Sophie Watson

Sporty singles: New Zealand sport fans have bigger libidos

In honour of 2016’s athletic August,we decided to investigate whether sport can affect your love-life. After studying data from 11,000 Kiwi singles, we found something interesting: it appears that liking sport (even just on TV) goes hand in hand with a high libido!

The facts about sporty singles:

  • On average, singles who like sport have far higher libidos than singles who don’t
  • These raised libidos exist whether playing sports – or just watching them!
  • Sporty singles also feel sexier: but are pickier when selecting a partner
  • The sexiest sport of all - according to Kiwis  - is either rugby sevens or hockey
  • New Zealand’s sexiest athletes of 2016 are Kerri Gowler and Blair Tuke

Getting in the mood: sporty singles have big libidos

Can sport be an aphrodisiac? Or is it simply that those with larger libidos also like sport? Either way, one thing is for certain: New Zealanders who love sport have a much higher sexual appetite than those who don’t!

Indeed, according to the study, a massive 79% of singles who love doing sport also claim to have ‘a strong desire for sex' whereas just 53% of singles who don't who don’t exercise can say the same. But, what's really interesting is that you don’t necessarily have to be doing the sport yourself to enjoy a high libido.

In fact, the numbers are somewhat similar: 78% of those who love watching sports events on TV also claim a strong desire for sex, compared with just 66% of those who actively don’t like to watch. In other words, whether you participate - or just like to watch - being a sporty single can go hand in hand with a strident sex drive.

Read more: do libido levels matter? We investigated whether you can have love without sex

Like sport? Chances are, you're sexy! (and a little picky)

Along with their strident libidos, sport lovers can boast high levels of self-assurance: 68% of those who exercise describe themselves as ‘sexy.’ Meanwhile, just 37% of those who don’t exercise would refer to themselves in the same way. 

Once again, this is an area where the sport watchers are keeping pace with the sport doers: 63% of those who love televised sport see themselves as sexy, while just 57% of those who don’t watch would be comfortable using the same term. Evidently, loving sport, whether as participant or fan, is the best way to ensure a fun summer between the sheets...

Of course, there is a catch: this increased self-assurance goes hand-in-hand with increased pickiness about a partner’s looks. Indeed, the more people love sport, the more physical attraction is an important factor in their search for a spouse: 70% of sporty singles and 66% of TV watchers cite physical attractiveness as an important quality in a partner, compared with just 41% of non-exercisers and 60% of TV haters.  

Read more: it's not just sports! In fact, our Kiwi members also think reading is sexy!

The sexiest sports in New Zealand  - and the not-so-sexy!

So, sport lovers are sexy, but which sport is sexiest of them all? For Kiwi singles, it comes down to a tie: in a complementary study, those Kiwis surveyed revealed that hockey and rugby sevens tie in the sexy stakes.

Meanwhile, it's not such good news for shot-putters. The complementary study also revealed the sports that are less swoon-worthy and, unfotunately, while the shot-put may be extremely impressive, Kiwis just don't find it sexy - it edged out boxing and weight-lifting to win the 'least sexy' crown.

Read more: Kiwi singles do love rugby. Find our rugby and romance study here.

The sexiest sporty singles in New Zealand

Despite the fact that the two sexiest sports are played on grass, the sexiest athletes are all about the water. Indeed, the survey also asked respondents to pick the sexiest Kiwi athletes of 2016 – and New Zealanders in voted for rower Kerri Gowler and sailor Blair Tuke.

They were joined on the winners’ podium by the two people picked by the survey respondents as the sexiest New Zealand athletes of all time: Sarah Ulmer and Rob Waddell.  

Do you want to meet athletic, active singles? Many of our members are into sports and are looking for love - join them today!

EliteSingles Editorial, July 2016

If you have questions or comments about athletic singles please email

If you are a member of the press, and you'd like to know more about this study, you can contact our press team using the links in the author box below.

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