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This Is How Australians Rate Themselves In Bed

Every conversation about sex — whether you're discussing it with a partner, close friend or anyone in between — is different. Considering sex means a variety of things to people, we all experience pleasure in different ways and we're all on a journey to learn more about ourselves, there are so many ways to approach these chats.
However, one question that seems to be perennially present is, "Am I actually good at it?"
According to a survey commissioned by Netflix and conducted by YouGov, just over one in 10 Australians rate themselves as great lovers. A further 32% rated themselves as 'good', 31% as 'average' and around 7% classified themselves as 'below average'.
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The survey also looks into what young Australians' pleasure preferences are — it revealed everything from how many Australians are in favour of a little toe-nibbling, to who actually finds pleasure in the sound of bagpipes.
The survey results clearly show that we're all at different stages in our bedroom confidence journey — with some even feeling as though they're severely lacking in the bedroom.
According to Mental Health Counsellor and Sex Therapist, Aleks Trkulja, sex insecurity is generally derived from negative experiences during sex, usually involving a dissatisfied partner or some kind of sexual dysfunction — for example, a lack of erection or orgasm, premature ejaculation or pain.
"It can also involve subtle self-neglect including not asserting your sexual needs, faking orgasm, enduring a position that wasn’t comfortable," she told Refinery29 Australia.
Being 'good' in bed obviously means different things to everyone. The reality is, there shouldn't be a standard if pleasure and preference are different for all.
If this is the case, why do so many of us feel as though we're falling short?
"Sexual confidence looks and feels different for everyone. For some people, that might include being assertive and giving directions to facilitate pleasure. For others, it might be the ability to communicate their needs before, during and after a sexual interaction, or to be able to manage body image or performance anxiety concerns," said Aleks.
"Sexual confidence develops over time. It is often the accumulation of multiple positive experiences driven by one's communication skills and self-awareness."
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Societal pressure is also another factor that can contribute to feeling insecure in bed — from the sexualisation in advertising to porn, we're constantly fed imagery of what the 'ideal' way to be sexual is. On top of that, our own insecurities play a huge role in shaping our view of how we're performing too.
Aleks recommends talking about what triggers insecurity, what you enjoy and what you'd like to do with a partner is a great way to overcome anxiety around performance during sex.
"Talk about how you can work together to facilitate more positive sexual experiences. Talk about how sex isn’t always passionate and non-verbal, about how weird noises happen, and bodies sometimes don’t work. Normalise clunky, awkward sex — because it happens," she added.
Luckily, the conversation on a wider scale around sex and pleasure is starting to change its tune, especially within the media. TikTokers are sharing what real intimacy looks like to them, shows like Sex Education (p.s. Season 3 has just hit Netflix) are tackling the world of kinks and quirks in unique ways, and we're opening up conversations around things like polyamory more.
Sex is a part of life — and like most parts of life, it requires practice and patience. We're big advocates for learning more about how to pleasure ourselves and our partners safely. You can also partake in Netflix's Sex Education National Pleasure Survey to see how your thoughts and opinions on all things sex measure up.
The National Pleasure Survey was conducted by YouGov Galaxy Pty Limited between 6 August and 9 August 2021. Following the completion of interviewing, the data was weighted by age, gender and region to reflect the latest ABS population estimates for Australia. The survey was conducted in celebration of the launch of Netflix's Sex Education Season 3
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