Belfast Telegraph

Survey reveals Belfast is bonkers for one-night stands

Belfast is the hook-up capital of Northern Ireland, with 74% of people there having had a one-night stand.

Survey results show that on average 70% of us have had an overnight fling, and it's most common among 35 to 44-year-olds - 74% for men and 67% for women.

While those living in Co Antrim are the least likely to have had a one-night stand (64%), gay people are more likely (81%) than straight people (69%).

Some 4% of those who have had one sexual partner have had a one-night stand, compared to 99% of those with more than 20 partners.

Sex therapist Dee Larsen believes the findings make sense in terms of the craving of a sexual high. "While a one-night stand can be exhilarating and fun, in the long term, it is not as satisfying," she says. "But the person who enjoys that short-term high will look for it again. High-risk sex is less about connection and quality. It is less personal and not about finding out what the person feels.

"With a bigger population, there is more choice, so you are more likely to meet someone who understands what you like.

"Those living in a more rural area may feel inhibited either by cultural norms or the fear of damaging their reputation in a smaller community.

"It is much easier to be anonymous in a city, but the figure of 64% in Co Antrim is still quite high."

Drunken sex was also an issue, with 51% admitting to sleeping with someone they wouldn't have if they had been sober or not under the influence of drugs.

This figure was 55% for men and 47% for women, and most common among 25 to 44-year-olds.

"Alcohol does help lower inhibitions, and that is the time when people can talk about sex and what they like," says Dee.

"A lot of people find it difficult to have these conversations unless they are under the influence, which is such a shame.

"It is about being able to talk about these things without drink and drugs, and that is why there is misunderstanding around the issue of consent, which can have devastating results."

Waking up next to a stranger has happened to 30% of people - 39% male and 22% female. Those with the most number of sexual partners were more likely to find themselves in this situation - 45% of those with 11 to 20 partners, and 69% of those with 20-plus.

Dee says: "This is dramatically linked to alcohol and drugs. Also, on some dating apps, you don't know the person's real name."

Our survey also reveals that 29% have used an app or website to look for casual sex - 44% of men and 15% of women.

Again younger people in the 25 to 34 age group in Belfast are most prolific, with this option also highly popular with the gay community (77% of gay people, 94% of gay men) and 49% of the bisexual community, including 76% of bisexual men.

Typical users are less likely to be in a monogamous relationship, more likely to have an affair and less damning of indicators of affairs.

Dee says the results paint a picture of people craving the thrill of a no-strings sexual high. "Sites are often geared around those who make it clear they are available for sex, so you need to make a choice if that's what you want," she adds.

"In some cases, an obstacle in a sexual relationship fuels the excitement... the fact that it is taboo or not okay creates even more excitement - the fact that the person is not really available.

"But when the person becomes available, they are not attractive anymore. It's really about the chase and being unavailable, which is all part of the game."

Belfast Telegraph

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