THE SEX SURVEY
14th February 2017
hen it comes to sex, it’s easy to feel like a lot of the topics are off limits. However, Concrete’s annual sex survey is back to try and break the taboo around doing the dirty. The following 16 pages of this supplement are full of graphs, charts and analysis from the 1,035 students who participated in our survey. Our responses this year were the highest they have been in four years and will hopefully offer an insight into the secret side of campus life.
“What we realised from the survey results is that our relationships are drastically different to that of our parents and older generations” If there is anything we can learn from the survey is how distinctly average we are. Sex is often a subject we struggle to discuss openly — unless we are participating in a 3am game of ‘Never have I ever’ — and it’s easy to feel that we are alone, weird or unusual in our preferences or partners. Yet our survey shows that this is not the case. Whilst you may sometimes fall into the cliché of believing that everyone at university is getting more, or better, sex than you chances are, this is not true. Almost 10 percent of students have not had sex and over two thirds have never completed an L: hardly the bonkfest we imagined university would be. All the responses to the survey were recorded anonymously and
invites you to
as such many of the thoughts and feelings shared on these pages provide an honest glimpse into one of the most intimate aspects of our lives. We have taken away the barrier of awkwardness and hopefully the survey will prove thought-provoking as well as amusing in aspects. This year we updated the survey with several new sections: from the inclusion and expansion of gender identity, to an examination of the effects of dating apps, to a rather worrying analysis on student sex work. We updated it to fit with the ever evolving nature of relationship. What we realised from the results is that our relationships are drastically different to that of our parents and older generations: more people are meeting online than ever before, and a growing acceptance of the LGBT community means that relationships often do not fit in to the male-female relationship norm. We spoke to different couples across Norwich to get an insight into their relationships. We spoke to those in long distant relationships, open relationships and more. What we hope to demonstrate is that ‘normal’ looks very different these days to twenty years ago and at the end of the day it doesn’t matter who you go to bed with, or how, as long as you wake up happy. So enjoy — we’ve had as much fun putting it together as we hope you will have reading it. And when you’re done, don’t forget to have a good giggle at the fantasies on the cover (I know we did) * This is not a valid form of contraception. See p.11.
The responses presented on the following pages were taken from the Concrete Sex Survey, conducted on SurveyMonkey between 3rd - 28th January 2017. Responses have been reproduced faithfully, although regrettably not all 69 questions could be included. If you would like to discuss any of the content in the supplement, please do not hesitate to contact Megan Baynes on firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have been affected by anything in this issue, please contact the Union Advice Centre or Student Support Services for further support.
pull out* The Basics
Have you ever had sex? Yes (89.32%) No (9.72%) Unsure (0.97%)
Number of responses
What age did you first have sex?
How old are you?
Under 13 (1.04%) 13 -14 (3.91%) 15 -16 (27.16%) 17 -18 (46.72%) 19 -20 (18.53%) 21 -22 (2.91%) 22+ (0.46%)
Under 18 (0.19%) 20 (24.07%)
19 (20.66%) 22-25 (21.05%)
14th February 2017
How many partners have you had since coming to UEA? 0 (7.36%)
11 - 15 (5.45%)
1 - 3 (60.09%)
16 - 20 (2.09%)
4 - 6 (15.20%)
21 - 30 (1.04%)
7 - 10 (8.82%)
What is your gender identity?
Identities and label: why we all can’t “just be people” This year we expanded the gender identity options in our survey. Maelle Kaboré, social secretary for UEA Pride explains why this is important In recent years, there has been an increase in awareness of the many labels and identities that fall under the LGBT+ umbrella: from celebrities such as Miley Cyrus and Angel Haze coming out to the public as pansexual, to the word ‘gender-fluid’ being added the Oxford English dictionary in 2016. But this has caused some to express their concerns over the usefulness and relevance of labelling sexuality or gender in such ways. “Labels are for clothes, not people” and “why can’t we all just be people” have become popular sayings.
Agender (0.29%) Transgender Male (0%)
Transgender Female (0.2%)
What is your sexual orientation?
Heterosexual (73.6%) Bisexual (14.1%)
Gay (4.7%) Queer (2.15%) Asexual (1.47%)
Lesbian (1.73%) Pansexual (2.25%)
“It is urgent for us as a society to take the steps necessary to recognise LGBT+ people’s identities and this starts with little acts of inclusion on a small scale, like acknowledging gender and sexual diversity in surveys like this one” But while these kinds of attitudes are typically coming from a good place, there are a lot of issues with dismissing specific identity labels as regressive or unnecessary. LGBT+ mental health is a pressing issue: young LGB people are estimated twice as likely to consider or attempt suicide than their heterosexual counterparts, while 48 percent of transgender people have attempted suicide before reaching the age of 26. The simple act of finding and claiming a specific label can make a huge difference: it gives people a sense of belonging and can appease the feelings of distress, confusion and isolation that can come from experiencing gender and sexuality outside of the norm. But beyond this, labels help people with similar experiences come together to provide each other with relevant help and resources. It is essential that LGBT+ people have access to LGBT+ specific resources, whether it be mental
health support and treatment, shelters, helplines, etc. It is equally important to recognise the LGBT+ community is not a monolith, and that the struggles and oppression of a bisexual transgender woman might not look anything like those of an asexual non-binary person or those of a cisgender lesbian of colour. Having access to all of those labels and identities helps people find help, advice and resources to deal with issues that are specific to people of those identities, and this is why identity matters and labels matter. So long as we live in a society that marginalises and targets LGBT+ people for who they are, and that doesn’t treat people of all sexualities and genders as “just people”, labels will always be a source of help and support as well as a tool for resistance. It is urgent for us as a society to take the steps necessary to recognise LGBT+ people’s identities, especially transgender and non-binary people who are especially at risk and vulnerable – and this starts with little acts of inclusion on a small scale, like acknowledging gender and sexual diversity in surveys like this one. On a larger scale, the issue of gender self-identification on official documents and records is a pressing one. For transgender and non-binary people, being perceived and recognised as the gender that they identify as is a matter of immediate safety. On top of the dehumanisation that comes from not having your gender actively invalidated by your state or your society, being outed as trans because of inaccurate gender information on ID or other official documents can put trans individuals in very dangerous situations. Transphobic hate crimes have been continuously on the rise in recent years, and not allowing trans and non-binary people to self-identify their gender on official documents is actively enabling that trend.
14th February 2017
Have you ever had a friend with benefits? Yes (46.93%) No (49.06%) Unsure (4.01%)
Keep it casual
Have you ever had sex with more than one person at once? Yes (12.96%) No (86.46%) Unsure (0.58%)
Are friends with benefits ever a good idea? Friends with benefits is a relationship more of us seem to be entering whilst at university, as it is an ideal solution for students who are not looking for a committed relationship, but would prefer to have regular sex with one person. One of the most important questions I had to ask myself before entering this relationship was: â€œWould I be okay with being involved with someone purely for sex?â€? Having never experienced this type of relationship, I was apprehensive about meeting this person from Tinder as there was an established sense of trust that would naturally come with being friends. To ensure I was comfortable with this decision, we agreed to meet in Brighton where we could chat for a few hours and both decide if we wanted to pursue this type of relationship. At the time I concluded it would be
beneficial to experience a slightly unconventional relationship, so I chose to proceed. There were advantages to this relationship, such as it being more meaningful than a one-night stand where I would never expect to lay eyes on the individual again. Friends with benefits removes this feeling of uncertainty, as myself and the other person agreed we would keep seeing each other on a fairly regular basis. Other benefits were that I became increasingly sexually confident after each encounter, and a friendship developed over time. My advice to anyone considering friends with benefits is to take the plunge, it is the perfect middle ground for single students. Months later I revealed I was now in a committed relationship, and we were able to part on friendly terms knowing that the experience was nice while it lasted. Anonymous
Have you ever had a one night stand?
14th February 2017
Have the 5Ls had their day? The ‘Five Ls’ are an urban legend at UEA, and whilst it may seem that they are a university tradition, the reality is that they are something which the most students have yet to accomplish. The survey shows that a very small number of students have actually partaken in any of the “Ls”. In case you weren’t already aware, (in which case have you been living under a rock?) the “Five L’s” refers to five locations around campus where students allegedly aim to covertly have sex. These mysterious Ls are: Lecture Theatre, LCR, Library, Lake and Launderette. Some seem immediately more likely than others, but there are inherent risks associated with all five. The goal is to tick all of the infamous five off your list before your time at UEA comes to an end (whether that’s at graduation or as a result of an ill-timed quickie in the gender neutrals is another matter). Without further ado, let’s have
a run-down of the pros of getting it on around campus, or if it might be better to wait to get intimate in the comfort of your room. Library – Surely everyone deserves a break from studying? If you’re going to do it anywhere in the library, just don’t pick a silent study floor. Unless you are an actual ninja when it comes to sex. In which case, hats off to you. Lake – Another student favourite, perhaps the nature lovers at UEA are drawn in by the tranquility of the setting. Although, let’s be honest – at this time of year it would be horribly cold, not to mention muddy. LCR – Concrete’s Annual Sex Survey showed this to be one of the most popular locations out of the five, and you could imagine how it may be more feasible than the launderette, for example. However, nothing about the LCR screams romance. What with the sweat and the stickiness of the main dancefloor, the closest you’re going to get to passion in the LCR
Have you ever had sex in public?
is probably the VK Orange and Passionfruit. Lecture Theatre – Definitely risky. What if one of your lecturers walked in on you? The perfect time slot would have to be arranged well in advance to minimize the odds of being walked in on by hordes of undergrads, or worse – prospective students on an open day. Launderette – The least practical of the five. Mostly due to the fact that even into the early hours of the morning, some nocturnal first-year inevitably has the urge to clean their sheets. But if detergents are what you’re into, I’m not judging (much). So, whilst the completion of the 5 L’s may secure you a legendary status on campus, the danger of discovery might prove to be too much of a turn off for some. Hypothetically, it’s a fun concept, but simultaneously it is an experience your university life will be complete without. Rebecca Thompson
Which Ls have you done? Lake (11.46%) LCR (8.92%) Library (7.61%) Lecture Theatre (2.74%) Launderette (2.25%) None (67.42%)
Have you ever had sex when you didn’t want to? Yes (33.92%)
Do you feel an increased pressure to have sex since coming to university? Yes (31.4%) No (65.4%) Unsure (3.2%)
University without sex As we were starting university, many of us were told by peers and older friends that we were going to have a wild time full of sex, alcohol, and more sex. Now, it may seem true when we look around us to see our mates in university accumulating sex stories as if they were trophies. Then perhaps we reflect on our own sexless university days and wonder, “Is there something wrong with me?” The answer is no, my friends, there is absolutely nothing wrong with our relatively tame lives. In fact, there are many advantages to refraining from having sex, whether it is because you’re waiting for that special one to arrive or because it’s just not something you’re interested in at the moment. For example, club nights for us are more about having fun than finding someone to bring home or to bring you home. We don’t feel the need to make sure we always look attractive enough to catch the attention of someone we might want to have sex with that night. We get to throw all caution to the wind and dance our hearts out, even if that can sometimes lead to us looking slightly ridiculous. Then, while some may be heading back to another person’s room to get it on, we get to enjoy the comfort of undisturbed sleep after a terrific night out.We also have more time on our hands and get to conserve energy. University can be tough, and sometimes the last thing we need is to spend another few hours on an unnecessary activity or person. If that’s not enough, think about the drama and the emotional or psychological burden that some sex partners come with. It must be exhausting. Here comes the best part, particularly for heterosexual people: we don’t have to worry about an unwanted pregnancy. I have had friends who spend days after sex panicking, wondering if the condom broke, terrified because their periods were a few days late. Girls who don’t have sex also don’t need morning after pills, which mess with one’s hormones. For boys, it’s simple. You can’t get a girl pregnant if you don’t have sex. It’s a worry-free life. Last but definitely not least: some people fall into the bad habit of relying on sex partners to validate their worth and we will never be trapped in that harmful mindset. The only ones we need to please are ourselves. When, or if, our special one comes along and we are ready, we have already built up a sort of self-reliance and a good amount of healthy self esteem. Granted, many use sex simply for pleasure, but when you’re twenty and are still a virgin, you automatically feel the need to justify yourself. Eventually though, this struggle forces you to become more confident about yourself and your decisions. Here’s to those who live simple, happy, sexless days. Anonymous
14th February 2017
Porn Have you ever watched porn?
How often do you watch porn?
Yes (88.21%) No (11%)
Less than once a month (42.45%)
Has porn affected your view of sex? Yes (25.66%) No (53.74%) Unsure (20.6%)
Twice a month (15.09%) Multiple times a day (1.84%)
Have you ever watched porn with a partner? Yes (32.27%) No (66.82%) Unsure (0.92%)
ANALYSIS It gave me a warped view of intimacy Helped me to discover my sexuality but has also made me feel selfconscious at times Unrealistic expectations of females in bed It makes me want to be a lot more adventurous Massively confused me as too my sexuality Awareness of porn has impacts like I've had pretty vulgar stuff said to me as a come on about porn etc and so I'm not fond of video porn.
My perception of the average penis size / female body is probably quite distorted. I feel obligated to fake so much, I don't like the way I look and I don't feel natural in bed I'm aware it's pushed my tastes to more caricatured and often violent forms It made me realise there is a difference between what my personal fantasies are and how I should approach sexual relationships in reality its not as glamorous
It’s opened me up to different kinds of sex that I didn’t know existed before. Queer porn really blew my mind. For some reason I just didn’t see certain types of people as sexual beings and boy was I wrong My ex constantly watched porn and this resulted in a more aggressive and demanding nature from him during sex - leading to assault. As such I no longer agree with it personally.
The results of the porn section of Concrete’s Survey reveal that the vast majority of UEA students have, at some point, viewed some form of pornography. A total of 88.21 percent of those who answered the question admitted to having watched porn, with 11 percent having never watched porn and 0.79 percent not being sure. Although it will hardly come as a shock to those of us who live with boys, the headline figure is the marked gender disparity, with 98.52 percent of males having watched porn at some point as opposed to 81.99 percent of females. The figure falls to 70.59 percent for those who identify as nonbinary and of other genders, however the small sample size and the fact that over a quarter skipped the porn section limits the utility of this result. The gender gap was also even more marked in the frequency of viewing. Overall averages prove pointless as 62.34 percent of women said they watch porn once a month or less with the figure decreasing at every stage more often. This
is more than four times the male percentage. The most popular rate for males was weekly, with nearly half selecting this. This could well be linked to the figures which indicate that women tend to masturbate less often than their male counterparts. Unsurprisingly, most of those who answered that they had not had sex in any form have not watched porn with a partner either, in keeping with the overall trend of solo-viewing. However, only 20 percent of virgins answered that porn had affected their view of sex, compared to 26 percent of those who answered that they had experience of sex, “both penetrative and nonpenetrative.” It’s quite strange that a higher proportion of those who have had at least one sexual experience have had their perception of sex shaped at least in part by pornography. This poses a larger question of the extent to which porn informs and affects its users and its impact on society, especially in light of government attempts last year to block access to “non-conventional” adult sex acts online. Tony Allen
14th February 2017
How often do you masturbate?
Have you ever struggled to reach orgasm?
Rarely (once a month) (15.34%)
Occasionally (once a week) (22.68%) Frequently (multiple times a week) (37.06%)
Have you ever had sex under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
No (36.19%) Unsure (3.48%)
How confident do you feel with your naked body? Very confident (7.86%) Fairly confident (39.29%) Neither confident or not (22.39%) Yes (82.49%)
Fairly unconfident (21.21%)
Very unconfident (8.5%) Unsure (0.75%)
Have you ever struggled with sexual perfomance issues?
According to this year’s Sex Survey, the majority of UEA students (37 percent) masturbate ‘multiple times a week’. Yet this leaves us in some doubt as to how much the average UEA student masturbates. When asked the question ‘how often do you masturbate?’ most students answered ‘frequently (e.g. multiple times a week)’. This means the average student masturbates somewhere between two and six times per week, as separate options for masturbating daily or roughly once a week were given. Regardless of the ambiguity of the results, it is clear UEA students have been masturbating less in recent years. For example: in 201213, 39.9 percent of respondents reported masturbating daily. In 2013-14, this figure dropped to 21.5 percent, and it dropped even further in 2014-15, to 11.7 percent. But since 2014-15, the daily masturbation rate has remained fairly constant – 13.1 percent in 2015-16 , and 12.78 percent in today’s Sex Survey. Yet the survey does not offer students a clear definition of ‘masturbation’, meaning that
Unsure (0.54%) students who are uncertain whether or not they have masturbated might have mistakenly answered ‘never’ to the question of ‘how often do you masturbate?’ More clarity regarding the definition of masturbation and what it includes (e.g. mutual masturbation, masturbation without orgasm or masturbation through sex toys) may have reduced this potential problem. It is also worth bearing in mind that virgin students are perhaps less likely to take the Sex Survey (feeling they have less information to provide), meaning their experiences of masturbation may not be fully represented. Out of the 1,035 survey respondents, 722 skipped the question on their masturbation habits. Perhaps this demonstrates that at UEA, there is an attitude amongst students that masturbation is too taboo to talk about. In spite of the limitations in the data, it can be seen that UEA students have become less frequent masturbators. The reasons for this decline in masturbation are uncertain. If, in future sex surveys, large numbers of students continue to skip the question, perhaps we will never know a true representation of UEA’s masturbation habits. Jack Lewis
Tab 14th February 2017
Have you ever performed a sexual act in exchange for financial or material reward whilst at university?
We asked, UEA answered
“An older guy messaged me on a dating app. We had a nice conversation and he said he’d give me a ‘reward’ if I gave him a blowjob - £80 or £100 if I swallowed. We met in a motel in Norwich... to be honest the extra cash came at just the right time - it’s so hard to find a job that fits around studies.” “I’ve been so broke before that I seriously considered escorting...” “I was a non-sexual escort for a couple of months.” No (96.74%)
Have you ever participated in non-sexual, romantic activity in exchange for financial or material reward whilst at university?
“I get a lot of messages, usually from older men, asking to pay to perform oral sex on me. I have accepted such an offer once. I went round to his house and fucked his mouth and slapped him across the face a bit. He asked me to cum in his mouth, paid me £80 in cash and I went home. It took about an hour.” “I have paid to see an escort on a few occasions throughout my life, though not always to have sex with. For me, it was just a desire to have female companionship, warmth, someone to chat with, and emotional tenderness that I wasn’t getting from anyone or anywhere else.” “I paid £20 to two girls to let me shit on them.”
Have you ever paid for sex with money or material goods? No (98.31%) Yes (1.35%) Unsure (0.34%)
“I became a cam girl to help fund uni...” “Not since being at university, but prior to uni I had a lot of sex that involved being given money afterwards.. not necessarily asked for but it was nice being treated.” “I once slept with a guy to get him to design some stuff for me.” “I joined a website with people looking for sugar babies.”
boos & 14th February 2017
Have you ever tried bondage?
Yes (72.89%) No (24.77%) Unsure (2.34%)
“A weird threesome where we were all Do you have any different specific kinks or Powerpuff fetishes? Girls.” “Gladiatrix, dom/sub, furry, gender play.”
Have you ever taken part in role play during sex? No (67.46%)
“I was Trump, she was Hillary.”
“Your casual adorable Japanese maid situation. With lots of whipped cream.”
Should we be worried by the number of students who have cosidered turning to escorting? While 96.74 percent of UEA students said that they had never performed a sexual act in exchange for financial or material reward during their studies, student sex work is an ever-present topic in discussions about student finances. Current legislation means that whilst in England and Wales sex work is not illegal, many laws criminalise related activities such as controlling or inciting prostitution and soliciting sex in public spaces. A survey by the careers app Debut found that one in 20 students claim to know someone paying for their studies through escorting. One in 25 students also said they would consider finding sugar daddies to meet living costs while at university. Just under 2 percent of students said that they had knowingly participated in a non-sexual, romantic activity, like escorting, for financial or material reward whilst at UEA. Charles Taylor, CEO of Debut said: “Every parent who has children at university knows that the cost of tertiary education is crippling, but they might not be aware of the lengths to which their children will go to fund themselves” Only 1.35 percent of students say they have ever paid for sex. One anonymous respondent said
that they had used an escort service on multiple occasions, “though not always to have sex [...] for me, it was just a desire to have female companionship, warmth, someone to chat with, and emotional tenderness that I wasn’t getting from anyone or anywhere else. A few survey-takers expressed that financial despondency had led them to consider taking up sex work to meet living costs. One student said: “I’ve been so broke before that I seriously considered escorting.” Another said that she had started working as a “cam girl” in order to “help fund uni”. In spring 2015 Swansea University published a report into student sex work showing that almost a quarter of students surveyed consider sex work and 45 percent of those who did, did so because they wanted to avoid debt. Other students mentioned using sugar daddy websites, where older men pay for the romantic and/or sexual services of younger women. In 2016 a report conducted by the National Union of Students (NUS) and the English Collective of Prostitutes on student sex workers found that 67 percent had been motivated into the industry to help fund their studies. Emily Hawkins
14th February 2017
Sexual health contraception Do you use any methods of contraception?
Which method do you use the most?
Condom (46.22%) Combined pill (30.56%) Progesterone pill (9.64%) Yes (78.6%)
Implant (8%) Coil (3.4%) Contraceptive injection (1%)
ANALYSIS “Don’t have sex, or you’ll get pregnant and die”. I think that most of us were both terrified and hilariously entertained by the sports coach with the loud and shiny box of johnnies in Mean Girls, long before some of us were really sure what condoms were. But does that fear last? Maybe not. At least on our campus it doesn’t anyway
“Do it by the lake, do it in the LCR toilets, do it in one of those god-awful Ziggurat single beds, but please, just stick one on the end of it.” According to our questions, more than one in five UEA students do not regularly use any form of contraception - be that the standard condoms, pills, or the more unusually used IUDs or femidoms. These numbers initially surprised
me, but the fact that only 60 percent of students told us that they find it easy to obtain contraception or sexual health advice on campus makes it surprising that both the numbers having unsafe sex, and contracting STIs are both relatively low. The rates of sexually transmitted infections on campus remain below ten percent, with nine percent of students telling us that they have ever contracted an STD - the vast majority of those cases being chlamydia or herpes, the two infections totalling more than 80% of the STIs recorded at UEA. Of course, that a fifth of students are doing it without protection, and 60 percent can obtain contraception on campus means that most UEA students are engaging in safe sex, but the numbers who are unaware or unconfident in campus services is worrying. Do it by the lake, do it in the LCR toilets, do it in one of those god-awful Ziggurat single beds, but please, just stick one on the end of it. Caitlin Doherty
Have you ever had an STI? Yes (9.23%) No (86.92%) Unsure (3.86%)
14th February 2017
What makes a good
and bad experience? Can you laugh your way into bed? ANALYSIS Is it time to swap Alice Mortimer asks whether laughter really is the way to our hearts
the 5Ls for the 3Cs?
Taking her reputation as the biggest sex symbol of the 1950s with the quite-likely aim to be eternally quoted by the modern woman, Marilyn Monroe once proclaimed: “If you can make a woman laugh, you can make her do anything.” Let’s assume she was talking about sex here; I’m not going to make him lunch because he pulled some ‘quality banter’, and neither will you. On assuming she is referring to sex, let’s also note that the 1950s saw women much more as lunch packers than as sexually powerful self-liberators, thus discourse related to sex was significantly, and unsurprisingly, stanced at pleasing the man. WWAre we really going to ‘do anything’? No, but if hilarity turns us on, we may be up for doing something, you know, mutually acceptable as sexy. Laughter is frequently argued as one of the most effective aphrodisiacs, it’s just
Looking through the anonymous results of the ‘sexual experience’ questions, several words kept coming up time and time again. It probably says more about me that at first I read ‘bonding’ as ‘bondage’.Whilst a good sexual experience is, of course, subjective, common themes have emerged which have inhibited students’ enjoyment of sex. Perhaps the most striking of these was intoxication. There were also undertones of violence, with a startlingly high number of references to pressure and coercion. Particularly harrowing was the fact that even today many respondents felt the need to state that consent was part of good sex. So perhaps we need to stop thinking about how to accomplish the five Ls, and concentrate on the three Cs: consent, comfort and communication. Tony Allen
not so much in the flirty, sexualized and, let’s face it, patriarchally apt
“Laughter is frequently argued as one of the most effective aphrodisiacs” ways suited to Monroe’s claims. A sense of humour doesn’t result in being so turned on you just have to jump the person. Finding someone funny is about sharing this sense, which is similar to ‘talking the same language’, or when your best mate’s telling you about their latest obsession: “we seem to just ‘get’ each other, you know?” It is such which makes you more likely to establish some emotionally-driven
connections. Connections which, yes, are likely to make you want to bang. Humour can also be associated with intelligence, often deemed another highly attractive trait when looking for a partner. One has to be socially ‘switched-on’ as jokes rely on contexts, people and timing; you’ve got to drop that perfectlytimed one-liner in front of the right person if they’re going to consider you ‘funny’. Relying on contexts, to find someone funny you often need to maintain similar outlooks, world perspectives and have shared similar experiences. Maybe you just want to fuck them for the mundane reason that you simply ‘have stuff in common’, as unexciting as that may sound. Whilst you’re at it, keep your t-shirt on and turn the lights off will ya? All this discussed, Monroe is outdated and wrong to assume the
gender roles she does in her claim. Women are equally as witty as men, although all of this is irrelevant if it’s just to do with humour aiding the establishment of emotional relations. Anyone can laugh anyone into bed - but as it’s not directly related to ‘being funny’, it’s going to be more from a long-term perspective than a one-night-stand scenario. Besides, you’re not going to be able to formulate humorous conversation after countless vodka cokes; you’re just going to have an alcohol-inflicted horniness and a dire pair of beer goggles. For those hitting the sheets with someone on a more regular basis the humour will be a key component of your sexual relationship. If you can’t burst into hysterics about how horrifically badly trying that new sex position went, it’s going to be a pretty awful - and awkward - ride (pun completely intended).
14th February 2017
Have you ever used a dating app? How long was your longest relationship? Less than 6 months (22.72%) 1 year (20.96%) 4 years (5.74%)
2 years (21.55%) 5 years (2.58%)
7 years (0.33%)
Have you ever found a relationship using a dating app?
Have you ever had a one night stand from using a dating app?
Yes (24.52%) No (76.89%) Unsure (1.59%)
Have you ever sexted on a dating app?
Have you used a dating app whilst in a relationship?
Yes (10.56%) No (88.11%) Yes (73%)
Less than 1 year (11.83%) 3 years (11.24%) 6 years (1.76%)
More than 7 years (1.29%)
Dating Apps Are you a Tinderella, or just Bumbling around? Being embarrassed about being on a dating app like Tinder almost seems archaic now. With it being one of the most downloaded apps of 2016, with 10 million users active daily, surely we should able to find our prince - or princess charming? After launching in 2012, Tinder really has taken the dating community by storm. It’s fun and a real ego booster when you get that coveted instant match. But you have to be careful when entering the world of digitised dating. You need to make sure that you get the right app for your own needs. For example, if you are on Tinder there is an unspoken prerequisite of a guaranteed hook up after the first date. This app is much more casual and seemingly promiscuous when it comes to prospective relationships than others like Bumble. Comparatively, Bumble is essentially the same but peppered with cute illustrations of bees. Because of this, and the fact that you can set it to find a “BFF”, it is a much more innocent way of trying to find your soulmate. But, let’s be real. When you go on to your app store and search for a dating app you’re looking for two things: sex or a relationship. For this exact reason, it seems like people are turning to dating apps. In a world that is run by social media, it is fitting that more and more people are downloading dating
apps. They are a way to become connected with people that you would never usually meet, without going through the gruelling initial stages of first meeting someone. Dating apps have almost become essential for people; they make dating easy! Plus, it means you can set up dates from the comfort of your own bed, who doesn't want that? These are what most people are searching for when on dating apps and it’s hard to argue against apps like Tinder and Bumble not working. With many having had successful relationships through dating app platforms, it’s clear that love can be found. However, I do have some tips for those contemplating venturing out into the dating app wilderness. Be careful first and foremost. Try and not star on the hit US reality show, Catfish. Also, it is really important to know what you want to get out of these dating apps. The difference with the method of meeting is that there is an expectation of romance, so you need to know whether or not you want something casual or serious. Ideally put this in your bio so people don’t have to waste time if you want two completely different things. But most of all, you should just have fun! Whatever dating app you download, get as many matches as you can to make your friends as jealous as possible. Orla Knox-Macaulay
14th February 2017
Very important (31.43%)
Do you think it’s acceptable to cheat on a partner?
Fairly important (47.65%)
Neither important or unimportant (13.53%) Fairly unimportant (3.13%)
Very unimportant (1.57%)
Have you ever been cheated on? Yes (29.43%)
No (87.6%) Have you ever cheated ANALYSIS on a partner?
What do you use dating apps for? Romantic relationships (50.77%) Sex (21.38%)
Sadly, there is no formula for the perfect partner. Whether you’ve met them online or in the Red Bar it seems like what UEA looks for in a lover is not uniform. The results on the following page show that 23.3 percent of people believe that a sense of humour is key in a partner, and perhaps laughter really is the best medicine when it comes to finding the one. However, this is closely followed by humour, intelligence and respect. Surprisingly, sexual compatibility ranked quite low on the list of what we look for, so perhaps we are prepared to trade a slightly sub-par shag in favour of a belly laugh and decent conversation. Yet what is most interesting about these results are our opinions on cheating. Just under 7 percent of students believe that cheating is acceptable yet 20 percent of respondents have cheated on a partner and almost 30 percent of students have been cheated on. So why, if we are all know that cheating isn’t really acceptable, do so many still do it? I’m not here to lecture (if you want that go to your seminars or call your mum), after all, each
Yes (6.58%) Unsure (5.8%) scenario and each relationship is different. Whilst there may be many reasons that lead someone to cheat (abuse, neglect or just downright boredom) does the university atmosphere perpetuate this idea that cheating at university is somehow acceptable? After all, we all know the cliché: student goes from sobbing in their beer about their boyfriend in Nottingham to sheepishly sneaking out of their flatmate’s room at 3am in the space of a week. When analysing these results closer I found that gender had no baring on likelihood to cheat. By comparison 7 percent of women felt cheating was acceptable compared to 5 percent of men. So, whilst women are slightly above average here it appears that all is equal in this battle of the sexes. When asked why, answers ranged from “I’m in an open relationship” to “it’s acceptable if you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship.” What many respondents agreed was that cheating seems to signal the end of a relationship. However, in the words of one respondent “it depends on the situation” so bear that in mind before you jump to any conclusions. Megan Baynes
No 14th February 2017
Love & Lust in
Our survey showed that the very nature of how we engage in relationships has changed significantly. From the growing acceptance of the LGBT+ community to the rise of dating apps, who we date and how we do it is more different now than ever before. We spoke to different couples in Norwich to find out more about how our city is going beyond the binary and embracing the unconventional. Mike and Kieran met on Tinder four months ago and are clearly smitten with one another: when asked what attracted them to one another Mike shyly points at Kieran’s jawline and beams at him. Kieran had been on Tinder for two weeks and Mike just three days when they found themselves swiping right on each other’s profiles and hit it off. Kieran said, “His interests kind of matched mine. Also, the pictures were cute… [I thought] we had similar interests and this means we’ll have something to talk about.” Yet Mike wasn’t looking for a relationship: “I was actually looking for friends. I had literally just moved to the country. In my profile I said I just want friends because this is really new and very overwhelming.” They went to Starbucks for coffee and spent an hour talking about Pokémon before Kieran showed Mike around the city: “I’d only been in the country about t h r e e days.” So Kieran’s jawline aside, Kieran said the thing he likes most about Mike is his affection: “I’m well known for being emotionless.”
Mike laughs at this: “When we were getting together the first thing he told me ‘don’t expect affection’. I was like, ‘Oh boy this is going to be fun.’ But he lied, he lied. But then maybe I bring the affection out of you?”
and although his family know about Kieran it is unlikely they will meet him any time soon, although this isn’t helped by the fact they currently live in Cyprus. Neither of them believe in the stereotypical tropes of masculinity, and Kieran said: “I don't really believe in the trope of masculinity and femininity to begin with. So, that myth is just crap to begin with. If we go with masculine tropes we both have things that we both do that relates to that. But we both do things that are classed as feminine. “Neither of us really subscribe to that anyway, so it's never really going to be involved in our relationship.” Kieran said a lack of LGBT+ relationships in the media can make it hard: “There isn’t that framework to look at, and it's very much going into unchartered territory. So, whilst you see heterosexual couples there is still the idea of traditional roles of the male as the breadwinner and the woman being at home. “Whilst that has been changed nowadays with feminism looked into more, because there is still not gay representation you don't know how to form a gay relationship. It's kind of a learning curve.” What do they love the most about their relationship? “There’s a lot of understanding there.” Megan Baynes
“Because there is still not gay representation you don't know how to form a gay relationship” Kieran agreed: “I’ve become a lot more empathetic in general to other people so your constant affection has kind of dragged that out of me.” However, Kieran has also had a positive effect on Mike: “He called me a scared puppy for the first two weeks. He’s made me a bit more emotionless compared to how I used to be. I’m very sensitive.” They have both found Norwich, and UEA, a supportive environment for their relationship: “It’s pretty chill. Compared to [Mike’s] home it’s a lot better.” Mike tells of how he has issues with his mum
Kieran & Mik
Helen and Steffan have been in a relationship for the last seven years, since their early teenage years. However, as Helen tells me, “I live in England and he lives in Denmark. So that’s around 700 miles diference.” The pair met online, but not through the apps that have filled university campuses in recent years, but, when gaming. “There’s no good way to put this without sounding really nerdy, but we met on World of Warcraft, seven years ago, and I guess that we were so young that we didn’t really realise how silly we were being. We didn’t realise that we were getting into a relationship; we were just 13 years old and got on with one another. “We get to see one another around every two months, we’ve been pretty lucky managing to see each other every holiday and having them sync up. We don’t see each other that often, but more than some couples, e v e n couples who are doing long distance within the same country. “ We t e x t , Skype, we’re online a hell of a lot, we both game a lot so doing that together really counts.
And we can watch Netflix together and stuff, by setting up a Skype call and then just watching together. But, it is really difficult, it’s not something that I’d recommend everybody try and do. However, she admits that a long-distance relationship comes
Ameila is a third-year Literature and Creative Writing student, and vlogger.
sex with you’. That kind of desire and lust doesn’t really happen to me. I knew it in a vague sense when I was quite young, when I was about 12 and everybody was getting crushes and I just wasn’t. But I didn’t have a word for it until I was about 15 or 16.” Amelia believes that asexuality is “more known about by the younger generation than the older generation,” but this doesn’t mean that it is fully understood. Many people only understand asexuality “in the sense that it’s a sexual identity. People vary on whether they class it as LGBT, and often when people talk about LGBT issues they don’t talk about
Helen & Stef
What do you look for in a romantic partner?
Comfortable with friends (1.71%) Respect (14.66%) Religious beliefs (0.74%) Potential future (5.68%) Political persuasion (2.08%)
Sexual compatibility (9.35%) Similar interests (11.62%) Intelligence (16%) Humour (23.79%) Appearance (14.37%)
“People vary on whether they class it as LGBT, which means it kind of goes under the radar” “Asexuality is defined as a lack of sexual attraction”, she explains, “and that can mean different things to different people. For some people that means not wanting to have sex, and for others, it doesn’t. For me, personally, I’ve never looked at someone and gone ‘I want to have
“That’s what you’ve signed up for in a long distance relationship” with its difficulties. “There’s a lot of work that goes into it and it does just suck sometimes. It sucks not being able to hold them and have that physical connection whenever you want, or when you’re upset and they can’t be there. “But you know that that’s what you’ve signed up for in a long distance relationship. The main things that you really need are trust and communication and that’s great, because that’s what you need in any relationship.” Hopefully the pair will not be long-distance for much longer. With Helen graduating this summer, she hopes that she will be able to move in with Steffan sometime soon. “We plan on reconciling the long distance and I think that’s something important to have. For several years now, I’ve been learning Danish so there’s a possibility that I’ll be moving over there. “The long-term goal was always for one of us to move country and live with the other person, but it’s only recently that we thought that would be me and I would be living over there for a year.” Caitlin Doherty
orwich 14th February 2017
E l i o t t Simpson met his partner over five years ago, while they were both attending a school for expats in Moscow. Saying they were “originally very attracted to each other, but nothing came of it,” he explains that they are now in a long distance relationship, and adds that they “express [their] love for each other, and hope to meet up again at the earliest possible opportunity.” It might sound like the start to a ‘fairytale love-story’, and in many ways it is. But Eliott identifies as an asexual and has agreed to talk to me about his experiences of being in a relationship that, by its very nature, challenges many of society’s preconceptions. Eliott explains: “asexuality is defined as the lack of sexual attraction, which just means that you don’t experience sexual desires or feelings towards another person. For me personally, that’s the way I’ve always felt.” He adds that “although I can be attracted to people, and I certainly have desires to be with people, closely and physically to an extent, that doesn’t include sex itself. Sex or
anything related to sex I just have no interest in. I’m not repulsed by it or disgusted by it, I just literally don’t have the interest and don’t care about it.” Eliott also identifies as panromantic, which “means that you can be romantically attracted to anyone regardless of their gender or sexual identity.” Asexuality is an identity that still faces a lot of misunderstanding and a lack of awareness, meaning people can often feel isolated or confused by their feelings. He tells me he was only able to “truly accept” himself when he first came to university. “I always felt out of place with the rest of society. Boys my age were very much starting to get into sex and there’s a lot of lad culture and boy culture that you’re surrounded by, so you’re excluded if you don’t really have an interest in that. I came to UEA and just was able to research [asexuality] more and more thoroughly and just thought ‘yeah, that fits, that’s exactly how I feel’. It was so liberating to realise that people identified the same way as you. “It gives you such a sense of belonging and community and you don’t feel isolated N o t h i n g validates an identity more than hearing people talk about it.” Jessica FrankKeyes
asexuality which means it kind of goes under the radar. You can know a lot about LGBT and queer issues, and not know about asexuality at all.” I questioned Ameila on whether she thought that her channel was a form of sex and relationships education, and although reluctant to claim the label, she thought that this was an area that needed greater attention in schools. “I tend to aim my videos more at people who are asexual, rather than people who want to learn about asexuality, and I tend to get into quite detailed nuances.” “[When it comes to sex
education] I think the issue is, if you’re asexual, particularly if you’re asexual and sex repulsed, you end up missing out on information because you don’t want to find it in the way that it is presented.” “It sucks looking up sex education information when you’re asexual. It really sucks because they all assume that you want to do it, rather than talking about sex in an abstract sense, which is more useful a lot of the time. A lot of it, especially in school is based around ‘well, you will feel these desires and urges’, and if you don’t, it makes you feel a bit odd, a bit left out.” CD
I identify as bisexual, which comes with both greatness and many issues. Throughout my time at university I’ve been seeing both men and women, however on a spectrum of ‘which are you more into?’ - I most definitely have a preference for girls. The biggest issue I have to deal with is having to keep telling people that I am still bisexual regardless of who I am seeing, this isn’t going to change unless I say so. So many questions like ‘are you sure you’re bisexual?’ when I’m seen with a girl, and the answer is ‘Yes – I still am’.
“Sometimes you feel completely erased from the spectrum: for me it is about being able to own the identity you fought so hard for”
When I am with a guy, even if they were a little more under the radar, were not any less real, which I think is a massive misconception with being bisexual. “Sometimes within the LGBT+ Community, you feel completely erased from the spectrum, however, for me it is about being able to own the identity you fought so hard for to accept. “So, being bisexual to me is fabulous, way more fish in the sea and we’re not going to be defined by our relationships with you. Sharmin Hoque
“At some point or another I’ve been every letter in LGBTIQAP.” It’s a Wednesday evening and I am sat with Katy in the Bicycle Shop. The idea is for her to tell me about her relationship with Esther but she is easily side-tracked — not that I am surprised as I have interviewed her in the past and enjoy her tendency to suddenly veer off topic. She gesticulates wildly as she explains to me, “I would say my gender is human, or I’d just say gender-fuck. Fuck is almost as good a word as queer.” We continue chatting about the finer points of the word ‘fuck’ and then the Kinsey Scale (“did you know that the majority of people are potentially bisexual?”) before we are joined by Esther.
“Being with you just makes sense.” For all that Katy is chatty and excitable, Esther is calm and considered. When she senses that Katy is about to suddenly to go off on a tangent she gently touches her hand and reminds her what the question was. She tells me that she first noticed Katy at the Hostry Festival, although she wasn’t sure at the time if she was male or female: “I noticed breasts so thought, she’s a woman. But then I got closer and heard her voice. I was interested and wanted to talk to her.” They met up a few days later in a bar, just as friends, but spent so long talking that they didn’t realise the bar had closed. “I instantly felt comfortable with her,” Esther tells me, although she’s looking at Katy when she says this. They have been together for four years and lived together for two. “You don’t live together anymore?” I am confused by this arrangement, but Esther and Katy just laugh knowingly. “Esther likes her own space,” Katy explains. “Katy has 50 cameras, 200 pairs of shoes (mainly Dr Martens) and at one point 28 cats,” returns Esther. The pair clearly enjoy being unconventional and despite the fact they no longer live together they say their relationship is stronger than ever: “When we see each other, we know it’s because we want to see each other. Why does living together have to be the norm?” When asked what they
enjoy doing together they instantly reply: “Food. Our first date,” Katy says, “we went to Jamie’s Italian and shared this bruschetta. I am very sensual around food. I am not sexual but that doesn’t stop me from feeling sensual.” Katy then explains the more personal details of their relationship in her typically matter-of-fact way: “We did have sex at the start, but that happened less.” “You’re not going to miss the equipment if you don’t use it”, Esther interjects. Katy continued “I don’t like penetrative sex or being penetrated, and I’ve tried it lots of different ways with lots of people. It’s been an odd journey, I’ve done everything.” “At one point I had 12 girlfriends, six full-time and six part-time.” I am slightly speechless at this level of organisation. Katy laughs: “It was an open relationship, I called them cuddle buddies (rather than the crude fuck buddies as some were intimate without traditional PIV sex). I was also married for 15 years. Then I was 40 when I transitioned.” She explains the transition and how Esther supported her throughout. “You had to do what is right for you,” Esther says, looking at Katy again, “I’ve embraced our parallel journeys.” They say that neither of them want to marry and whilst Katy doesn’t plan on having sex in the near future, they both remain open to the idea. “I’m happy for Esther to find sex elsewhere.” However, Esther says she hasn’t felt the need. Katy says, “I’m sapiosexual — I’m attracted to brains and to interesting people.” She is smiling at Esther as they share a cup of green tea. So, what is the secret to what is clearly such a loved-up relationship? They both agree that it’s communication and mutual respect. “And total gluttony” Katy adds, laughing. There is a pause before Esther continues quietly, “being with you just makes sense.” MB
of oil... Free for all... Role play... Bondage...
(*Don’t say we didn’t warn you)