If you feel like you’re not having enough sex, you’re not alone.

CivicScience conducted a study asking more than 4,000 U.S. adults how often they have sex. Of the entire sample, 30% indicated they ‘prefer not to say’. Of those who were open to responding, the top-line results are below, weighted according to U.S. Census figures for adults 18 and older.


About 75% of the population reports having sex with some frequency, meaning about ¼ of the population (27%) rarely or never has sex, according to this study. Overall, just 9% of the U.S. adult population reports having sex every day, 25% a few times a week, and more than that – 28% — have it a few times a month, making ‘a few times a month’ the most common answer among the adult population.

Frequent Sex Declines with Age

Though many recent pieces have said Millennials aren’t having as much sex, that could be mostly anecdotal. When looking at each frequency and the age buckets they are made up of, Gen Z adults (ages 18-24) and Millennials ages 25 to 34 have sex at the highest frequency. And, as the study shows, the frequency of sex declines with age, almost symmetrically.

Married People are Most Likely to Have Sex a Few Times a Month

When cross-comparing CivicScience’s main marital status question to sex frequency, 20% of married people report rarely or never having sex. Most often, though, married people report having sex a few times a month (33%). Those in the ‘other’ category, perhaps those who have more than one sexual partner, or another ‘non-traditional’ relationship, report having sex the most — they’re the most likely to have sex daily.

Interestingly, and despite stereotypes to the contrary, parents and non-parents have sex daily and weekly at similar frequencies. Then, it shifts: parents are more likely to have sex a few times a month than non-parents, and non-parents are more likely to rarely or never have sex.

More Sex Means Probably Frowning Less

Happy people have somewhat more sex than unhappy people, but it’s not by too much. Look at it this way: most people, happy or not, have sex at similar rates, but unhappy people are more likely to rarely or never have sex.

Sex or lack thereof can impact self-esteem, or perhaps the other way around. At any rate, the more physically attractive someone feels, the more sex they have. On the contrary, the less physically attractive they feel, the less sex they report having.

Reality vs. Desire

Of those who have sex daily, most find that to be their ideal amount of sex (88%). And the majority of those who have sex a few times a week see that as their ideal as well (65%). However, only a minority of those who have sex a few times a month or fewer are happy with that frequency.

Those who have sex a few times a month are more likely to ideally want to have sex weekly, perhaps a realistic difference from their current experience.

Just 10% of people who have sex several times a year see that as their ideal, with 84% wanting it at least a few times a month, if not more. Those who rarely / never have sex appear to not be completely happy with that; however, ¼ of them do see this as their ideal amount of sex.

Breaking this down by gender, women desire sex less often than men do, by a considerable amount.

This study shows there is a point of no return, it seems: if you don’t have sex at least a few times a month, you are more likely to rarely or never have sex. Thirty-nine percent of people say they have sex a few times a year or less and 34% of people say they have sex more than a few times a month.

Sex has many implications over the course of a relationship, impacting its longevity. We’ll explore infidelity and American’s views on staying with their current partner in the second part of this series, so stay tuned.