London - British author Jilly Cooper has criticised the #MeToo movement for leaving men and women unable to flirt and have "fun" with each other.

The author, who is famous for the explicit depictions of sex and romance in her racy novels, added that she loves being the target of a wolf-whistle.

The 81-year-old complained that one of her main characters – lothario Rupert Campbell-Black – would be "locked up in prison" due to the outrage culture generated by #MeToo.

The #MeToo movement is a global campaign against sexual assault which has led to the downfall of powerful men, most notably Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

The hashtag is used to encourage women to share their experiences of sexual harassment on the internet, and helps flag up their messages to others. But Cooper says the hysteria generated by the movement has now gone too far – making it difficult for men and women to interact with each other.

Speaking to the Sunday Times magazine, she said: "You can’t flirt any more. We used to have so much more fun!"

Cooper also said she isn’t disturbed by wolf-whistling and cat-calling. She defended the more strident sexual behaviour of some men, saying they have a higher libido than women. "Men on the whole have been very nice to me," she said.

"I love being wolf-whistled. I know men shouldn’t jump on everybody. But I do think men have stronger libidos than women."

She added that she’s concerned millennials are no longer having as much sex as previous generations – and blamed the popularity of pornography. She said: "Millennials are very sweet to me, but I’ve read they’re all virgins.

"They shut themselves away to watch porn all day, or so I’ve read. They must find it difficult to get turned on by normal sex."

Daily Mail