Doggy style, missionary, reverse cowgirl—discover the dirty deets on the preferred sex positions people in other countries use to get off
If you've ever wondered how they do it elsewhere in the world, a recent Durex ad may have caught your eye—it introduced some acrobatic positions with decidedly Canadian names: the 'maple cinnamon twist' and the 'Niagara falls' (the Canadian side, we're assuming). And this made us wonder: Is the international community a little more outgoing when it comes to sex? How does sex differ in different countries?
Turns out, there's not a lot of research on the top sex positions in different countries—sex surveys tend to focus on other aspects of our time between the sheets (such as sexual satisfaction and frequency). That said, the Durex Sexual Wellbeing survey—which questioned 26,000 people across 26 different countries—does have some interesting insights into how different nations have sex.
One interesting result: According to the survey, frequency of sex doesn't necessarily correspond with sexual satisfaction. For example, while France reports 70 percent of people have sex at least once a week, only 25 percent of French respondents feel satisfied with their sex lives. Meanwhile, Americans have considerably less sex (53 percent have sex at least once a week), but are much more satisfied (48 percent). Meanwhile, Greece is having a ton of sex (87 percent have sex at least once a week), while Japan is not (34 percent). Japan is not happy about that, by the way—only 15 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with their sex lives.
"Sex is not just about the act of intercourse," says Beverly Hills-based clinical psychologist Hillary Goldsher, Ph.D. "Good sex is an intersection of many factors: mutual physical satisfaction, emotional connection, a sense of safety and love, and more. Just because people are having sex once a week doesn't mean they're having good sex once a week." (Learn Why Having More Sex Won’t Make You Happier in a Relationship.)
Top Sex Positions
While Canadians may not actually be getting down with the 'maple cinnamon twist', there is some data that suggests certain locations prefer certain positions in the bedroom.
America's favorite sex position is... You probably guessed it: missionary style. According to a recent online survey by LifeStyles Condoms, missionary position is favored by one-third of American women and one-fifth of American men. According to Goldsher, there are a number of reasons missionary might be popular. "This sexual configuration lends itself to more communication—it's easier to kiss, talk, and caress in the missionary position relative to any other positions," Goldsher says. "There is an orientation toward emotional awareness in the U.S., which is why more people could be drawn toward the missionary position." (Feel meh about missionary sex? Missionary Position Sex Doesn't Need to Be Boring!)
After missionary, Americans enjoy doggy style, cowgirl, reverse cowgirl, and the lazy dog, which is doggy style but with the woman lying on her stomach, instead of kneeling on her hands and knees.
What's going on over in the U.K.? In June 2015, sex toy company Ann Summers surveyed 1,000 British men and women about sex position preferences. The company found that one quarter of the participants polled enjoyed doggy style the best, followed by woman on top and the missionary position. "Doggy style and woman on top positions are a little more emotionally disconnected and rough, raw, and sexual," Goldsher says. "They require a bit more letting go of inhibitions and allowing yourself to be more 'animalistic' in the pursuit of sexuality—people have varying degrees of comfort with this paradigm around the world." (Learn How to Get More Pleasure Out of Common Sex Positions.)
Digging deeper into regional preferences, online pharmacy UKMedix.com polled 2,157 sexually active U.K. men and women on their favorite sex positions, and found that position preference varies quite a bit. According to the survey, Scotland prefers spooning, Northern Ireland is partial to cowgirl, and a whopping 51 percent of Wales enjoys doggy style. Londoners, however, are perhaps a bit rushed when they have sex, because their favorite position was 'standing up.'
How about Japan? In October 2014, Time Out Tokyo polled its readers on their favorite sex positions. According to the results from this admittedly informal poll, Tokyo's residents love doggy style (28.2 percent), followed by cowgirl and 'legs over shoulders.' Interestingly, the poll revealed that doggy style transcends sexual orientation—it was the top position for readers who identified as straight, gay, and bisexual.