Sex is like pizza. Even when it's bad, it's still pretty good.

And people like all kinds of pizza. It's entirely subjective so if you ask people about their sexual satisfaction, you might as well take the answers at face value. Rich, Spanish women have better sex lives than poor ones. There you have it, according to the first Spanish National Sexual Health Survey carried out in 2009. But that doesn't mean anyone feels like their sex life is particularly bad. Spanish people are apparently having a great time.

Scholars from the Barcelona Public Health Agency (ASPB) analyzed the influence of various socioeconomic factors on the results of the 2009 survey, which consisted of 9,850 interviews and showed that approximately 90% of men and women claimed to be very satisfied or quite satisfied with their sex life in general, and that 95% were satisfied with the sexual relations they had had during the previous year. 97% of men and 96% of women claimed to be more satisfied with sexual relations they had with a stable partner than with a casual partner, though that was still a very civilized 88% of men and 80% of women.

In terms of safe sexual relations, 77% of women and 73% of men claimed to have used contraception habitually with a stable partner during the last year, whereas in the case of sexual relations with a casual partner these percentages rose to 92% for women and 86% for men.

In this case, socioeconomic factors influence men as much as women, even at the different times analysed and with the different types of partner. "Those people with a lower socioeconomic status are always those who use less contraception," Ruiz points out.

In relation to experiences of sexual abuse, more than 4% of men and 6.5% of women claimed to have had some kind of sexual relation against their will during their life, and 1.6% of men and 6.1% of women claimed to have been sexually abused or raped at some time in their life.

Higher social status, more satisfaction

Although the data already suggested that the state of sexual health of the young adult population in Spain is generally quite good, the authors found socioeconomic and gender inequalities in practically all of the aspects studied.

"People that have a more disadvantaged socioeconomic status tend to have less satisfying and less safe sexual relations, as well as suffering more experiences of sexual abuse. Furthermore, women usually suffer more experiences of sexual abuse than men and they claim to have less sexual gratification during their first sexual intercourse,"
Dolores Ruiz, the main author of the study, told  Servicio de Información y Noticias Científicas (SINC). 

However, people with a higher socioeconomic status seem to have a better awareness of their own needs and a greater capacity for developing their sexuality in a way which is satisfying for them, as well as having greater control over the use of contraception.

"There is a need to introduce public policies which aim to reduce socioeconomic and gender inequalities that we have found in sexual satisfaction, in the use of contraceptives and in abusive sexual relations within the Spanish population," Ruiz concludes.