Sex in the 21st century - Rude Britannia
Tim Fountain spent two years researching the sex lives of Brits for his book Rude Britannia. Here he tells The List what he discovered about the Scots, himself and ‘yiffing’
'The Scots are at it like rabbits. 10,000 Scots go dogging every year. I’d find people at it on a Monday night in East Kilbride, next to a landfill site. Or we’d drive up some country lane and spot a white bottom moving up and down, lit by the light from a car stereo blasting out Simply Red.
Scotland has so many beauty spots, some believe it’s actually encouraging all this outdoor activity. According to a survey, 80% of Highlanders are willing to make love outdoors.
Furries is also a trend that’s hit Scotland. That’s where people dress up in animal costumes – cartoon, anthropomorphic characters. ‘Yiffing’ is when you rub up against someone in your costume. But you must be careful – yiffing leads to ‘spooging’. That messes up your fur.
Dundee leads the way. Lovers in the Grampian region keep partners sexually satisfied with the average love making session lasting 34 minutes instead of the national average of 39.
The Rude Britannia experience was partly about discovering what was going on in Britain, but also what was going on in my own head. It followed my Edinburgh Fringe show Sex Addict, where the audience chose who I had sex with.
The last time I did that show was at the Tron theatre in Glasgow. The audience picked me a guy, and I’ve been with him for three years now. It was the biggest arranged marriage in Scottish history! We met at the Jury’s Inn, or Durex Inn as we renamed it.
I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day. I’m terrible with organised celebrations – birthdays and Christmas plunge me into a deep depression. As Samuel Johnson said, ‘Nothing is more hopeless than a scheme of merriment’. You only have to walk through the Merchant City on Valentine’s City and see all those couples sitting in restaurants staring at each other. Oh God – slow death! But my boyfriend will be expecting something so I suppose I’ll buy him a teddy bear or something.
We’ll be in Tunisia actually, I’m doing a lecture on casual sex in Islam. What could go wrong?'
As told to Claire Sawers.
Rude Britannia is out now published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson.