Never mind the election, what about the sex? What sex you ask? Precisely. Not a lot of it. The United Kingdom has a habit of baring its soul every year in what is called the General Household Survey, a compilation of surprising statistics about life in general drawn up from official government polls. This week it came up with the news that four out of every 10 single women aged between 16 and 49 are not having a sexual relationship of any kind. Just think of the implications. Nearly every young woman's magazine seems absolutely obsessed by sex, with articles on everything from how to win the guy at the next desk to out of the way places to have it away. It is the one consistency of the cover pages. Sex, sex and more sex - and make sure you do it right. There is the Good Sex Guide on television in case you need to practise your skills and even programmes designed to show you how they do it in other countries. The most popular comedy series concentrate on sex as their theme and a new BBC drama series, This Life, is about a group of young solicitors who spend more time losing their briefs bed-hopping than they do in court. Nobody complained because it all seemed so real. And don't celebrities and rock stars continue to boast about their conquests? Now unless people are lying to the straight-faced government interviewers, the General Household Survey would appear to expose this all as living a lie. Interestingly, women who were widowed, separated or divorced were slightly less likely to be celibate than the other single women. I found the statistics really quite surprising. Just think of every Western movie, most television relationships. They intimate to much more sex than is apparently happening. If so, it is a case of the media having left reality far behind. In the 1970s statistics like those released this week would have been absolutely unbelievable. People who did not sow their wild oats then lived to regret it, didn't they? At least that was the dominant view - yet there were nowhere near such explicit media tales of sexual adventures as there are today. A spokesman for the UK's Family Planning Association summed it up thus: 'We have the idea that everyone is sex obsessed, but we are now often asked on our counselling line what to do if their boyfriend wants to make the relationship sexual. 'I think it is the case that women are becoming much more thoughtful about sexual activity in a relationship. The idea 10 or 20 years ago that you met someone in a pub and then hopped into bed is not so common now.' This is not really to do with the safe sex and AIDS argument; there is actually a fall in the number of younger people using condoms. No, perhaps it is more to do with the result of growing up after sex lost its forbidden fruit image that young women today are what some might describe as eminently more sensible, that dating is seen as more complicated than the free-for-all it was once taken for. But spare a thought for someone else for whom living a lie has become difficult. Christina Hance, who could earn as much as $60,000 a day as a double for Princess Diana, announced this week that she was quitting because the pressure was too much. She was experiencing violent mood swings - and knocking back anti-depressants - and a variety of other symptoms not at all dissimilar to those of the real princess because she could not stand being feted one moment and then having to return to the washing-up every evening. I have no idea what her sex life is like but welcome back to the real world, Christina.