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Thursday, 14 February, 2002, 02:27 GMT
Sexiest Britons named in Valentine's poll
Couples holding hands
The average couple has sex 110 times a year
Lovers in the north east of England and Scotland are the most passionate in Britain, according to a survey.

It said they spend more time between the sheets than anyone else, having sex an average of 122 times a year - 11% more than the national average of 110.

Southerners were left straggling at the bottom of the sex league, making love 97 times a year.

Overall the sauciest age group was in the 21 to 24 age range, who had sex 150 times a year - almost every other day.

The Durex study said 16 to 20-year-olds had sex 122 times a year, while the over-45s averaged 77 times.

Sex facts
Britons have sex 110 times a year
Men think about sex 20 times a day
One in four women prefer seeing friends
One in three under 16s have had sex
Men have 11.5 partners on average
Women have 5.7 partners on average

According to researchers men spent four times as much time thinking about sex as women.

The average man admitted he thought about it 20 times a day - compared to five times a day for women.

Men also claimed to have had more lovers - 11.5 on average - compared to 5.7 for women.

Almost half of men named sex as their top hobby, compared with just one in five women.

One in four women said going out with friends was better than sex - a view shared by 16% of men.

Pregnancies

Despite the importance of sex to most Britons, the survey found many fail to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.

Of those questioned 14% said they had sex without a condom with a new partner in the last year - more than double the figure in 1994.

That was despite nine out of ten people knowing that condoms can help protect against Aids.

The study also found that young people are having sex earlier.

The first sexual experience for people now aged over 45 was 17.6, compared to 15 for those now aged 16 to 20-years-old.

Sex education

Three in 10 said they lost their virginity under the age of 16.

Schoolchildren are also being given sex education at an earlier age and only 16% of Britons claim not to have learned about sex in school.

Of the 3,800 people who took part in the survey three out of 10 thought Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston were the world's sexiest couple.

Victoria and David Beckham were picked by 13%, while 12% named Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas.

See also:

24 May 01 | Education
Sex on children's school trips
26 Jun 01 | Health
Sex a turn-off for many UK women
07 Jun 01 | Health
Cuddles 'more important than sex'
25 Apr 01 | Sci/Tech
To love, honour and deceive
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