UK Bedroom Disasters Report
on 1 Jun 2022
One in three Brits have suffered from a sex injury, but from carpet burn to UTIs, what are the most common bedroom disasters amongst Brits?
Getting adventurous between the sheets is a pleasurable experience for the majority of Brits, but when things don’t go to plan, bedroom fun can soon turn into a disaster.
From carpet burn to UTIs and broken penises, there are a variety of sex injuries we can suffer while getting caught up in the moment. According to our recent survey, as many as one in three (37%) Brits have expereinced a sex injury. But what are the most common sex injuries in the UK?
To answer this, we surveyed Brits to reveal the most common bedroom disasters, the cities that are the most prone to sex-related injuries, and the positions where they occur most frequently. Additionally, we have partnered with a sex expert to provide advice on how to avoid bedroom disasters.
The most common bedroom disasters
Our research revealed that avoiding disasters in the bedroom is easier said than done, with over 37% of our Brits reporting a mishap during sex. Interestingly, men (39%) were found to be more prone to bedroom disasters than women (36%), and we also discovered that people between the age of 35 and 44 experienced the most sex injuries in the UK (47%).
What Happened to Our Surveyed Brits Who Have Been Injured During Sex:
Carpet burn was found to be the most common sex injury in the UK, with 65% of our Brits saying they’ve experienced it. This was closely followed by bruises (54%) and pulled muscles (39%).
It was also uncovered that penetrative sex was not the only cause of bedroom mishaps. Almost 24% of our male respondents admitted to experiencing sex-related injuries whilst either giving or receiving oral sex, compared to 16% of our women.
How to avoid bedroom disasters
After revealing the UK’s most common bedroom disasters, we spoke to sex and relationships expert at The Sex Consultant, Ness Cooper, who offers the following advice:
Carpet burn - Suffered by 65% of our Brits
“Use a soft blanket beneath you to help reduce the risks of carpet burn during sex. When regularly having sex on carpets, keeping areas covered that are prone to carpet burn is important. If you do get carpet burn, making sure that you clean the area afterwards to avoid infection is essential. Nappy rash creams or similar products may also help protect an area injured by carpet burn.”
UTIs - Suffered by 31% of women and 1 in 10 men
“Making sure you’re aroused during vaginal penetration can help reduce the risk of a UTI. Estrogen vaginal cream can help maintain the ph balance of the vagina for those who are going through menopause - and this can help reduce the risks of UTIs for menopausal individuals. Washing with water rather than soaps and vaginal washes can also help reduce UTIs.”
Vaginal tears - Suffered by 1 in 10 women
“Vaginal tears can happen when not enough foreplay has occurred. Using water-based lubrication can help reduce the risk of vaginal tears. Additionally, if you prefer larger sex toys, starting with a smaller sex toy first can help stretch the vaginal walls and make them less likely to tear when inserting a larger sex toy.”
The most hazardous sex positions
In addition to uncovering the most common bedroom disasters, we also asked individuals which sex position they were in while experiencing the injury to discover which positions are the most hazardous - and Ness Cooper offers these safety tips:
Doggy style - Half of our Brits have experienced a bedroom disaster in this position
“Adding a pillow under your wrists and hands can help avoid wrist injuries, particularly those caused by hyperextension. Sex position straps can reduce uncontrolled movements that may lead to injuries, particularly during rougher doggy style sex.”
Missionary - Over a third of our Brits have experienced a bedroom disaster in this position
“Placing a pillow under the lumbar spine can reduce back injuries or flare-ups. It may also help increase pleasure during penetration. If the individual on top finds they have discomfort in their knees during this position, moving to a standing position whilst the receiver is on the bed may avoid this. Changing how close you are to your lover's body may make it easier or harder for you and reduce muscle fatigue - it’s all about experimenting!”
Cowgirl - Almost 1 in 6 of our Brits have experienced a bedroom disaster in this position
“Working out whether you’re more comfortable being on top with knees up or down can be important in working out an injury-free way to enjoy this position. Having a headboard to lean on with your arms can give you extra support during thrusts. Working together and helping each other move can add extra support during sex and reduce injury during cowgirl.”
Bedroom Disaster Hotspots in the UK
We took a deeper look into where in the UK individuals were the most prone to bedroom disasters, and it was revealed that those in Bristol and Sheffield are the most prone to bedroom mishaps, with almost half (48%) of residents reporting an incident. Manchester followed closely behind as one of the UK’s sex injury hotspots, with 42% of residents admitting to sustaining injuries whilst having sex.
While analysing where individuals from each city experienced the most bedroom disasters, it was found that those in Brighton were the most likely to experience a sex injury either at work (11%) or in an aeroplane bathroom (11%). While individuals between 45-54 reported the most sex injuries in the garden (8%).
People from some cities were also found to be more likely to wind up in A&E after a bedroom mishap than others. Almost one in five Plymouth residents admitted they had broken a bone through sex, while those in Glasgow were the most likely to experience a foreign object getting stuck (13%).
The most hazardous locations and destructive sex positions
Whether it’s a broken bedframe or a smashed glass, body parts aren't the only casualties seen as a consequence of having sex. But what are the most frequently damaged items?
Over half (57%) of our Brits admitted they had previously broken a bed frame, one in three reported they had ripped a shower curtain, and 34% admitted to breaking a chair. It was also found that doggy style (30%) and missionary (23%) are the most destructive positions.
Unsurprisingly, sex injuries were found to occur the most frequently in the bedroom (55%), but this was closely followed by sofas (26%), and the stairs (22%). Hotel rooms were another high-risk area for sex injuries, with one in six Brits reporting bedroom disasters when staying away from home. Our survey also revealed that 45% of Brits have experienced sex-related injuries outside of the bedroom, and these kinds of injuries were found to be the most common among those over the age of 55 (60%).
Some of the more adventurous locations individuals experienced sex injuries included aeroplane toilets and the workplace. Encountering a sex injury while joining the mile-high club was six times more likley to happen to men compared to women.
Expert tips on avoiding injury while experimenting in the bedroom
Experimenting with different kinds of play can be extremely stimulating, but if not performed properly it can also potentially lead to injuries. Ness Cooper has shared the following tips:
Consent and communication is key
“Only participate in new forms of play with individuals who have agreed to it. If someone is worried or feels pressured into it, this can increase the risk of injury.”
Use a safe word
“Safewords can ensure you understand when your play partner has reached their physical and/ or psychological limit. Safewords help keep the play consensual, safe and prevent unwanted injuries.”
Make sure any toys fit properly and are clean
“Making sure BDSM equipment is fitted correctly is important. For example, a bondage gag that is too tight can cause rubbing around the straps and cause jaw strain. Additionally, when using bondage harnesses, they shouldn’t be too tight against the body. Instead, leaving a finger width gap will help reduce injury. Making sure BDSM hoods and masks are clean is important to avoid irritation from loose fibres.”
Be cautious when trying new locations
“Having sex in new locations can be a great way to spice up your sex life, though locations such as the shower can be tricky when trying to avoid injury. If you want to be extra adventurous with positions during shower sex, be aware that it can be slippery. Checking any fittings you may be leaning against beforehand for stability is advised.”
The survey data in this study is based on a survey of 2,014 adults in the UK who were over the age of 18 and who have previously had sex. The survey took place in May 2022.
Gender splits are based on respondents choosing how they identify.
Ness Cooper is a sex and relationships expert at The Sex Consultant.