According to figures revealed in Europe’s biggest ever bondage poll, commissioned by the Official Fifty Shades of Grey Pleasure Collection, the UK is the most sexually liberated country in Europe – which rather shatters the ‘repressed British’ stereotype.
Over 9,000 people were surveyed and the headline results are: 60% of British couples have tried bondage – compared to a third of couples in Germany, France and Spain and just one in ten in Italy; the Italians are the most prudish when it comes to sex – despite their reputation as legendary lovers; and 65% of Brits have tried blindfold sex, more than in Spain (63%), Germany (57%), France (51%) and Italy (32%).
Rather surprisingly, given our public school traditions, spanking and caning is one of the few activities we didn’t come top in – we were just beaten by the French (by 69% to 61%), though only 18% of Germans have tried it and just 8% of couples in Spain and Italy. The most popular bondage activity was tying each other up, experienced by 70% of British couples, 48% in Spain, 42% in Germany, 29% in France and 18% in Italy.
The aim of the survey was to show how Fifty Shades of Grey had changed the sexual landscape in Europe ahead of the movie being released in February 2015 and two years after the trilogy of books were published.
Al fresco sex was most popular with the French (87% of couples have tried it, compared to 79% of Britons, 74% of Germans, 71% of Spaniards and 66% of Italians) while the Spaniards most like having sex in public places such as a park or a beach (46% of couples have tried it, compared to 43% of British and French couples, 40% of Germans and 30% of Italians). The French are keenest on sex in the garden – 41% have tried it, compared to Britons (35%), Germans (27%), Spaniards (24%) and Italians (18%) – and almost one in ten Brits (9%) have romped in their garden shed. The other figures were: Germany (9%) and France (9%), Italy (11%) and 6% of Spaniards.
Three-quarters of women (75%) and 21% of men across Europe have read at least one of the Fifty Shades books and four out of ten couples said that their sex lives had improved as a result of Fifty Shades of Grey. A quarter (26%) said it had made them more open to experimentation and one in eight people (12%) said reading the books had given them a higher sex drive.
A spokesperson for the Official Fifty Shades of Grey Pleasure Collection said: “Fifty Shades has made the whole world lighten up about sex, particularly couples in Britain. We used to be known for our restraint and our stiffer upper lip – now this new poll shows we are the most sexually liberated of Europe’s major nations. What is indisputable is that Fifty Shades of Grey has changed the whole sexual landscape right across Europe. What might have previously been considered ‘kinky’ or extreme has now become just a normal part of millions of couples’ sexual routines. Couple are being far more open about sex and are far keener on experimentation. It means far more of us are having sex in the garden and a few of us are even trying it on top of a compost bag in the garden shed!”