Fear of all the terrible things we imagine might happen if we allow ourselves to be intimate shows up most strongly in the bedroom.It has repercussions across your whole life: in the relationship, how you interact with the world, in your capacity to enjoy life.” Lucy, 53, an artist, is attending because, “I have trauma in my background, and my sexuality is affected.(For women, the mean was 4.8 – down from 6.3 a decade earlier.) • What Britons really get up to in the bedroom Lousada believes fear of rejection and abandonment often underpins sexual problems.“We’re all desperately trying to have intimacy, but also desperately trying to avoid it.We conclude that there are quite a few neglected areas.Sharing this intimate information, I realise to my astonishment, does not bother me. I listen without cringing and am happy to have the advice.Our venue is a room at the British School of Shiatsu in north London.We are 12 women and four men, aged between 28 and 65, from as far as Paris and Germany. Sharing personal details requires me to fight instinct.
At one point she’d suggested she and her husband do a tantric-sex course.He reacted “like I’d suggested a bullet to the head”. We hold two super-sized pick-up sticks between us by our fingertips, and move together with different sexual energies: “masculine, feminine, virgin, seducer, whore”.Another participant has told her ex-husband that she’s on a marketing course. The idea is to identify which elements of our sexuality we feel connected to, and which we’d like to reacquaint ourselves with.Led by UCL, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Nat Cen Social Research, the study found that the average number of partners in a woman’s lifetime has more than doubled since the 1990/91 survey, going from 3.7 to 7.7.It also found that the frequency of sex has fallen in the past decade for people of both sexes aged 16 to 44, to fewer than five times a month.I had assumed that as a nation we had shed a few hang-ups since the Victorian era (the UK’s sex-toy industry is now worth £250 million a year, for one thing), but I wonder. But, allegedly, “Only one in 10 are distressed or worried about their sex life.” Incidentally, the researchers for the second survey, in 1999-2001, didn’t bother to interview anyone over the age of 44.