Sexlessness among married couples in Japan was more pervasive than ever in 2016, with nearly half not making love for an extended period of time, a survey released Friday showed.

The biennial interview survey, conducted by the Japan Family Planning Association, a Tokyo-based public interest organization, covered 3,000 people aged from 16 to 49 nationwide. Of them, 46.8 percent, or 1,263 men and women, provided valid answers.

Of the 655 married respondents, a record 47.2 percent confessed to not having sex for more than a month, compared with 44.6 percent in 2014. The ratios were 47.3 percent for married men and 47.1 percent for married women.

The result underlines that sexlessness — where spouses engage in no sexual activity for more than a month and show no sign of resuming in the foreseeable future — is growing unabated, Dr. Kunio Kitamura, director of JFPA, said.

For men, the biggest reason cited for their disinclination toward sex was "exhaustion from work," at a record 35.2 percent, spiking from 21.3 percent in 2014.

The survey, however, could not confirm any correlation between number of hours worked and reluctance to have sex, Kitamura said.

Next cited was loss of romance at 12.8 percent, with respondents saying they now viewed their spouses as mere family members rather than romantic partners.

For women, 22.3 percent snubbed lovemaking as a "hassle," the top contributing factor to sexlessess.

Youth sexlessness also seemed common. The survey found that 47.9 percent of unmarried men between 18 and 24 and 52.9 percent of women in the same bracket had never had sex.