They also found that divorcees were more concerned with feeling that spark of desire with a new partner than those who had never been married.

London - Youth is wasted on the young – so the saying goes – and doing their best to prove it are the over-50s.

They are more sexually active than six years ago, according to a survey which also found that a third of the age group enjoy sex more than in their youth.

Four in five of those in their early 50s make love regularly, with a quarter enjoying a romantic episode under the sheets at least once a week.

Passion remains important even among those 20 years older, with almost half of the over-75s still having sex. One in ten of this age group say they have sex once a week.

The findings chime with other research that has revealed today’s over-50s are more likely to be over the moon than over the hill.

Most report being happy about their health, relationships and finances – with contentment continuing to rise well into their 70s.

Nearly 9,000 people aged 50 or more were questioned about their sex lives by Populus on behalf of Saga Magazine for the survey.

Almost three-quarters, or 71 percent, reported having a healthy sex life, compared to 65 percent in a similar study from 2007.

While many admitted having less sex than they used to, a quarter of men and a third of women said it was more enjoyable than in their 20s and 30s.

The fulfilment could be explained by the fact that two-thirds felt there was less pressure on them to perform. The average over-50 reported having seven sexual partners during a lifetime. Men typically had eight partners, while women had six.

Baby boomers – aged between 60 and 64 – had the most sexual partners, with eight on average among men and women. One in eight claimed to have slept with 20 people in total.

And there was a surprising number of over-75s with colourful love lives, with one in 13 admitting to more than 20 partners over the years.

Saga Magazine said improvements in the general wellbeing of the over-50s might explain why more were enjoying active sex lives than six years ago. Advances in medicine have transformed some areas of health care in recent years, while social attitudes about older people have changed, allowing them to lead more fulfilling lives. Editor Kate Bravery added: “People having more, not less, sex has to be a good thing.

“Perhaps it is the result of the better health, fitness, and general youthfulness that characterise today’s frisky over-50s? Or simply because people are still madly in love with their partners.”

The Women’s Institute – better known for jam-making tips – released a sex guide in 2008.

Topics included the best positions for women to try if their partners had previously had heart attacks. - Daily Mail