Americans over 45 are now more open to the idea of sex outside marriage than they were 10-years ago, but are engaging less often and with less satisfaction, a survey has found.
The survey, based on detailed questionnaires completed last year by 1,670 people aged 45 and over, found that financial stress is to be blamed for the change, reports the New York Daily News.
Similar surveys on sexual attitudes and practices had been conducted in 1999 and 2004, and one of the most pronounced changes over the 10-year span dealt with sex outside of marriage.
In the 1999 survey, 41 percent of the respondents said non-marital sex was wrong. That figure dropped to 22 percent in the new survey.
But sexual activity, marital or not, seems to be less frequent overall for this age group.
In the new survey, 28 percent said they had intercourse at least once a week, and 40 percent at least once a month both categories were down roughly 10 percentage points from 2004.
Asked if they were satisfied with their sex lives, 43 percent in the new survey said yes, down from 51 percent in 2004.
The one intriguing find was that respondents who had a partner but weren't married had sex more frequently and with more satisfaction than respondents who were married.
Gender differences were pronounced in several responses. Men think about sex and engage it more often than women, and are about twice as likely as women (21 percent versus 11 percent) to admit to sexual activity outside their primary relationship.