Sex is favorite free pastime in study

Cash-strapped Britons caught in the credit squeeze are turning to their main squeeze when it comes to looking for a free form of entertainment.

Now, can you possibly guess what that pleasurable free activity is?

According to an Internet survey of more than 2,000 people across Britain by research company YouGov, 37 percent rated sex as their top free activity. On average, that is.

There was, as one might expect, something of a difference between the figures for men and women. Fifty-three percent of men listed sex as their favorite no-cost pastime. For women, it was 21 percent, compared with 28 percent who preferred having a good gossip.

“I just leave the men to draw their own conclusions from that,” said Genevieve Edwards, communications director for the Terrence Higgins Trust, which conducted the study.

“Obviously,” she said, “when people are thinking about going out and having dinner, that costs money. So they’re choosing to hunker down at home instead.”

And the weather has also been a factor.

“I don’t know about Canada,” she said, “but it has got very cold here in the last couple of weeks as well.”

Indeed, the figures for spending time between the sheets got higher the further north you went and the colder the weather got. (Which should make Yukoners about the sexiest people on Earth.)

In Britain, it was the Scots, at 43 percent, who had sex the most, compared with 35 percent for those in London and the south.

Lisa Power, head of policy at THT, said in a statement: “During the credit crunch our famed British upper lip might not be as stiff as before but other parts still are. We’re glad that people are finding ways of relieving some of their credit-crunch woes, but if there’s one thing it’s worth forking out for, it’s condoms.”

Another free pastime that made the list was window shopping, which was popular with 9 percent of respondents. However, “going to a museum didn’t fare too well with anyone,” said Edwards.

Visiting museums — which are generally free in Britain — came in at 6 percent.

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