back to article Average Brit shags 2.8m people

The average Brit shags 2.8m people during his or her lifetime, albeit indirectly, according to a handy "Sex Degrees of Separation" calculator from Lloyds Pharmacy. According to the Telegraph, the calculator uses data gleaned from 6,000 British adults, with blokes on average boasting nine sexual partners, and women 6.3 lovers …


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  1. Anonymous John
    Paris Hilton


    Have I shagged Paris Hilton or haven't I?

  2. Anonymous Coward


    I hope SWMBO doesn't find out!

  3. Anonymous Coward

    And another thing

    How do you get .3 of a lover?

    Which bits do you keep / dispose of? How?

    Do the police need to be involved?

    We need to know these things.

  4. Manas Straw

    Which survey is right?

    The current one? Or the one mentioned last month:

    73% of Brits too shagged for a shag (10 August 2009)

    What this means that only 27% of Brits are shagging each other and that amounts to 2.8m? Serious chances of in-breeding there.

  5. Steven Jones

    Impossible asymmetry...

    Given approximately equal numbers of males and females in a population the following is dubious.

    "According to the Telegraph, the calculator uses data gleaned from 6,000 British adults, with blokes on average boasting nine sexual partners, and women 6.3 lovers."

    Of course it could be that it is the median they are referring to and not the average (a few, very, very active females would skew it, rasing the average but not the median - prostitution being the most obvious factor). Or it might be that there's a large number of homesexual male partners in those stats. Or maybe British men are going abroad for these extra encounters. Or maybe it's a sampling error or perhaps poor recall - or male boasting, or women with selective memories.

    In any event, as is usual with these things, these are stats of highly doubtful accuracy.

  6. Da Weezil


    Damn.. put in my details... - Truthfully - and this was the answer....

    *We are unable to perform this calculation.*

    I feel so dirty..... but satisfied

  7. Ball boy Bronze badge
    Paris Hilton

    I won't be the only one to notice this...

    ...blokes have nine sexual partners, yet women make do with just 6.3 lovers? Well, I can account for the 0.3 (not speaking personally, natch) but are we to assume that each of us blokes sleep with 2.7 other men? The alternative is that men over-estimate and I can't see that happening; I've told by son a million times that exaggeration is just plain wrong.

    Paris icon - you didn't expect anything less, did you?

    Insert your own (fnarr, fnarr) punchline about 6.3 as an average here.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    1/3 of sexual encounters of mem are gay encounters?

    Surely if men average 9 sexual partners and and women average 6 sexual partners, then it begs the question, who are these 3 other sexual encounters with?

    Actually a couple of studies have shown that in these types of survey, women tend to lie about their partner count. When these questionaires are repeated with the same woman attached to a lie detector, the numbers are generally in line with the male answers.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    according to that....

    My wife, who ive know since the age of 18, has been off shagging other men every weekend for the last fifteen years. The bitch.

  10. Anonymous Coward


    It won't calculate over 50. Would calculating 50, then 50, then 50 then 50 then 50 then 50 then * each result work?

    I'm a whore.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a pile of steaming horse crap

    each person is obviously a unique individual which is utter bollocks.

  12. The Original Ash

    Learn from American Pie

    "... blokes on average boasting nine sexual partners, and women 6.3 lovers."

    You're forgetting the rule of three!

    Men on average had 3 sexual partmers, and women 19.

    Well, that agrees with my own internet "research" :D

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Sad act

    Enter my total number of conquests, plus age range.

    Extrapolate over six generations giving my total number

    of direct and indirect sexual partners as........2

    I should really get out more.

    Paris, because I like the way the staples suit her tummy.

  14. Woodgar

    As a fully quallified geek..

    ...STDs hold no fear for me.

  15. bikerboi87
    Gates Horns

    gay men

    quite possible that they skew the statistics. speaking from experience (ie, being a gay man), i can say that they are quite promiscious

    i can count roughly 25 partners, and i'm only 22, and i'm not the worst there is.....

  16. Anonymous Coward

    blokes on average boasting nine sexual partners

    Not sure 9 partners could really be called boasting, could it? Unless it was all at once...

    As for the 9/6,3 difference, people probably haven't considered the numbers of virgins. Or liars.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Dubiety of sexual preference ...

    All those people querying the hetro/gay crossover quantiities should apply for a job with the Scottish Government.

    Go to their website and download an application form. Under their discrimination section, you are asked your sexual orientation:

    1. Heterosexual

    2. Gay

    3. Lesbian

    4. Bisexual

    5. Transgender

    6. Other

    Other ? OTHER? wtf is other ????

    Now I know some smartarse will suggest sheep, however since that's not legal, I think we can discount that from the diversity monitoring.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Graph theory

    OK, this seems like a standard graph theory problem, and unless some arbitrary limit is set on the graph diameter, it would seem likely that there is one main isolated sub-graph covering the majority of the sexually active population, with a large number of small isolated two-person subgraphs where people are still doing it the old-fashioned way (virgin+virgin), and of course a very large number of isolated individuals (Reg readers? ;-).

    It would be interesting to know if there are significant numbers of isolated sub-graphs of N>2, but my instinct would be that they would end up connected to the main graph in almost all cases, especially if the average vertex connectivity is somewhere between 6 and 9.

    So to get 2.8m they must have limited the diameter of the graph by some number of "degrees of separation" - maybe the classic six?

  19. Anonymous Coward

    75 pounds for a health check?!!

    Why would you want to spend 75 quid at boots, when the NHS does it for free at every sexual health clinic all over the UK?

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Graph Theory

    Doh! I should have read the linked site: They are indeed using "six degrees of separation" (graph diameter from target individual) - but why? This is arbitrary. OK, six edges is supposed to get you to anyone in the world in terms of people you _know_, but there's no reason to limit to this when calculating the other way.

    The real question is whether you're on (one of the?) main graph(s) or not, and my hunch would be the largest of these probably contains a significant proportion of the _global_ population.

  21. Toastan Buttar


    "Said checks might include (and here comes the plug)"

    That imagery is just......disturbing.

  22. Richard 102

    .3 of a lover

    "How do you get .3 of a lover?"

    Screw a civil servant; they all have shlorts. At least, they act like they have small units. (Even the women.)

  23. The elephant in the room


    would be nice!

  24. Richard Fletcher

    I don't see how you can get to an answer though

    It seems to me that there is no way of knowing overlap. If person A slept with B and C, who both slept with D, Then from A's perspective D gets counted twice. So the estimate ends up high.

    But then, D could have slept with E, who slept with F as well, and so on and so on. And on and on. And on. So the esitmate ends up low, because it doesn't come up with the complete population of adults who have ever slept with anyone.

    Since the estimate is both too high and too low, it is wrong.

    It even gets it wrong if you say you've had no sexual partners:

    "You have had 0 indirect and direct sexual partners.

    Based on information entered into this calculator, people in your age group have had -944,723 indirect sexual partners"

  25. Anonymous Coward

    That explains it...

    ... I wondered why I was so tired.

  26. Kevin Fairhurst
    Paris Hilton

    £75?? I guess that Lloyds...

    are banking on the embarrassment factor of blokes not wanting to spend an hour down the local GUM clinic before risking taking the rainhat off...

  27. Bill Fresher
    Paris Hilton


    Surely, everyone who's had at least one, err, intimacy, is linked with everyone else, all the way back to Adam and Eve?

  28. Anonymous Coward

    to Manas Straw

    Obviously, the 73% of Britons who were too exhausted must had just completed their quota of 2.8 million shags.

  29. Hywel Thomas


    How many can you count that weren't rough ?

  30. V 3

    missing the point.

    Damn! - According to the wife, I am her 'point 3'...

  31. BlueGreen

    @graph theory, @Richard Fletcher

    It's called marketing. Please do not feed the 'droids.

  32. Arnie Sintheshed
    Paris Hilton

    I hope they...

    ...adjusted the answers for how men and women traditionally bend the truth when asked how many partners they've had.

    Apparently a man will generally start with the truth and add five, and a woman typically starts with the truth and divides by three.

  33. John Stirling

    @Dubiety of sexual preference


    Asexual (preference for no sexual contact - as opposed to no preference, which would be bisexual)

    Then there are all the specialists - leather, discipline, etc, where it isn't the partner that drives the participation, but the tools.

    Which of course might be where Boots' 'plug' comes in.

    Oh, I've chosen the icon, because the alt text starts with 'man the pumps' which seems appropriate somehow.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    Having been to the GUM clinic I'd probably pay £75 for a check. But only to save the hassle of going to hospital, finding and paying for parking, sitting around for ages in a room full of other people all wondering what everyone else is in for and trying not to feel embarrassed when someone gets called by their number which is waaaay lower than everyone else's... So yeah, £75 got to be worth it for me.

  35. Dane Pack

    Re: Dubiety of sexual preference ...

    "Other ? OTHER? wtf is other ????"

    How about celibate/asexual?

    TRWTF is that 'Transgender' is a sexuality.


  36. Lloyd

    Um, am I the only one who:

    a) Can't remember how many partners they've had

    b) Would have to guestimate ages, certainly there were only 3 over 30 and none over 35 but that's as far into categorisation as I can go.

  37. James Pickett


    "with blokes on average boasting"

    That sounds about right. You might just as well ask us about size.

  38. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Graph Theory

    More thoughts: In terms of what matters for sexual health, it's actually rather more complex, because transmission of STDs is not retroactive - only sexual partners they had before (or simultaneously?) count. This means that in flooding a graph to find the connected sub-graph from a target individual you have to prune any edges from a vertex that happened later than the ingress edge - that reduces the size of the graph somewhat. I think that's probably why they ask you for the ages of the partners at the last time you shagged them - so they can estimate a proportion (left-skewed?) of the average number of partners according to their age.

    The other thing that I've been wondering about is the spread across generations. The graph probably becomes denser within an age group, but I wonder which age group has the densest graph (highest average number of parners) - is it the twenty-somethings now who are shagging like mad, or the forty-somethings who used to shag like mad when they were 20 but have now had more time to top up a bit more?

    Of course, there is blurring between age groups as well. This may make it possible that the Nth member of your graph is not Paris H but Maggie T. Sorry.

  39. steogede

    Re: Dubiety of sexual preference

    >> Go to their website and download an application form. Under their discrimination section,

    >> you are asked your sexual orientation:

    >> 1. Heterosexual

    >> 2. Gay

    >> 3. Lesbian

    >> 4. Bisexual

    >> 5. Transgender

    >> 6. Other


    >> Other ? OTHER? wtf is other ????

    Abstinent? Or perhaps someone who 'loves' bicycles or other inamimate objects.

  40. James Pickett


    "possible that the Nth member of your graph is not Paris H but Maggie T"

    As Frasier said when given a bit too much detail about Niles and Daphne's relationship, "Excuse me while I poke out my mind's eye".

  41. Matt Collins

    Random thought...

    They've re-invented the clapometer.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whats this sex thing i hear all about.

    sounds fun

  43. Robin

    @Dane Pack

    Ahh, TheDailyWtf. Got bored of the constant 'first's and defence of crappy practices on there but still worth a nose now and again!

  44. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Oh No! We're all criminals!

    If you shag an 18 year old, who's previous was 17, and their previous was 16 and their pre-

    Wait, there's someone at the door.

  45. Anonymous Coward

    Re : Anonymous Coward 12:17 GMT

    Other = Bicycles.

  46. Pirate Dave Silver badge

    "other sexual orientation"

    "Other" being vegetables and inflatable vinyl life-partners.

  47. Bill Fresher

    @Richard Fletcher

    "You have had 0 indirect and direct sexual partners.

    Based on information entered into this calculator, people in your age group have had -944,723 indirect sexual partners"

    944,723 is how many people in the UK, on average, would have liked to take the cherry, or whatever the saying is?

  48. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    Well, I can reveal to you all that...

    Jennifer Connelly is a fantastic shag.


  49. ElReg!comments!Pierre
    Paris Hilton

    Stats (@ Steven Jones and co)

    About the 9 for blokes against 6.3 for the broads: there is absolutely no problem with that. Actually it could even be an average of 0.01 or lower for women and 5000 for men, it would still be possible. It only takes 5000 women who spend their whole life in bed (or on the copier) while the others enter convent. Or there could be more women than men around. Or there could be more gay men than gay women. Or gay men could tend to swing more.

  50. Anonymous Coward

    Moving to Scandinavia

    Was a complete shag-fest. 30 in the first 2 years, and all of them with someone else, rather than Mrs Palm and her 5 daughters. One of my colleagues got picked up in a bar about 10p.m. by a fit-looking bird, took her to his hotel room to do the dirty deed. Met up with him again in the hotel night-club at 2am, then he picked up another. First bird introduced them, natch. NOT unusual. "More tea, vicar"? becomes "Another shag, foreigner"?

    Dammit, once a month makes me feel dirty and used. Nowadys.

    I'd recommend a holiday in Finland for all the blokes with hairy palms. (Dammit - blew my anonymity...). If you don't get laid here, you must be gay. errrr....OK. Got me coat. Icon's obvious.

  51. Asgard
    Thumb Up

    2.8 Million?!

    Assuming an average lifespan of say 86 years, (of which 70 years are hard at work, so to speak) and taking into account 365.25 days per year on average, then we get 365.25 * 70 = 25567.5 days

    So 2800000 people divided by 25567.5 days is 109.5 people per day. So assuming 9.5 hours of vigorous exertion per day, (and the remaining time for food/sleep/coma) its an average of 11.5 per hour, so 5.2 minutes each.

    Wow, I have to go, I need to keep up my quota! (which is one way of saying it).

    Thumb up icon, as it'll be the only thing I will have strength to lift up by the end of today!

  52. bikerboi87

    @Hywel Thomas

    25 is what i can actually count :P the rough is to allow me to have missed 1 or 2 out of the count

  53. Stephen Jones 1

    Can't perform the calculation

    When I went to do the test and entered my age and the number of partners (over 50) the calculator announced it couldn't do the calculation.

    Made me feel quite the stud.

    It would be interesting to see the algorithm. It would have to weight the average number of encounters for each partner since the highly promiscous are likely to have more sex with the highly promiscous than others, and also whether the encounters were homo or heterosexual (and discount the figures for the number of sheep shagged).

  54. Flakey

    On counting up.......

    Peter O'Toole once said, when asked about the number of relationships he'd had "a gentleman never keeps count" ...Ive always considered myself a gentleman

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Six degrees of penetration, surely?

    I can't believe you missed that pun.


  56. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    ... "oh blast"


  57. Gannon (J.) Dick

    Sorry your Highness ...

    ... it's Statistics, please do not take it personally.

    When it comes to sex England has always had the ambition and France the industry.

  58. Anonymous Coward

    minus? MINUS?

    "Based on information entered into this calculator, people in your age group have had -387,982 indirect sexual partners"

    When you reach my age, sexual partners become negative?

    It's so depressing... might even be true.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just over 11 million

    is what it calculated, but I can't beleive that is correct. It will be an overestimate, because of friends tending to sleep within a small circle of friends, etc.

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