Thirty-something men and women are more dissatisfied with their sex life than any other age group.
Financial worries and the stress of caring for children leave them too listless for bedroom fireworks, a survey claims.
But they should not despair. The best sex apparently happens in the fifties, while sexual confidence peaks between the ages of 60 and 69.
Passion-killer: They might be in their prime, but thirty-somethings are the most dissatisfied with their love lives
The Sex Census 2012, which involved almost 25,000 respondents, suggests that 25 per cent of those aged 30 to 39 are unhappy with their sex lives owing to money worries and the demands of modern life.
In the same age group 35 per cent said caring for babies and young children was having a negative impact on their sexual relationships as they were just too tired.
Low body confidence and depression also played a part in their lack of desire.
But as the respondents got older their satisfaction levels increased. Of those between 50 and 59, 52 per cent said they had a good sex life, with only a fifth saying they were unhappy.
Moreover, at age 18 women rated their sexual confidence at only four out of ten, while those aged 60 to 69 rated theirs at six out of ten.
The survey was funded by the charity Relate and the Ann Summers shop chain.
Pillow talk: The Sex Census 2012 collated data from almost 25,000 respondents about their sex lives
Paula Hall, sex therapist for Relate, said: ‘We know from previous research that the thirties can be a difficult period for some.
‘Pressures such as mortgages, children and work can really hit hard in this decade, but combined with the impact of a double dip recession, it creates a pressure cooker for our relationships and sex lives and naturally something has to give.
‘This age group is always a tricky one. The pressures to have it all are well documented but it’s important that people don’t give up on their sex lives.
'The results tell us that this age group actually want more sex, so people need to take time to work out what’s stopping them.
'It could be a communication barrier, or it might be the fact that you aren’t putting time aside for each other – whatever it is, having an open discussion can help get your sex life back on track.’
One of the more surprising findings of the survey was that 19 per cent of the 70-plus age group had used a social networking site to meet a stranger for sex, as opposed to 13 per cent in the 50 to 59 age group.
Perhaps unsurprisingly the highest percentage (26 per cent) to use a site such as Facebook or Friends Reunited were the 30 to 39-year-olds.
Jacqueline Gold, chief executive of Ann Summers, said: ‘We are all aware of the impact stress has on our lives, but it is interesting to see the negative effect it has on our sex lives.
‘Sex is a hugely important aspect of relationships and communication is a major part of this.’
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