Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sex frequency by age and marital status

In response to a married commenter with a thoroughly middling sex life, Roissy wrote the following in faux astonishment:
Once a week? What are you guys, 90? Once a week is a sexual starvation diet for
me.
Having just been presented with evidence showing that once a week is the average amount of action married men and unmarried men who are hungry and successful enough with women to hit double-digits, it's obvious that you're atypical, superman. Does being tracked down by women as you're drearily hacking and trying to keep the mucus from running out of your pores while playing lonely wallflower not give you some indication that you have an enormously helpful built-in advantage?

The response did get me thinking of another way of gauging at what age men and women are most fertile. Previously, I've looked at the number of sexual partners unmarried people have had. The results have plenty of face validity, but there are potential shortfalls in looking at total number of partners instead of the total quantity of sexual activity, most notably the inability to decipher whether or not the respondent is in a committed relationship. Further, there are pious types who actively work at being monogamous so long as the hedonistic consolation prize of plenty of in-house access is on the table. Removing married folks from the equation might cause some unwanted skew as well.

The graph below depicts frequency of sexual activity* by age range for men and women, married and unmarried.



It comes as no surprise to see that married people get more action at every age than their unmarried counterparts do. Men in their early twenties who marry women in their late teens really rock the house. Among unmarried men and women, the peak of sexual activity comes in the mid-twenties. After hitting menopause, female sexual desire drops to almost nothing, as illustrated by index scores under 2--less than once a month, on average--from the late-forties on. Married women probably continue to put out mostly for the sake of their husbands once they reach that point. Men mellow gently as time goes on, but don't really lose their lust until they reach their sixties.

Regarding Roissy's comment, an index score of 4 indicates weekly sex, something the average unmarried man never attains, let alone one who is 90 years old! Past the age of 70, once a quarter is nothing to be ashamed of (although I'm ashamed to have just thought about it occurring).

GSS variables used: SEXFREQ, MARITAL(1)(2-5), AGE, SEX(1)(2)

* Responses range from 0 to 6; 0 indicates no sex in the year; 1 indicates once or twice a year; 2 indicates once a month; 3 indicates 2-3x a month; 4 indicates weekly; 5 indicates 2-3x a week; 6 indicates 4+ times per week.

32 comments:

Chuck said...

interesting. i'm interested in the greater amounts of married men's sexual behavior and that of women's. it trends higher for some reason. is this reporting bias or the fact that married men are unfaithful more than married women?

Anonymous said...

Chuck, a decent just-so story is that married men increase in dating value for a longer time, and decrease less steeply, than do married women.

For instance, if a 28yo couple gets married, the man will increase in attractiveness untill 35 or so, whereas the woman will be downhill straight from the wedding day.

Or womens' tendency to fuck upwards versus mens' tendency to fuck anything with a pulse at least once might partly account for the different rates.

roissy said...

"Roissy wrote the following in faux astonishment:"

true fact: my astonishment was not faux!

maybe i'm an overprimed engine of sweet sweet intimacy but once a day while in a relationship is usually my floor. and i haven't been 18 in a while. i suppose if you count the dry spells of varying length which naturally afflict single men more than married men, then perhaps once a week is plausible for the average beta, but within relationships once a week means one thing -- time to start looking for a replacement.

Audacious Epigone said...

Chuck,

It's probably the result of men consistently reporting higher numbers and levels of sexual activity than women do. The reason for this creeping skew is that the more women a man has had sex with, the higher his status tends to become. For women, the opposite is true--relative chastity is desirable.

Anonymous said...

It is simple ... men are more often older than their female partner. At age 50, with my husband being 60, our index is even.

Anonymous said...

I'm 58 and my girlfriend is 59. Sex five or six days a week is fairly average for us, and sometimes that's twice a day. I don't know how long this pace will continue, but it's been pretty much at that rate since we met a year and a half ago. How long will this continue? Don't know, but I'm making sure to take my vitamins every morning.

Anonymous said...

We are both 59 and have been married just over one year, and continue to have sexual intercourse almost every day, therefore about 5 days a week.

Anonymous said...

I am 73yo and keep to an average 2 orgasms a week with my 64yo very sexy wife. There are days when we do it 3 times a day but that is not very frequent. When I was young I usually entertained 2-3 girlfriends each day. My current wife believes that I am a sex devil and that is why she forced me to marry her. She used to be a nympho but now she is calmer.

Anonymous said...

We have been married for over twenty years. We schedule marital relations about five times per week - two days on one day off - I am 54 and she is 49. We like romantic lingerie - short to long gowns and we have kept to this schedule comfortably for quite a long time and it is far more frequent than when we were first married.

Anonymous said...

I had a fling with a man my age (68) and sex was the greatest I ever experienced and twice daily. His miserly habits caused the breakdown of an otherwise great relationship.

Two years later (in another relationship),I have no sexual desire.

Lesson: the quality of the sexual relationship depends on the sexual process of the male.

LIVING A HEALTHY LIFE said...

CORRECTION:

Lesson: the quality of the sexual relationship depends on the sexual prowess of the male (not process).

Anonymous said...

I meant to say "prowess" not process.

Anonymous said...

I'm 32 my wife is 31, and we have sex once or twice a week, or not nearly as often as I want. Probably why I strayed(she was 23). Lesson: the quality of the sexual relationship depends on the sexual prowess of both partners. Sex was amazing in the affair (I understand the thrill) but she was an active partner in our sex life where I feel my wife it's not. It's always her putting up with it because she's worried I'll leave. Thanks for letting this Anon vent. Saw the comment about male sexual prowess and it got my dander up. That is only 50% of the problem.

Anonymous said...

I call bullshit on these stats.

I think income, free time, tendency to engage in sex and location should be factored in.

Higher income males tend to pick up more women by virtue of affording more expensive cars, clothes, rent.

Higher income males tend not to have a lot of free time, so no time to pursue the ladies.

If you are afraid of STDs, you'll be more selective in where and how you find sex partners. This applies to women and men. So no picking up women/men in bars.

If you live in a small town in the midwest, the potential sex partner pool is small. Also, people talk in these small towns so your reputation is affected.

If you live in a suburb, there are more married people and the married ladies are very, very unlikely to jeopardize their marriage by straying. Again, your potential partner pool is smaller.

The 5-6 sex encounters a week figure is not realistic unless you're a millionaire 20 year old with 24/7 free time (trust fund baby), living in Miami Beach, with multiple sex partners (male and female)

Anonymous said...

I am a 41 yr male and my wife is 29. I looked on this sight to see if we were out of control. We have been married for 3yrs & from day one & still going, we have sex 3 to 10 times per day! I think it depends on the couple and how good the sex is. Another huge factor is how comfortable your are with being truly open with your partner!

Anonymous said...

I have looked up this site for exactly the same reason as the author of the previous comment. But if he is not out of control, I certainly am neither. I am 60, my partner with whom I have been living for over a year now is 26 and we have fantastic sex 2-3 times a day, sometimes 4, rarely more.
She says this is about the most ever for her, with her previous boyfriend, with whom she had lived some three years, she had sex at most a few times a week.
This frequency suits us both just fine, we don't schedule anything, either one initiates spontaneously any time he/she wants, usually during the day, sometimes when in bed.
When I look at the stats above, I pity the couples who have given up sex (once every six months I would consider giving up for all practical reasons). being 60 or 70 is certainly no reason to give up. My guess would be that the ones who have given up, have done so because they had lost interest and physical attraction to their partner. I don't know what's better - a lifelong relationship with no sex towards its end, or abandoning the person you have been with for half a lifetime, in order to resurrect your love life. De gustibus non disputandum...
Now that I think about it, 20 years ago (actually - only 6 years ago, i.e., at 54) I would probably match the 41 years old author of the previous comment...

Anonymous said...

I am 74 yrs old and me and my wife have sex, on the average, of twice a week and have since we were married 4 yers ago. My wife is 10 years younger than I and she still has a lot of interest in sex and also wants to accomodate my desires. This is my 3rd marriage as I have lost two wives to cancer. Have had similar activity with all my wives. So age is not all that affects sexual activity.

Anonymous said...

Are these numbers for real? or is everyone exaggerating? I'm lucky with once every 6 months and we're in our early 40s. These numbers are depressing. She just has no interest and will slap me away if I try anything. Never had an affair. If I stray, I'll be blamed and will lose my money and custody of our kids.

Anonymous said...

I am male sixty and my female partner is 55. We do not live together due to some complications not salient here. Our frequency is 2-3 times weekly but would increase if convenience increased. The amount of increase would be limited by time as our practice is one that is long, slow, and, for us, doing it right.

A observation in reference to the commentator on 2/1/13:
I would easily give up half of my money and join battle for child custody in that situation. That would be much better than the limited alternatives of suicide, homicide, or a life of bitter misery. I persisted in my previous marriage until the kids graduated high school on a frequency of 1-2 times, mostly perfunctorily, weekly, but it was hell.

Anonymous said...

I am 69 and my wife is 63. Twice a week on average. We have a vacation home on the Caribbean and probably average 3 times a week when we are there. Warm weather and swimsuits increse desire. Least frequency is February/March in the Pacfic NW. We have been together for 41 years (married for 40 this summer.

what about sizegurus net said...

When you drink alcohol in moderation (just enough to give you a mild high), it works by releasing pleasure hormones, which in turn de-stress us and increase our testosterone. Result: we move into flirt zone equipped with a galloping sex drive.

Anonymous said...

I am a single 49yo woman and my 62yo partner and i have sexual activity at 2-3 times a week, per night. I have never had it this much with anyone. But i do enjoy him 100%. Any isn't anything but a number.

Anonymous said...

I am 58 and my partner is 68. We are active everyday and sometimes 2 times per day! I was married for 30 years and was lucky if we did it 2 times per YEAR!!! I can't remember when I've had this much fun!

Anonymous said...

This absolutely sucks. After being celibate for a decade, I entered a relationship with a man in my social circle who is 67 to my 65. This fellow is very nice but 1x a week is ridiculous. He and I both workout 4-5 times a week. we are both healthy but had I known that once a week was what was waiting for me, I wouldn't have bothered.

Anonymous said...

we have been together a little over a year - he is 60 -I am 59 sex is incredible at least 3 or 4 times a week -sometimes 3 0r 4 times a day

Anonymous said...

I totally disagree with your stats - I am 70 (divorced 18 years) and my guy is 72 (widowed 3 years) - We have been seeing each other for 9 months and just returned from 10 days in Mexico - Needless to say we are very sexually active, 9 nights out of 10. I think it totally depends on the couple.

Anonymous said...

Hi

I'm 60 my wife is 57.
I've had no sex for 19 years now - how about that. I'm not happy about it but wife has no sex appetite at all. So were all different

Anonymous said...

I am 59, wife is 61. Facts: 2009, 26 times. 2010, 16 times. 2011, 11 times. 2012, 27 times. 2013, 19 times. This are probably typical frequencies for the years between 1993 and 2009, as well. Why did I count? Just a habit. Logging exercise, etc. I made a vow and I'm sticking to it, but it is extremely frustrating.

Anonymous said...

Just saw this. I am stunned and can only hope that these stats are not real. I am 43 and my wife is 42, and we have been married 5 years. While 2x to 3x would be heaven, I would be very satisfied with 1x a week. However, we are at 1x in 4 months - and that is only after begging on my part. My wife says that she has absolutely no desire whatsoever, and this is very common among her friends. Even her nurse agreed with this. I am left masturbating 3x a week. This is really depressing.

Anonymous said...

Myself, 80. Wife 76. Generally once a week unless outside factors, like house guests etc get in the way. This is with the help of Cialis. "Better living through chemistry". Note, satisfaction on both sides. No faking.

Anonymous said...

Me 57 wife of 27 years 60. Last time had sex was 4 1/2 years ago. Average once every 1 to 3 years but now appears involuntary celibacy may be permanent.

Anonymous said...

I'm male, 62, wife is 50, together 7 years. We average 6-8 times per week, Sunday generally twice. Plus she helps me masturbate at least twice per week is she's not in the mood.
In my previous marriage I had been celebrate for 12 years; guess I had a lot to catch up.