How Often Do ‘Normal’ Couples Have Sex?

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At some point in life, many couples wonder and ask themselves, “What is the average amount of sex that other couples are having?”  And though the answer is not perfectly clear, sex therapists have said many things about this very topic. Here is what they say, as well as some additional tips to help you get your sex life on track!

The Average

There is some question among sex therapists about what the true average is for couples in committed relationships. The answers can range from once a week to once a month! When Ian Kerner, PhD, was asked how he responds to couples who ask him how often they should have sex, he said, “I’ve always responded that there’s no one right answer.

When couples stop having sex, their relationships become vulnerable to anger, detachment, infidelity and, ultimately, divorce.

After all, a couple’s sex life is affected by so many different factors: age, lifestyle, each partner’s health and natural libido and, of course,  the quality of their overall relationship, to name just a few.

So while there may be no one right answer to the question of how often couples should have sex, lately I’ve somewhat been less equivocal and advise couples to try to do it at least once a week.” According to David Schnarch, PhD, through a study conducted with more than 20,000 couples, he found that only 26% of couples are hitting the once-a-week mark, with the majority of the respondents reporting sex only once or twice a month, or less!

MORE: The Elusive Orgasm: Why Is It Harder to Have One Post-Childbirth? }

However, another study, printed in The University of Chicago Press about 10 years ago, stated that married couples are having sex about seven times a month, which is a little less than twice a week. And in a third study, it was reported that out of the 16,000 adults interviewed, the older participants were having sex about 2 to 3 times per month, while younger participants said they were having sex about once a week.

What do you think? How Often Do ‘Normal’ Couples Have Sex?

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52 comments

  1. Avatar of james james says:

    Hi, my fiancée and I used to have sex 3/4 times a day. The past year it has dramatically changed. She no longer has the erge for sex. As of a couple of months she has stopped all contraception to aid her in losing weight.

    We do have it about once every month/ month and a half

    I still could easily have sex 3 times a day but would really settle for once a week. Everytime I ask or show interest in sex she just shuts me down.

  2. Avatar of RB RB says:

    I’m 34, wife is 36, have been married for nearly two years and have an eight month old son.
    We’ve done it maybe five or six times over an 18 month period.

    I’ve had enough of doing the running. I am now just burying my head in my work and ploughing on until I drop down dead.

  3. Avatar of Member ALEX Member ALEX says:

    As per my experience i have doing sex everyday three times , am very happy , without food i can manage , but with out sex i can’t..we are doing sex every day minium three times. Am enjoying sex with different possition & angle. We are very happy for that..any body need advise contact me.

  4. Avatar of Jmo Jmo says:

    I feel awful for not giving my man any sex. It is a man’s number one complaint, if he’s not getting any. I am 36 and he is 42. We have a 12 month old and I would definitely like another some day. (And, yes, I know I have to have sex to have another.) I don’t know what hairiness because I used to have such a high sex drive. Now, and for past year, (yes, year) I just haven’t been in the mood. I feel awful, and know that I have to TRY… I’m going to just do it and see what happens. Most likely, I will love it again and want more and more… At least I really hope so because he will most likely leave if not. I know he will always be my friend and a great father to our baby, but I do want more than that. Wish me luck!

  5. Avatar of Angel Angel says:

    I have been married for 5 years; our sex life started off great but started to decrease as time went on. I’m 29, he’s 32. We have a 1 year old child; we have sex once a week if he is lucky. He always has to initiate or ask and I have been rejected over and over and over again. he can’t tell anyone how frustrated he is with me I understand this , he’d be happy with twice a week. He has communicated things with me, and I can’t tell him & can’t explain it but i am just not in the mood for it. Although I feel like having sex more often, but I cannot initiate .Sometimes I also feel I can’t even care to pleasure him even if he had tried things like cuddling, and he always help with chores around the house. He has always tried spontaneity and approaching me in different rooms and even trying to book a night away. When we do have sex, he said he feel like I am doing a favour or like he is a nuisance. I am working woman .Most of the time I say always tired and he doesn’t understand this as I am good in all the other things like at my work place, with my kid, with relatives and with the kitchen stuff. All I am doing perfectly but when it come to sex I always become so Lazy to do that. I love him and he says he loves me and we are blessed with one child already. I don’t want to get a divorced because of this. I don’t want to lose him as he is a wonderful human being and a loving husband. So, need some advise as I understand the situation but don’t know the problem?

    • Avatar of Member ALEX Member ALEX says:

      It was noticed that you are not enjoying sex, because you have not intreasted sex,,you try to different possition then you are enjoy , other wise you can try with any other person.

  6. Avatar of JustAmomma JustAmomma says:

    Hi, Im 27, my Husband 32. We have 3 children. 6,4,and 7months. I stay at home with the kids. He works 12hr days. We have sex daily…sometimes 2-3times. Its rare that we don’t. We keep up with it, like…”Did we have sex yesterday?”
    “NO?” “Twice today then! grrrrr…”
    We care about keeping one another happy. Because we love each other. The sex is GREAT though. Maybe other women are not always getting satisfied? I cant imagine NOT getting laid! LoL, after my long days. I NEED some tension release! (sorry for being a little immature) Or maybe my husband has high testosterone. IDK. But we’ve always been this way, which is shocking because over the past 2yrs. I gained 70POUNDS!!!! (DIGUSTING) And still though, nothings changed! We make time, we make sure each other’s happy. With three kids. You have keep the love alive. No matter what. Don’t forget why your in love. Your children deserve happily in love parents.

  7. Avatar of Michelle Michelle says:

    Profound read right here! I especially liked the part about “engaging in intimacy.” I’m a girl that likes four play so the more intimate we can get the better the sex is.

  8. Avatar of David David says:

    Hi, my wife and I have been married for 5 years, together for 8. Our sex life started off great but started to decrease as time went on. I’m 34, she’s 32. We have a 3 year old child, and she’s pregnant with our 2nd on the way. We have sex once a week if I’m lucky. I always have to initiate or ask and have been rejected over and over and over again. I can’t tell you how frustrated I am. Although my libido can probably handle it 4-5 times a week or maybe more, I’d be happy with twice a week. I’ve communicated things with her, and she tells me she can’t explain it but she’s just not in the mood for it. She doesn’t care to pleasure me because once again, she’s not in the mood. I’ve tried things like cuddling, and I always help with chores around the house. I’ve tried spontaneity and approaching her in different rooms and even trying to book a night away. I’ve been shot down, all but once a week. I’m not out of shape, and I’d a good looking young man in his 30′s. When we do have sex, I feel like she is doing me a favour or like I’m a nuisance. She works 3-4 days a week and i’ve been currently off work on disability. She says she always tired and I don’t understand this. I don’t know how much more I can take this. I love her and she says she loves me and we are blessed with one child already and another on the way. I don’t want to get a divorce, nor would my conscience allow me to find it elsewhere. If I back off and wait for her to be in the mood, she can go a lot longer without having sex. When we do have sex, more than half the time she climaxes as well so she does have an active libido. Unfortunately asking her for sex has become like a road map; when to ask, what times of day I shouldn’t even bother asking, don’t be spontaneous, and is she gonna shut me down again? What steps can I take to resolve this? Are there any known things to increase a women’s libido? Thanks for listening.

    • Avatar of Michelle Michelle says:

      David this is what you need to do: you need to give her that look. Stare at her for 1 minute and don’t even say nothing while your doing it, because the goal is to listen to what she’s gonna ask you. Once she start talking, walk over to her, not aggressively but like you got a crook in your neck and dip right into her sweet spot, that area on the neck. Kiss her without even saying anything to her and I guarantee she will respond.

      • Avatar of Crystal Crystal says:

        I have the same exact problem as (DAVID) but I’m a 26yr old woman and my husband is 37yr old men we have one daughter together and I have 2 other children from a different relationship. We have been together 7.5 years.

  9. Avatar of Belinda Belinda says:

    My husband and I have been together for 20years and married for 15yrs. He is 40, I am 36. We have 6 children. We have sex around 3 times a week. I would like it once or twice a day but his libido isn’t where mine is at currently

  10. Avatar of Zoey Zoey says:

    Hi, 30 years old, married: 3 years, dating my husband: 8 years, sex frequency: 1-2 times/week. We have hectic lifestyle: a lot of work, very long hours at work (> 9 hours per day) very little vacation that we use to go see our families over seas. So even vacation is not restful. We moved to the US 2.5 years ago and because of our work we have a lot of stress and a very nomad lifestyle. Means we do not know in which country or continent we will be next year. Cherry on top, my husband is going to loose his job in 2 months and my salary is not enough. Ever since I met him he never wanted to have sex more than once or twice a week. Twice a week is when he is very relaxed, unstressed and happy. When I first noticed that 8 years ago I tried talking to him nicely in order to make him understand that this is not normal. He loves me more than anything and I know it and I love him but I feel this behavior is killing my love for him. When I bring this up he always changes the subject or give me a silly excuse like your brother was sleeping next door or I am stressed out and I have an important meeting etc… The less he comes towards me the less I want to go towards him to engage in cuddling or “doing it”. And the more I wait the more I become furious and begin to imagine things and hate him and we end up fighting. I know it is a very delicate subject especially for a guy but I cannot take it anymore. I have had a couple of partners in the past who would not give me a break from sex I had a very fulfilling sex life which made me much happier. My husband is the first guy to behave like this with me even though he spends his day telling me how beautiful he thinks I am and how out of his league I am and how I am great and how much he loves me. But later nothing. He comes home waits until we pass out in front of the TV and maybe sometimes tries something but hello I have been working and am tired so obviously I do not want to have sex at 2 am in the morning. We always do it the same way the same time the same place. There is no spontaneity and he never wants to try having sex more than once a day. He says his body would never handle it (he’s 33). But how can you know if you don’t try?! He only has had one girlfriend before and did not have a lot of sexual activity with her. I feel that he does not make an effort to improve all this and he does not want to admit that having a bad sexual life leads to big problems in a couple. Bottom line we decided it’s time to have kids only I have been having hormonal problems and could not ovulate very well or on time so the dr. said it’s simple just do it every other day and if you ovulate you will definitely hit it. Only one small problem that even though my husband knew what we had to do and he is the one who wants kids more than me he still behaves the same way and I feel my clock is ticking for conceiving and I am running out of patience. I also feel frustrated and unwanted and we are sometimes thinking about a divorce even though we still love each other. Please help! (Sorry for the long message)

    • Avatar of Michelle Michelle says:

      Honestly, you two have been together too long for this. What ya’ll need to do is go outside. go on the roof of the car, while the neighbors are watching up above and get it in. Try that one time and if that don’t spice up ya sex life, try different positions, like you on top, the side, from the back, even put some R&B on while ya’ll in the bed room, it has plenty of instructions. I think you two should look at it as exercise to raising a family, since it sounds like the one thing you guys have in common. Just don’t forget to take care of yourself.

  11. Avatar of Beverly Beverly says:

    I feel things for me are going downill. I’m 16 weeks pregnant (already pretty emotional) – and we have sex maybe once a week. I’m 25 – and it makes me depressed to think this could be as good as it gets. I love him, he is the father of my child & i’ve tried to talk to him about it…. he feels he shouldnt be the only one to innitiate it – but with me being pregnant & this being my first child, I feel out of my comfort zone & i’m more tired than i ever have been. I love sex – and refuse to believe i should have to ask my partner for it – because before he came along & before we got pregnant, I never had this issue with any past partners. that for me, speaks the truth about our relationship. I am noticing a routine – get up, go to work, come home, spend some time together & we both pass out. how do you discuss this without arguing? I feel like i’m losing my lively-hood and once the baby arrives, this will only get worse

    • Avatar of sam sam says:

      Beverly!! I’m so sorry you feel so negatively about the future of your relationship’s sex life… whilst once a week is not a terribly low amount, if it is less than what you used to have in your relationship, I can understand that this may distress you.

      However… I think you are getting ahead of yourself in worrying about it.

      Firstly, I think fatigue from the pregnancy is probably having an impact… tiredness certainly does not fit well with an active sex life.

      Secondly, I dont know what usually prompts sex for you and your husband, but I would suggest adding some ‘cuddling time’ to your routine.. either in bed or on the couch.. This is a very good way to prompt sex for a man, as we often may not THINK we are in the mood for sex, but the touch of a womans body against ours (or with our hands) will arouse us. This would avoid you having to ‘ask for sex’, which can be unpleasant for anybody.. (eg. fear of rejection).. and allows you to have a cuddle and hopefully a bit more sex.

      I would suggest that the ‘cuddle time’ does not have to be a serious thing.. nor does it have to even be stated/requested… it can merely be a situation whereby you cuddle up to him before bed in a non-sexual way.. and if it happens, great.. if not, better luck next time :)

      It pains me to see a woman, particularly of 25, feeling so bad about her sex life… especially with a child on the way (give yourself a break!)… and i hope my comments have helped you.

      Regards,
      Sam

  12. Avatar of liz says:

    its really hard but its so important to be a couple

  13. Avatar of Crystal Crystal says:

    it can be hard to go back to sex when u have more then one baby. I have twins so when one cry’s so those the other and when one is hungry so is the other and so forth….but it doesn’t bother me or my husband we just work around our babys time ( nap time or bed time) to have our own time alone.

  14. Avatar of Andre Andre says:

    I don’t know what some people think about sex but for me is something special I like to love every second of it without rushing and say nice things to my girlfriends its just another galaxy really. I dont just do sex because i feel like i need penetration but its a special moment to share with someone you love at least for me. For me i should say that sex keeps the relationship alive for sure. If you spend quality time with your partner do you think he/she is going to look for something else outside? Well think about it… Make you life easier even though you have kids etc keep your sex life alive its a must.

  15. Avatar of Andre Andre says:

    Hi guys im a male 22 years old and love sex no doubt.
    Im not addicted to it but i love it lol.
    My girlfriend doesn’t seem to co-operate with my desires
    Sometimes as she says i that i love it too much.
    But normally we have sex about 8 to 15 times a week not always
    Of course but yea on the peak times we may go hard.
    The funny thing is that anything on women turns me on…
    Nice hair, nails, skin, eyes legs etc. I have realised that sometimes I exaggerate but in the end of the day im just being me. Another thing aswel sometimes i feel like looking for a perfect match when she doesn’t want to have sex i know thats a lil stupid but thats just some paranoid stuff. Anyway if anyone here has got something similar to this i would l would love to hear it.

    Sent from Iphone

  16. Avatar of Ed Ed says:

    How do I get my girl to want to have sex or anything nearly related to sex ? We haven’t had sex in almost 6 months because she says that she just doesn’t have the urge to have sex. I’m at the point to move on and go somewhere else for the attention, but I love her very much. We’ve talked about it, but she just doesn’t want to even try to get in the mood ? I see a lot of you saying how often you have sex and it drives me crazy.

    • Avatar of james james says:

      Hi, my fiancée and I used to have sex 3/4 times a day. The past year it has dramatically changed. She no longer has the erge for sex. As of a couple of months she has stopped all contraception to aid her in losing weight.

      I still could easily have sex 3 times a day but would really settle for once a week. Everytime I ask or show interest in sex she just shuts me down.

    • Avatar of sam sam says:

      some women have a very low sex drive… but 6 months is a long time. I think your girl should understand that you require intimacy in your life and she should be willing to do her best to accommodate that.. whether that is in the form of a sexual relationship with her (ideal) or with someone else… is up to the two of you.

      Perhaps she should consider checking with her doctor to see if there are any vitamin deficiencies that are causing her lack of libido. Or try a supplement to improve libido..

      • Avatar of Ellen Ellen says:

        I’ve never had a very high sex drive, and often find it astonishing that people even *think* about sex every single day. In fact, I pretty much never think about it unless someone else brings it up. Even in high school I was like that. I can’t imagine wanting to have sex multiple times every day. BUT-I think it’s only reasonable, right and loving to give my man sex any time he seems to want it. I don’t have to personally be in the mood. Like, if I want to see a movie, he doesn’t have to want to for us to do that, or I could make him dinner even if I don’t plan on eating. I think if he wants it, he should be able to get it, and it should be the two of you. If you leave him hanging, you’re only asking for trouble-frustration, irritation, and fighting, ultimately dissatisfaction and a wandering eye…then he has guilt on top of everything else. Not good. Probably the majority of the time we are “together” I don’t really care if it goes there, but he does. 6 months is way long, too much to ask. I could easily go 6 months, but it’s pretty unusual, even for women, from what I gather. Now if a guy is wanting it 25X a week, and you’re just worn out, or something like that, that would be different. But I think any woman who loves her man should be able to do better than once every 6 months! That’s crazy.

        On the supplement thing-we’ve talked about that, but Idk why I would bother. I don’t want to want it more, so why take meds? I don’t miss it when we don’t, and he gets it every time he asks….so I don’t see a need. On the other hand, if I took something, and got real interested, then it was over before I was done for some reason, then now I’m frustrated. As it is, I’m fine just satisfying him, and have no feeling of missing anything. Of course, it’s all very personal, and supplements might be a good idea, but maybe not. I think the issue is more about being there for your partner’s needs and desires. Not to be pointing fingers, I’m just saying. There was a book I saw once called “Sex begins in the Kitchen” all about how women get feeling romantic because of things guys don’t think of as sexual at all-like opening a door for her, doing the dishes, taking care of her needs that way. It shows you care. If you’re willing to take care of her, she may be more inclined to take care of you-urge or no urge-but maybe it will even spark an urge she didn’t know she had. Just a thought.

  17. Avatar of Joe Joe says:

    My boyfriend and I have been together for 9 months, and we have sex about 3 times a day. Yes people, a day. If you are not having sex on the reg you need to reevaluate your sex life.

  18. Avatar of Kalia Kalia says:

    My boyfriend and I have been together for just over two years, and we have sex about 3 times a week. We were high school sweethearts and each other’s firsts, so in the beginning our sex life was pretty awful, but after a year or so of regular sex it is great! I’m a little worried that it might start to go downhill after we get married, though.

  19. Avatar of jasonrleaf jasonrleaf says:

    Annie Hall – 1977

    Split screen: Woody Allen’s character, Alvie Singer, and Diane Keaton’s character, Annie Hall, are at their respective psychiatrist’s offices. At the same time, both psychiatrists ask, “How often do you have sex?”

    Annie replies, “Constantly, maybe three times a week..”

    Alvie answers, “Almost never, maybe three times a week.”

  20. Avatar of Vanessa Vanessa says:

    My sex life with my husband sto9 when I was pregnant beacuse I was sleepy and never in the mood. It was beacuse my body was not just mine anym8re I shared it with my baby girl….but now we are back in business and it is better then ever

  21. Avatar of Sandra Sandra says:

    Sex at this point in my pregnancy is less than before because I have less than 7 weeks to my due date, and my husband is scared to have sex every night, so we fit it to our nightly routine at least 3 times a week and it’s a little hard having a 14 your teen around and a 10 year old little girl along with our seven and three year old boys. But the love and the affection is still there from my soon to be 36 years old hubby.

  22. Avatar of Kimberly Kimberly says:

    First of all I would love to know the ages of these couples? sex daily, I dont think that is very realistic unless you are in your twenties.

  23. Avatar of Jenelle Jenelle says:

    We have a 7 yr old, 2.5 yr old and a 10 month old and we have sex every night. And fit in quickies when ever we can :)

    • Avatar of Kimberly Kimberly says:

      how long is a quickie? I don’t think my husband understands that definition. 30 to 45 min. and when he is done he wants to discuss having a repeat tomorrow…for real, we just had sex for 45 minutes and it was’t enough!

  24. Avatar of KT. S KT. S says:

    I honestly have a four year old and a 7 week old, I’ve been able to have “Horizontal Happy Time” Atleast 3 to 4 times a week. Even if its a quickie or if we have actual good bonding sex. We always find a way! Usually at night or during the kids naptimes! Gotta get creative with it!

  25. Avatar of Bethany Bethany says:

    I don’t want to get to the point of having to schedule sex, but with a newborn and a toddler, that might have to be the case sooner rather than later.

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