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The 2023 Sex Census Shows How Brits are Having Sex

New data reveals that Brits are still experiencing a decline in their sex habits, with over a quarter (27%) saying they have less sex now than they used to. 

The research, from the 2023 instalment of LELO’s annual Sex Census, reveals that Britain is still suffering from the ‘sexodus’ identified in 2022’s report. This was likely born from a loss of intimacy as a result of the pandemic and has been compounded by a hard year of economic uncertainty, global incidents and a cost-of-living crisis. 

Women in particular are having less sex, with almost a third (29%) reporting a decline in their sexual activity compared to a quarter (24.5%) of men. When looking at the results by age group, it’s 35-44 year-olds who are feeling the effects, with a third (31%) reporting having less sex in 2023 compared to 2022. Conversely, Gen Zs are seemingly unaffected with 38% of 18-24 year-olds claiming to have more sex in 2022-23. This could be because Gen Z are in a stage of life where they explore sex and pleasure, whilst their millennial counterparts have different priorities to do with their career and family lives.  

The data also reveals a desire for sharing sexual and romantic partners in new ways, with one in ten Brits currently considering some form of consensual (also known as ‘ethical’) non-monogamy (CNM). Men are more likely to suggest CNM than women, with 14% considering this type of relationship compared to just 5.7% of women. What’s more, over one in ten (14.7%) Brits have attended a sex party at least once, whilst 20% of those who haven’t say they want to do so. 

Despite the increasing interest in non-monogamy, swinging and sex parties, LELO’s report found that there is still a stigma surrounding porn consumption. Whilst 54% of Brits admit to watching porn when masturbating, over half that do (57%) do not feel comfortable disclosing their porn preferences with the person or people they sleep with, suggesting a nervousness about opening up about personal fantasies, perhaps due to fear of judgement. 

Looking ahead to the future of sex, people are beginning to explore using AI for sexual purposes. According to LELO’s data, nearly one in ten (9%) Brits use or would like to use AI bots such as Chat GPT for sexual purposes. What’s more, a third of Brits said they have used, would use or would ‘maybe’ consider using a sex robot if an affordable option was released.   

Despite a decline in partnered sex, the UK’s appetite for pleasure is still alive and kicking, with three-quarters (70%) of Brits touching themselves on a regular basis, ranging from once a day (11%) to a few times per week (22%). London is the masturbation capital of the UK, with the majority (81%) of residents doing the deed. However, the masturbation gender gap still exists in 2023, with close to a third (30%) of women saying they never masturbate, compared to just 14.5% of men. 

LELO’s CMO, Luka Matutinović, comments:

“Our sex lives are wholly unique, and at LELO we’re dedicated to understanding all the different ways we access pleasure.

Although the UK is still experiencing the sexodus identified in LELO’s 2022 Sex Census, this year’s survey reveals people are becoming increasingly interested in less traditional relationships such as CNM and swinging. By opening up conversations around sex and pleasure we can break down the taboos surrounding these less-conventional desires, opening the door to more fulfilled sex lives for all.”

LELO’s 2023 Sex Census can be read HERE. To find out more, visit