According to the British Medical Journal, we’re all having way less sex than we used to – and this is probably down to *checks notes* spending too much time on social media. Seems fake, so we decided to launch Are You Getting Any? – a new column where people of all sexualities, relationship statuses and kinks invite us into their bedrooms to speak candidly about their sex lives.
Before we get into the details, we're asking each interviewee to rate a few important sex-related factors out of 10.
Quality of sex overall: 5/10
Frequency of sex: 7/10
Intimacy levels: 4/10
How do you feel generally about the people you fuck: 3/10
How happy are you with the amount of time you have for sex: 6/10
In our first instalment, we meet 22-year-old student Tia, who describes herself as "incredibly single". As well as studying for a university degree, Tia recently set up a profile on a sugar-dating site to see if sugar-babying could bring in some extra cash – and some new sexual experiences.
I joined Tia in her bedroom, which she says she only tidied because I was coming over. She made us coffee and we chatted about life as a sugar baby, vibrators and the incestuous nature of university dating.
VICE: Hey, Tia. When was the last time you had sex?
Tia: About four days ago… kind of.
Why only kind of?
He had some penis issues.
Yeah, drugs meant that there wasn’t much of a boner.
Right, OK. So, on average, how often are you having sex?
I feel like, it depends. Once a month? But sometimes it's once a fortnight, or twice a week. It varies.
Would you like to be having more sex?
Yeah. But saying that, as a single person, I think I'm having a normal amount of sex. I have other friends who are single and are having no sex at all.
What do you think of the British Medical Journal research? Is social media to blame for us all shagging less?
Definitely not. Most people I know who have a lot of sex are on Instagram all the time, so there’s no correlation. I know that I barely have time to see my friends. When I’m not working, I’m at home doing shit that needs to be done. We don’t have time to go out looking for love or sex. I don’t go to clubs because I don’t have time. I work on the weekends, and the only clubs I have near me are gay clubs, and I’m not going to meet any guys there.
So if you’re always busy, how do you find the people that you sleep with?
Dating apps, mutual friends, an occasional colleague or maybe someone from university, but less so now.
What made you stop getting with people from uni?
The uni pool is very incestuous – everyone fucks everyone. When I was part of the netball team you could pretty much only sleep with other people on sports teams. So there may be only one guy who hasn’t slept with about three of your friends, if you’re lucky.
Does your attitude to sex differ to your friends’ attitudes?
I don’t have the same relationship with sex as some other people do. When I’m talking to my friend, who is religious, she says she wouldn’t be able to have sex without love. But I could have sex without like or attraction. There are people who I think, 'Yeah, you’re attractive, but do I want to have sex with you? Not really, but I will, because I want to have sex.'
Has it ever caused a problem between you and your friends?
No, but my room is never tidy, [which can lead to issues]. Although I'm not ashamed of my mess, because I am who I am, it depends what the mess is. Sometimes it's food. I once had month-and-a-half-old katsu curry in here. They [a man she met at the pub] were already at my house though, so we had sex in my housemate’s bedroom, which I only told her about a month ago, and she wasn't happy.
But overall, your attitude towards sex works for you?
It depends if I’m getting money or not.
What do you mean?
Sugar-babying. But I don't think I’m a good one [_l__aughs_].
I have friends who have been making a lot of money. One brought her 50-year-old sugar daddy to a birthday party and he was really nice. It was very surreal, because I don’t have that relationship with any of mine.
Have you had any particularly bad experiences with being a sugar baby?
Yeah, on my first foray into the sugar-babying world I started speaking to this really attractive guy and he asked me to come over. We’re talking in his kitchen, and he comes up behind me and does a big inhale next to my neck, and then takes my head in his hands and bites into it like an apple. It was a bit of a freeze-frame moment where you’re like, 'How did I let things get this far?' But saying that, we had sex and it was good.
An, interesting kink. Would you rather have sex with one of your sugar daddies or just a "regular guy"?
Sometimes it's nicer to have someone who knows what they’re doing and it’s not drunk and fumbling. But there are problems, too. After I slept with [the head biter] I tried to get money from him, and he was like, "Haven’t you read my profile? I’m not into that." He doesn’t believe that he needs to pay for it. He is quite attractive, so he doesn’t need to be on there, but he is.
How do you get around having less sex than you’d like to have?
I masturbate about 3,000-percent more than I have sex, if we’re being honest. My friend bought a vibrator instead of paying to renew her gym membership, and it changed her life. So I thought, 'I'm going to get one,' and it's changed my life too.
Do you prefer your vibrator to sex?
It’s not better than sex, but I am guaranteed an orgasm.
Well, that’s great. Thanks Tia.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.