You Asked; We Answered: How Often Do Couples Have Sex?
Have you ever wondered, “How often do couples have sex?” You aren’t alone. And if you’ve ever had this thought, you’re probably among the hundreds (or more) of spouses who have the desire to make changes to the sexual frequency in their marriage.
In fact, we’ve received this question so often that we felt inclined to write this post in the hopes of helping those of you who have asked. So, are you ready to dive into some real data and helpful tips? Let’s go!
Table of Contents
Sexual Frequency in Marriage
So the question is ‘how often do married couples have sex’? Let’s jump right into the data we recently gathered from over 400 of our Diva followers!
We asked, YOU answered, and we can’t thank you enough for your help with our recent surveys! Thanks to your answers, we were able to gather some great intel.
Starting from the very top percentage on the left-hand side (purple, 7.4%) and continuing around the pie chart counter-clockwise, use the following key to read the results of our surveys.
- Other (7.4%)
- No sex at all (1.5%)
- Everyday (0.2%)
- < 1 time per year (0.2%)
- < 10 times per year (0.7%)
- 3–5 times per year (1.2%)
- 2–3 times per year (0.2%)
- 1–2 times per year (2.0%)
- 5+ times per month (1.7%)
- 3–5 times per month (17.3%)
- 1–2 times per month (14.1%)
- 5+ times per week (1.2%)
- 3–5 times per week (16.1%)
- 1–2 times per week (35.9%)
“Other” responses were answers written by our readers who explained their sexual frequency in a small paragraph if their situation didn’t fit within the given options. Most of these responses fell under the umbrella of at least 10 times per year, with a few responses being “once every few years,” “depends on my cycle,” and “sex is seasonal.”
In conclusion: According to the data from our readers, a grand majority of married couples have sex 1–2 times per week.
Average Frequency of Sex by Age
Several factors determine the average frequency of sex by age. Health, major life events, family life, parenthood, and careers, to name a few.
Unfortunately, in the surveys we sent out, there were too many variables to determine the average frequency of sex by age, especially since we asked which stage of life you’re currently in. However, we’d love to present a more thorough survey in the coming months to gather this data specific to YOU.
Just know that we aren’t the only ones who have questioned, “How often do married couples have sex?” and we aren’t the only ones who want to provide resources for married couples. Luckily, we found a few great articles that tackle this topic.
One of those articles, How Often Should Couples Have Sex? is a great resource.
Jenna Fletcher states, “According to the International Society for Sexual Medicine, there is no ‘normal’ frequency of sex, providing everyone in the relationship is happy.
How often a couple should have sex depends on what the people in the relationship decide works best for them. This can range from no sexual activity at all to a few times a day, week, or year.”
That said, if you’re looking for actual data that breaks down the question “How often do couples have sex?” we highly recommend this study, which was conducted over the course of 18 years, and covers the topic extensively.
The findings of the study state, “In this survey study of US adults from 2000 to 2018, sexual inactivity increased among men aged 18 to 24 years and 25 to 34 years and women aged 25 to 34 years during the study period, with the increase among men mainly occurring among unmarried individuals. Men with lower income and with part-time or no employment were more likely to be sexually inactive, as were men and women who were students.”
What does this mean? “This study found that sexual inactivity increased among US adults, predominantly younger men, between 2000 and 2018, with potential public health implications.”
If you have time to take a deep dive into the topic, we highly recommend reading the entire study. The results are interesting!
Satisfaction With Sexual Frequency in Married Couples
Now that we’ve discussed the numbers, let’s take a look at how our readers feel about the frequency of sex in their marriage.
One of the questions in the survey asked, “Are you satisfied with the [sexual] frequency?” This was a yes or no question with an option to write a short explanation for your answer. Here are the results:
“No” explanations ranged between “We want it more,” “I want it more, but my spouse does not,” “We are unhappy with the frequency, but can’t change it right now,” and “We are not happy with the frequency during this current stage of life, but we have been happy in the past.”
“Yes” explanations ranged between “I am satisfied, but my spouse is not,” “We are happy with the frequency,” and “Yes we are satisfied, but I wouldn’t say no to more.”
The end result is the majority of our survey participants are unhappy with the sexual frequency in their marriage.
If your answer is also “no,” you may be wondering what can be done. While we could probably write several posts about this one topic alone, we will now talk further about what we believe will help you and your spouse feel more satisfaction in regards to your sex life.
What You Can Do to Have a Better Sex Life With Your Spouse
Did you know that having sex is beneficial for your emotional and physical health? It’s true! Having frequent sex with your partner decreases stress and anxiety, helps your body fight off illnesses, and allows you to feel emotionally connected to your partner.
That said, we know that there are hundreds of reasons why people aren’t having sex, and hearing, “You should have sex because it benefits your health!” won’t necessarily fix the issues in the bedroom.
So, what CAN you do to increase sexual frequency with your spouse?
- Schedule it. We know, we know. Scheduling sex doesn’t really seem that romantic. But if your sex life is suffering because you prefer spontaneity and those spontaneous moments keep being interrupted by work, kids, and life in general, then hear us out: PUT IT ON THE CALENDAR. Pick a day and time that works best for you and your spouse, and then spend the day prepping for your sexy time. Do whatever you need in order to get in the mood! Sexting, cleaning yourself up in the shower, shaving, putting on perfume/cologne, or wearing lingerie underneath your everyday clothes can really help you get into the appropriate mindset for your sexy plans. What is the most important part about scheduling sex? You must make sure nothing changes those plans. Of course, emergencies happen, and sometimes you are put in a situation that is out of your control. But if something comes up and it can absolutely wait until tomorrow, then let it wait.
- Talk about your sexual relationship. Conversations about sex are so healthy for your relationship, and we highly recommend having regular, vulnerable conversations about your sex life. What would help both of you get in the right mood and mindset for sex? Are you both happy with your sex life? Do either of you have any sexual desires? Is there something about sex that you want to discuss? Is anything bothering you about your sex life? What are your thoughts about the frequency? Whatever it is, time to get vulnerable and TALK!
- Check in with each other on a daily basis. Consider enforcing a daily “5-Minute Relationship Check-In” with your spouse to really try to understand what is going on inside their brain! Our emotional well-being has an impact on so many aspects of our lives, so it’s safe to assume it can affect our sex life. Is your spouse experiencing stress at work? Are they feeling overwhelmed? Maybe your spouse is feeling insecure? Does your spouse have too much on their plate? Maybe your spouse’s cup is empty, and they need help refilling it? Mental blocks are so legitimate, and these are just a few things you can discuss together to get to the root issue about what’s keeping the two of you from being intimate.
- Bear each other’s burdens. This goes along with the relationship check-in that we mentioned above. If you or your spouse is feeling overwhelmed with burdens, then sex is probably the last thing on your mind. So stop and ask yourself, “How can I lighten my spouse’s load today?” Don’t believe us? Here is some insight from one of our beautiful Divas: “I was overwhelmed with the kids and housework on a nearly daily basis, but I was afraid to ask for help because my husband was working full-time and attending school full-time. Unfortunately, when my husband got home from work, I really wasn’t interested in flirting or finding time for sex because these burdens were constantly on my mind. Not to mention that once I finally took care of all the day’s burdens, I was ready to relax for the night, not have sex. It got to the point that I needed to talk to my husband about how I was feeling because I could feel it starting to affect our marriage. So I sat him down one night and asked him if there were ways he could help me before work and after school. My sweet husband was SO willing to help, and he had absolutely no idea that I had been feeling so overwhelmed. We came up with a few things he could do every day that would lighten my load without taking time away from his job or schooling. As soon as this new routine of ours started, I immediately felt the burdens lifted off my own shoulders, and I felt a positive shift in my mood and mental load. We’ve made daily check-ins a priority because of this, and we’ve also gotten in the habit of asking each other, ‘How can I lighten your load today?’ Our sex life improved pretty quickly after that, and I’m happy to say that it just keeps getting better.”
- Make date night a priority. This is something we are so passionate about! We firmly believe date night can transform your marriage. There is nothing better than spending time with your spouse, right? Even if your or your spouse’s love language isn’t “time,” we can guarantee that setting aside time for each other will improve several areas of your marriage. This includes sex! Much like scheduling sex, schedule your date nights and make them your top priority every week. When date night comes, put your phones away and give 100% of your focus and attention to your spouse. And remember—dates don’t have to be out of the house, extravagant, or expensive! We have plenty of at-home dates, out-of-the-house dates, sexy dates, inexpensive dates, and so many more you can choose from. Help us help you with date night!
Improving Your Marriage Through Communication
In conclusion, your and your spouse’s sexual frequency is special and unique to your relationship. Don’t let life, your age, your job status, or your kids get in the way of this important part of your relationship. Talk through the challenges, insecurities, or desires in a trusting way and watch your marriage truly succeed!
Looking for additional marriage resources? Check out these awesome posts from our site:
- 10 Healthy Habits That Should Be a Priority in Your Marriage
- Overcoming Varying Sex Drives
- Getting Real: Husbands With Low Sex Drive
- Low Sex Drive in Women After Childbirth: Natural Tips & Advice
- How to Ramp up Your Libido With 14 Natural Tips
- Find Out Why Your Spouse Should Come First
These resources are listed in the order they appear on this post.
- How Often Do Couples Have Sex?; Survey written and pie chart data collected by Macey Walters for The Dating Divas
- How Often Should Couples Have Sex?; Jenna Fletcher for MedicalNewsToday, Medically reviewed by Lori Lawrenz, PsyD
- What Is the “Normal” Frequency of Sex?; International Society for Sexual Medicine, Reviewed by the medical professionals of the ISSM’s Communication Committee
- Trends in Frequency of Sexual Activity and Number of Sexual Partners Among Adults Aged 18 to 44 Years in the US, 2000–2018; Peter Ueda, MD, Ph.D, Catherine H. Mercer, Ph.D, Cyrus Ghaznavi, BA, and Debby Herbenick, MPH, Ph.D
- What Happens If You Stop Having Sex?; WebMD Editorial Contributors, Medically reviewed by Sabrina Felson, MD
- I’m a Sex Coach, and I Swear By Scheduling Sex in Relationships; Gigi Engle
- 14 Prompts to Help You Start Communicating About Sex; Vanessa Marin MA, MFT
- This 5-Minute Relationship Check-In Will Transform Your Marriage; Reece Stockhausen & Jodie Milton