If you met someone at a party and asked them what they do for a living, and they said, 'I work for YouGov, we're like a market research and data analytics firm,' you'd be within your rights to regret starting the conversation.
However, if you were polite and asked them what they'd been working on lately, they might just tell you, 'Oh, we've been surveying Brits to try and find out whether they consider fingering and nosh jobs and the like to count as sex,' and nobody is walking away from the conversation at this point.
Yes, the YouGov boffins have been asking the questions that matter - and the answers are pretty interesting.
They asked 5,807 Brits a list of questions about sex classifications, and it seems once again, we are a nation divided.
On the subject of whether blow jobs or cunnilingus count as having sex, around 45 percent of people sided with no. Meanwhile, about 41 percent ruled that it does count, while eight percent just couldn't make their minds up and seven percent preferred not to say (and presumably regretted taking part in the randy survey).
"Men are slightly more likely than not to say that both count as having sex, while women are closely split," YouGov said.
"Sexuality plays a greater role in people's opinion, with gay and bisexual men significantly more likely to say a blow job counts as sex (57 percent say so), with lesbian and bisexual women likewise saying so of cunnilingus (54 percent).
"There is also a noticeable generational divide. Attitudes among younger Britons are largely consistent until around the age of 50, at which point they flip.
"Britons over 50 consider oral sex to count as having sex: 54-56 percent say it is whether it be on a man or a woman, compared to 29 percent who say it is not. These figures are effectively reversed for those under 50."
At this point, I know what you're shouting at your device: "WHAT ABOUT FINGERING?!?"
Well, the results are in, and the majority of people don't count fingering or hand jobs as sex.
"Fewer people see getting your hands dirty as constituting having sex," YouGov explained.
"Hand jobs and fingering are both generally seen as not counting as having sex by themselves (52 percent in the case of the former and 48 percent for the latter). By contrast, only around a third (34-37 percent) consider them to be sex in and of themselves.
"Unlike the oral examples, men and women are in accord when it comes to whether using hands alone can count as sex. This remains the case regarding hand jobs among gay and bisexual men, although lesbian and bisexual women are more likely to see fingering as sex in its own right (49 percent).
"The generational differences persist, however. Younger Britons are even more emphatic in their view that hand stuff does not count as sex (58 percent say hand jobs don’t, and 62 percent say fingering doesn't), while older generations are more divided, although older Britons do tend to see fingering as sex by 48 percent to 37 percent."
The greatest question of all though remains unanswered... does masturbating count as having sex with yourself? Food for thought, but YouGov stopped short of asking.
Featured Image Credit: Oleg Elkov / Alamy Stock Photo/Anna Berkut / Alamy Stock Photo
Topics: Sex and Relationships