Many women are looking back with longing on past relationships, admitting sex was better with their ex than their current partner.

A total of 38 per cent of women confessed in a recent survey that they had the best sex of lives in a previous relationship. Meanwhile just 29 per cent of men said their best sex was with an ex.

Sex expert Tracey Cox said this ‘grass is greener’ sexual syndrome isn’t new.

She said: ‘Women don’t tend to marry the guy they had great sex with. They marry for more ‘sensible’ attributes – like whether he’ll be loyal and a good father. I get lots of emails from women saying they love their husbands but fantasise about sex with their exes.

‘They don’t regret not choosing them as long-term mates, but they do miss the great sex they had.’

The responses from both sexes also revealed that sex gets better with age with just seven per cent of both women and men naming their first love as their best lover.

Casual sex was no match for ‘committed love-making’ with both men and women in agreement that what makes the best sex is ‘love’ and ‘passion.’

Only 4 per cent of women and 3 per cent of men said their best sex was a one night stand and just 1 per cent of both sexes named a holiday fling as their best sex.

But where the responses differ in the poll of 1,100 men and women by sex toy retailer Lovehoney are in the levels of sexual satisfaction with their current partners.

Sixty-two per cent of women and 71 per cent of men said their best sex was with their current partner.

The results showed women are becoming more sexually assertive – and far more ready to admit to dissastisfaction with their current lover. One possible reason for this greater assertiveness is the ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ phenomenon. Experts say women have read the book over the summer and are increasingly reluctant to settle for second best in the bedroom.

But when it comes to experimenting, such as with bondage like the Fifty Shades characters, men found this more satisfying with 26 per cent saying doing something they never usually do was the reason for the best sex of their lives compared to 17 per cent of women.

Sex toys are also much more important to men (25 per cent) than women (14 per cent) while some nine per cent of women and 11 per cent of men were turned on by the risk of being caught.

Tracey, who has her own range with Lovehoney, said the survey shows that couples are becoming more sexually adventurous.

She said: ‘Books like Fifty Shades of Grey help create a healthy sexual environment where women realise to have good sex, you need novelty and ‘edge’. It’s not all about sex on Saturday night in the missionary position!’

Bath-based accounts for 36 per cent of all sex toys sold online in the UK. Sales are currently up 60 per cent year on year – with Fifty Shades of Grey by British writer E L James thought to be a key factor in the surge in demand.