The facts of life: consummation

You can tell if a woman is having good sex by the way she walks. Scientists had a success rate of over 80 per cent in identifying women who normally have orgasms and those who don't, by observing them walk for a few hundred metres. Those who are more satisfied have a more "free and sensual" gait.

The Emperor, Frederick III of Austria, after he was betrothed to Leonora, Princess of Portugal for diplomatic reasons, refused to complete the marriage unless he was permitted to first ascertain whether she would prove a satisfactory wife.

Henry VIII tried to use the issue of consummation to divorce Catherine of Aragon so that he could marry Anne Boleyn. He argued that Catherine's previous marriage to his older (by this time deceased) brother, Arthur, had been consummated, thus making his subsequent marriage illegal in biblical law. Catherine swore otherwise. In the end, Henry resolved it all by breaking with Rome.

Each day, there are around 120 million acts of copulation taking place around the world.

For most couples, a satisfactory sex session is one that lasts for between three and 13 minutes, according to a survey of Canadian and US sex therapists.

Eighty-five per cent of men who die of heartattacks during intercourse are found to have been cheating on their wives.

Octopus sex is more sophisticated than arm-wrestling. For decades, scientists have viewed octopuses as unromantic loners. But researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, found that at least one species of octopus engages in flirting, passionate handholding and keeping rivals at arms' length.

The British are too stressed for sex. A survey of 2,091 people found that almost one in five have no sex at all in the average month and 42 per cent spend 20 minutes or less on the act of consummation, while most couples are making love no more than six times a month. Their biggest bedroom enemy is stress closely followed by worrying about the kids (women), and work (men).

The average speed of ejaculation has been measured to be approximately 28mph (just under the speed limit in built-up areas).

In one ejaculation, there may be more than 300 million sperm. The sperm are ejaculated into the vagina at a speed of up to 500 cm (200 inches) per second.

The world ejaculation distance record belongs to Horst Schultz, who ejaculated 18 ft 9 in.

Japan's declining population could be linked to a love of sex toys and masturbation that has left Japanese man disinterested in normal sex. Scientists are worried that sex products including female robots and moulded female genitalia are taking the place of real women and causing sexual dysfunction.

Thai green curry is the best take-away for a sexy night in. Its ingredients which often include ginseng, ginger, cardamom, garlic, basil, asparagus and lemon grass are said to a boost to your sex drive. A pizza with tomatoes, garlic, basil, olives and onions can also be a winner and chicken korma is a good choice for women.

Most American women would be willing to go 15 months without sex if they were given a wardrobe of new clothes instead. In a survey of 1,000 women, 61 per cent said they would rather forgo sex for a month than lose their favourite piece of clothing, and some would even be willing to go without sex for three years if they had new clothes constantly.

People who cohabit have the most active sex lives, followed by (in descending order) divorced men, married people and singles, a survey found.

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