‘More Sex, Please… We’re British’

There is a certain belief, or once for a better word, stereotype that somehow became ingrained in the minds of English citizens and foreigners alike…the tired yet still arguably present stereotype that the English are totally and utterly reserved when it comes to sex. A stereotype that, in turn, springs into my mind the now slightly humorous Victorian phrase of ‘sit back and think of England…’  Personally, whether out of awkwardness or through pure reserve, I have sometimes noticed in terms of my social circle that any slight reference to the topic of sex and their English funny bone tends to kick in; with many unable to stop their lips from forming into an embarrassed grin at the mention of the ‘s’ word. Sure, it’s great to have a joke about sex but, in turn, I would instantly laugh in the face of the old-fashioned suggestion of ‘no sex please, we’re British…’ as does this really hold muster in today’s somewhat sex-mad society? Here, I am partially referring to the media and the bombardment of sex-related programmes onto our screens…as can we as a nation really be that reserved whilst at the same time having ridiculously-named programmes such as Sex, Sea and Suspicious Parents? amongst a range of others. Admittedly, I do watch that particular programme as it provides a window into the lives of young adults who are willing to ‘bare all’ in front of the cameras…Yet the ultimate point I am trying to make here is there seems to be a contradiction between stereotype and the actual facts between English and sex.

However, it is not just television but also through the ‘sex sells’ approaches of women’s magazines such as Cosmopolitan that give us the ‘always handy’ sex tips and ‘much-needed’ information of needing to know about the wonderful world of penis sizes. However, I am willing to be not so narrow-minded here as this kind of advice may help young women to maybe understand sex…but has the simple task of human reproduction been unnecessarily turned into a step-by-step guide through these magazines? I am much in favour of the encouragement of embarrassment-free conversations between boyfriend and girlfriend, children and parents and even teachers and pupils as sex-education should always be deemed to be of importance at schools; yet it is no wonder that sex can be viewed as a strange thing; one that has been joked about whilst on the other hand glamorised. At the same time, even though it would seem the media have a certain monopoly on the topic of sex and all its glory, it is still regarded as a very personal thing to each and every individual and couple alike. What does everyone else think? Do you think we have a good attitude towards sex as a nation? Let us know…

Words by: Natasha Ayres