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Sexual wellness brand LELO has launched a petition calling for the UK Government to appoint the nation’s first Minister for Sex.

LELO is seeking recognition at the highest level that sex matters for the health and wellbeing of the nation, after its recent ‘Sex Census 2020’ report revealed almost one in ten (8%) Brits aged 35-44, 13% of those aged 45-54 and 19% of 55-64-year-olds haven’t had an intimate experience – anything from a kiss to penetrative sex – in over three years. 

However, 7% of 18-24-year-olds and 5% of 25-34-year-olds have not had a sexually intimate experience in three years, meaning that a significant number of young adults are being cast adrift. If the decades of the 1960s and 70s were the era of sexual liberation, this study shows that for many million British adults under 65, the 2020’s are becoming one of sexual suppression. 

The report, which looked at sex lives of Britons aged 18-65 in 2020, showed that the top five reasons contributing to the sex slump included; tiredness (35.7%), poor mental health (33.6%), negative body image (25%) no or low libido (19.4%) and ageing (18.3%). Those reporting the biggest impact of anxiety were the 18-24’s with 42.5%, significantly more than just 12.7% of the over 65. 

Currently, there are 23 Ministerial departments in the UK Government, yet, there is still no department dedicated to one of the most natural human behaviours, and something the UK cannot continue without; sex. Sexual health is covered under Health and Social care, sex education under Education, but what about sexual pleasure? The sex slump is a national issue that needs to be addressed rather than ignored. 

LELO has launched a petition to address the national issue of sexual wellness, calling on a the government to appoint a Minister for Sex:

LELO believes that sexual pleasure should be maximum and equal for all. However, ‘Sex Census 2020’ revealed a stark gap still exists between male and female sexual pleasure. 

This time a ‘masturbation gap’ which shows that once again, men are the gender finding it easier to masturbate with a partner. When it comes to including a partner in masturbation, results showed that while 70% of men were comfortable with doing this, only 40% of women were.

The gap has been a continuous trend across different pieces of research, after ‘The Orgasm Gap’ was first identified by Dr Laurie Mintz. LELO says an influencing factor to the gap is the taboo surrounding female masturbation, with the full structure of the clitoris not being published until 1998 by urologist Helen O’Connell.

The Sex Census 2020 also reflects a gap in body confidence, with 22.1% more women reporting that poor body image negatively impacted their sex life than man. A lack of body confidence links to women reporting feeling less comfortable in a situation like masturbating in front of their partner, as they are feeling more self-conscious that the attention and focus is on them. 

Marcella Zanchi, Marketing Manager for LELO UK, says: “Sex should be fun, fulfilling and empowering. Instead, the lack of sexual pleasure and intimacy has a profound impact on every aspect of our everyday lives from relationships to our wellbeing and self-esteem. It’s frightening to see how big of an impact anxiety and mental health is having on the sex lives of the younger generations. It is a national issue which is only going to get worse if we continue to ignore it.

“After the decades of sexual liberation in the 1960s and 70s, the 2020s could become one of sexual suppression. Now is the time for the UK Government to appoint a Minister for Sex to ensure Brits are equipped to have more and better sex, and to ensure the protection of sexual pleasure for all. Our hope is for more pleasure, more fun, closing the orgasm gap, and putting sexual wellbeing on the map, where it deserves to be.” 

LELO says the Minister for Sex also needs to be responsible for keeping pace with the evolution of sex and sexual pleasure. We can already see that we have changed our social behaviour to fit the environment that we find ourselves in, with the pandemic bringing this into sharp focus, and one in five respondents confessing they’ve been more sexually intimate virtual than in person. Laws around sex & consent must be regularly updated in line with advancements in sex-tech, in order to protect Britons and monitor consent online. 

Attitudes to sex and love must also be on the Ministerial agenda to ensure ‘non-traditional’ relationships are well represented within society, after the brand’s research shows 38.3% of 18-24 year olds now suggest that a polyamorous relationship would better suit their intimacy needs. In comparison to 19.9% of over 65’s, with a gradual decrease in popularity as the age of those surveyed increased which suggests polyamory is only going to continue to rise among the younger generations. 

LELO realises that there is still a huge amount of work to be done in addressing issues around the pursuit of sexual pleasure. However, the brand truly believes that this is the first necessary step to get people talking and to give a voice to those who feel marginalised by a British society that’s uncomfortable in talking about and promoting sexual pleasure. 

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