Erectile Dysfunction, Men's Health, Sexual Wellness

How Often Do Couples Have Sex?

How Often do Married Couples Have Sex

Sex is considered to be an incredibly intimate phenomenon that two bodies can experience with each other. It is the very foundation that continues the creation and existence of different creatures in the living world. As humans, we take sex as one of the most private affairs and try to protect it from the public eye.

Whether it is a couple in courtship or a married one, we all have our personal choices and preferences when it comes to experiencing sex. But is there any specific number of times a couple has sex? How often do couples have sex? Or How often do married couples have sex? Let us decode these questions that many might be curious about. 

How Often Do Married Couples Have Sex?

Well, just like different people have their preferences as to picking their respective sex partners and various ways of experiencing sex with them, different individuals have different preferred numbers of times to have sex. The average number of times per week married couples make love can differ from that of an unmarried couple. Again, the average sex per week by age might differ for different age groups. 

The International Society for Sexual Medicine says that there is no “normal” frequency of sex, considering the given condition that both partners in the relationship are happy. The frequency of sex for any couple depends on what the partners in the relationship think suits best for them. This can range from no sexual activity at all to a few times a day, week, or year. 

Average Frequency of Sex By Age

According to a  2020 research, we have come up with the following percentage of adults aged somewhere between 18 to 44 years with a steady partner engaged in weekly sexual activity:

Sexual Orientation Men Women
Heterosexual 50.8% to 55.8% 52.6% to 57.2%
Gay, lesbian, or bisexual 32.8% to 53.7% 44.7% to 59.2%

The table provided below shows the frequency of sexual activity for married couples during the period 2016 to 2018:

Frequency of Sexual Activity Men Women
not at all 1.70% 1.30%
once or twice a year 5.20% 5.50%
1 to 3 times a month 35.40% 32.40%
weekly or more 57.70% 60.90%

The same research also observed the frequency of sexual activity for those who had one or two partners within a year period in 2012:

Frequency of Sexual Activity 1 partner 2 partners
not at all 6 0
once or twice a year 30 13
once a month 48 8
2–3 times a month 98 11
weekly 90 9
2–3 times per week 177 18
4 or more times per week 58 18

The authors of a 2019 article found that the median number of times people who were cohabiting or married had sex was three times per month. Married or cohabitating couples are more likely to have sex more often than people who are single, divorced, or widowed. 

Average Frequency of Sex in Older People 

In a much recent study conducted by the General Social Survey, the sexual frequency of 660 married people within a single year, was taken into consideration. The results of the study are as follows:

  • 25% had weekly sex
  • 16% reported having sex 2 to 3 times per week
  • 5% reported having had sex 4 or more times per week
  • 17% of people had monthly sex
  • 19% had sex two to three times a month
  • 10% hadn’t had sex in the past year
  • 7% of adults had sex once or twice within the previous year

It is not like older people do not have sex at all. They do but at a lesser frequency as compared to younger men. 

  • As per an AARP report, 31% of couples aged 50 years and above have multiple limited sessions of sex a week, 28% of couples have multiple yet not-so-wholesome sessions of sex a month, 8% of couples have somewhat decent sex monthly, and 33% of couples did not have any sexual intercourse for a month.
  • Couples in their 70s too had almost similar figures. About 33% of men had sex multiple times a month; while only about 19% of men in their 80s, had sex at least twice a month.

Transition in the approach towards Sex over the years 

  • In the early 1990s, couples reportedly had sex at least five times a month. 
  • By 2012, the frequency went down to an average of three times a month. 

This behavioural pattern was prevalent among all age groups and was particularly noticeable in the younger generation. The increased influence of social media, video games, and similar other virtual platforms, on our lives might be considered as one of the primary reasons for this behavioural change.

Further, we also have to consider the fact that more and more population is becoming impacted by sexual dysfunction. A study estimated that 322 million men will suffer from erectile dysfunction by 2025; which is almost double the number of men suffering from it about 20 years back. 

Again, as per the 2023 Gen Z Deep Dive edition of eHarmony’s Dating Diaries survey, 91% of millennials in relationships have sex at least once a week, as compared to 78% of Gen Z-ers. The survey also found that nearly half, i,e about 46% of Gen Z singles have used more than six sex positions this year thus far compared to 40% of millennials. 

The Ultimate Call

There is no ‘exact right number of times’ to have sex, as long as both partners are happy and content. But in case the partners want it more, experts advise them to keep it for once a week. A 2015 study published by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology found that couples who have sex weekly are the happiest. 

It is also important to mention here that even though more sex is considered to bring greater happiness, experts suggest that it is even more important to maintain an intimate connection with your partner than the need to have sex on a daily basis. Hence, whatever might be the number of times you have intercourse, mutual respect is a huge contributor to sexual satisfaction. 


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