Survey : South Africa the top sexting nation in the world

Getting turned on for many South Africans now means first having to turn on their smartphones, that is.A new survey has revealed that South Africans are the kings and queens of sexting, with 77% claiming they have done it.

And this makes South Africa, according to the survey which was conducted by Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute and the Berlin-based women’s health start-up, Clue, the top sexting nation in the world.

We do it so much that we even beat the US, which, according to the survey, comes in second at 74%.

“This increase suggests that incorporating tech into our private lives is becoming normal. Sexting may be becoming a new, but typical, step in a sexual or romantic relationship,” says Amanda Gesselman, a research scientist at the Kinsey Institute.

But local sexologist Marlene Wasserman, who practises under the name Dr Eve, says it’s not all good.

“It is totally not surprising we’re on top of the world. I think it is because we don’t have a foundation of sexual education. We’re really uncomfortable talking face-to-face, so it becomes easier to do it online,” says Dr Eve.

She has found that sexting has become a big problem in regard to relationships.

“The problem is that we still don’t have a good foundation of sex education in schools,” she explains, adding that sexting often creates an exaggerated sense of intimacy.

“You will talk to someone online in a way that you don’t even talk to your partner. It’s almost an escape from the realness of life in that you avoid a lot of conflict when you are online. You can say a lot of things online that you wouldn’t say to your partner.”

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The study involved more than 140 000 participants from 198 countries.

The global sexting average sits at 67% and this, according to the survey, marks a staggering jump from when it first conducted the study in 2012. Then they found 21% of respondents admitted to sending racy texts.

On the other end of the global sexting scale is Japan, where only one-third admitted to engaging in sexting.

“All over the world sexting has become the language of communication, but we in the therapeutic world need to get people to communicate face-to-face and voice-to-voice because we are seeing the damage that is being created,” Dr Eve says.

But hi-tech commentator Arthur Goldstuck says the survey should be taken with a pinch of salt. “It’s a self-selected sample. It’s people who want to talk about sex.”

South Africans are not only sending naughty messages via their cellphones – they are using these devices for further sexual gratification.

According to Pornhub, the world’s largest internet porn site, South Africans are 20th in their list of countries when it comes to the volume of adult material they download from the site.

Pornhub also says South Africans are spending on average 10 minutes, 45 seconds per visit to their site. This places South Africans in second place to the Philippines.

“I think that we are so curious because we were so deprived, and now we have so much available to us and we are just climbing in,” says Dr Eve.

Besides sexting, the survey asked participants how technology was changing other aspects of their sex lives.

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The researchers found that about one-third of the respondents had used a dating app. The Swedes were most likely to use a dating app, while the Russians were not.

The Chinese, meanwhile, are the most likely to use apps to learn about sex.

Only 1% of respondents said that they used apps to get a better understanding of sexually-transmitted diseases.

But apps and cellphones are just the beginning, believes Dr Eve, who predicts sex and technology are going to become far more entwined.

“It is going to be robots and artificial intelligence. Instead of just porn, it is going to be robotic dolls that are customised to you,” the sex therapist adds

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