This Is How People All Over the World Use Tech in Their Sex Lives

Michaela Pointon
Michaela Pointon
Photo of Claire Lancaster
Tech & Entrepreneurship Editor18 August 2017

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of Tinder, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epic of VR porn, it was the season of light, it was the season when the results of the largest ever global survey on how people are incorporating tech into their sex lives was published.

The research, from the US-based Kinsey Institute and the period tracking app Clue, illustrates how people all over the world use tech in their sex lives, dating habits, and sex education. Here are the highlights:

Michaela Pointon

Fewer people than you think are using dating apps

Less than a third (30%) of respondents globally use apps to find some form of sexual partner.

Swedes are the most likely users of apps to find sexual partners, with almost half (46%) of respondents saying they’ve done so. About a third (36%) of Britons have used apps to find sexual or romantic partners, along with 34% of Americans. Russians are among the least likely respondents to use apps for hook-ups, with just three per cent saying they’ve done so.

But those who do are looking for love

Globally, just 10% of dating app users are looking for a one-night stand. People are just as likely to use apps to find long-term and short-term relationships (15% each) .

Respondents from Sweden also have the highest level of app use for one-night stands and hook-ups (21%), as well as for finding a long-term partner (23%). Some 36% of Americans say they’re using a dating app to look for a long- or short-term partner, with just one in ten (11%) saying they’re looking for a one-night stand.

(Basically) everyone’s sexting

Globally, 67% of respondents have sexted.

South Africans (77%) and Americans (74%) and Brits (73%) are the most likely nationalities to have sent sexts, while Japanese (34%) and South Koreans (30%) are least likely. About half (54%) of both French and Italian respondents sext.

Globally, old fashioned text (SMS) gets the job done for most sexters, but 43% of 18 to 20 year olds prefer to use Snap.

Michaela Pointon

Some are using apps to learn more about sex

Chinese respondents (32%) are the most likely to have used an app to learn more about sex, while Singaporeans (11%) and Dutch (12%) are the least likely. Some 13% of Britons have done so.

And tech has an impact on nearly every aspect of our lives

“Technology today has an impact on nearly every aspect of our lives,” said Clue CEO and co-founder Ida Tin. “You can meet your soulmate with the push of a button, or learn about sex on your smartphone. While apps are so common in so many countries and cultures, technology doesn’t yet dominate our sex lives and relationships. Instead, it’s part of the whole picture.”

“By conducting research on the impact of technology on people’s sexual relationships, we’re beginning to better understand how these technologies are being used, what positive outcomes they may bring about, and how they might be improved,”said Amanda Gesselman, research scientist at the Kinsey Institute.

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