Middle-aged women are lusting after a more adventurous sex life
Oh, and a partner with personality who looks like he might be tempted to do unspeakable things to them
"What the hell are you watching - again?" is the plaintive cry in my household. Followed by the hollow silence of complete bafflement, and the steady patter of departing feet. I, on the other hand, am firmly ensconced in front of Netflix with a cheesy grin and a flushed face. And not just because I am doing burpees to offset the binge watching. This is what historically accurate soft porn will do to a self-respecting woman.
Hitherto I considered myself on the art-house end of the cinematic spectrum. But since the onset of historically accurate soft porn I find I have shifted my gaze. High-camp frolics in frock coats and corsets in the halls of Versailles or dashing asymmetrical kilts on the Scottish highlands is the only way forward. Give me a softly murmured nothing in Gaelic and I melt, unfailingly.
Each time the plot threatens to sink into absurdity and I find myself blushing at what has become of me, I do a quick Google search and discover to my intellectual gratification that actually these things, whatever they happen to be - random poisonings in court, kings with lisps, Jacobean plots - are all absolutely 100% facts of history. Thus absolving me of frivolity, you see. Historically accurate soft porn, it transpires, is thoroughly liberating.
Historically accurate soft porn, it transpires, is thoroughly liberating
And I am not alone. Outlander has galloped into the hearts and minds of women of a certain age, rapidly sneaking up on Game of Thrones as the most popular TV series of the past few years - because really, who wouldn't rather watch Jamie take off his kilt and pleasure the Sassenach on a field of heather while also offering undying love and affection?
In a bid to understand myself and this cohort of others I turned to statistics. And the Sunday Times Sex Survey bears all of this out - 79% of females aged 41 to 50 are generally having what counts as rather conservative sex - but what they really want is something to fire the imagination. Only 43% of them are entirely satisfied with this state of affairs.
More than half want something a little more gut-wrenching and dramatic in the shagging department. Perhaps ye olde daily grind may have caught up with this cohort of respondents and taken its toll. Imagination is a powerful thing, especially when made flesh on a Netflix show.
But more telling is the statistic reflecting what these women want in a lover. Yes, 49% in this age group want someone who looks like he might be tempted to do unspeakable things to them, but 51% want personality.
Someone like Jamie Fraser - smart, funny, prepared to listen, unremittingly romantic, and a romantic hero, bearing a sword and a torch for you and, most critically, sporting a kilt.
• The Sunday Times Lifestyle Sex Survey was conducted in association with local research house Ratepop, using its proprietary chatbot technology. Over 3,500 individual South Africans answered the survey, which was hosted on Facebook Messenger. The respondents' identities were kept strictly confidential.