Here's How Much Sex Couples Are Having Per Week
"Married couple sex."
According to keyword search data, nearly 9,000 people search this term every month as an average. (Since you're reading this, you might be one of them). Maybe it's to find reassurance that you're normal. That it's okay the honeymoon phase is over—that feeling "stuck" happens to all of us. Or maybe it's to feel great about how things are going for you. Whether things are hot and heavy, or you need some help, one question has us all wondering: How much are other couples having sex?
When it comes to couples' sexual frequency, the answers vary. Factors like age, health and kids all affect these stats, but one of the most comprehensive surveys done in the past decade was conducted by marriage and sex therapist David Schnarch, Ph.D. From 2007 to 2011, he surveyed over 20,000 couples (married and non-married) through his website to find out just that: How much are couples actually doing it?
According to his data up to that point, 12 percent had no sex in the survey's previous year. Twenty-one have sex several times a year. Thirty-four percent have sex once or twice a month, and 26 percent are doing the deed once or twice a week. (Only seven percent have sex more than four times per week.)
Here's the even more interesting finding: Lasting, a marriage counseling app, surveyed 2,322 married couples in the past two years about how often they desire to have sex, and the results are fascinating.
- 10% said 1x per week
- 29% said 1-2x per week
- 31% said 2-3x per week
- 17% said 3-4x per week
- 12% said 4-5x per week
The most surprising takeaway? Ninety percent of the couples Lasting surveyed desired sex more than once a week. And yet, according to Schnarch, the largest number of couples are only being intimate twice a month at most.
That means the majority feel unsatisfied with the frequency of their sex life. It's why we wonder how much other couples are having—to find a baseline for our expectations.
Scientists have found that people are really bad at predicting what will make them happy in the future, so while those 90 percent wanted to have sex more than once a week, a three-part study in 2015 revealed that the association between sexual frequency and well-being is curvilinear—in other words, after once per week, sex doesn't really have a significant effect on happiness. Whoa.
And yet couples still worry they're not living the good (sex) life.
So what's getting in the way of our desires? First, a weak emotional connection. Only 34 percent of couples feel that they have a healthy emotional connection in their marriage, according to Lasting. The rest feel disconnected, and it's affecting their intimacy across the board.
Secondly, not having regular conversations about sex massively affects these numbers. Only 32 percent of couples regularly engage in discussions about their sex life. Honest, vulnerable conversations about sexual preferences and scheduling actually build trust and serve to strengthen your emotional bond. It's a win-win, and your sex life will only benefit.
Sadly, as of 2018, of the over 217,000 people Lasting surveyed about their core marriage health, only 29 percent agreed that they made sex a priority in their relationship—close to the 34 percent and 32 percent stats. So rather than asking, "What’s getting in the way of sex?" try, "What’s getting in the way of emotional connection and consistent conversations about sex?"
The one thing to remember is that every couple is different. Your needs, schedules and preferences will always be unique to you—and that means your sex life will look different too. The first step to feeling good about your sexual frequency is to talk to your partner. Find what works for both of you, and then prioritize that. Sometimes that'll mean compromise. But the best news is: Lasting offers practical tools to help you build a stronger emotional connection and help you start those vulnerable conversations about sex.
It is possible to feel satisfied in your sexual relationship and also build a stronger bond with your partner. That honeymoon phase doesn't have to be over—the best is yet to come.