How Often Do ‘Normal’ Couples Have Sex?

couple in bed

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.

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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.

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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!

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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?

Tell us what you think!

91 comments

  1. Profile photo 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)

    • Profile photo of ROCIO ROCIO says:

      Wow It’s exactly what I’m going thru. I dont recommend you have child if your sex life is not good. If you don’t have time for your sex life now with a child you will have sex once a yr trust me. You with achild up divorce nd with a child. I recommend go to therapy bow or divorce.

    • Profile photo of Rey Rey says:

      Dear Zoey
      When I read your message it was as if I’m talking, i had exactly the same issue with my hubby…if you are not happy with the situation, please and please do not try for kids…As you won’t even have once a week after the baby is born… And the relationship will get worse…I’ve done that I’ve been there…my advise, try to work on the relationship and if it doesn’t work at don’t be afraid of separation..I have a baby know and things are getting worse day by day…just sharing my personal experience and sorry I don’t have lots of experience with forums,etc…I don’t know if I’m crossing the limits, hope my friendly advice to another human being helps….

    • Profile photo 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.

  2. Profile photo 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

    • Profile photo 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

  3. Profile photo of liz says:

    its really hard but its so important to be a couple

  4. Profile photo 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.

  5. Profile photo 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.

  6. Profile photo 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

  7. Profile photo 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.

    • Profile photo of Maldek Maldek says:

      When a woman, ANY woman says something like this it has a clear meaning.

      She is not attracted to you. Attraction for women is not a choice you know. They feel “it” or not.
      If it is “not” you can not talk her into it.

      What you can do is change yourself.
      Do stuff true men do (like free weights), do less stuff women do (like cleaning) and take the lead in your relationship.

    • Profile photo 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.

    • Profile photo 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..

      • Profile photo 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.

        • Profile photo of Solopro Solopro says:

          I agree with many points you make but it seems you have sex more as a chore then really wanting it. After awhile this may come as a routine. I really get your point of view but I think that when your into someone and love them deeply then this should be automatic,

  8. Profile photo 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.

  9. Profile photo 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.

  10. Profile photo 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.”

  11. Profile photo 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

  12. Profile photo 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.

  13. Profile photo 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.

  14. Profile photo 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 🙂

  15. Profile photo 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!

  16. Profile photo 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.

  17. Profile photo of Leslie Leslie says:

    Five days a week or more my is almost three.

  18. Profile photo of Roma Lee Roma Lee says:

    I just don’t have the strength most days!

  19. Profile photo of Marlena AntonucciEditor Marlena Antonucci says:

    I totally agree with the humorous statement, “It’s the glue that keeps us together.” Being intimate regularly is a constant confirmation of the strength and affection in your relationship.

  20. Profile photo of Leslie Leslie says:

    every chance we get even through we have a two year old.

  21. Profile photo of Phammom Phammom says:

    Being pregnant I don’t enjoy it much. Hope that changes.

  22. Profile photo of Shakirra Shakirra says:

    We are both 40, 6 children and we fit it in at least 4 times a week..

  23. Profile photo of Heatherly Heatherly says:

    I know my husband is a happier man and does much better at work when he gets what he needs from me. It’s taken me years (sadly) to understand this.

  24. I am dating a man who is 12 yrs older …smh I wish we would have more sex

  25. Profile photo of EbyMom EbyMom says:

    Most times when kids come so many things to be done that most parents forget about their relationships, communication levels drop, sex drive drop, partners stop looking attractive. But it is not supposed to be so. We should keep up with our lifestyle and continue looking attractive for both parties.

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