Surely, you have seen reports that say something like “the average married couple has sex X numbers of times a year”. If you and your bride are doing more than that, you feel good, if you are below you feel bad, right? If you are under the average and want more, the report is “proof” that you should be having more. If you are over the average and want, more you probably ignore the report. If you want less sex, or want no more than you are having, and the report says you rate is normal or high, then it is “proof” that your spouse should back off, right?
Personally, I find the entire concept deeply flawed. Does the average of what people do mean anything useful? Does it somehow tell us what we should all be doing?
Imagine if you decided to determine the number of calories needed to be healthy by taking a survey on how many calories people ate! If you took that survey in the USofA you would come up with an answer sure to make you fat. If you took that survey in some poor countries, your average would be barely enough calories to avoid dying of starvation. Even if you took the average of people who are their ideal weight, the average would not be useful as we all have different caloric needs. A very large man who works heavy manual labour eight hours a day needs two or three times the calories of a much smaller man who sits at a desk.
Sex is the same way. Many couples have very little to no sex, and a few have a great deal of sex. There are also differences of desire/need – some men struggle to do more than twice a week, while others are miserable if they do not have sex twice that often.
On the issue of too little sex, the surveys say that for married couples under 60 about 5% have no sex at all, 15% have sex 1-10 times a year, and 15% have sex 11-20 times a year. That means 35% of married couples are having sex less than twice a month! Imagine how that third of the population is lowering the average frequency numbers.
The high-end is less dramatic. For married couples 25-39 just less than 6% have sex more than three times a week. In the 18-24 year old category, it’s 20%, while for older couples it’s more like 1%.
If you eliminate the low and high frequency couples, the average for a couple in their 30’s is 102 times a year – about twice a week – and almost 50% higher than the average for all couples that age. If you want a reasonable average, there you have it. Frankly, I still think it is a useless number. Aside from the number of men who want more sex (at least half of married men) and the number of married women who want more sex (15% to 30% depending on the study) several studies of couples have found that in some marriages both husband and wife want more sex.
My thought is that we live in an oversexed society full of undersexed marriages. Sexual frustration is high for men and women for a growing number of reasons. I cannot give you a magic frequency number, but I do know that all other things being equal, the more sex a couple has the happier they both are, the stronger their marriage is, and the less likely they are to end up divorced.
If you or your spouse is sexually dissatisfied, it should be a loud warning bell that something is wrong in your marriage. I realise that sex is sometimes a symptom rather than the actual problem, but a lack of sex is an indication that something is wrong. Couples, or spouses, who ignore this, are ignoring a warning that their marriage could be in trouble.
Bottom line: It’s not just sex, it’s an indication of the overall health of your marriage. Ignore it at your own peril.
Data for this post came from, amount other places: