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How the UK Keeps Long-Distance Relationships Alive

Long-distance relationships haven’t always had the best reputation – the pining, the travelling back and forth, not being able to hang out with their friends and family – but long-distance relationships don’t always have to be painful!

We spoke to couples across the UK to find out how many people are in long-distance relationships; how often long-distance couples get to see each other; and how they keep themselves entertained sexually when they don’t see their partner for a long time.

How long do lovers go without seeing one another?

We started by asking our respondents how often they see/saw their partner whilst in a long-distance relationship, to find out how long people were going without sexual contact. We found that:

  • The majority of respondents (27%) said they were able to see their partner once a month when long-distance.
  • 1 in 4 saw their partners every 2 weeks.
  • At least one fifth were luckily seeing each other more frequently than every 2 weeks.
  • Only 4% had to go longer than six months without seeing their partner.

The UK’s long-distance sex saviours

So, with the majority of our sex-starved sweethearts having to go longer than two weeks apart, we had to question – how did their relationships cope without regular sex? Were our long-distance lovebirds finding more creative ways to stay in touch with their sexual relationships?

What do Brits do when they don’t see their partners for a long time?

We asked all our respondents what they resorted to sexually when they couldn’t physically be with their partners:

  • Masturbating (43%)
  • Watching porn/sexual content (29%)
  • Phone sex/sexting (19%)
  • Phone sex/sexting using sex toys (13%)
  • Masturbating using sex toys alone (12%)

We then split this out into those in long-distance relationships and those not:

  • Those in a long-distance relationship are 10% more likely to masturbate than those that aren’t (48% vs 38%).
  • 27% of long-distance partners took part in phone sex or sexting, in comparison to only 11% of partners who saw each other regularly.
  • Only 23% of long-distance partners abstained from any/all sexual acts without their partners, in comparison to 47% of partners who saw each other regularly.
  • There’s a 10% difference between those who watch porn when in long-distance relationships and those who watch porn that aren’t in a long-distance relationship (34% vs 24%).
  • 24% of those in long-distance relationships masturbate at least once a day. Within the 24%, 9% of those in long distance relationships admit to masturbating more than once a day which is 6% higher than those not in a long distance relationship.
  • Across the board, those in long-distance relationships masturbate more during a week than those that aren’t (63% vs 39%).

We split this out further into genders as well, to find out whether those who identify as male or female could cope better without easy access to their loved ones:

  • Women are more likely to masturbate using adult toys than men when they haven’t seen their partner for a long time (16% vs 9%).
  • Over a third of women masturbate when not seeing their partner for a long time.
  • 18% of women watch porn or sexual content are in long-distance relationships.

How does distance affect sex for people in long-distance relationships vs those who aren’t?

In general, how would you rate your sex when you see your partner after a long time or haven’t had sex for a while?

  • 46% of people said sex is better with their partner after a long absence.
  • 47% said it’s the same.
  • 8% said the sex is worse.
  • Men are almost 10% more likely to find sex better after not seeing their partner for a long time (50% vs 41%).

We then split these questions out between those who were long-distance and those who were not:

  • Those in long-distance relationships are more likely to find sex better if they haven’t seen their partner for a long time (52.4%), compared to those not in long-distance relationships (39%).
  • A higher percentage of lovers not in long-distance relationships found sex to be worse with their partner after not having sex for a while.

The differences between the two seem to point towards the conclusion that those in long-distance relationships tend to get more creative sexually with their partners, experimenting with phone sex, sex toys and masturbation more frequently than those who saw their lovers regularly. It’s also intriguing to note that a prolonged wait for sex meant that nearly half of both types of couples found sex to be better.

Have you tried using sex toys with your partner before? Why not take a look at our couple’s sex toys if you want to get started! And for those couples looking forward to a weekend together soon, try surprising your partner with a sexy weekend box. Find more sexual inspiration over on our blog.