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How Often Couples Have Sex: What the Research Says

how often couples have sex research

Bank accounts. Mortgages. Dirty little secrets. These are all things about our peers that, if we’re being honest, we’re all somewhat curious about. However, there’s one question that is perhaps even more personal: how often is everyone around you having sex?

More importantly, is it more than you and your spouse? Is your relationship in trouble?

If one were to judge the health of their sex life purely off what TV or social media portrays, then it’s be natural to worry that you’re personally falling way behind.

Unfortunately, that might be the only reference available regarding how often the average couple has sex—since broaching the subject isn’t exactly appropriate around polite company. Even if it was though, the answer may only lead to more disappointment. There will always be someone seemingly having more than you (or claiming to, at least).

Why Couples Should Be Having Sex

A healthy sex life has plenty of verifiable benefits—perhaps that’s why it can become such a cause for concern if you feel you aren’t practicing it enough. Sex has many positive effects from both physical and emotional standpoints:

  • Sex boosts your mood
  • Sex eases stress
  • Sexlowers blood pressure
  • Sex strengthens the bond between you and your partner

That said, it’s no secret that it becomes less of an aspect of our lives as our relationships mature. It’s a concept known as sexual satiation, and it typically arises around the second or third year of the relationship.Fortunately, this isn’t considered a personal failing or anything anyone should be ashamed of—it’s simply another manifestation of our innate abilities to adapt to patterns. In other words, it’s just human nature.

Sexual satiation doesn’t necessarily mean that partners have become “bored” with, or lost attraction toward their partner; it can instead mean a sense of comfort, security, and predictability has been achieved.

How Often Should Couples Be Having Sex?

how often should couple have sex frequency by age

Surely though some intrepid researcher along the way has asked the tough questions and gotten some sense of the average amount of sex that couples are regularly enjoying, right? Indeed—in fact, more than a few scientific studies have been conducted, and can provide us with a ballpark figure.

Spoiler alert: It’s probably less often than you think.

According to the most recent and widely-cited survey published in 2017, the average couple has sex a total of 54 times a year.

That’s about once a week, with apparently some extra sessions added in for both birthdays, or perhaps an anniversary or date night.

This average is down about 15% from a similar report conducted in the 1990s. However, a review of a study covering 30,000 Americans over the course of four decades, the magic number for how often couples typically have sex once again landed right on the same weekly figure.

The authors concluded that once per week was the “goldilocks” amount; further noting that this frequency appeared to allow for couples to get through all of their day-to-day responsibilities while leaving the door open to the occasional burst of spontaneity. This made sex a special experience rather than just another thing to check off on the to-do list (literally).

Interestingly enough, for those who had sex more than once a week, this didn’t result in any additional increase in terms of overall happiness. Meanwhile, those who reported less frequency did report feeling less fulfilled. This was backed up by a 2015 study that provided similar conclusions.

Still, there does appear to be some variation based on age. The Kinsey Institute in Indiana found that those under the age of 30 averaged about 112 sexual dates per year—or more than twice per week. This decreased to about 86 times per year for those 30-39; 69 for those in their 40s; and 52 for those over 50.

Again, once a week appears to reign supreme.

Your Mileage May Vary as Sex Frequency is Unique to Each Couple

Regardless of what the research says, nearly all experts are unanimous in their agreement that “normal” isn’t necessarily “normal.” Meaning, how often couples “should” have sex is entirely dependent upon the relationship itself. Whatever fulfills both you and your partners needs when it comes to sex is the right answer.

Besides, there are all kinds of unique factors to take into consideration, like age, lifestyles, kids, everyone’s individual libido, overall health, and the quality of your relationship.

According to sex therapists, if you and your partner aren’t having as much sex as you feel you should be, then it’s likely due to one of these top five factors:

  1. Stress
  2. Body Insecurity
  3. Chronic Medical Issues
  4. Mobile Devices (In Bed)
  5. Decreased Emotional Connection

Keep in mind that for many couples, the issue stems from sexual dysfunctions such as erectile dysfunction and low libido. Erectile dysfunction affects nearly half of all men over the age of 40 to some degree, and can cause mental, emotional, and physical barriers to initiating and maintaining a healthy sex life. Consult a medical clinic to determine if treatment for ED or other sexual issues is right for your situation.

How You Can Have Sex More Frequently

how to have sex more frequently communication consult ED specialists

If you’re concerned about how frequently you’re (not) having sex, then there’s also near unanimous agreement for how to fix it: Communication.

Trying to compare your personal relationship with average numbers—even those backed up by science—is a losing proposition. However, talking about these concerns with your partner, either alone or with the help of a professional sex therapist is where great strides can be made.

It’s also essential to keep in mind that the goal of your relationship should always remain overall happiness; not sex. This isn’t to say you should ignore the topic altogether of course—about 90% of men and women agree that a good relationship with their spouse or partner is crucial to their quality of life. As proven above, couples who are regularly intimate do rate themselves as happier, but sexual satisfaction can only come after emotional and psychological intimacy is achieved.

One easy way to improve all of these things? Designate 30 minutes each day for a walk around the neighborhood. You’ll burn calories, increase your testosterone, potentially decrease some body fat, and get to take advantage of the opportunity for uninterrupted focus on your partner. You’ll be amazed at how quickly the benefits make themselves apparent.

Consult The Experts in Tampa About Treating Sexual Dysfunctions and Increasing Libido

The sexual health specialists at Prestige Men’s Medical Center in Tampa understand that you deserve great sex again.

Our medical professionals provide customized treatments based upon each patient’s unique circumstances and are available for those struggling with erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and more. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.

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