If feeling fat, as 70 per cent of the respondents claimed, is a barrier to good sex, how come merrily obese young men and women pop into register offices or trot down the marriage aisle every day?In the throes of sexual passion, it's intimate caresses, delicious kisses and sweet talk, that make for sustained excitement. With all that in place, you no longer notice - or at least care - about the failings of the flesh (yours or his).But given that a new survey has declared that once you're past 45 it's all over bar the cocoa, I feel compelled to put my head above the parapet - or at least the duvet - and declare that not only can sex in later life be good, it can be better than ever.
Like most of those questioned in the survey, my sex life had also dwindled away in my 40s.
And yet my husband - we had been together for more than 20 years - was as attractive, albeit older, than when I first met him.
By the time you're 45 you loathe your body (or his) so much that you can only bear to do it in the dark, if at all, and that you're quite likely to nod off before it's over, exhaustion getting the better of you.
The average 45-year-old makes love once a week, which is not so bad an average, I would have thought, if you've been married for a couple of decades.
It starts with conversation, with being told how pretty or sexy you look, of being appreciated.
As our relationship soured, I noticed that even when I made the biggest effort - with my hair, with my make-up, my clothing - and looked the best I possibly could, my husband would say nothing at all, and it hurt. No wonder I lost all sense of my sexual self, I barely felt I was a woman at all.And even if I was a good deal more wrinkled than at 30, I hadn't let myself go physically. What killed off sex were the same things that killed off our marriage - anger, resentment, lack of communication, loss of affection, of caring, of noticing one another and paying attention.For women, seduction starts way before you get to the bedroom.It's not age that's responsible for their lack-lustre love lives, it's stale marriages.It's not sagging or excess flesh that's to blame, it's boredom.The problem with writing positively about sex if you're a mature woman (some might say old woman, I'm 57 after all) is that you will be seen as either an ageing exhibitionist or a liar.