How often do couples have sex? Relationship study reveals what's really going on in the bedroom
Ever compared your relationship to someone else's and wondered how often do other couples have sex? Well, you're not the only one.
By nature, we humans are perennially curious creatures, and we can't help but compare our libidos and bedroom habits to our peers.
So, how do you weigh up? Here's everything you need to know...
How often do couples have sex?
According to a 2017 study in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour, the average adult has sex 54 times a year, which roughly equates to once a week.
Surprisingly, things weren't always this way.
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A similar study conducted in the 1990s found that couples back then had, on average, nine per cent more sex each year.
Looks like things have changed over the last 20 years.
How often do men need sex?
How often do men need sex?
There is no one right amount of sex that men "need". Getting in between the sheets is a deeply personal thing, and a number of factors can affect your sex drive, including age, genetics, health, stress and mood.
In our opinion, the happiest couples, and individuals, have sex approximately as often as they want to!
Regardless, several studies have shown that men, on average, have higher sex drives than women. But this, of course, varies from person to person.
Per WebMD, the majority of adult men under 60 think about sex at least once a day. Only one-quarter of women said that they think about it as frequently. Likewise, while both men and women fantasise less with age, men still fantasise around twice as often.
Is once a month a sexless relationship?
Technically speaking, a sexless relationship is defined as when a couple has sex less than once a month or less than 10 times a year, per Everyday Health.
However, sex is a highly personal matter — and depending on your personal circumstances, there are varying definitions of what constitutes a sexless relationship. To one couple, being "sexless" would mean not having sex for a year, and to another, it would be a week, or even a few days.
What have real couples said about how often they have sex?
To see just how much the sexual habits of couples vary, we took a look at Reddit and saw what real-life people have to say about their sex lives and how often they get it on...
1. "Quality over quantity"
"Once a week. We've been together for 16 years," dishes Reddit user, auntiechrist23. "Quality over quantity. There's been times where there was more (a few times a day), and times where there was less (once a month). Long term relationships of over a decade have an ebb and flow when it comes to sex. There are times when you're more in love with each other, and times where you're better friends. Sometimes there's more sex, sometimes there's more intimacy. It's a very normal thing.
2. "There isn't a fixed frequency"
Reddit user, msstark writes: "It really varies, depending on how tired and stressed we are. We've been together five months, and sometimes it's twice a day, other times there's no sex for two weeks. There isn't a fixed frequency."
3. "It's been fairly consistent"
5-10 times a week. He often gives me oral in the morning (multiple a week) so that easily increases it. At weekends sometimes we can have very long sessions or whole-day things, so I don't know how to count that. We can spend up to five hours on sex on a Saturday or Sunday," says mareenah. "Together 8 years. Fluctuates a little based on how busy we are and if we're sick, but it's been fairly consistent."
4. "It works"
"We've been together almost 10 years, and we have sex about once a week," writes shoup88. "Frequency has been pretty stable. I wish it was a little more, but it works."
5. "It's been about the same since the beginning"
Reddit user, Candothefrug, says: "On average 5 times a week, varies from 4-8 times per week. We've been together nearly 10 years and have a kid and it's been about the same since the beginning."
6. 'It's definitely decreased a lot since he took this job"
"2-3 times a month when he's on a big job at work because he's operating on stress and very little sleep. When work is slow, maybe once a week. We've been together 3.5 years, living together 2.5 years. It's definitely decreased a lot since he took this job," reveals snapkangaroo.
7. "Definitely not as frequent as our first year together"
"2-4 times a week. Been together almost 7 years. Definitely not as frequent as our first year together when we were 18-year-old college freshmen in a dorm with no roommates," writes thunderling.
8. "I'm satisfied with it"
"About once a week. We've been together about 6.5 years, and our frequency is much lower than when we first got together, but much higher than it was a year or two ago," says an anonymous Reddit user. "I'm satisfied with it, and my husband would be happy if it increased but is fine with how it is currently."
9. "I'm starting to really not be ok with it"
"We've been together 3 1/2 years and on average it's about once or twice a week. It's gone down a lot in frequency and I'm starting to really not be ok with it," dishes connieC60.
10. "Frequency has gone up and down a lot"
"I bought a box of 144 condoms just over two years ago and it's almost run out... so a bit less than 1.5 times per week, on average," writes an anonymous Reddit user. "We've been together nearly 10 years. Frequency has gone up and down a lot. We were long-distance for two years, so obviously not much then."
11. "We have sex when we feel like it"
"We've been together for 13 years. I honestly have no idea what the weekly average is. Sometimes we go 2-3 times in a week, sometimes we go 2 weeks without sex. We have sex when we feel like it," says kyren. "Frequency has decreased from when we first met. But I'm not sure the libidos of two stressed-out 29-year-olds is going to match that of two 16-year-olds."