There is no better place in Europe to enter the world of sex and billing than the Red Light District in Amsterdam. A recent Harvard study shows that only one in 30 Dutch men have experience with prostitutes. That is much lower than the number of men who visit the local madam in England and the United States. There is recent statistical proof that consumers are now turning in greater numbers to the Internet to procure sex, and consequently, consumption of Internet porn is rapidly growing in the Netherlands.
Although Dutch society has a reputation for being open, most Dutch do not want their family and friends to know they are surfing adult. They also have a deep-seated mistrust of transacting with porn websites. For these reasons, the vast majority of adult surfers in the Netherlands use telecom billing, which commands 85 percent of all online adult billing. They dial a premium rate line (like a 1-900 number in the United States), get a password and enter a site on a pay per minute basis. When they are done, they hang up and end access to the site. It's anonymous, secure and the average price is about $1 per minute.
An Italian court recently ruled that it is legally acceptable to have sex in a bar bathroom. This must come as a relief to the average Italian, who, as the stereotype goes, lives at home until he is 35. With mamma in the next room, it's a little difficult to have a vibrant, operatic bedroom bounce-around. Living with the folks may also explain why Italians are 30 percent more likely to take photos and videos of their girlfriends, according to the 2004 Durex Global Sex Survey. Mamma will start to worry if the girlfriend is over all the time, but she doesn't have to know about the pictures and videos. Most Italians also prefer to pay for viewing pictures and videos of other people's girlfriends (i.e. webmaster content) in an anonymous and private way.
On to Spain, where a town in the Mediterranean province of Valencia recently decided to turn the lights off at night at the beach. Why? The local government has made a priority of providing semi-private places for young people to have sex to increase birth rates. In Spain, just as in Italy, the average man leaves home in his mid-30s. As in Italy, telecom billing dominates online adult billing. What is the big difference between Spain and Italy? Nearly 41 percent of Spaniards are into spanking — almost three times more than in Italy and two times the global average.
Germans, surprisingly, don't spank. That is, they don't spank their women. As for sex toys, there is a 50 percent higher chance of using them in Germany, according to Durex. Handcuffs and blindfolds are also fairly standard. This is a society in love with sexual variety, and that desire for options translates at a healthy rate into online adult billing options. In Germany, the average porn site offers 14 different ways to pay. Lastschrift, a type of debit card, is the most popular and is used in more than 50 percent of all transactions.
The United Kingdom has a reputation for being sexually repressed, but ironically, they beat the global average on every measure of sexual expression in the Durex survey.
However, a wild sex life does not need to be public. The Brits typically access adult online with telecom billing to keep private matters private. And, because of the strong British pound, the payouts are more than $1 a minute to webmasters.
According to Durex, France is the sexiest nation on earth. The average Frenchman has sex 137 times a year. The rest of us have sex an average of 103 times a year. Leaving France and Europe behind we go to South America. Brazil has long been considered a kind of sexual paradise. They do have the second highest average number of sexual partners, 15.2, and they have 50 percent more orgasms than the global average. Interestingly, the number of times they have sex in a year is far below the global average at 93, which leaves more time for online sex.
Brazilian and South American-based credit card buyers are declined by most major third party processors in the United States, so they cannot pay with credit cards. When they pay for sex online, they typically pay with telecom billing.
Heading to Asia we find that the Chinese have the highest number of sexual partners, 19.3, almost twice the global average. However, the Chinese living in Hong Kong, while wealthier, are worse off with only 3.5 sexual partners.
But the question remains how to successfully bill those 1.3 billion Chinese? The answer, unfortunately, is that you don't. Not yet at least. And if you operate a porn site from within the Red Dragon you can be sent to jail.
Our final stop is the world heavyweight champion of paid sex, Thailand. The numbers reveal a sexually conservative country. According to studies, the average age that the Thai lose their virginity is 18. In Germany, that age is typically 16. Only 6 percent of Thai citizens own a vibrator, compared with 27 percent globally, and they have sex at the global average rate of 103 times a year.
The Thai are also in line with global billing practices. A Thai pimp will not accept an end user's plastic. Neither will a U.S. third-party processor accept a Thai credit card. Telecom billing is the only way to pay in that region of the world.
There are as many ways to have sex as there are countries and people around the world and the differences come down to where you live. It is fundamentally a local question.
Try spanking a German or photographing a handcuffed Dutch woman and you will see what we mean. The take-away is that there are preferred ways to have sex in each country and there are preferred ways to pay for sex online.