Global Trend Report
The Sexual Health and Habits of the Entire World (Almost-ish)
“I can’t believe what the young girls will do these days,” says Andre, a half-French guy we’ve known for years. His job is to travel from city to city and go to parties where he meets hundreds of new people every night. “The things I’ve heard people say, and the things I’ve seen myself. I mean, it’s shocking.”
“What do you mean?” I ask. “Like, they party a lot more?”
“No, man!” he counters, his face lighting up in a mixture of glee, amazement, and shock. “They do anything. Anal on the first date—it’s not a problem. Gargling cum, choking on dicks, y’know? It’s crazy. All completely voluntary. It shocks me! I think it’s because of the internet.”
“It probably is,” I say. “Hey, we should call up all the Vice offices around the world and get them to do some kind of survey of the kids they know, and maybe call some health organizations and professionals in countries where we don’t have offices and put it all into some kind of ‘Global Trend Report’ about sexy festivities across the world. What do you think?”
“I’ve gotta get this call,” he says, and walks off to talk to some girl about what she’s doing later.
Sweden may outwardly appear to be the natural home of calm, clinical social democracy, but one excursion into their sexual case files reveals a sordid world of personal pain and life trauma bubbling away underneath their slate-gray exteriors. No wonder Julian Assange is getting arraigned for not wearing a condom—frankly, the blond bombshell dropper should be sectioned for even trying to ride bareback in a nation with between 50 percent and 70 percent oral- and genital-herpes rates. Swedes have gone sex-disease crazy in the past few years: Gonorrhea has made a fantastic and alarming 40 percent increase in 2010 alone. Only HIV remains virtually unheard-of in the country. When Swedes aren’t acquiring fresh layers of nether-region pestilence, they’re displaying their famed unsentimental pragmatism to the collections of mitosising cells inside their wombs. Sweden has a superlow teenage-pregnancy rate—one that is amply explained by the fact that the country has the highest abortion rates in the world: 69.7 percent of pregnancies end in termination. They also have the most rapes per capita in Western Europe, which may be partly explained by their differing definition of what rape is (as evidenced by Assange’s present dilemma). In spite of, or because of, all this womb trauma, Sweden is home to the most bisexual women in the world per capita. Tens of thousands of them are making out in saunas as you read this. Some of them are dressed like French maids, and many of them are employing ball gags and 25-speed vibrators.
Despite the constant cries of tabloid newspapers that the nation’s youth are putting their widdly-winkie-woos in one another’s frou-frous every seven minutes from the age of nine on, 16 is the average cherry-popping age in the UK. It is down, however, from 18 in 2000. And 2008 evidence suggests that, while the average is 16, more than 10 percent of recent survey respondents reported losing theirs by 14 or earlier. Besides all that, the country’s rate of sex-before-turning-20 is also the highest in the world, barring Germany. All right, maybe you have a point, tabloid newspapers. In latter-day shock-horror teenage-sex-tryst Britain, 43 percent of 16- to 24-year-olds have had at least five sexual partners, and one in five has given it up to more than ten. This is a nation sexually divided: At the other end of the scale, 14.4 percent of respondents hadn’t lost their virginity by the age of 25. Hearteningly, though, the number of young men who experience their first sexual experience with a hooker is down from 3.4 percent to 0.4 percent in the past decade. Teen pregnancies are nothing new and continue to decline. In fact, they’ve fallen steeply from their 1971 peak. Like the high rates of both virgins and slags, in Britain geography starkly divides the teen-pregnancy stats—Lambeth still tops the country with nearly 80 in 1,000 teen girls, whereas Rutland County sits at only 18 per 1,000. And Rutland doesn’t even have decent table-tennis facilities in its youth centers.
When British politicians get into a froth about the depressing Brit teen-pregnancy rate, normally some junior minister quickly appears on Newsnight mumbling about “adopting the Dutch approach to sex and sex education.” They do this because the stats are a compelling argument for liberalism. Just as only 5 percent of Hollanders have smoked marijuana in the past month (compared with 12 percent of Americans), so too does their hyperliberal attitude toward teenage sexiness mean that their abortion rate is 20 percent lower than America’s. And not only do they have fewer abortions; the Dutch create only 12 teen pregnancies per 1,000 sex romps—as compared with America’s striking 72. Unlike the squirming awkwardness of Britain and the States, Dutch parents accept that teenagers will have strong sexual urges that engorge their fuck zones. They also know that the youngsters will wish to act on these compulsions, and that therefore it’s probably much better for everyone that kids don’t exercise them in the back of Johannes’s Ford Fiesta or in the spare room of Gert’s friend’s dad’s holiday home in Delft. “Not under my goddamned roof” is replaced by an almost compulsory “Yes, honey, you can deep-throat Sigurd in your bedroom. Just be done before supper” for daughters bringing home their boyfriends. In the Netherlands, calm, supportive, and oversexed moms and dads talk about “readiness” and act like big Dutch hippie spirit guides to counsel you through a phase of “emotional preparation” leading up to the big lay.
Italians. Stallions? More like decrepit nags ready for the dog-food factory. Not only do Italian men persist in living with their parents until they marry, but on the average they report waiting until upward of age 20 to stick their salamis in cannoli holes, putting them in the same bracket as such paragons of sexual prowess as Egypt, Kazakhstan, Ecuador, and the Philippines. But while the youth are avoiding it, their parents are at it with gusto. Italy’s over-50 population is presently experiencing a big STD boom. So if you already hated the idea of your parents having sex, now you can add having to worry about their blistering undercarriages to the list.
On average, the French couchez 130 times a year—a rate they’ve maintained with remarkable consistency over the past 20 years. French teenagers do it more than any other European teenagers. But they also do it far more monogamously than the English. When asked whether it was normal for someone in their 30s to have had ten or more lovers during their single years, only 30 percent of the French agreed, compared with 59 percent of Brits. The average number of sexual partners for a 25- to 34-year-old male is eight; the ladies trail with five. The French also love to have sex while watching other people do it, and there’s quite a lot of armpit hair going on, even in the 20-year-old girl population.
The cliché about Spanish girls being extra-horny, invented to sell package holidays in the 1970s, is finally coming true. There are vibrators in every handbag, and multiple partners and threesomes are both popular with the girls we know. On the whole, boundaries are defined more by female peer groups than by male partners, which also means they can be insanely jealous in relationships and hypocritical when it comes to their own promiscuity. Whereas girls pretty much guffaw in the face of the church when it comes to sex before marriage, there’s a trace of lingering Catholic guilt about their reluctance to use condoms. Only 59 percent of Spaniards without regular partners use rubbers, and 30 percent of teenagers admit to never rolling one on. Most girls prefer the pill. Accordingly, chlamydia is Spain’s most popular STD, with some Catholic sources saying as many as 70 FUCKING PERCENT of teenage girls have been infected by it at some point in their lives. Over the past ten years, abortion clinics have been busier than a 24-hour McDonald’s after the clubs close—the rate of prenatal terminations has doubled in that period. The upshot is that the number of fetuses and zygotes being vacuumed out of wombs has tailed off since last year’s legalization of the morning-after pill, with 4,000 fewer operations being performed in 2010 than in 2009. Recent news stories about the popularity of a home abortion pill among immigrants from Latin America point to the continuation of this trend. Immigration is actually the biggest issue facing Spain at the moment, and it’s encouraging that interracial sex is becoming accepted as the norm. With second-generation immigrants filling high schools, and major cities such as Barcelona and Madrid breaking tourism records this year, Spain has become a writhing, fetid melting pot of international spit and cum. There are African bras hanging from the light fixtures, Venezuelan panties in the frying pan, and Norwegian socks on the floor. Every house looks like a sexy-underwear factory that was just bombed.
The problem with the sex lives of Israelis is that they can’t help but bring politics into the bedroom. More specifically, politics disguised as religion disguised as politics. The birth rate among the oft-boning ultra-Orthodox Jews—who shun birth control and see it as their divine duty to populate the lands of Canaan with good little menschen—vastly outweighs that of more secular Jews. So, for instance, the total fertility rate (TFR) for the strongly religious Ashkenazi Haredim rose to 8.51 in 1996 from 6.91 in 1980, and the figure for 2008 is estimated to be even higher. This compares with an overall TFR of 2.61. That breaks down as 2.9 for Jews, 3.73 for Muslims, 2.15 for Christians, and 1.56 for “others.” The net effect is a population time bomb, which means that any attempts at Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation are due to be nixed in the next 20 years by all those heavily hatted sprogs of these bitter-enders. For now at least, Israel has by far the most liberal laws on homosexuality in the Middle East, for which Yahweh has repaid them with sexual fire and brimstone, in the form of the highest STD rates in the Middle East.
Iranians are just the same as us. If you prick them, do they not bleed? And if you stab dirty needles in their arms, do they not contract HIV? Yea, verily: 21,000 cases, fully acknowledged by the health ministry, despite the fact that extramarital sex is illegal and punishable by… uh, let’s check the charts and see… yup, death. Of those, 69 percent are allegedly due to dirty needles and 8.9 percent are due to unprotected sex—though the figure is 18 percent for those diagnosed in the past 12 months. Forty percent of AIDS patients are age 25 to 34.
But despite what you might hear, there’s a pragmatism at the core of Iranian life that means doctors are allowed to give teenage girls lessons on the proper application of condoms (with the obvious provisos: in marriage, after the lights have gone out).
Their liberalism extends elsewhere, too. Homosexuals who engage in lovemaking still have the legal right to choose one of four methods of execution after being sentenced to death: hanging, stoning, being halved by a sword, or being dropped from the highest perch. Hint: Go for highest perch. Definitely. Even rubbing one’s gay penis between another’s thighs without penetration is punishable by 100 lashes. If this act of frottage has already been carried out three times (and the 300 penalty lashes have inexplicably failed to turn you off the idea), then both men will be put to death. But a sinner who repents and confesses his gay behavior prior to “his identification by four witnesses” may yet be pardoned. “Kissing with lust” between men is forbidden, too, because the clerical authorities are trying to stamp out the more ancient Persian tradition of extreme male bonding: Before the ayatollah, kisses between men were simply a regular sign of buddy-buddy affection in the country. Sex is just the upgrade for the new millennium.
Saudi Arabia is not the sort of place where a casually inserted penis is taken lying down. Sexual segregation means that men and women barely mix, unless they are married. For those who aren’t, constant contact with the same gender makes it a prison-style incubator for situational homosexuality. Which, of course, is punishable by death; but apparently you get used to taking your life in your hands when you’ve taken your special friend in your mouth so many times. In stark contrast to those rampant liberals over in Iran, the Saudi government doesn’t publish any AIDS statistics—the underlying assumption being that the nation is an AIDS-free wonderworld of good little Muslims. Despite all the fantastic situational homosexuality they’re secretly having, Saudis still aren’t satisfied. Saudi newspaper Al-Madina reported that 45 percent of middle-aged men in the country were unsatisfied with their sex lives. Ten percent were receiving some kind of medical treatment for it, and another 10 percent were apparently “resorting to self-treatment.” And the women? Who cares? Some do—but they’re deeply suppressed.
Pakistani society is so depressingly hierarchical and horrifically poor that a lot of down-and-out men can’t find wives, and so they turn to prostitution (likewise for the ladies). A lot of impoverished women end up hooking to make a living without husbands. Guys, guys, guys, guys… There might be a solution somewhere in all of this, no? While prostitution is totally forbidden for what the imams call “having totally shitty un-Islamic underpinnings,” in truth Karachi alone has at least 100,000 female sex workers, according to local welfare organizations, and there are an estimated 50,000 male sex workers in the country, too. The so-called Malishias, once traditional massage boys, have become a common front for sex between men in Pakistan, apparently attracting their clients by “massaging their private parts and masturbating.” We’re sure there’s a reference to that just below “negging” in The Game. Most sex acts sell for between $1 and $3, rates the kids who make your shoes can only dream of. In turn, the level at which they can sell dictates how many clients a subsistence-level Malishia will be willing to service on a given day. The best data available suggests an average of around 2.3 every 24 hours.
Like Thailand, the Indian subcontinent has a very lively ladyboy population. In India, they’re extortionist beggars, but in Pakistan, they often find more lucrative work as prostitutes. Compared with their male counterparts, the transgenders (hijras) get a lot more action, which could also be why they have more AIDS than either male or female sex workers. One shemale recently indicated to interviewers that he/she could easily service up to 20 clients a day—the work was always there.
And it’s not simply a matter of South Koreans being oversexed but contraceptively conservative. They’re really not having sex at all, reporting an average figure of 4.4 times every month, a tally that makes them the second-least porking populace in the world after the Taiwanese. All in all, this lethargic lot are the human equivalent of those pandas dressed in negligees that they keep lubed up in the Taipei Zoo.
As if their dismal sex lives and the constant threat of being overrun by a million-strong standing army of black-clad Commie fanatics up north aren’t enough to moan about, South Koreans are also the nationality with the highest levels of both men and women reporting that they are “not fully satisfied with levels of erection hardness” (85 and 76 percent, respectively). Curiously, it is also the only non-Islamic or Judaic country with a circumcision rate above 80 percent. Why is that? Well, there’s no real reason, actually—except contact with the American Army in the 50s, when Korean doctors deemed the operation deeply haute.
Nine percent of Australians describe themselves as swingers, and another 3 percent say they are “married, but in an open relationship.” An additional 8 percent of nonmarrieds are in open relationships, and 30 percent of Australians say they’ve had sex with 21 people or more. So they’re braggarts on top of being love cheats.
Not only do Australians spend three times more per capita on pornography than Britain (nearly $2 billion in total), they’re also behind the camera more than most—a quarter of those surveyed in 2010 presently had sex photos of a partner on their mobile phones, and overall, a third of both men and women have made their own pornography. Indeed, more than almost any other nation, the Australian relationship with pornography seems to have codified their intercourse practices. More than 2.5 percent of female respondents reported a clitoral piercing. Fifty-one percent of Australian women shave their pubic hair, as compared with only 10 percent who keep it natural. A hefty 37.7 percent of Australian women enjoy receiving anal sex, and only 30 percent oppose it. As many as 27 percent of men make booty calls, and 29 percent of women respond to them. “Brace yourself, Sheila” seems to be a thing of the past: 8.5 percent of Australian women now orgasm five times or more during sex—and 17 percent of men orgasm twice.
At the end of the day, like any good sex farce, it’s the neighbors you’ve really got to worry about: It’s New Zealand, not Oz, that has the out-and-out most promiscuous women in the world.
Young Americans are doing it more often, but they’re also doing it better: As of 2007, 62 percent of high school students now report using a condom, up from 46 percent in 1991. Naturally, they are still fornicating along racially stratified lines. African Americans make up 55 percent of HIV diagnoses in the 13- to 24-year-old bracket, while 48 percent of African-American girls have some form of STD, compared with 20 percent for both whites and Latinas.
Older Americans—like their counterparts in the Netherlands and Italy—are also contracting more STDs, as the internet has made intergenerational sex look a lot more fun than bingo night at the Moose lodge. A recent study revealed that there are almost 50 percent more new STD cases among men over 40 years old than there were in 1996. On top of that, men who use Viagra are more than twice as likely to have an STD, which makes sense. There comes an age when you probably want to make sure the last time you have sex before you die is unencumbered by a layer of latex. And if you already have to take a pill to get your dick hard, what’s a bit of burning when you pee?
The easy soft currency of transactional sex is what has made Jamaica a global hub of female sex tourism—rich Western women going on gal-pal holidays in order to end up sleeping with “beach boys” in exchange for the usual slew of gifted cash and trinkets. By some estimates, 80,000 Western women travel to Jamaica for sex every year.
Of Jamaicans with AIDS, 65 percent are women. Nine percent of sex workers have AIDS, and a full third of gay men have it too. But pound for pound, only 1.6 percent of Jamaicans have AIDS, which is well below the regional average of 3 percent, so now other health ministers from the area are visiting Jamaica to see what they can learn about crushing the virus. Maybe it’s something to do with Jamaica’s infamous detestation of the batty-boy—perhaps it’s the excellent prophylactic of homophobia for the rest of the region.
When they’re not fucking menopausal housewives from Iowa, or just plain refusing to get AIDS, Jamaicans are doing it to one another with a prolific quality that reinforces all the old stereotypes: 76 percent of males 15 to 24 years old reported multiple partnerships in the previous 12 months. But while males 15 to 24 years had an average of five partners for the year, their female counterparts reported a statistically baffling mean of 1.4 partners. Jamaicans, then: Good at sex. Bad at maths.
Brazilians are the new Italians. Not only do they have a low first age of sexual encounter—16—but their intercourse lasts longer than practically any other nationality (reported average of 30 minutes, if you believe them). Compare this with Russia—the second-shortest intercoursers in the world at 12 minutes a blast—and the positively premature Thais, the lowest in the world at 10 minutes. Not only do Brazilians spend most of their time conjuring up images of malnourished children and car crashes to delay ejaculation, they have more sex than anyone else, too: Theirs is the highest rate of sex encounters in the world, at 7.7 times every four weeks on average. Condom usage is up in the past few years, which is positive, as having any sort of abortion in Brazil is a crime, and consequently rates of mortality from backstreet chop shops are stratospheric. The Brazilian government was the first to create cards that could be mailed to your previous sex partners, assuring them in the best Hallmark tradition that they may well have contracted the STD the sender has just been diagnosed with. Also, their ladyboys are more gorgeous than any woman and mostly have smooth penis skin, the result of the constant application of coconut oil.
In Nigeria, as in few other places, who you are determines how you have sex. A survey of male sex habits broken down by religious affiliation shows that, at 30 percent, the “Other” bracket (mainly tribal religions) is the population group with the most members in the “large number of sex partners” bracket. They are followed by the Protestants at 28.9 percent, and, not too surprisingly given their fondness for sewing up genital apertures and invoking Sharia law, Muslims, who have the lowest at 12.5 percent. Among the females, only the Catholics (11.8 percent) and the Protestants (2.6 percent) have respondents in the “high number of sex partners” category. For Nigerians, money is as important as religion in determining who’s screwing whom—the same study found that “high-budget status” males and females have more affairs.
Nigeriens make Americans look like South Koreans when it comes to teenage moms. They’ve got the world’s highest rate, at 233 per 1,000 (compared with America’s 55 per 1,000). Partly, their success in this regard is related to cultural assumptions about superyoung arranged marriages. Also, they just don’t want their tits to sag.
South Africa is basically a constant national pageant of Team America’s “Everyone Has AIDS.” Your mother, your father, your brother, your cousin, your gardener, the guy who runs that nice little delicatessen round the corner… “AIDS” is the word on everyone’s lips, and the immunovirus is in everyone’s genital fluids. HIV prevalence peaked in 2002 at a jaw-juddering 11.4 percent. It has since drifted down to 10.2 percent in 2009. As with most of life in Africa, it is women who get hit hardest: a 13.6 percent rate, versus a male rate of 7.9. There are around 1,400 new HIV infections and 1,000 AIDS deaths per day. Even though millions of dollars of donor aid and government funds go into safe-sex messages, leadership by example is in short supply. In 2008, when South African president Jacob Zuma was on trial for raping a woman known to be HIV-positive, he testified that he had a shower after sexing her in order to lower the risk of infection. He has since become father to his 20th child. Happily, private entrepreneurs are stepping up to the propaganda plate. When film producer Tau Morena bankrolled South Africa’s first-ever all-black porno last year, he did so on the proviso that all the male talent wear condoms throughout the duration of the shoot. By the end of the day, they’d boinked themselves through an entire rubber plantation.
Be careful out there, kids!