We-Vibe, makers of the world’s most popular couples vibrator, asked Brits how they define a relationship. The answers, says We-Vibe’s relationship expert Dr. Becky Spelman, offer interesting insights into our attitudes towards love.
Only 17% of respondents define being in a relationship as being adventurous sexually with their partner. Yet according to Dr. Becky, long-term couples should not be afraid to explore new sources of pleasure.
‘A great relationship requires a physical connection. When the intense passion from early days decreases, it’s not a sign that you aren’t in love anymore. You just need to find a way of reigniting the passion.’
Those inclined to stereotype might expect that more men define a relationship by getting intimate. In fact, this is important to the modern woman too! The results found that 47% of men and 46% of women define a relationship as regularly being intimate with a partner.
Apparently, we are a soft bunch, as the most popular definition by far is ‘being looked after.’ This response was equally popular among both men and women. Approximately 60% of women define their relationships this way, compared to 66% of men.
‘Gender roles in relationships have changed with time,’ explains We-Vibe’s relationship expert Dr. Becky Spelman. ‘Most families have a set-up where the wife and husband both have equally absorbing work, split the household chores and look after the children equally. This is probably why both genders define being in a relationship as being looking after.’
‘Perhaps this change has encouraged the idea among men that it’s okay to share all their fears and feelings, and that they don’t need to be the strong one all of the time,’ she continues. ‘Both people are allowed to show vulnerability.’
A minority are still quite traditional, however: 10% of men said that being in a relationship means being able to support their partner financially.
‘In only 9.8% of the population of married couples with children, the husband is the sole breadwinner,’ says Dr. Becky. ‘This is consistent with 10% of men stating that being able to financially support their partner is important to them. Since the 1960s, gender roles in marriage have changed and continue to change and are becoming more equal both financially and emotionally.’
The survey also demonstrated a marked difference in attitudes between rural areas and cities. Significantly more respondents in city areas defined relationships as having regular sex, in contrast to those in the country.
‘Rural areas don’t have the same access to sexually provocative places like Soho,’ explains Dr. Becky. ‘Cities are more commercialised around sex. London is the largest city in Europe, with over 8 million people. We are surrounded by billboards, fashion, nightclubs – all based around the term that ‘sex sells’. It comes as no surprise that people will take all of this into their subconscious and relay this information onto their sex lives.’