HOW OFTEN DO PEOPLE HAVE SEX? WHAT’S HIGH, ‘NORMAL’, AVERAGE & LOW

How often do people have sex, really? Several times per week, weekly, monthly or even less? Most people have wondered how often people have sex and how it measures up to their own sex life. But even when you have numbers available, it’s harder to say than you might imagine.

how often do people have sex

IT ALL DEPENDS

“It depends” isn’t really a satisfying response when you ask “How often do people have sex?”. But it’s true. You see, younger people tend to have more sex than those who are older, and married people have more sex than single people typically.  But the frequency of sex drops as people age and spend more time in their relationships, and someone who is in a new relationship but older might skew the numbers, too.

It’s helpful to break down the numbers by demographic – age, relationship status, gender, so on and so forth.

BY AGE

According to the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, younger men and women (those below 30) are more likely to have had vaginal sex with a woman in the past year, but those numbers decrease every decade [1].

FOR MEN

  • 18-19: 62.5% of men had vaginal sex in the past year
  • 20s and 30s: 85%
  • 40s: 73.6%
  • 50s: 57.9%

Men are fairly notorious for exaggerating how often they have sex (and with whom and the sexual activities they participated in). But the numbers indicate that there are fewer Casanovas out there than you might think.

For example, only 6.1% of any group (men in their 30s) have sex more than four times per week. Men in their 20s and 30s are most likely to have sex two to three times weekly, but most men have sex a few times a week to monthly regardless of age [1]. Men in their 20s do seem to be the lucky ones when it comes to frequency of sex, however.

FOR WOMEN

Women are more likely to have had vaginal sex in the past month than to have masturbated, and this remains true for most of their lives. For instance, just 26% of young women between 18 and 19 masturbated in the past month, but over 43% of women in the same age bracket had vaginal sex in the last 30 days [1]! However, we think masturbation is pretty awesome, and maybe more women should try it! Check out these tips and techniques to have incredible orgasms when masturbating.

But what about how often women are having sex? See below.

  • 18-19: 41.1% of women had vaginal sex in the past year compared to 26% of women who have masturbated
  • 20-24: 61.9%
  • 25-29: 74.3%
  • 30s: 73.5%
  • 40s: 70.3%
  • 50s: 51.4%
  • 70s: 21.6%

You’ll notice that women in their 20s are the most likely to have had sex in the past year, but it begins to drop in the next decade. This might not seem to coincide with the idea that women reach their sexual peaks later than men (although, that’s not necessarily the case when we further examine the stats).

Overall, women are less likely than men to have had sex than men in any 1o-year age range [1]. But there are certainly women who like to have a lot of sex – and they do!

BY RELATIONSHIP STATUS

As we’ve mentioned, people who are in relationships have sex more often, but the numbers change depending on age. For example, women 18 and 24 are almost twice as likely to have had vaginal sex over the past three months than single women. This gap continues to widen as women get older, so women who are single in their 40s or 50s are far less likely to have an active sex life than their married counterparts [1].

46% of women between 18 and 24 without partners have had sex in the past 90 days while 80% of women with partners (dating, in relationships, cohabitating or married) have had sex. For women in the mid- to late-twenties, the discrepancy is even greater. Nearly 36% of the single women have recently had sex, but 92% of coupled women had sex. The news is even worse for singles in their thirties, forties, and fifties [1].

For those who think marriage is the death knell for an active sex life? Think again! And even though you might be screwing like bunnies in the beginning, you’re still likely to have more sex in an established relationship than you are when you’re single.

Of course, the frequency of sex decreases as people grow older, and that may tie into the fact that people have less sex the longer they’re in a relationship. Still, not all relationships start at a young age. People of every age find themselves in new relationships, which is good news if you want to have sex as much as possible.

By age 70, statistically no singles are having sex while 36% of people in couples are still doing it [1]. Here’s hoping you’ll still be climbing between the sheets at that age!

Men experience similar trends; although, more men are having sex more frequently than single women.

These survey results apply to men and women in the Unites States only, so the numbers may differ in other parts of the world.

WHAT IS SEX, ANYWAY?

Determining how often people have sex is easier said than done when you consider what sex means to people. For some people, only vaginal penetration counts. For others, oral or anal sex count. After all, “sex” is in the name of the act!

However, sexual activities such as manual stimulation, mutual masturbation, dry humping or BDSM would qualify as sex to some people. At the very least, these are sexual interactions that would come into play when you’re wondering how your sex life stacks up against others’. You can have incredible orgasms and deepen the connection with your man through those activities, even if you’re not having intercourse.

When you do consider acts that aren’t necessarily penis-in-vagina sex, the numbers look different. For example, young men between 16 and 17 years old are more likely to have received oral sex from a partner both in the past year and the past month than they are to have had PIV sex.

DOES IT MATTER?

The short answer is, “Eh, maybe.” It doesn’t matter how often other people have sex in relation to your own sexual frequency – as long as you’re satisfied with your sex life, of course. We emphasize quality over quantity. There’s no right amount of sex to have.

Related: How Often Should You Have Sex?

You might have amazing sex with your man three times a week. Or you may engage in mutual masturbation during the week and really cut loose on the weekends. Other people may be having more sex, but they may not be enjoying it.

Some people are in relationships but aren’t happy with their sex lives. They might have a lot of sex, but it doesn’t do much for them. Unfortunately, women often find themselves in this position because they’re often taught that are the only ones that matter when it comes to sex. Women grin and bear it, even if it’s mediocre or downright painful.

At the Bad Girls Bible, we don’t think that’s acceptable! You have the right to enjoy sex. So, ask for what you want, talk to your man about it (learn how here), and look for a partner who cares about your sexual pleasure if you’re not happy.

But back to the question at hand. How often do people have sex?” More importantly, what does it mean for you? Not a whole lot.

Perhaps you’re single, and you wish you have more sex but don’t really like the idea of casual sex. If it seems like everyone else is always having sex (even though they’re not), you’re only going to feel more miserable.

Read: 12 Pitfalls of Casual Sex + Why You Should Do It Anyway

There are also situations where you might want to have more sex, but illness or injury prevents you from dong so. If you can, engage in sexual activities like those listed above to keep the spark lit even when life is hard.

JUMP START YOUR SEX LIFE

Sometimes you can’t increase your sexual frequency, but there are times when you can – and should – have more sex. In fact, people who have sex as least once a week have zeroed in on the happy zone because couples who have sex less frequently report being less satisfied with their relationships [2].

So how do you go about having more sex? One thing you may need to do is specifically schedule it. Make time for it. If you rely on having enough time and energy, not to mention feeling sexy or romantic enough to have sex, then you’re not going to have a lot of sex.

Chances are, your life is hectic, and you fall into bed to get less sleep than you should even if you put off sex. The sex you do have might be rushed or routine. It may feel a bit boring, so you wind up having even less sex?

Does this sound familiar? You can increase both how often you have sex and how good it is by taking a few steps. The Bad Girls Bible has a few articles that will help you in this endeavor.

In short, schedule time for sex. Take more time revving your engine with sexting or phone sex, foreplay, oral sex and more. Switch up the when and where you have sex to break that routine, and take advantage of the time you do have to get down and dirty.

If your man is willing to help, figuring out how to have more sex or better sex can become a game in and of itself, super-charging your sex drive and desire. However, it’s more difficult if he lacks desire. Read more.

WHEN YOUR PARTNER WANTS SEX MORE THAN YOU DO

Up until now, we’ve assumed that you like sex and want to have more than you do. But what if you’re the one struggling with desire? If you have low or no sex drive, you might not even want to improve your sex life, and your relationship might be suffering because of it.

Sex is important to a relationship. Just how important? Find out here.

So how do you go about beefing up your sex drive? Learn why your sex drive might be low and what to do about it in this post. For less serious cases, discover how to get yourself horny.

But the onus isn’t entirely on you. You might occasionally have sex with your man when you’re not in the mood, but he also needs to understand that relationships involved compromise. There may be times when he’s having less sex than he likes (and that’s true for when you want sex that you can’t have, too).

Again, talking to him about your sex life is crucial for you to be on the same page and to prevent resentment from building. Don’t focus on how often other people are having sex. There’s no use in comparing.

During those times – and even when you’re sexually satisfied – masturbation comes in handy. Some people think that you shouldn’t masturbate if you’re in a relationship, but we don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t be. It can keep your sex drive (and body – learn more) healthy, boost mood and prevent sexual frustration. Plus, mutual masturbation can be a ton of fun!

It’s not easy to calculate how often people have sex. Everything from health to age to relationship status plays a role, and as we all know, how often you have sex changes. Rather than setting your sights on the frequency of sex, consider how you can make the sex you already have better. After all, it’s the quality that matters more than the quantity!


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