Australians say they have sex once or twice a week, on average. For Britons, the figure is less than once a week, and Americans have sex on average two to three times a week.
We could never know for sure how often people have sex. Some people give inaccurate information, either intentionally or accidentally, in a positive or negative direction. National level calculations are made on the basis of a representative sample, yet they are a useful indicator.
Also, what do we mean by “sex”? In some surveys, respondents receive the simple question “How often do you have sex?” Without emphasizing whether this includes oral sex, for example, while others include that “activity with another person involving genital contact and sexual arousal “.
Naturally, the average does not reflect the diversity of the population. Some people, whether they are in a relationship or not, never or never have sex. Others have sex every day.
And each individual can vary in terms of sexual life, at different times in life, depending on the circumstances of sex, health status and other factors.
Why is the average about once or twice a week?
How often do we have sex related to our genes, biology and life circumstances?
Biologically, if couples have sexual intercourse at least twice a week, sex is likely to occur at least an equal in the six days of the month when the woman is the most fertile.
The couple would thus have a greater chance of breeding compared to couples who have sex much less often.
Reproductive bumps can lead to genetic selection of behavior. In other words, people who regularly have sex probably have a greater chance of having children, and thus retain their genes in the genetic pool.
But the level of genetic incentive for having sex can also vary from one person to another.
Our life circumstances also play a role in how often we have sex, especially since other things are competing for our time: paid work, childcare, domestic obligations and more and more often – our smartphones and the availability of entertainment options 24 / 7.
In fact, Americans and Australians now have sex much less than a few decades ago.
Australians had sex about 20 times less in 2013 compared to a decade earlier. Americans had sex nine times less in 2014 than a decade earlier.
Who has the most, and who has the least sex?
You may not be surprised by the fact that people who have a permanent partner have sex more often than those who are single. Likewise, people in a “sad” relationship have sex more than people in a long relationship.
Couples have less sex in the last trimester of pregnancy and in the first years after the birth of the child. Lack of opportunity and poor health are also associated with a low rate of sexual activity.
One of the strongest indicators of reduced sexual activity is aging – people have less sex as they get older.
It is not known for sure why this is so, but it may be due, in part, to the fact that many elderly people have already spent quite a long time in relation to that person. The satisfaction of the relationship is reduced in time, which can lead to decreased sexual interest for the partner.
Also, health problems that accompany aging, as well as reduced energy levels, contribute to reduced sexual activity.
If you have more sex, it does not mean that you will be happier
Most people enjoy sex and feel that they are enriching their enjoyment of life.
The more often they have sex, the more likely the people in the relationship will be satisfied with it, but only to a certain extent. That measure is sex once a week. If they have sex at least once a week, they are satisfied, but more than that does not guarantee greater happiness and contentment.
Half of Australians married are satisfied with how much sex they have. Psychologically, couples are happier if they have sex as often as they both want.
However, their perception of how much other people have sex also plays a role. Couples are happier if they think they have more sex than other couples.
In a study, scientists randomly assigned participants a double chance to increase the number of sexual encounters over a period of 90 days.
These couples significantly increased the number of sexual encounters, but did not reach double the number. At the end of the three months, these couples were significantly less willing and less wanted sex from control couples who had sex with their usual frequency.