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How often does the average husband and wife make love?

How often married couples have sex is a common question, but one that doesn’t have a simple answer. The frequency of sex in marriage can vary widely depending on a number of factors like age, health, length of relationship, stress levels, and more. While pop culture and media often portray an unrealistic image of nonstop passion, the reality is that most long-term couples settle into a sexual routine that works for them. Surveys provide a general idea of averages, but each marriage is unique. The keys are understanding what’s normal, communicating desires openly, and ultimately accepting each other fully.

What’s Considered a Normal Sex Life?

There’s no “right” amount when it comes to how often couples should have sex. Medical experts confirm that there’s a broad range for what’s considered normal sexual frequency. Assuming both partners are happy, having sex a few times a week to just a few times a month can both be perfectly healthy. Changes are also very common over the course of a long relationship as age, hormones, stress, health and other factors fluctuate. As long as both spouses feel cared for and intimate, the number doesn’t matter. Love and connection, not quotas, are what count.

Factors That Influence Sexual Frequency

Here are some of the key factors that impact how often married couples tend to have sex:

Age: Sex drive and sexual functioning change over time. Hormone levels, energy levels, and health conditions impact sexuality as people get older. Young newlyweds tend to have the most active sex lives, which often decreases over time.

Length of relationship: Sexual passion is often highest at the beginning of a new relationship. Frequency typically decreases some over the first couple years as the ‘honeymoon period’ ends. Married couples may settle into a comfortable routine.

Kids: Becoming parents leads to exhaustion and stress that can reduce sexual activity. Taking care of small children leaves little time and energy for intimacy. Once kids get older, couples often get back to having more regular sex.

Stress: Major stressors like financial struggles, busy schedules, health problems, or job pressures commonly impair sexual functioning and desire. Making intimacy a priority provides stress relief.

Health: Chronic health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, depression, arthritis and others often get in the way of an active sex life. So can prescription medications. Partners should communicate with doctors.

Attraction: Maintaining physical and emotional attraction through things like date nights, romance, and shared activities can help keep sex more frequent. Letting it become routine or get taken for granted can reduce desire.

The natural ebbs and flows of life mean every married couple will go through periods of more and less frequent sex. The key is adapting together over the long haul.

How Often Do Married Couples Have Sex on Average?

Research provides estimates on how often the average married couple has sex. Here are some general frequency averages from major surveys:

– Once a week or 52 times a year: Most common average among studies
– 2-3 times per month or 24-36 times per year: Very common average estimate
– 9 times per month or 109 times per year: Average highest estimate from studies
– 1-2 times per month or 12-24 times per year: Lower average estimate from studies

Again, these are just broad averages that can vary significantly from couple to couple. For example, age makes a major difference. Research shows younger newlywed couples tend to have sex multiple times per week on average, while older couples might average only monthly.

No number is necessarily right or wrong. Each couple finds natural highs and lows in sexual frequency over decades of marriage. What matters is that both partners feel satisfied and cared for physically and emotionally.

Average Sexual Frequency by Age of Married Couple

Age of Married Couple Average Sexual Frequency
20s 2-3 times per week
30s 2 times per week
40s 1 time per week
50s 2-3 times per month
60s 1 time per month
70s Less than once per month

This table summarizes how sexual frequency declines on average as couples get older based on broad age groups. Again, many factors impact libido so these are just general averages.

Why Sexual Frequency Changes in Marriage

There are natural highs and lows when it comes to sex in marriage. A number of factors can lead sexual frequency to increase or decrease over time:

Reasons frequency may decrease:

– Stress, exhaustion, distraction from work or kids
– Hormone changes or health conditions
– Decreased priority for intimacy and romance
– Overfamiliarity and taking each other for granted
– Poor communication or unresolved conflicts
– Body image issues or negative self-perception
– Lack of variety leading to decreased enthusiasm

Reasons frequency may increase:

– Extra free time and less external stressors
– Improved health through diet, exercise, medicine
– Increased energy and sex drive
– More focus on bonding, fun and adventure
– Trying new sexual activities and experimentation
– Deeper emotional intimacy and affection
– Improved self-image or confidence
– Starting relationship counseling or therapy

The natural ups and downs of marriage mean couples need to nurture their sex lives through good and bad times. Prioritizing intimacy helps couples get back on track during lulls.

Tips to Maintain a Healthy Sex Life in Marriage

Here are some tips both medical and psychological experts recommend for keeping your sex life healthy over the long run:

Communicate openly – Discuss your needs, desires, and any issues calmly outside the bedroom. Don’t let talking about sex become off-limits.

Make intimacy a priority – Set aside time to be sensual and loving. Build habits even when you’re tired or stressed.

Try new things – Experiment with sexual variety, toys, role playing, new locations, and different positions. Keep it exciting.

Schedule date nights – Plan regular romantic outings together as a couple, without kids or technology.

Work together on relationship issues – Get counseling if you have unresolved conflicts, lack of emotional intimacy or trauma.

Get healthy – Take care of yourselves through good sleep, diet, exercise and wellness habits. See doctors regularly.

Keep the romance alive – Exchange loving gestures and compliments. Surprise each other. Deepen friendship.

Accept natural changes – Understand sexual functioning evolves as you age. Focus on closeness.

The most important principles are openness, respect and acceptance between partners. Let go of unrealistic expectations and cherish each other.


How often do married couples have sex? There’s no magic number, but averages range from a few times per week for younger couples to a few times per month or less for older couples. Each marriage is different, and sexual frequency changes over the course of a long relationship. The keys are communicating desires, making intimacy a priority, and accepting natural highs and lows as life circumstances change. With openness, creativity and commitment to nurturing their bond, most couples are able to enjoy healthy, loving sex lives over decades of marriage. The frequency matters far less than the quality of connection.