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Is Marriage (or a Long-Term Relationship) Bad for Your Sex Life?

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Do a quick search on EmpowHER, and you will find hundreds of women wanting to know why their sex life has decreased. These women are deeply concerned that their partner has lost interest in them sexually, and are worried about their future relationship and sex life.

As a society, we are bombarded with images of (heterosexual) sex; it is always happy, fulfilling, orgasmic, frequent, passionate and relationship-enhancing. It occurs within the perfect setting, among beautiful people. We rarely see a movie or show that depicts the real-life scenarios of sex, where the couple is usually tired, stressed, hair askew and fumbling with birth control. It makes sense that so many of us question--even in the healthiest of relationships-- what is it about us, our relationship, that prohibits a fulfilling sexual relationship. Has our partner lost interest? Is he deficient in someway? Does he not find me attractive or desirable? Is he cheating?

Are other people having more sex than we are?

Based on several sexual health, sexual attitude and sexual behavior studies conducted nationwide, Americans have sex about 59 times a year. That is about once per week.


There is, of course, an age breakdown (as well as other factors, including health status, marital status, partner availability, etc). Those individuals in the 18-29 age category average about 84-112 times per year, 30-39 year olds about 86 times per year, and 40-49 year olds about 69 times per year. Adults over 70 years of age average 10 times per year (likely due to health and widowers have lowest sexual frequency of all categories).

What about marital status? Is there any truth to the old joke, “marriage is bad for your sex life!”?

According to the sex research, adults who have the most frequent sex are...married! Most likely, the reason has to do with partner availability. Frequency of sex does decline as overall reported marital satisfaction declines.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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