How Often Do Married Couples Have Sex?

Many couples experiencing bedroom boredom ask, “how often do married couples have sex?

There is no normal when it comes to the frequency of sex in marriage. While some couples have lovemaking sessions every day, others have dwindled but satisfactory sex lives. If you are struggling with your sex life, this statement probably won’t make you feel any better.

According to a 2017 study, the average American in the 20s age group has sex 80 times a year. Which means 6 times a month and once or twice a week. Doesn’t seem like a lot? Or does it?

Also, is the frequency same for married or unmarried couples?

Statistics – how often do married couples have sex?


how often do married couples have sex

You are likely looking for a reference point to draw parallels with to determine the state of your sex life. Here are a few interesting findings about married sex life.

  • Newsweek magazine found in its poll that married couples have sex about 68.5 times a year, or a little more than on an average. The magazine also found out that as compared to unmarried people,  married couples have 6.9 times more sex per year.
  • Another source suggests that married couples under 30 have sex around 112 times a year.
  • Results from Playboy’s 2019 sex survey suggests that most married couples value sex and report higher relationship satisfaction when they have an exclusive sexual relationship with their spouse.
  • In another study, this time by David Schnarch, Ph.D., who studied more than 20,000 couples, 26% of couples have sex once a week, more likely once or twice a month.
  • Then there was another study conducted in 2017 which found a strong connection between sex, well-being, affection, and positive mood.
  • Another 2019 study showed a connection between sexual communication and sexual satisfaction and fewer faked orgasms by women.

Is your sex drive normal or out of whack?

Is your sex drive normal or out of whack

Believe it or not, sex is the bond that keeps couples together, besides being the only reason why life exists on earth. But, Amy Levine, sex coach and founder of, states that “a healthy sex drive is different for each person”.

Consider this – Do you have a higher libido than your partner? Or are you frustrated by repeated rejections of your sexual advances?

Let see – Do you have a higher libido than your partner? Or are you frustrated by repeated rejections of your sexual advances?

If the answer to one or both the questions is yes, then you must have wondered whether you have a higher sex drive than others, or does your partner have a lack of libido.  If you are the one with a comparatively lower sex drive, you must be surrounded by similar questions.

All these talks about sex in marriage boil down to just two questions-

  • How often do married couples have sex, normally?
  • Is it significantly different from the number of times you have sex with your partner?

If yes is the answer to the last question, then who is the one with an excessive or deficient sex drive?

However, Ian Kerner, Ph.D., always maintains that there’s no one right answer when confronted with similar questions about marriage sex.

Couples have different sex drives

Couples have differing sex drives

As you may have noticed from the large variance of these statistics that corroborate how often married couples have sex, it’s easy to see that there is no “normal”. In many studies, researchers and therapists said it really depends on the couple.

Each person’s sex drive is different, each couple’s marriage is different, and their daily lives are different. Since there are so many factors at play, it’s really hard to know what is “normal.”

Sex after marriage is dependent on a lot of variables so it’s better to ask questions like:

  • What is normal for you and your spouse?
  • What would each of you like your “normal” to be?
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If both of you are happy with once a week, or once a month, then it really doesn’t matter what other couples are doing. But if one or both of you aren’t happy, then perhaps you can negotiate a new normal.

In most couples, one person always wants sex more, and the other will want less sex.

Also, your sex drive will not be uniform and the same always.

There are many factors that can affect your sex drive such as:

  1. Stress
  2. Medication
  3. Mood
  4. Body image
  5. Changes in life such as childbirth, death of a loved one or moving away

There is practically no reason for you to get freaked out if your sex drive is dipping down for a while. There is probably a good explanation for this.

It’s how you handle it which will make the difference.

How much sex is needed to be happy?

“Sex is not only the basis of life, it is the reason for life.” — Norman Lindsay

How often should a married couple make love to avoid or overcome relationship detachment, infidelity, and resentment in marriage?

Happiness can be easily related to a healthy sex life.

While it may seem that the more sex the better it is, and there was actually a point where happiness leveled off. The study was published by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and surveyed 30,000 couples in the U.S. for 40 years.

So how much sex in marriage should you have to level off with happiness?

Once a week, according to researchers. In general, more marriage sex does help increase happiness, but daily isn’t necessary. Anything above once a week didn’t show a significant rise in happiness.

How much sex to be happy ?

Of course, don’t let that be an excuse not to have more sex; perhaps you and your spouse love doing it more or less often. The important thing is to communicate and figure out is what works for you both.

Sex can be a great stress reliever, and it can bring you closer as a couple.

Guess what? There is a proper scientific explanation behind the above statement. Sex is responsible for an increase in the levels of the hormone oxytocin, the so-called love hormone, to help us bond and build trust.

“Oxytocin allows us to feel the urge to nurture and to bond. Higher oxytocin has also been linked with a feeling of generosity.” –Patti Britton, PhD

So if you both want more, then go for it!

Low libido and other common reasons for a sexless marriage

Low libido and other common reasons for a sexless marriage

What if sex isn’t even on your mind? As much as there are statistics that substantiate the average number of times per week married couples make love, there is also a segment of couples who are in a sexless marriage.

Unfortunately, many people and sometimes even both people in the marriage either have no sex drive or something else is inhibiting them. According to Newsweek magazine, 15-20 percent of couples are in a “sexless” marriage, which equates to having sex less than 10 times per year.

Other polls show that about 2 percent of couples have zero sex. Of course, the reasons weren’t always stated—this could be due to a number of factors, of which low libido is just one.

A low sex drive can happen to both genders, though women report it more.

According to USA Today, 20 to 30 percent of men have little or no sex drive, and 30 to 50 percent of women say they have little or no sex drive. Researchers do say that the more sex you have, the more you feel like doing it.

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Sex drive is an interesting thing.  The average number of times per week married couples make love is hugely determined by a person’s libido level.

It seems some people are born with high or low libido, but there are many other factors that can contribute to it.

How well your relationship is going can definitely be a factor, but past sexual abuse, relationship conflict, infidelity, withholding of sex and boredom can be other factors contributing to an unhealthy sex life.

How to enhance sexual satisfaction in married life

A good marriage therapist can help you both get to the root of why sex is an issue

If you are wondering how much sex other people have, then it could be because you aren’t where you want to be sex-wise in your marriage. It happens. We all go through ups and downs. Times of stress, like moving, or a new baby, or illness, can all get in the way temporarily.

Also, couples tend to experience a steady decline in sex urge post-marriage than what they enjoyed before saying ‘I do’.

A survey conducted by revealed that the drop in the frequency of sex in marriage is ubiquitous, irrespective of the age of the spouses and the duration of the marriage.

But if you and your partner have been on the downside for a while, and there doesn’t seem to be any major reason then talking to a sex therapist is definitely a good option.

A good marriage therapist can help you both get to the root of why sex is an issue, and offer help to bring you together again.

Beyond sex therapy, there are many great books about sex and marriage you and your spouse could read together to get ideas.

Also, if you are both onboard and want to reconnect, why not plan a weekend getaway to jump-start things? Looking for more tips to reignite the passion in your married sex life?

7 tips for keeping your sex life healthy

1. Consider the quality vs. quantity sex

One thing to consider is the quality vs. quantity of sex that you and your spouse are having

Sexual satisfaction in marriage comes from the quality of the sex and the frequency at which the couples are having sex.

One thing to consider is the quality vs. quantity of sex that you and your spouse are having.

This understanding will help you overcome the challenges related to marriage and sex, as now just increasing the quantity will not be the focal point of your sexual life. Remember to measure the health of your married sex life by quality, not quantity.  Here’s what quality of sex includes:

  • Discussing sexual positions that would bring gratification to both the partners
  • Talking about your sexual needs
  • Engaging in oral sex
  • Stimulation of genitals
  • Kissing and caressing
  • Experimenting factoring in your partner’s preferences

2. Scheduling sex can save your marriage

If both of you love sex when you do have it, then great!

Many researchers simply suggest scheduling it in. It seems robotic, but once you get started, it’s anything but robotic and becomes instrumental in boosting satisfaction in married sex life.

Scheduling sex simply means it becomes a higher priority

Scheduling sex is not unheard of. Newlywed couples often plan their sex before actually indulging in the act. Megan Fleming, Ph.D. and a New York City-based sex and relationship therapist, encourages couples to schedule their intimate moments together.

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However, the only problem with scheduling sex, as stated by Fleming, is “you don’t know how you’ll both feel at that time and we can’t command ourselves to feel aroused”, but you can “create conditions that make sex more likely to happen”.

3. Stop negative feelings in a marriage

If your quality of sex is low, then that could be a reason why the quantity is low as well. In a marriage, sex is the tie that binds. If you experience a dip in your sexual desire, analyze whether that is due to negative feelings about your marriage, your spouse or yourself.

A negative perspective on marriage can spell a death knell for married sex life. Practicing positive affirmations about your partner, stopping unfair comparisons, releasing negative emotions by communicating openly and self-belief can go help you in staying positive in your marriage.

Whatever you discover about marriage, make sure you spend time doing something constructive about it, so you can enjoy the relationship benefits of having sex more often.

4. Look and feel attractive at home

There is no rule book on when and where to feel sexy and you don’t need to be particularly good looking, either. However, it is common to slip into a comfort zone in marriage and stop feeling or making the effort to look and feel sexy.

Loosen your hinges and slip into your inner sexiness by first focusing on what you like best about yourself. Channelize your energy into all the positive and favorite bits about yourself.

Practice self-love and self-care every day.

Get yourself a new haircut, overhaul your wardrobe, buy new make-up—do anything to kick start the routine, and get that extra dose of confidence. Change things up a bit and get noticed by your partner,

5. Preserve the mystery

As much as it sounds counter-intuitive, don’t reveal everything about yourself to your partner.

Surprise them by revealing your different facets, gradually. Similarly, you don’t need to know everything that is going on in your partner’s mind. Allow yourself to be surprised, wooed by different shades of their personality, fantasies and desires.

6. Bring sexy back into your relationship

To shake up the things between the sheets, resume dating.

The anticipation of date will trigger excitement between the two of you. While on a date, engage in kissing. Kissing is a great way to show that you desire your partner.

Caressing your partner’s cheeks and back or holding their hands while kissing can really heat things up for the two of you!

Nurture each other’s sexual sides by engaging in intimate conversations, where you learn about your partner’s love languages.

7. Stop playing the no-sex blame game with your spouse

Stop the blame game and take accountability for making things better. Also, bear in mind that a good marriage therapist can also help you figure out how to improve things on all accounts including a thriving married sex life.

There are lots of statistics on married sex life out there that seem to tell us what is a “normal” amount of sex for married couples or educate us on an average number of times per week married couples make love. In all reality, there is no set definition of normal. However, keep in mind that marriage and sex are not mutually exclusive to relationship bliss.

Each couple is different, so it’s up to you to determine what is normal for you!


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