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Russian Sex Lives Satisfying to Fewer Than Half, Survey Shows

Almost half of Russians say they have satisfying sex lives, while a full quarter would rather not talk about it, a survey showed.

Forty-three percent of Russians are either definitely or probably satisfied, almost four times more than the 11 percent who expressed possible or certain dissatisfaction, the independent Moscow-based Levada Center said yesterday on its website. Twenty-five percent refused to answer, 15 percent said they had “no sex lives” and 6 percent said they were unsure.

Wealthy Russians and those younger than 40 were most likely to report sexual contentment, Levada said. That may be encouraging to retailers such as Limited Brands Inc.’s lingerie producer Victoria’s Secret, which reportedly plans to open its first Russian store in Moscow this month.

Only 16 percent of Levada’s respondents said they had visited a sex shop at least once, compared with 79 percent who said they had never stepped foot into an adult-goods store. The figure rose to 25 percent for younger and wealthier respondents as well as for those with a higher education, the pollster said.

The survey of 1,600 people was conducted August 19-23 and had a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.

Russia is trying to stem a demographic crisis after its population fell to 142.9 million last year from 148.3 million in 1991, the year the Soviet Union collapsed. President Dmitry Medvedev has led a push to curb drinking, a major factor in the country’s high mortality rate, while Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said in July the government would boost payments to mothers with multiple children.

A 2006 poll by Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc’s condom brand Durex, which surveyed 26,000 people in 26 countries, found that 42 percent of Russians were satisfied with their sex lives, the same share as in Brazil, China and Switzerland. That compared with 61 percent in India, 51 percent in Greece, 36 percent in Italy and 25 percent in France.

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