The Truth About Sex During Marriage

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Yes, sometimes sex stops after marriage, but studies show that marriage often means that you’re going to have more sex and a higher quality of life. Who knew?

Guess what? Married couples do have sex. No–it’s not perfect. Sometimes sex stops after marriage or you’re one of the millions of Americans in sexless marriages. But overall–marriage often means you’re going to have more sex and an overall higher quality of life (including more money) than being single. The myth that every marriage is sexless is completely false and continues to dissuade couples against marriage. Which is totally OK. It’s the relationship that counts. But we mustn’t forget that married couples are just like those in long-term relationships. Couples shouldn’t be persuaded that long term relationships equal boredom! Amazing sexual relationships are possible. Taking apart the myths surrounding the sex of married couples, GetLusty’s Lynn Olejniczak reports on the truths of sex during marriage.


Stop me if you heard this one: The most common sexual position among married couples is doggy-style. The husband begs while the wife rolls over and plays dead. Ah, jokes about bad sex during marriage.

If you haven’t heard that one, there are hundreds of jokes just like it out there. The theme is the same; once you’re married your sex life goes into automatic pilot. Add kids and it comes to a screeching halt. Comics, sitcoms, books, movies have all followed this misconception. Yes! I said misconception. But it is a hard stereotype to fight, like a Polish joke.

Hell, I’m Polish and even I know the jokes don’t work with a Swede or an Australian. I’ve also been married and I know I enjoyed an active sex life for as long as the marriage lasted. But truth is stranger than fiction, and married people are getting it on.

Quite often, better than their single friends. Take the obvious into consideration, proximity. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out if one happens to share a home (and a bed) with someone they are attracted to then sex will probably take place. More often than not, people are married to each other for a reason which includes sexual attraction. Therefore, sex will, and does happen more often for married folk.

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In 2010, Indiana University’s Center for Sexual Health Promotion concluded their extensive research on sex. Nearly 6,000 people from age 14 to 94 were surveyed on sexual attitudes and activity. When asked if they had sex in the last year, 61% of singles said no compared to only 18% of married people. Narrowing the field, 25% of married people between the ages of 25 and 59 reported they were having sex two-to-three times a week as opposed to less than 5% of singles in the same age bracket.

According to the well respected Kinsey Institute, stats from men and women show the same optimism for married/coupled sex. Check out the data for partnered and marriage men versus single men reporting about vaginal intercourse. Married and partnered people experience sex 2-3 times weekly. Singles? They’re between between 10 and 40% less likely to have sex 2-3 times weekly. Numbers don’t lie.

Most married people with kids will tell you that though sexual time with their partner may post a challenge, they still rise to the occasion (no pun intended, well, maybe). Stealing a quickie while the twins are at soccer practice or doing it in the basement while searching for the Christmas decorations is not far-fetched. Maybe the all-night-swinging-from-the-ceiling-candles-rubber-sheet-honey-and-blindfold sex no longer fits into the schedule but sex is happening. Furthermore, more oral sex is happening among hitched couples. Shock! Horror!

I can tell you from personal experience that if I wanted my ex-husband to finish the laundry for me, run an errand I didn’t have time for, or have dinner with friends of mine he hated, the easiest was to get my desired result was to offer up a blowjob. I happen to know a married couple with kids who play Scrabble a few times a week. Winner is awarded their sexual favor of choice. You see, it isn’t as though married sex isn’t happening; it is just that it is happening differently.

Think back to the mating date of being ‘single’ but ‘dating’. Now, remember it for what it really was. Deciding a person was “worthy,” being disappointed when you thought they were but they really weren’t, threatening celibacy if you have “one more date like that again.” Then, you were attracted to someone who wasn’t into you. You chased someone and wasted your time over someone who wasn’t into you. You then settled for someone just because you didn’t want to be single over the holidays. OK, it wasn’t always that bad. But we are all guilty of one or six of those situations.

Sex in marriage requires effort. But so does a successful marriage. That’s why married people put that effort in – including reading GetLusty for Couples’ great advice. Being married to the same person for years means you know everything about them. Good and annoying. The last venue of thrill has to be the bedroom, closet,  car or laundry room. When you sign on to marriage you know that. When you add kids you realize something else; you have to be creative to get your two-year-old to eat their peas. But you also have to be creative in getting your dessert too.

Originally appeared at

LynnOlejniczakLynn Olejniczak is a native Chicagoan who loves her city and everything it has to offer. She spent 10 years as a NASDAQ trader in Chicago and New York in the 90’s, then went back to college when “the rules changed and I realized no one was going to pay me lots of money to swear at them anymore.”

She loves good food, and a perfectly poured Guinness at any Irish pub in the city. Her Beastie Boys CD’s rest comfortably next to her Misfits vinyl, and she believes Underground Garage is the best radio program known to humankind. Armed with degrees in History, and a love of Urban Planning, Lynn is currently writing and researching a book on the 80’s Chicago bar scene. Get in touch with Lynn at


Lead photo: Flickr/grenade

About Get Lusty for Couples

GetLusty for Couples is a hybrid media company created with the mission to end boring sex for couples. With over 525 articles and 50+ writers on having amazing sexual relationships, GetLusty is busy. Follow them on Twitter @getlusty, visit their site, 'Like' them on Facebook and follow them on Tumblr. Watch out! GetLusty launches a new December 2012.


  1. Emulator says:

    So even when I get married, I’ll probably only be having sex a few times a month, unless I’m lucky and get to have sex as many as 2-3 times per week? That’s pretty disappointing, to be honest.

  2. Others have already mentioned how the article suggests that married sex is transactional sex, so I’ll address another problem:

    Check out the data for partnered and marriage men versus single men reporting about vaginal intercourse. Married and partnered people experience sex 2-3 times weekly.

    It is curious that the article contains a table that tells a different story. For Married groups the only group for which the median response was “2-3 times per week” was age 18-24. For the age groups 25-29, 30-39 and 40-49 the median response was “A few times per month to weekly.”

    Also, for 60+ “Partnered” reported getting more than “Married” did.

  3. FlyingKal says:

    Isn’t “paying” with sex to get a favour or two out of your partner, a wee bit sad…?

    • It is, but we are looking at things from a woman’s perspective. The author is a woman.

    • It depends on what value you put on sexual favors vs other favors. I’m anorgasmic, so sexual favors generally don’t do it for me.

  4. I wonder what is the statistics for women.

  5. Dominic says:

    Absolutely correct that sex in a long-term marriage requires effort. After 17 years, I acknowledge my duty to perform sexually whether I have the same inclination or not. If you love and care for someone you sublimate your own selfish desires. One key is selective amnesia: don’t compare your current sex life to your prime days or early pre-child marriage. Just enjoy, fantasize as needed, and employ alcohol, if necessary. 🙂

  6. Herschele says:

    Hmm. So the real problem we should be discussing is “Why single men aren’t getting sex more frequently”

    Rather than encouraging single men to marry or else risk long periods w/o any sex, as this article seems to do.

    • Jsmooove says:

      You may have missed something, like the beginning middle and end of the article.

      • It’s a valid question. Men are constantly bombarded with the message that sex doesn’t matter or is somehow less “meaningful” unless it happens on a woman’s terms, which generally means within the confines of a committed relationship. For men who are able to secure frequent casual sex outside of relationships, marriage is a minor concern… which is something that articles like these tend to leave out.

        After having been in multiple long-term relationships and also single for extended periods of time, I’m not sure that being married does anything to change the equation. If you’re the kind of guy who was having lots of “free” sex before marriage, then getting married isn’t going to improve your position. For others, it’s a toss-up. Some will do a lot better, others will do a lot worse. There are many good reasons to get married, but I wouldn’t count “more, better sex” among them.

        • Exactly. It isnt that marriage is going to ensure a frequent sex life to a man. It just provides that hope to them.

          Its sad that men have to base their decision regarding marriage, upon sex.
          Marriage should be for those who want family and kids.

          I wish men could obtain casual sex easily so they would only marry if they really really wanted to rather than for the incentive of a regular sex life.

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