Sex Frequency – Individuals

Who has more sex, single people or married people?

According to research in the article “Declines in Sexual Frequency among American Adults, 1989–2014” Abstract: “Sexual frequency declined among the partnered (married or living together) but stayed steady among the unpartnered, reducing the marital/partnered advantage for sexual frequency.”1

“There were 115.8 million single Americans in 2016, which is about 47.3% of the adult population. Forty-nine percent were women, and 45.5% were men.”2

According to that 2017 article, people who are married are having less sex than in previous studies, but still more than single people.

The sourced articles below provide more information on the frequency of sex among single people.

Footnotes: 1. “Declines in Sexual Frequency among American Adults, 1989–2014,”researchgate.net, 3/6/2017; 2. “Sex And Finances Are Better For Married People. Don’t Worry, Singles — You Win Sleep,” cnn.com, 2/14/2018


  1. The Millennial Sex Recession Is Bullsh*t

    “Also, since the GSS doesn’t define ‘sex,’ nobody knows if millennial respondents counted oral, solo, non-penis-involving, or any other non-penetrative play in their tallies. ‘The question doesn’t say ‘intercourse.’ It doesn’t go into oral sex or sex-toy use or any of those things,’ says Debby Herbenick, PhD, a research scientist and professor at the Indiana University School of Public Health. This really matters, since millennials are more sexually experimental than other generations, according to multiple studies.”

    Julie Vadnal, cosmopolitan.com, 6/11/2019

  2. Are Young Men Really Having Less Sex?

    “And there’s no shortage of reports about how modern society is interacting with things like porn, virginity and casual hook-ups. And one study is suggesting that a major shift might be underway in the world of sex, at least for young American men. Survey results from the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, which have been interpreted and analysed by the the Washington Post, suggest that fewer young men in the US are having sex than in the past.”

    Harvey Day, bbc.co.uk, 4/10/2019

  3. Are Teenagers Having As Much Sex As “Riverdale” Thinks They Are?

    “‘In regards to the idea that all the couples are having sex, they’re not being accurate because it’s only about 50% of teen couples that engage in sexual intercourse,’ [sex and relationship therapist] Megan [Fleming] said. In fact, that percentage has decreased considerably in the past twenty years. According to Megan, while in 1998, 51% of girls and 60% of boys between the ages of 15 and 19 were sexually active, the numbers have dropped to 40% and 44%, respectively.”

    Carolyn Twersky, seventeen.com, 5/16/2019

  4. Survey: Nearly 3 In 10 Americans Stuck In Sexual Dry Spell — For Almost A Year!

    “A new study delving into the sex habits of American adults finds that nearly three in 10 people are mired in a sexual dry spell that’s lasted for almost a year. The survey of 2,000 men and women revealed that most agree a dry spell means at least five months without sex, but researchers found that the 28 percent who were currently in a rut themselves had been that way for 11 months (10 months on average for men, versus a year for women).”

    Study Finds, studyfinds.org, 4/10/2019

  5. The Share Of Americans Not Having Sex Has Reached A Record High

    “The share of U.S. adults reporting no sex in the past year reached an all-time high in 2018, underscoring a three-decade trend line marked by an aging population and higher numbers of unattached people.”

    Christopher Ingraham, washingtonpost.com, 3/29/2019

  6. There’s Never Been A Better Time To Be Single

    “Moving past the teens and on to people 18 and older, the same holds true: Adults are having less sex than they used to. Analyzing survey data collected from more than 26,000 people between 1989 and 2014, researchers found that the average person now has sex around nine fewer times per year than the average person in the early ’90s.”

    Bella DePaulo, cnn.com, 3/9/2018

  7. Sex And Finances Are Better For Married People. Don’t Worry, Singles — You Win Sleep

    “TEAM SINGLE: On the other side, we have the unattached, those 18 and over who have never been married, as well as divorcees, widows, widowers and those who’re separated. There were 115.8 million single Americans in 2016, which is about 47.3% of the adult population. Forty-nine percent were women, and 45.5% were men. … No surprise here that married people have sex more often than singletons. Data compiled by Statista from the Journal of Sexual Medicine in 2009 shows that 71.32% of married people over 18 reported they had had sexual intercourse in the past 90 days. Only 11.32% of unattached people said they had ‘done the deed’ during that time.”

    Amy Roberts, cnn.com, 2/14/2018

  8. A New Study Says People Are Having Way Less Sex — And It’s Not For The Reasons You Think

    “People who are in relationships tend to have more sex at a higher rate than those who are single, according to the study. Despite what your friend on Tinder wants you to believe, researchers say that the ‘hook-up culture’ promised by dating apps isn’t really resulting in people getting it on at a higher rate. And while couples are having sex more often than single people, this group still saw the biggest decline in frequency over the past 20 years.”

    Kristin Salaky, thisisinsider.com, 7/19/2017

  9. Frequency Of Sex Is Declining, But That’s Not What Matters Most

    “That means that there is no clear answer as to whether lifelong single people are now having more sex than people who are currently married. It depends on how you analyze the data. But one result is consistent across all analyses: Over the past decades, the frequency of having sex has declined much more among married people than among lifelong single people. Whatever gap there is between currently married people and lifelong single people, it is smaller than it used to be.”

    Bella DePaulo, PhD, psychcentral.com, 6/19/2017

  10. How Often Should You Have Sex — Really?

    “Tom Murray, PhD, a AASECT-certified sex therapist in North Carolina says, ‘There is no magic number. Nevertheless, there is a positive correlation between sex frequency and relationship satisfaction. Married couples tend to have more sex than singles.'”

    Carrie Murphy, mylola.com,4/21/2017

  11. Why Are Millennials Having So Much Less Sex Than Their Grandparents Did?

    “Researchers compared all unmarried folks (never-married plus divorcees) to married folks, which shows essentially no change in sexual frequency for unmarried people but a big decline in sexual frequency for married people. Unmarried Americans continued to average 50 sexual encounters per year, while married Americans averaged 11 fewer sexual encounters per year in 2010-14 than in 1989-94. The steepest declines began in 2000.”

    Joy Pullmann, thefederalist.com, 3/15/2017

  12. Hey Guys, Put A Ring On It

    “When it comes to frequency, men who cohabit do have an advantage. According to the General Social Survey, 52 percent of cohabiting young men (20–39) have sex at least twice a week, compared to 42 percent of married men. But single men have the least sex, with only 37 percent of single guys in their twenties and thirties having that much sex.”

    Bradford Wilcox, Nicholas H. Wolfinger, nationalreview.com, 2/9/2017