Britons and body confidence

Milan DinicResearch Manager
August 05, 2021, 5:00 AM UTC

Most Britons say that their body confidence impacts their sexual relationships. Women are significantly more concerned about how their body looks during sex

The YouGov Body Image Study finds that six in ten (61%) Britons report that how secure they are about their body has an impact on their sexual relationships.

One in seven (14%) say this has a constant impact on their sexual relationships. More women (18%) than men (10%) report this.

A quarter (25%) of Britons say their sexual relationships are occasionally affected by how comfortable they feel in their skin.

Only three in ten Britons (29%) say that insecurity in their looks doesn’t affect their sexual relationships. This view is notably more prevalent among men (37%) than women (21%).

Men aged 16-24 (28%) are particularly more likely than women the same age (7%) to say that how they feel about their looks never impacts their sexual relationships. As people get older they are less likely to report their sex lives being affected by body confidence issues, although the gap between men and women persists.

When asked directly if they contemplate how their own body looks during sex, four in ten (42%) Britons say they think a lot or somewhat about this. Half (49%) say they don’t think much or at all about how their body looks during sex.

However, there is a gender split – half of British women (51%) report thinking a great deal or somewhat about their body during sex, while this applies to a third (32%) of men.

A closer look at the results shows that younger women (29% among 16-24-year-olds and 27% among 25-39-year-olds) are significantly more likely to report thinking a great deal about how their body looks during sex than men the same age (6-8%). The gap narrows between men (7%) and women (18%) in their 40s, and almost disappears between men and women 60 and older (2-6%).

In total, a fifth of Britons (22%) – more men (27%) than women (17%) – say they don’t think at all about their body during sex.

One in nine (11%) men and one in five (21%) women say they worry a great deal about what their partner thinks about their body. A further 39% of men and 43% of women say they are somewhat bothered by this.

Our study shows that one in three women under 40 (30%-28%) report feeling very concerned about what their partner thinks about how they look, which is notably higher than women in other age groups or men in all age brackets.

Just 9% of Britons (11% of men and 8% of women) say they are not worried at all about their partner’s opinion about their body.

See full results here