Research which was commissioned in the wake of the Grace Millane trial, where the defendant used a defence of “rough sex” but was found guilty of murdering the British backpacker while she was travelling in New Zealand, has found that a third of British women under the age of 40 have been subjected to unwanted choking, slapping, spitting or gagging, during consensual sex.
The study, conducted by BBC Radio 5 Live and ComRes asked 2,002 women from across the UK, between the ages of 18 and 39, if they had ever experienced the acts during sex and if so, whether it was unwanted.
More than a third (38 per cent) who had experienced these acts and said they were unwanted at least some of the time.
Just under two-thirds of women had either experienced it and said it was never unwanted (31 per cent) while another 31 per cent said they had never experienced it or preferred not to say.
Of the women who had experienced any of these acts, wanted or otherwise, 20 per cent said they had been left upset or frightened.
The Centre for Women's Justice told the BBC the findings show the "growing pressure on young women to consent to violent, dangerous and demeaning acts".
It said: "This is likely to be due to the widespread availability, normalisation and use of extreme pornography."
Adina Claire, acting co-chief executive at Women's Aid, told The Independent of the findings: "This survey indicates how frequently sexual violence is being experienced by women under 40, with partners they consent to have sex with going on to humiliate or frighten them. Consenting to have sex with someone does not lessen the seriousness of slapping or choking someone.
"Additionally with 41 per cent of rapes being perpetrated by a current or former partner, we know that sexual violence is frequently part of an abusive relationship. This shows how important it is to educate about consent and respect in relationships, sending out a clear message that all forms of rape and sexual assault are against the law."