38 per cent of Hongkongers believe that sex toys are ‘perverted’ in 2022

World Sexual Health Day, which falls on September 4 each year, aims to promote sexual health awareness worldwide. To celebrate the day, luxury sex toy company Lelo released the findings of its recent survey on Hong Kongers’ attitudes towards sex.

Titled “Sexual Health and Intimacy Attitudes”, Lelo interviewed over 800 residents aged 25 to 34 in April 2022 to understand the extent of their sexual knowledge, their thoughts on virtual intimacy, sexual stigmas, and how the pandemic has affected their perspectives on sex. Below are the key findings of the survey:

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Sex remains a taboo subject

Although Hong Kong has made progress in breaking down social stigmas in recent years, the topic of sex still remains a tricky one. According to the survey results, nearly half of the respondents struggle to talk about sex with friends. A staggering 47 per cent of respondents even stated that they’re afraid of sharing private sexual thoughts with their partners, further cementing the social belief that sex is taboo in the city.

Women’s pleasure takes the backseat

When it comes to orgasms, over 60 per cent of men feel that it’s a required part of sex, whether it’s with themselves or with a partner. For women, however, only 8 per cent feel that orgasms are a necessary part of their experience and 20 per cent of women feel that orgasms are only needed for their partner.

One-night stands? No, thanks

Hongkongers’ attitudes towards sex still remain very traditional. The survey showed that hook-up culture and virtual intimacy are not something most residents are willing to engage in. Only 12 per cent of the respondents have tried cyber sex, and less than 10 per cent have taken or shared sexual photos. The percentage of people who have had a one-night stand was slightly higher at 18 per cent.

On the topic of monogamy, 72 per cent of women do not accept the idea of having multiple sexual partners, while 56 per cent of men feel the same way.

A lack of pleasure-based education

Seventy per cent of respondents feel that their formal sexual education is adequate, however, when it comes to the topic of self-pleasure, respondents still hold conservative views: 81 per cent of the interviewees have never used a sex toy before, and more than half claim that they are not willing to try sex toys. This opposition is rooted in stigma, with 38 per cent believing that sex toys are ‘perverted’.

Conservative mindsets toward sexuality

According to the study, women are slightly more progressive on the topic of sexual fluidity compared to men: 75 per cent of female respondents are accepting of lesbians, 64 per cent of homosexuality, 54 per cent of bisexuality, and 48 per cent accepting of transgenderism.

Men showed a more conservative mindset, with 72 per cent of male respondents accepting lesbians, and less than 50 per cent accepting of homosexuality, bisexuality and transgenderism.

Your parents’ place or mine?

Hong Kong’s notoriously high rent—combined with the cultural norm where Chinese children are expected to live at home until marriage—means that a large number of Hong Kong couples still live with their parents. Of the surveyed individuals, 84 per cent agree that their small living quarters have a direct impact on their sex lives. Within the survey group, close to 40 per cent of young couples turn to hotels to have sex instead of doing so at home.

Too burnt out to be turned on

Hong Kong places as one of the most stressful cities in the world time and time again so it’s no wonder that 85 per cent of survey respondents cited that tiredness, poor mental health and stress caused by Covid-19 hindered their sex lives.

What does this mean?

While it seems like Hong Kong has been trying to become more open-minded on the topic of sexuality and sexual wellness in recent years, with the launch of 18+ Central, the city’s first adult carnival in 2018; the first Gay Games in Hong Kong slated for 2023; and ViuTV’s adaption of Ossan Love, a romantic TV series on a same-sex relationship in 2021, the survey shows that Hongkongers still carry a conservative mindset towards sex.

Although 87 per cent of respondents believe sexual health is the foundation of physical and mental health, the results show that there are multiple barriers keeping that from happening, including the lack of private living space, and the gap in female pleasure-based education.

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