In the poll involving 2000 women between 45 and 60, 35pct said that romantic fiction was the most popular genre.
Two-thirds said that they liked raunchy scenes in novels, and more than half described sex in books as "titillating".
A further 10 per cent said that they actively chose books that had lots of sex scenes.
The survey commissioned by moisturiser brand Astral showed that 33 pct of the respondents liked crime and mystery novels, while other novels were 31 per cent.
Reference books were the least popular, of which cookbooks were favourites.
"This research shows that reading for pleasure is still an incredibly popular pastime for women," the Telegraph quoted Dr. Trisha Macnair, a spokeswoman for Astral, as saying.
"It''s great to see most people read at least a book a month, with some getting through two or three books a week.
"However, I am surprised to see just how many women liked sex scenes in books, with most telling us that there was a strong titillation factor," she added.