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.

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?

Tell us what you think!


  1. Profile photo of guy guy says:

    I agree Steve! I am more than 10 years older than you but feel the same way. Once a month and I am not a happy guy. Once a weak and I am feeling neglected. My wife is a beautiful sexy lady and I find her irresistibly sexy. After 43 years of marriage I am still attracted. Don’t tell people that once a week is normal. That is way too low! Not my normal!

  2. Profile photo of Steve Steve says:

    Wow maybe I’m a sex addict. I’m 51 I’ve been married for almost 32 years. I have sex with my wife almost every day and sometimes twice a day. When we go on vacation we have sex 3 to 4 times a day. Sex with my wife is my way of being close to her and showing her I love her. I dont think I could handle once a week, I think I would get dumb.

  3. Profile photo of Steve Steve says:

    Looks like this is an old thread, so this might not even get read. Just in case someone does see it and has any advice, here it is:

    – Married 33 years
    – 58 years old
    – Haven’t had sex in almost a year and a half
    – The last 10+ years we have gone an average of 6 months to up to 3 years without any form of intimacy whatsoever
    – Wife was molested as a teenager by step father – that has been used as a major bone of contention for her not wanting to be intimate with me
    – I am consumed with thinking about sex every day of my life – frustrated beyond my emotional capabilities
    – Two heart attacks… the last one in Sept 2015 w/ triple bypass
    – Not sure how much more I can take, but at this stage I don’t see any options

    Occasionally I just feel like “checking out”, but I always come to my senses because I have an 18 and 21 year old and would never want to put that on them. I don’t consider divorce as an option because I made a vow and I don’t intend to break it. In the last 18 months we have been on a lot of “dates” (dinners, movies, outings, wine tasting, etc. ). We spent 2 weeks in the south of Spain, 5 days in Coronado island, trips to Lake Tahoe, Newport Beach, etc. etc… all tolled almost 2 months in hotels…. nada. She just has zero interest, and I grew weary of feeling like I was begging all the time, so I just stopped even asking. I wake up, spend my whole day, and go to bed a foot from her, thinking about intimacy. It never materializes. I know I could most likely just go for it and she would allow it, but it’s not even worth it to me if it’s nothing more than a physical release. We have been to counseling, read books, gone to marriage seminars – nothing ever changes. I feel like a mouse on a wheel that never stops spinning. If anyone has a magic wand let me in on it.

    • Profile photo of Mrs. Joe Mrs. Joe says:

      Did she ever talk to her doctor about hormone imbalance? I assume she has been through menopause, the effects of menopause can last 10 years.

      Hear the words low testosterone (or “low T”) and you probably think “men’s health.”
      But women actually need small amounts of testosterone, too, as part of the mix of hormones that keep mood, energy levels, sex drive, and bodily functions working smoothly.
      Product marketing around testosterone therapy argues that low T could be a reason for low sex drive in women, and that low T in women can be easily solved with hormone replacement therapy.

      This might be a part of the problem.

  4. Profile photo of james james says:

    Hi Zoe, I married my ex wife at 22 she was 18, married 32 years. Sex before kids was good 2 to 4 time a week for me, but she never really knew her body. Typical christian upbringing with sex as taboo. After kids frequency dropped, sometimes months and nothing. As a man i relieved myself sometimes several times a day. Her, well maybe in the bath alone, and never with me. She hated sex, i got 2 or 3 minutes to do the job, and shed say are you finished yet, in the end i used to fake orgasms and just spit in my hand and wipe it. Any way we seperated 3 months back, I met some one and we started dating, to my amazement this lady has my appetite for sex and in the last 2 months we have only had 1 day without sex, minimum 2 times a day, and heres the thing, we will do 3 positions and she orgasms each time, many times, so iam really pleasing her, i may only ejaculate 2 or three times a week, but seeing the smile on her face, feeling her body quiver and shake an squeal in pleasure is more than enough satisfaction for me, and somedays we will go for an hour or two… summary, sexual compatibility needs to explored and agreed to before long term commitment, if your left hungry after leaving a restaurant would you go back…

  5. Profile photo of Solopro Solopro says:

    My wife and I have been together for 20+ years. We have been married for 4 years. Kids are all moved out and now we are enjoying our life. I love my wife to death and am not a sex addict but enjoy intimacy with my wife. I’m okay with making love 2 to 3 times a week. She does not share the same view. Twice a month is okay with her. On a side note she never instigates. So I’m Starting to feel away about that. Sometimes it is nice to feel someone wants you. Not sure what to do as lately I am thinking about ending it. I have tried to discuss this even suggested couples therapy. Therapy helpes us once with other issues but this time around she is not having it. Not sure what to do. I’m 40 and she is 46. Does this have anything to do with it?

  6. Profile photo of Anthony Anthony says:

    I understand your struggle. I have been married 15 years, and this has been an issue for entire marriage. Average for us is twice every 5or 6 weeks. I have talked to her numerous time ,in many different ways. Me personally, I don’t want to have sex with any woman who isn’t into it or appears uninterested. That is a big deal for me. The problem is that the three years before marriage we had spontaneous and frequent sex. My advice is difficult even for myself to follow. Separate, because you can’t make someone want to more with you over the long term. Sometimes there’s too much water under the bridge. Anyway, 2 times a week would be sufficient, and maybe a partner who kicks it off first. I can just think about sex and blood pumpin. Goodday. 38,ANTHONY

  7. Profile photo of David David says:

    We have been married for over twenty five years – the kids are older. We make love each – and EVERY morning. We wake early for it. This was and remains my Wife’s initiative. Earlier when we were tying to put things back on track we started with a modest schedule which was an excellent tool. As things progressed and we were both really enjoying not only the time we spent together in the bedroom but how it transformed how we related to one another out of the bedroom – SHE sat me down and said she wanted to take control over this aspect of our lives. I agreed – and then she decided that it was going to be every day – we like mornings and we retire early to wake early. Let me assure you it does not become routine, stale, boring and physically – we though in our fifties have no problems what so ever. I think it is like any form of physical exercise and the more you do it the more reliably everything works. If you think about it there are no reasons to avoid doing this everyday and plenty of reasons to make it happen. There are excuses perhaps but no valid reasons. let me suggest that you pick your potential disagreements very carefully when your partner just helped you experience an orgasm. I have One rule only which is that she achieves release – first and I am fairly relentless in this. Relations MUST be mutually satisfactory. We used an IUD for birth control when we needed it – no longer. My advice is to not utilize condoms ever in a long term committed relationship – they have no valid place there. There may be rare exceptions but do try to avoid them with alternate forms of birth control instead if at all possible.

  8. Profile photo of Terri Terri says:

    I’m 55 years old. Been married for a little over 4 months but have been with him for 4 years. We have sex on average about 7 to 10 times a week. Is that too much ?? I often tell him I think we are sex addicts but we truly enjoy ourselves. We both love making love to one another. It hasn’t slowed down at all in 4 years. We were both in bad marriages for over 20 years and maybe that has something to do with it (i don’t know) All I know is it is AMAZING to be 55 and have this kind of sex. It is incredible.

  9. Profile photo of Sneha Sneha says:


    I am 23 years old ,and i have a my boyfriend who is 27 years old.We meet once in 3 months for about 3 days max .And my guy wants lots n lots of sex and when we meet we have sex 10 times a day,this might seem abnormal,but i too love sex a lot but not as much as he does,but i have to accompany him .he will hardly give a break of 5 mins and start again.He says no one can satisfy his sex drive like i do,he is very happy that i bare him and enjoy sex 10 times a day and am also happy that i satisfy him.But after that i felt i am gaining weight.Is it because of lots of sex ?having sex 10 times a day is good or bad?

    • Profile photo of Megan KlayEditor Megan Klay says:

      I don’t believe sex would make you gain weight, but perhaps if you are on a contraceptive; it could be a side effect? You may also just be happy in your relationship and being more relaxed on diet, etc. because of it. 🙂 Enjoy!

  10. Profile photo of BillyJ BillyJ says:

    *I am now 85 yrs. of age. *We were married 13-years – and then divorced. *The problem for me regarding our sex life was that my husband had no “staying power”! *He was “off” in a matter of minutes – LEAVING ME HABITUALLY VERY “UNSATISFIED”!! *Our “sex life” consisted mostly of “wham/bam/thank you m’am!” AND ROLLING OVER he was off to sleep! *That tends to be discouraging! *His idea of being “romantic” was to walk in the door after work and say, “Tonight’s the night!” *What a “TURN OFF”! *AND – left one, NAMELY ME, NOT looking forward “to the next time”. *It would behoove “many men” to read “romance novels”!! **THEY JUST MIGHT LEARN SOMETHING ABOUT MAKING “LOVE”!! *OR maybe get some kind of “manual” as to how to discreetly “turn on one’s mate”! *Sitting on the couch watching TV and being “groped” is NOT a “turn on”!!! ‘-( **I was NOT adverse to sex – just to be left “hanging and unsatisfied” on a regular basis!! ;-( *AND he never did figure it out!! *Have no idea as to how his next three (3) wives felt!! *HUSBANDS/MATES/LOVERS PAY ATTENTION!!! *YOUR WIFE/MATE/LOVER DESERVES SATISFACTION ALSO!!!

  11. Profile photo of Jo Jo says:

    My husband and I have been with each other for ten years since our mid 20’s, I have to say that nothing has changed in the bedroom the sex is still out of this world. When we first started having sex he rocked me like no other, we spent the first 24 hours in a room exploring one another. After moving in with one another it’s still great he can go for 1-2 hours full on intercourse and foreplay is about a half hour, we still 10 years later have sex in the morning and at night for a minimum of an hour or more. What makes this situation worse is he is the only man to have ever given me an orgasm let alone multiples I usually stop counting after 8. It seems like many marriages suffer from a lack of real spark and real connection, he still lusts after me like a horny teen boy.

  12. Profile photo of Day Day says:

    I am 45 my husband is 46 we’ve been together for 15 years we live separately but are still a couple. I used to have a very active sex drive and about 7-8 years into the relationship I noticed my sex drive was very low to nearly gone. The thought of having sex to me now frankly, seems like a lot of work to me. But I do love my husband and I know that he deserves sex more than once or twice a month but now that I’m really fat due to medication, I just don’t seem to care about sex except for a very awkward times like while I’m sitting at my desk at work I will feel the most incredible urge for sex. I don’t know what to do. I’ve actually felt that; I think it would be okay for my husband to have sex with somebody else for just that purpose but knowing my husband it will not be that he has sex to be in love not just to have sex he is a wonderful man and he deserves more than I feel like giving. So when I hear all of these women say that they want sex more frequently and their man doesn’t I think to myself what is wrong with me.

  13. Profile photo of BillyJ BillyJ says:

    *I am now 85 yrs. of age. *We were married 13-years – and then divorced. *The problem for me regarding our sex life was that my husband had no “staying power”! *He was “off” in a matter of minutes – LEAVING ME HABITUALLY VERY “UNSATISFIED”!! *Our “sex life” consisted mostly of “wham/bam/thank you m’am!” AND he was off to sleep! *That tends to be discouraging! *His idea of being “romantic” was to walk in the door after work and say, “Tonight’s the night!” *What a “TURN OFF”! *AND – leaves one, me, NOT looking forward “to the next time”. *It would behoove “many men” to read “romance novels”!! 😉 *OR maybe get some kind of “manual” as to how to discreetly “turn on one’s mate”! 😉 *Sitting on the couch watching TV and being “groped” is NOT a “turn on”!!! ‘-( *I was NOT adverse to sex – just to be left “hanging and unsatisfied” on a regular basis!! ;-( *AND he never did figure it out!! *Have no idea as to how his next three (3) wives felt!! *HUSBANDS/MATES/LOVERS PAY ATTENTION!!! *YOUR WIFE/MATE/LOVER DESERVES SATISFACTION ALSO!!!

  14. Profile photo of David David says:

    I am 58, we have been married for 26 years and for the last eight years we make love each and every day, her idea BTW. We both like this level of frequency and feel it is ideal.

  15. Profile photo of Shakela Shakela says:

    Well I’m 23 and I don’t think it matters about your age it’s the connection and if I want sex I’ll get it from my partner if he can’t provide. Then for another man my legs will divide. Hey I’m just being realistic. I’m not gonna want sexcapades all my life and if I do I feel as if I should have them. LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO BE UNHAPPY!!!!! Even if you would die for that person. We all deserve to be pleased.

    • Profile photo of Jo Jo says:

      Well I can see your future ending well. You do know relationships require dedication, loyalty, compassion, and communication and self control… your mentality is shameful.

  16. Profile photo of Adam Adam says:

    Good article! We looked into using herbal supplements, it worked great for us. We went from sex one or twice a month to at least twice a week. My partner bought some called ‘hibido’ (i think it was called), worth a look.

  17. Profile photo of tammy tammy says:

    Hi I m 30 yrs old and m married for 4 yrs. After 6 months of marriage I noticed my husband’s less interest towards sex. But still we had twice a month or 3. After that it reduced to ones a month and then reduced to after 2 months. If he in mood only then it happens, I can never talk him out or you can say get rejected every time I ask. But since last 8 months it totally stopped. I tried to talk and ask in first few 3 months but always get rejected. After that I stopped asking for sex but tried to talk about his problem or stress but nothing worked. He then said about some work related tension. But after a month everything got resolved but still he complains about his work. He then started to come late from his regular groceries shopping most of the time for a drink, which sometimes turns out a lot. I read somewhere that sex relieves stress so wanted to talk him out. But problem is he doesnt want to talk about these things….. even if i say let’s talk like adults understanding your problem. Please suggest as it is becoming difficult for me to handle things with the question in my head. Should we go for consultation?? He says he loves me…. I would have been least worried if there was cuddling between us like couples have, but even no love cuddling.

  18. Profile photo of Lesley Lesley says:

    I’m a 30 year old female; been with my boyfriend 2.5 years and his sex drive has plummeted over the last year. I’m so glad to know I’m not alone in this. Our relationship is pretty much perfect except for this issue, but it is a VERY devastating problem! He is so loving, sweet, kind, hard-working, generous, appreciative, trust-worthy… everything I would ever want in a life partner. I adore him in every way, but over the past 6 months I’ve had to initiate every single time and repeatedly get rejected. It sucks. It drains my confidence, makes me feel unlovable, and depresses me.

    I know he loves sex and enjoys it when we do it, but getting him in the mood is impossible. He blames stress and always seems to have a new excuse… when stressful situations pass it’s like he FINDS something else to stress over.. I guess this is anxiety. When we first met, the sex was electric. When we have it now, it’s amazing still, but he never feels the motivation to be intimate with me. I feel like I’m starving to death emotionally. He swears its not me and that I’m beautiful, etc, but the rejection makes me feel repulsive. Other men are clearly attracted to me and its so painful to be rejected by the person I love. It hurts enough to make me consider leaving. We’ve talked about it multiple times and he’s always considerate and open in the conversation which gives me hope, but nothing really changes.

    I’m at the stage where I’m ready to settle down and start a family. He has all the qualities I’m looking for and I am madly in love with him, but I am terrified of getting trapped in a sexless marriage. Especially if we were to have kids! I can see this only getting worse for him since he seems to shut down under stress. Should I run and hope I find someone just as amazing with a better matched sex drive or stay and try to work on this issue with him? Advice anyone?

    • Profile photo of Celvin Celvin says:

      You’re not alone, I guess unfortunately this is a common issue. I am experiencing the exact same situation, and a very good friend of mine as well… Except that we are married with kids… And we both feel trapped in a sexless marriage, it makes us angry even though we both have loving ” perfect” husbands, they say I love you, yes you’re beautiful, blah blah blah, they help with the kids, the house, etc but don’t touch us, don’t want us, don’t feel the need for it… And we’re both miserable… It makes us angry, resentful, bitchy. I would not do it. I don’t want to live like this, I feel unwanted, unloved, undesirable, ugly, old, miserable, moody, pissed and cheated of the life I was supposed to have. You will end up resenting him, hating him at times… I long for hands touching me, wanting me… It’s very upsetting, I could go on and on, I’m 37, 5’7, 144lbs ( gained 15lbs in the last year), good looking according to others, I know I can be attractive but I don’t feel I am, I feel the opposite. You don’t want to live like this believe me.

  19. Profile photo of hamid hamid says:

    Hi , thanks for usefull subject,
    I am 27 years old and lady is 19. we begin our first sex together. we run once in 2 night (out of bleeding period).
    I have some Goal for my life and need you guide on that.
    1- I want to save and improve my lovely life.
    2- my lady has a nice body and I dont want to یisassemble it.
    3- I want to save my romantic and power of my sex for all days of my life.
    thank you.

  20. I’ve been married for 10 years. I’m 33 and he’s 45. It’s been 5 months now without sex. I’m tired of begging for sex. I only ask for once a week before, and sometimes didn’t get any. We won’t have any sex when I don’t ask him first. I’m tired with this condition. Is he too old to have sex? The longest time we didn’t have sex was 8 months. Is this kind of relationship normal? Or should I see a counselor?

    • Profile photo of john john says:

      Hey, Im 43 and if my wife of age 30 would let me have sex four times a day everyday I would and I could , but she wont have it! Im lucky to get sex 3 times a week which is why I was reading these comments. I would be concerned about your man. If I am refused sex for more than a week Im concerned!! I want sex at least once a day and sex lasts at least 45 min AND I make sure i go down on her everytime. Id give her oral everyday if she’d let me. Ive never been like this with any other woman…its the connection i have with her….so maybe you need a new connection!?

    • Profile photo of Megan KlayEditor Megan Klay says:

      Have you tried talking with him about it? Not in an accusatory way, but letting him know that you enjoy being intimate with him and would like to experience this again and more frequently. You could also try asking him what he’s interested in sexually or creating a journal for the two of you to share your sexual desires without discussing it in person, which might make it more “hot”. Communication can help a lot! Best wishes!

  21. Profile photo of Amanda Amanda says:

    Holy crap, I am reading through the comments on this “article” and am surprised at how many people are complaining about their “lack of sex” from their partner and how they are considering leaving them for it. This is ridiculous to me! A relationship is about more than sex. It is about having a partner to go through life with. Yes, sex is an important part of that, but is not the only or most important thing to consider when deciding if you want to spend the rest of your life with someone. There are many many reasons one partner or the other may not be “in the mood” for sex and sometimes there may be “dry spells”. But sex isnt the only way to be intimate and if you can’t connect with your partner in any other way, then maybe you SHOULD reconsider your relationship, but if you go into all your relationships with the notion that sex is the most important thing and theres no other way to be intimate, then those are going to fail as well.
    FYI: We have been together for 7 years and have 5 kids and my husband and I usually have sex 3-4 times a week. Sometimes more, sometimes less. And sometimes in the kitchen, the shower, the laundry room… and sometimes we fall asleep cuddling and thats just as satisfying.

    • Profile photo of Celvin Celvin says:

      Lol, I think if my husband did me 3-4 / week I wouldn’t complain either, and you’re right marriage is not about just sex, obviously, my husband has everything I want in a man, but the sexdrive… If it wasn’t for the fact that I do love everything about him except that… I would be gone, a long time ago, and because I won’t leave him for that, I am left to feel sad, unwanted, undesirable even though I am not and he tells me I’m not unwanted, undesirable etc… But do I get sex 3 times or even twice a week? No… Yes there are dry spell…and then there is something completely different that you know nothing of.

  22. Profile photo of verochka31 verochka31 says:

    great article. very informative and helpful.

  23. Profile photo of Amanda Amanda says:

    Me and my boyfriend have been together for over 3 years. He is the love of my life, I plan to marry this man,have his child,and build a small family. My life would not be complete without him. He is 33 and I am 27. At first, we use to have sex every day,then it went from that to every couple days. Now…we have sex up to 2 to 3 times a month.

    And it doesn’t bother me,or him. We don’t hold out on one another,it’s just the way we like it. Were not rabbits,we don’t want to have sex every day…twice a day…we don’t NEED it that much. Our relationship isn’t just based on sexual attraction. It’s based off of mutual respect for one another….extreme love….and yes,attraction. I will love this man until I am old and gray and until the day I die. Sex is not everything….its just a small part. We are happy,and that’s all that matters.

  24. 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.

    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.

  25. Profile photo 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.

    • Profile photo of Maldek Maldek says:

      Your wife and you did marry when she was 34. Dont get a shock when you read what I am going to write. You will not like it, but it is most likely true and it may save your ass if you consider it.

      For women, their most valuable years are from 18-23. They are most fertile and most “hot”. A women who has been to college/university/working has had many lovers over the years and if she decides to settle past 30 and have a baby it is most frequently a low quality man compared to what she had in her bed in her early 20s.

      That would be you. She may have never been attracted to you like she was attracted to that (fictional, hope you get the point) football player and his buddies back in college. Or that biker she used to hang out with after work when she was younger and hotter. You are her old-age-provider. She is not into it for the sex, she wants your resources.

      Now that she got her ring AND her baby there is not much more she needs from you. The more you give her, the more she will withhold from you. Best you can do is make clear how much she is going to loose if you leave her (and make damn sure it is realy the case!) and then demand sex once a week as a bare minimum.

      Dont accept her overts towards you. Demand respect!

      • Profile photo of Lori Lori says:

        Maldek, I do not agree with you….plain & simple.

      • Profile photo of Amanda Amanda says:

        What the hell?? Are you new? Havent you heard of cougars? Older women like sex just as much as those in their 20s. After having a child, a women’s libido changes drastically. Physical changes and hormonal changes make it difficult sometimes for women to be in the mood for sex.
        Demanding sex is degrading and not how a man should treat his wife and mother of his child.


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