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But Seriously, How Often Do Couples Have Sex?
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Is everyone having more sex than me? It’s a question that we’ve all asked ourselves. After all, it’s human nature to wonder how you measure up against other couples when it comes to doing the deed. But it’s not that easy to calculate this “magic number” since it really depends on a range of factors such as lifestyle, health, sex drive and age.

How frequently are people having sex?

According to a Kinsey Institute study from 2017, 34 percent of married couples are having sex two to three times per week; 45 percent a few times a month; and 13 percent only a few times a year. The study also found that people between the ages of 18 and 29 do it twice a week, those between 30 and 39 have sex 86 times a year, and those between the ages of 40 and 49 about 69 times per year.

How do I maintain a healthy sex life as I age?

Interestingly, no matter what your biological age, if you feel young, your sex life will seem more satisfying. "Those who feel older and have more negative attitudes toward aging are likely to perceive the sharpest declines in the quality of their sex lives. At the same time, the younger people feel, the more likely they are to maintain high sexual satisfaction as they get older (or at least they’ll experience a much less noticeable change)," writes Dr. Justin Lehmiller in a Kinsey Institute post. “More generally, this study provides further support for the idea that your brain really is your biggest sex organ.”

Has the rate people are having sex changed over the years?

A study published in 2017 in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that married couples and couples who live together were having sex about once a week between 2010 to 2014, which equates to 16 fewer times a year as compared to the previous decade (from 2000 to 2004). Overall, the average adult had sex nine fewer times per year during that same period. Factors ranging from work to technology to streaming services like Netflix are being blamed for this decline in sexual frequency.

How much sex do I really need?

Good news is, once a week may be all you need to reap the feel-good rewards of a healthy sex life. In a 2015 study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, couples who had sex at least once a week said they were happier with their relationships. And somewhat surprisingly, researchers also discovered that more sex did not mean greater happiness. But if you’re not reaching that once-a-week threshold, you might want to aim for that; just don’t make it seem like a chore.

Is more sex better for a happy relationship?

Even if you and your partner are hitting the high mark in terms of frequency, that doesn’t necessarily mean the sex is any good. “As with most aspects of any relationship, quality is much more important than quantity,” says Dr. Alexander Bingham, a somatic clinical psychologist in New York. “A couple having two to three orgasms together each week through genital-genital contact can satisfy each other both physiologically and emotionally. However, this assumes that both members of a couple are able to experience a full orgasm.”

Are people satisfied with the sex they're having?

Unfortunately, men tend to overestimate the odds of achieving mutual orgasms. According to the 2010 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, about 85 percent of men reported that their partner had an orgasm during their last sexual encounter, but only 64 percent of women reported having had an orgasm.

This orgasm gap was also found in a study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine in 2018, when researchers compared how often husbands and wives said they actually orgasmed during sex to how often their partners thought they orgasmed. Among the heterosexual couples, 87 percent of the husbands and 49 percent of the wives reported consistently experiencing orgasms, with 43 percent of the men misperceiving how often their wives experienced orgasms. 

Ladies, you might not want to hear it, but we helped create this dilemma—by faking it. Your Oscar-worthy “ohs” and “ahs,” à la When Harry Met Sally, have given men a false sense of coital accomplishment. (One study says as much as 80 percent of women fake orgasms.) Although men aren’t totally innocent either. The 2018 study simply underlies the importance of sexual communication before, during and after the deed, and that the more attentive a man is, the more satisfied the couple is.

How do my partner and I improve our sex life?

Practice makes perfect, right? If you want to improve your sex life, Bingham suggests committing to “learning how to satisfy both yourself and your partner physically and emotionally…  each of us can learn how and when we can help each other have a full, complete, and satisfying orgasm.”

Of course, sex can still be pleasureable without the big, explosive finish. So don’t assume that frequent but so-so sex sessions are better than having occasional but ultimately satisfying sex.

RELATED: My Boyfriend and I Have Stopped Having Sex. Should We Break Up?

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