The topic of sex has long been of taboo for some of us. Many of us can’t openly discuss it, let alone mention it. Some are way too shy to seek help or even attain vital information when it comes to the matter.

We’ve come a long way, from an era where you agreed to marriage by just looking at a picture of someone to a generation where we have a myriad of apps to choose from to simply swipe for “love”. Technology has since then flirted with romance to make dating and finding a life partner a little extra fun. But for some of us, it is a concern to ensure sexual education receives fair attention and priority among young adults.

When we asked Malaysians about their dating lives, we did not expect to find how virtuous they were. It is refreshing and interesting to learn about their current perception and take on relationships.

We found these 9 behaviours to be especially indulging.

1. Texts before dates

We asked Malaysian single men and women if they would take the leap in asking someone they had just met out on a date. Turns out, men are currently bolder in this department. But we also found that both genders agreed on one thing. Both men (35%) and women (34%) say they would prefer to spend some time texting a person first before going out on a date. Looks like both sexes need to know how good their potential partner is with words. Fair criteria, really.

However, we could assume that women are more cautious when it comes to meeting someone new. A small (17%) but significant single women answered no due to being afraid of strangers.

2. Online dating apps are the new place to make friends

We found that both men and women are getting more efficient with their time and finding creative ways to multi-task at every chance they get. Online dating platforms are now used for more reasons than just finding a date. Users are more opportunistic and are using the app for business as well as pleasure.

Usage was largely attributed towards making friends. Almost all (75%) of current online dating app users say they are on the app to make friends. 33% of users are using the app as a networking platform.

It is a competitive pool even for online dating applications. Current users are largely using BeeTalk and Tinder. Closer contenders are Malaysian Cupid and

3. Faith in long distance relationships restored

More than half (69%) of Malaysians said they would be willing to be in a long distance relationship.

In 2018, World of Buzz interviewed Malaysians on this subject and many stressed the importance of trust and communication. Business Insider also shared useful tips for a long distance relationship to work. We suspect the large support system has helped Malaysians grow to have more faith in being in a long distance relationship.

4. Chivalry is still alive and growing among men and women.

Most of our parents have told us that a man should always be the provider, and for a long time now we have believed this. But it’s 2019 and we thought we should check if the perception remained the same.

We asked both men and women if men should be the one paying for the first date and more than half (65%) answered yes. We then cross-checked this information to understand the perception deeper and we found that men are more likely than women to say yes.

Another interesting point was that women (32%) say the bill should be split as opposed to only a fraction of men (15%) who are willing to split a bill.

5. Put a ring on it first

More than half (64%) of single Malaysians say they would not have sex before marriage. Two points from this group of respondents further revealed how they would stand their ground on this statement.

  • More than half of these respondents (69%) who would not have sex before marriage, also said they would not be with someone who has already had pre-marital sex.
  • Almost all of the respondents (80%) said they would still not have sex before marriage even if they have been in a relationship that is perfect for more than 2 - 3 years.

6. It is okay to wait, no pressure

We wanted to gauge if ‘no sex’ was a deal breaker. Turns out many Malaysians place more emphasis on relationship quality over sex.

  • A large portion (86%) of those who are single and would have pre-marital sex said they would still pursue a relationship if their partner did not want to engage in any sexual acts.
  • Almost all from this pool (77%) also said they would consider saving sex for after marriage if they met someone who is absolutely perfect for them.

    This is especially an important fact to remember when choosing the right partner. The Star Online shared news early this year on the emphasis on a comprehensive sexual education (CSE), which is defined by the guidance as a “curriculum-based process of teaching and learning about the cognitive, emotional, physical and social aspects of sexuality.

7. Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD)

A small amount (13%) of sexually active Malaysians answered ‘Yes’ to have contracted a type of sexually transmitted disease (STD). Although at a small percentage, the list of contracted disease ring an alarm of concern for the need for increased awareness. A breakdown of STD contracted by the 13% of sexually active Malaysians are as below.

The good news is, more (60%) sexually active Malaysians are aware of STD screening services. This, however, still leaves much room for awareness and education to be spread across the remaining unaware 40%.

8. Popular forms of contraception

Condoms are highly used (52%) but other popular forms of contraception are highly risky with 14% stating that they use the "pull out" method and 19% not using any form of contraception.

9. Early starters

Almost half (47%) of Malaysians who are currently sexually active share that they first had sex before they turned 21, while 11% during their teenage years, further proving how important and relevant sex education is.

This survey was conducted with 1,000 nationally representative Malaysians to understand the current dating trends, as well as sexual habits and lifestyle choices Malaysians are practising. We noticed the behaviours and choices between the generations to be rather similar for the most part of it.

If you would like to view the full survey data, please access it here. If you would like to speak to us about conducting a survey or find out about other market research services, please feel free to contact us for a chat too.