Sex lies and internet dating
Last week, The Lancet published the third of a series of surveys into British sexual attitudes and lifestyles (Natsal).
But to what extent can we believe the figures given such authority by these huge reports?
After her husband, Art, passed away when she was 58, Helene soon discovered that she was lonely and she started to use online dating services when she was 60 years old.
After sharing her adventures with her friend, Irene, she decided to put into writing her experiences dating at this ancient age, and to tell the stories of the advances, love, and lies of the more than forty men she met.
All have their roots in the plethora of sex surveys that, since the middle of the 20th century, have opened up this most fundamental part of human behaviour – a behaviour that until then was largely shrouded (in the West at least) in taboo, myth and misinformation. When it comes to sexual fantasies, men tend to be more visual, whereas women are turned on by thinking about romantic situations. Of all those statements only the last is definitively true, although all have been repeated with varying degrees of authority by experts, journalists and pressure groups over the years.