Mills & Boon, the world’s leading publisher of romance (go on, admit you've read at least one
of their books. maybe several), has teamed up with New Idea magazine to look into the
arena of romance and what’s happening in the bedroom for Australian women.
Some of the findings of the Mills & Boon and New Idea 2013 Australian Romance
Report are certainly interesting: while a quarter of Australian women are having more sex
than 12 months ago, want to read more erotic fiction and are being more adventurous in
bed - good old fashioned romance and intimacy still prevails.
The report comes from interviewing over 1900 Australian women aged 18 years+ and found
that 25% are having more sex than they did a year ago, and since the phenomenon of
'Fifty Shades of Grey' and the influx of erotic fiction, women have definitely been amping it up
in the bedroom.
Whether they're in a relationship or not, women are being more daring and experimental: the
report found that 20% have recently bought something to spice things up.
If asked to try something new in the bedroom, Australian women are open to suggestions with
66% happy to consider it depending on how adventurous, while 8% of women are happy
to embrace any suggestion with enthusiasm, and 32% are happier to be more open and vocal
in expressing what they enjoy in bed.
Maybe not surprisingly (to women at least) a whopping 56% get more excited about a
kiss and a cuddle than any suave sex moves, compared to 1% of women who favour
a hard spanking (yup) and almost 50% of women fantasise about a passionate kiss, more
than being tied up to a bed (19%), or joining the mile high club (6%).
As for the influence of 'Fifty Shades of Grey' et al, 26% of women believe it has opened doors
in their love life - but that doesn’t translate to actual S & M activity, with only 6% having dabbled
in it the past 12 months.
“What this does suggest is that erotic fiction has refreshed women’s approach to sex and
their appetite for reading about it, with 65% saying that once they get a taste they want more,”
says Haylee Nash, Publishing Manager of Harlequin Enterprises (Australia).
“As a publisher, we have certainly seen the rise of erotic fiction in Australia across a number
of our authors, such as Megan Hart and Tiffany Reisz, but what is key in these books is
the romance element, no matter how sexy the read. Readers are certainly looking for
spicier stories, but the sexual component is just a part of the characters’ romantic journey,”
Whether in their fantasies or real life, Australian women still prefer intimacy (67%) and
chemistry (66%) when it comes to sex and romance.
As for the top romantic gestures, 48% of Australian women rated:
- remembering the small details as the most important, which speaks to women’s desire
- in second place at 41% were women who want their man to be protective.
For single women, holding hands in public or getting along with their best friend is
important, whereas married or de facto women are more likely to appreciate their partner
planning a date or giving them a break from the kids. Hell yeah!
Mills & Boon and New Idea 2013 Romance Report also offers insight into some
deal-breakers when it comes to romance and the Australian man and these include:
Being needy (55%); being constantly glued to his smartphone/iPhone (54%); being married to
his work (45%); and living with his parents (35%).
“Our research findings offer a unique glimpse into the state of the nation’s romantic and
sex life,” says New Idea Editor-in-Chief Kim Wilson.
“While bedroom confidence and experimentation are definitely on the up, the fact that
a passionate kiss still ranks as the number one ‘fantasy’ speaks volumes about what really
wins the hearts of Australian women today.”
What do you think? Can you see yourself anywhere in these stats? Comment below... anon if you prefer.