You’re most likely having enough sex. It might not be as much as you want, or as much as you once had, but studies suggest it takes a lot less time between the sheets to build a happy marriage than people think. As long as you’re still having some sex, you’re probably fine. Here’s why the slowdown in your sex life is no cause for concern.
It’s Normal to Not Have as Much Sex as You Used To
How much sex a person has is never a constant thing and fluctuates with age. Unsurprisingly, people between the ages of 18 and 29 years old have the most sex (112 times per year, on average, or about twice per week). But it’s all downhill from there. People between the ages of 30 and 39 have sex about 86 times per year, and between 40 and 49 the average rate is barely once a week. We don’t have data on what happens after 49, but the trend likely holds.
Trying to Have More Sex Could Backfire
When couples attempt to double the amount of sex they’re having, it can lead to decreased sexual satisfaction, reduced well-being, and decreased sexual satisfaction, studies suggest. Scientists suspect that putting that much pressure on frequency can stress long-term partners out. Sex should be about quality, not quantity, and pushing to have more is just going to make it feel like a chore. And the last thing you need is more chores.
Everyone is Having Less Sex
People who don’t think they’re having enough sex can rest assured that no one really is, data from the General Social Survey shows. Married people appear to be having less sex than they used to, losing what social scientists refer to as the “marriage advantage” where married people have historically had more sex than singles. Researchers think that an increased interested in smartphones over sex could be one big reason why people are doing it less. Screen time might not be great for children, but it is definitely not great for making them.
Parents Are Doing Great
While married people, in general, appear to be losing their edge, the specific population of married parents seem to be doing better in the bedroom. In fact, married people with infants have sex 23 more times per year than childless couples. Experts hypothesize that this “parent advantage” might be because moms and dads have their children to motivate them to maintain quality relationships, and having a healthy sex life just one part of that.
There’s a Right Amount of Sex to Have (And It’s Less Than You Think)
When it comes to the perfect amount of sex for relationship satisfaction and personal satisfaction, the sweet spot is a lot easier to achieve than you think. Married and committed couples who have sex once a week report being happier than those who don’t. Any more than that doesn’t seem to impact happiness in any significant way. This is also means insufficient sex is easy to fix. If you’re not having enough, set the totally attainable goal of once per week. If you can make time to vacuum once per week…