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Some 84 percent of the residents of Israel's major cities are satisfied with their sexual performance, according to a poll conducted by the Market-Watch company last month.

In addition, 55 percent said that their sexual prowess only gets better with age.

Dr. Gila Brauner, head of the sexology service at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, said that the high level of sexual satisfaction reported was particularly noteworthy given that the last three years have been marked by severe security and economic problems that could be expected to negatively affect people's sex lives. "I am doubtful that other societies would have demonstrated such stability," she said.

Nevertheless, 45 percent of men and 33 percent of women said that they would like to improve their sexual performance.

Asked what they would do if they developed a problem that impaired their sexual performance, 46 percent of men and 37 percent of women said that they would be willing to spend any amount of money to solve it.

Weekends were the preferred time for having sex, with 40 percent of respondents saying that they were more likely to have sex then compared to 34 percent who reported having sex on weekdays. Asked whether they had ever had sexual relations outside of a regular framework (marriage or a steady partnership), 45 percent of men and 15 percent of women answered yes. Of these, about half the men said that such sex was no better than sex within their regular framework - but only 25 percent of women said this, while 48 percent said that sex outside their regular framework was better. The telephone poll surveyed 200 men and 200 women between the ages of 25 and 75, residents of Jerusalem, Haifa, Be'er Sheva and greater Tel Aviv. The margin of error is 4.9 percent.