnam (24%) and India (20%).

While an alarming number of Kiwis are prepared to have unsafe sex, ironically, the majority stated that their main sexual health concern was HIV/AIDS (51%) and secondly, unplanned pregnancy (29%). Only 5% of Kiwi respondents stated that their main concern was Chlamydia.

Family Planning Association National Medical Advisor, Dr Christine Roke, says it's particularly worrying to see that over half those surveyed have had unprotected sex without knowing their partner's history.

"It's a real concern to see this level of risky behavior - especially since more than half said they were worried about HIV/AIDS," says Dr Roke. "However, I'm not that surprised to see the level of unsafe sex confirmed in the survey because STI numbers in New Zealand keep on growing ? last year we had the biggest increase in any one year of new HIV infections.

"It also seems that Kiwis' first concern is not Chlamydia, despite the fact it is the most common bacterial STI in New Zealand. Chlamydia frequently has no symptoms, and if left untreated can cause infertility in men and women, ectopic pregnancy and chronic pelvic pain. The presence of an STI can also increase a person's chance of getting HIV too."

"Always using a condom when having sex is the best way for people to protect themselves from these infections," says Dr Roke.

The survey also found that Kiwis have had on average 11.9 partners, which is ahead of the global average of 10.5, the US and UK (10.3), and Canada (9.8). Kiwi males admitted to having had more sexual partners than their female counterparts with 4% saying they have had between 51-100 partners, and 3% saying they have had more than 100 partners. In comparison, only 1% of Kiwi women have had more than 50 partners.

"In a climate of unsafe sex the higher the number of sexual partners, the greater the chances of contracting and passing on an STI," says Dr Roke. "Research shows that there are links between a high number of sexual partners and contracting the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) - known as the wart virus."

Kiwis have sex on average 114 times per year ? higher than the global average, and ahead of the Australians who languish on only 103 times per year. Most Kiwis (22%) have sex 3-4 times per week, with 5% admitting to having sex every day.

Durex NZ Manager, Victoria Potter, says that more than 350,000 people from 41 countries took part in this year's Durex Global Sex Survey, thought to be the world's largest study into sexual attitudes and behaviour.

"It's obvious from the survey results that Kiwis are having a lot of sex compared to other nations, but what's interesting is that the enjoyment factor seems to be missing from the equation," says Ms Potter.

The sex survey has revealed that New Zealand ranks very low on the frequency of orgasm scale, placing a lowly 35 out of the 41 countries surveyed. Only 30% of Kiwis stated they had an orgasm every time they have sex - even the Australians are ahead on 33%.

Kiwi males are more likely to orgasm every time they have sex with 58% of Kiwi males stating that they orgasm each time, compared to only 14% of Kiwi women. Kiwi women are also more likely to fake an orgasm with 44% admitting they have faked in the past year, compared to the global average of 39%. Only 16% of Kiwi males admitted to faking, compared to the similar global average of 17%.

Following these results it's no surprise that New Zealand is among the top ten nations for owning a vibrator with 38% of Kiwis stating either they or their partner owned a vibrator - Canada (39%), Australia (42%), and the US (43%) are just ahead of New Zealand. Kiwi women aged 25 ? 34 are more likely to own a vibrator with 56% of all women surveyed admitting they have one.

As well as high vibrator ownership, Kiwis are keen to indulge in various sexual activities. 55% of Kiwis prefer to watch porn with their partner, the same number as the Australians. In second place is the use of any kind of sex toy (both Australia and New Zealand rated 47%) and thirdly, Kiwis like to use blindfolds or handcuffs (42%), well above the global average of 22%.

New Zealand is also holding its own when it comes to foreplay, with Kiwis spending on average 19.4 minutes on foreplay, a fraction below the global average of 19.7 minutes, and more than Australians who spend 19.0 minutes getting in the mood.

Globally, 59% of men surveyed said they would be prepared to take the male contraceptive pill. Kiwi men are more willing with 68% stating they would use the pill. However, Kiwi women aren't so trusting with 67% stating they would not trust males with the responsibility.

Proving that we love our water sports, 38% of Kiwis voted the shower as the number one place to have sex outside of the bedroom. In second place, with 15% of the vote, was a sauna/spa, and in third place was the beach which gained 11% of the Kiwi vote.

Kiwis voted Queenstown as New Zealand's most romantic town (39%), well ahead of Taupo (14%) and Auckland (12%). When it came to what South Islanders preferred ? Queenstown and Christchurch came out on top. North Islanders also admitted to Queenstown being New Zealand's most romantic town, with Taupo and Auckland as runners-up.

It was a closely-fought battle among New Zealand's most gorgeous people but, pin-up rugby star Daniel Carter (13%) managed to nudge out model Nicky Watson (11.5%) for the title of New Zealand's sexiest celebrity. Closely behind Nicky was rugby star Carlos Spencer in third place (9%) proving that Kiwis love rugby, in more ways than one. Jeremy 'Newsboy' Wells, winner of the main title in 2003, has been demoted to fourth place, receiving 8.9% of Kiwis' votes.

All results from the 2004 Durex Global Sex Survey can be found at


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