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NSM Sex Survey: The Results

55107619 - surprised funny couple in love lying in the bed hiding themselves under blanket
55107619 - surprised funny couple in love lying in the bed hiding themselves under blanket

Have you ever wondered what others are getting up to behind closed doors? Whilst some of us are happy to open up about our sex lives with our close friends, others prefer to keep the juicy details to themselves. But wouldn’t it be interesting to know how your sex life compares to other mums in the neighbourhood?

Well, now you can! Last month, we conducted our first ever Sex Survey, to find out how our sex lives have changed since having children. And the response was huge! We had over 800 people complete the survey, anonymously answering our probing questions.

And behold, the results… 


First up, let’s paint a picture of who the ‘typical’ North Shore Mum is. We’ll share some statistics below, but generally speaking… she’s in her 30s or 40s, she’s heterosexual, married and been with her partner for at least 10 years. She’s got at least one child, but more likely 2 kids, aged somewhere between a baby and 10 years old, and lives in (or near) the North Shore.

But to delve a little deeper into the stats:

Age: 60% aged 30-39 years, 29% 40-49, 10% 29 or under.

Local Government Area: 

  • 24% Ku-ring-gai Council
  • 20% Hornsby Shire Council
  • 11% Northern Beaches Council
  • 10% Willoughby Council
  • 10% North Sydney Council
  • 9% Lane Cove Council
  • 2% Mosman Council
  • 6% Ryde Council
  • 8% Other

Number of children: 49% have 2 kids, 28% 1 child, 16% have 3 kids, 5% 4 or more

Relationship Status: 86% married, 9% de facto, 2% in a relationship, 3% divorced

Sexuality: 96% heterosexual, 2% homosexual, 2% bisexual

How long they’ve been together with their partner: 60% Over 10 years, 29% 5-10 years, 11% under 5 years

Top 5 ways for meeting partners

  1. Through mutual friends
  2. At work
  3. At a bar
  4. University or college
  5. Dating website

Are North Shore Mums having more or less sex since having kids? 

It probably comes as no surprise, but the statistics confirm that we’re having less sex since having kids. In fact, 79% of us are having less, 16% are having the same, and an impressive 5% are having more (who are you, and how do you find the energy?).

The top reasons for having less sex include:

  1. Too tired
  2. Low sex drive
  3. Don’t feel like it
  4. Lack of opportunity & don’t have the time
  5. Don’t feel good about my body

A few mums shared a bit more insight into their sex lives, saying:

  • If I’m lying down I would rather be sleeping! But in all seriousness, my sex drive is lower, I find it more painful than I did before kids, and we just have far fewer opportunities.
  • It’s nearly non-existent. I am so tired. The last thing on my mind is sex.
  • I’ve gained weight, I’m too tired and my mind is running with things to do. I’m more likely to have sex if I have had a few wines. I do have a sneaky masturbate about once a week though.
  • We have a small window between when the children are in their bed and when they come into ours! Thank goodness for ABC Kids on a Saturday morning…
  • We had frequent sex until needing to go through fertility treatment which my husband found difficult to come back from, then with having three young children who don’t sleep well it has reduced opportunity. Finally now we have completed our family and I am on reliable contraception, I feel finally our sex life is back on track after more than 5 years.
  • I just don’t want to have sex at all with my husband. I’m tired and just want to go to sleep when I go to bed.
  • Life is busy and stressful. We’ve also grown apart.
  • I can’t be bothered. I would rather sleep. I am saggy and don’t like the way I look. I find it hard to believe that he finds me attractive.
  • We have much better, more emotionally connected sex, than we did before children. I found after having a my first vaginal birth with no pain relief that I experienced a lot more physical pleasure during sex because the contrast in sensations with birth and sex made sex feel so much better than before. But we have much less sex. Once a week as opposed to every second or third day.
  • I’m more keen for sex in the mornings, rather than at the end of a long tiring day and there are hardly ever any mornings without kids so I just don’t initiate it as much. Also I have less desire for sex if I’m annoyed at husband for various reasons. I assumed it was quite normal to not want sex as much as in your twenties.
  • It’s not high on my priority list. If I had more help with house and kid stuff I would probably feel more valued and be more interested, but it feels like something I’m just doing to make someone else happy.


When it comes to foreplay, it’s either very brief or close to non-existent. For 7% it just doesn’t happen, for 20% have it for 1 minute or less and for 35% it’s 5 minutes or less.

Just 6% engage in foreplay for 15 minutes or more.

Sexual Activity

When it comes to initiating sex, in 48% of relationships it’s the man who gets things happening. In 35% of relationships it’s both partners, and 17% it’s usually the woman.

If you enjoy looking at statistics, the table below summarises the frequency of various sexual activity… but a few highlights:

  • 80% have sex at least once a month. 44% have sex at least once a week.
  • 39% give oral sex at least once a month. 37% receive oral sex once a month.
  • 48% masturbate at least once a month. 26% masturbate at least weekly.
  • 76% hardly ever have a 69-er (whilst for 3%, it’s a weekly activity). 
Every day A few times a week Once a week Once a fortnight Once a month Once every few months Hardly ever
How often do you usually have sex? 1.2% 18.1% 24.6% 18.3% 11.9% 13.2% 12.7%
How often do you give oral sex? 0.5% 6.5% 8.7% 10.7% 12.7% 18.8% 42.2%
How often do you receive oral sex? 0.2% 4.6% 9.3% 10.0% 13.1% 18.9% 43.9%
How often do you masturbate alone? 1.6% 10.9% 13.1% 9.2% 13.2% 17.0% 35.0%
How often do you engage in a 69er? 0.3% 0.9% 1.6% 3.6% 5.6% 12.3% 75.7%


When having sex with their partner, 26% orgasm every time, 31% most times, 14% half the time, 16% occasionally and 13% never have an orgasm.

And the best position for achieving an orgasm?

  1. 31% Missionary (partner on top)
  2. 29% Cowgirl (woman on top)
  3. 15% Doggy-style
  4. 6% Spooning

Being sprung by children

26% of North Shore Mums have been sprung by one of their children whilst having sex. When asked about how the situation, the stories that were shared include:

  • I was giving my husband a blow job, and my daughter walked in and stood there and then asked why is mummy’s head down there going up and down (whilst she is doing the movements with her head)… I wanted the ground to swallow me up, I was beyond mortified.
  • We never heard the child come in the room I just suddenly felt her in the bed next to us! I’m not sure exactly what she heard or saw – she was very young. It put us off sex for a few weeks! We now religiously lock the door before any love making.
  • We stopped, under the covers, and my husband had a conversation with our son, who seemed blissfully unaware. He managed to convince our son to go off and busy himself with something, at which point my husband kept going until he came.
  • Figured out child was quite ‘out of it’ and didn’t register…. so haven’t discussed with her.
  • Child is small so just moved quickly out of the bed and acted normal even though we were both naked.
  • Covered up. We were under the sheets. Luckily!
  • He was 2 at the time and asked my partner why he pushed me over (he was on top) then demanded he apologised to me. We went with the flow and are a lot more careful now.
  • Miss 8 appeared at our door after I’d had two very noisy orgasms and my hubby had just come. We were cuddling but still joined. We just grinned and asked if she was ok. She looked bemused and just stared at us for a minute. Then I just said good night, hubby got up to go the bathroom and she slunk off back to bed herself!
  • Age 8, walked into bedroom and immediately said ‘ Something smells fishy”. I nearly lost it… thank god my husband didn’t.

Adventurous places for having sex

You’ll never look at the parks, beaches, cemeteries and golf clubs the same way after reading this list. You ready? North Shore Mums have confessed to having sex in the following locations:

  • Bobbin Head, Rofe Park, Lisgar Gardens, Reddy Park.
  • In the car parked outside random houses in Roseville on the way back from dinner.
  • On a bush walk around Hornsby or a hotel pool in Bali.
  • In-laws dining room table.
  • On the bonnet of a brand new Toyota MR2! Used to go parking down at Roseville Marina and have sex in the back of my Boyfriends RX7. Under the harbour bridge.
  • Clifton Gardens in Mosman.
  • Balmoral Beach.
  • Cammeray Golf Course, North Sydney Chinaman’s Beach (in car), Greenwich (in car).
  • On a rock on a bush walk with bush walkers potentially passing nearby (Great North Walk).
  • On a cliff of Middle Head Sydney Harbour.
  • Picnic table at Gladesville – field of Mars & Asquith Oval!
  • Chatswood movie theatre, in a plane, at my old high school.
  • In the car in Neutral Bay and at Mosman Bay.
  • Balmoral beach.
  • In the car in a car park in Cremorne. It was night time and rainy though and no one else was around!!
  • Balcony of unit in Artarmon.
  • Forestville oval, Manly beach, bathroom of a pub in Chatswood.
  • In the car at Cremorne Point at night.
  • Opera House forecourt. Restaurant North Sydney Pool. Aircraft (not in toilet!). Vineyard in South Australia. Ayers Rock (yes seriously).
  • In a car outside the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
  • On the boardroom table at the law firm I worked at! My partner also gave me oral sex while I was working in my office with the door closed one evening while there were still people in the office.
  • Killara Golf Course.
  • A long time ago, when we were much younger and didn’t have children… at St Thomas’ Rest in Crows Nest, Greenwich Point lookout, Sawmillers Reserve.

Sexual Confessions

For the last question, we invited North Shore Mums to share their sexual confessions… here are just a few!

  • When my husband and I first got together we both lived at home with our parents so finding a place to have sex was pretty much impossible. So we used to go to a cafe that had a secluded “disabled toilets” adjacent to it and get it on 🙂
  • I got pretty turned on watching a lesbian movie.
  • Until recently I never realised how powerful fantasising about being with another person can work wonders in the bedroom!
  • I’ve had a couple of threesomes.
  • I’m having an affair. The sex is much better, more fun, kinkier with him. I’m much more confident in the bedroom with my lover than I am with my husband.
  • Orgasms chases away my menstrual cramps, perfect reason for a little self-love or for my partner to give me a little hand every month 🙂
  • The best sex was with my ex boyfriend. I am still loving him. Lots of time when I had sex with my partner, I visualise my ex. Also when I masturbate alone, watching porn, I often visualise my ex.
  • I went home with my husband the night I met him, after swearing I would never do that again. He made me come that night and it was the first time anyone had done that. Many times when I have considered leaving him, I have had to consider that I will never have sex with anyone else that is as good as the sex I have with my husband.
  • I’ve masturbated at work in the bathroom… on many occasions actually.
  • I often fantasise about threesomes to help me climax.
  • I really dislike oral sex – both types. It grossed me out.
  • My husband gets off on the thought of me with another man (during sex only).
  • An orgy with old ladies.
  • When I shared a fantasy with my DH he had the shits I then wouldn’t act on it with him (and have a threesome with another woman) so I have never told him another one.

Other fascinating facts

  • When it comes to using spicy acronyms… more than half (53%) would describe their sex life as ‘mild’, 33% ‘medium’, 13% ‘hot’ and 1% extra spicy.
  • 75% do not have a lock on their bedroom door.
  • 57% have had sex whilst a sleeping baby or child was in the same room.

This is just one half of the survey! We also asked lots of other questions around contraception, conception, fertility and more… and will share these results soon!


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