How Often Do Couples Have Sex?

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A new study says that people are having less sex than ever before.

The study titled “Changes in, and factors associated with, frequency of sex in Britain: evidence from three National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles” researched survey data involving 35,000 British people (straight and LGBTQ). These people, aged 16 to 44, were asked the same information concerning their sex lives from 1991, 2001, and 2012. The questions focused on how much sex respondents had in the past month, how much they wished they had, their relationship status, employment status, and age.

Overall, the results found that there’s a significant decline in sex had by these people between the years of 2001 and 2012. Men who said they had sex 10 or more times in the past month dropped from 19.9 percent in 1991 to 14.4 percent in 2012.

That said, the pattern was slightly different for men who reported not having sex in the past month between those times. 30.9 percent of male respondents said they hadn’t had sex in the past month in 1991. That number went down to 26 percent in 2001 before going back up to 29.2 percent in 2012.

This means the rate that people who were having sex increased in the decade between 1991 and 2001. But, that number then decreased in the following 10 years.

The study also found that couples were just as affected as their single peers. In fact, they have it worse. The data says that people in serious relationships (meaning married or living together) had a “significantly greater” decline in sexual activity throughout the study’s timeframe.

In 2001, 30.4 percent of men in a serious relationship had no sex in the past month. Then in 2012, 66.4 percent of men reported the same. Plus, 50.4 percent of men in serious relationships during 2012 reported having sex four or more times in the last month. (Meaning, more than half of the coupled men weren’t having sex at least once a week).

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Ultimately, the study believes that the main cause of these results is the work force. Researchers believe people are working more than ever before.

“Most compelling among the explanations, perhaps, given the age and marital status of the people most affected, relates to the stress and ‘busyness’ of modern life, such that work, family life, and leisure are constantly juggled,” wrote researchers in their reflection on the data.

While they could not back this assessment, the researchers were pretty adamant that work and stress were pulling huge strains on people and their sex lives. Then, they briefly tipped their toes into the discussion of the internet being another distraction.

“Life in the digital age is considerably more complex than in previous eras, the boundary between the private space of home and the public world outside is blurred, and the internet offers considerable scope for diversion,” wrote researchers.

While the study was more focused on analyzing the situation than fixing it, it did note that we should become more aware of this growing problem. Then, we can really dig deep into why people (single or coupled) are having less sex than two decades before.

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