You described the event as a 'big work gala', a seated dinner with name place-cards and all.

London - The food is good and the conversation is flowing as freely as your host’s wine.

But if you feel the urge to turn the subject matter to money or – heaven forbid – sex, think again. A survey suggests they top the list of taboo topics not to be broached at any polite dinner party.

Meanwhile, religion or politics, the discussion of which was once seen as the epitome of poor etiquette, can now be talked about with barely a frown from your friends.

The survey of changing British values and habits found that one third of us would not discuss unfaithfulness or our sex lives, even when in the company of close friends.

That knocks money down to a close third place, with over a quarter saying they would refuse to talk about their finances with those who are close to them.

A similar proportion say they would not even be comfortable discussing the amount of money they earn.

Nevertheless, there are still many who are not so inhibited when it comes to conversation, with almost two in five admitting they would discuss any and all topics including sex, finances and relationships.

Friends have, however, replaced family as the people with whom we are most likely to confide in.

While 39 percent said all these areas were openly discussed with friends, only 26 percent said they would talk about them with their relatives.

The results are based on a survey of 2012 respondents conducted on behalf of O2 for their All About You Report, which was commissioned to mark the launch of the new Samsung Galaxy SIII.

O2 spokesman David Johnson said: “We’ve found that talking more openly and frankly has become a feature of everyday British life.

“Where once we were considered reserved and up-tight when it comes to our topics of conversation, the nation is now more open and ready to talk about things that would once perhaps have made previous generations blush.”

The research was based on a poll of 2012 UK adults by Opinium Research, with the fieldwork conducted during 17 and 19 May 2012.

Lifestyle consultant Jackie Notman added: “Sex and finances tend to be subjects that people like to keep to themselves. This may be because they do not want to admit that they are not having as good a time as they believe everyone else is.

“Also, it could be argued that religion and politics do not mean as much to people as they used to, so are no longer viewed as contentious subjects.” - Daily Mail


1. My sex life - 32%

2. An infidelity - 31%

3. The state of my finances - 28%

4. How much I earn - 25%

5. My family planning - 19%

6. My relationship with my partner - 18%

7. The value of my home - 16%

8. Politics - 13%

9. Serious illness - 9%

10. Religion - 7%

None of these: I discuss them all - 39%