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How Often Do Couples in Their 40’s Make Love? (2024 Stats)

As I head into my early 50’s, my wife is still approaching 40. So I’ve wondered how often do couples in their 40’s make love?

On average, couples in their 40’s have sex 1.33 times per week. That’s 20% less than couples in their 30s, but still over the once-a-week mark recommended by many experts for keeping and maintaining marital happiness. However, by the time a couple hits 50, the frequency of sex does tend to drop to once per week.

But there’s a lot more to know about how often married people have sex.

So in this article, we’re exploring how often, on average, married couples have sex and if and why the frequency slows over time. But we’ll also look at how often sex is happening for newer couples too.

Ultimately, we’re answering the question of how often do couples in their 40’s make love?

Let’s dive in!

How often should a married couple make love?

How often a couple should have sex and actually have sex are 2 different things.

But it’s also important to understand that how often a couple should have sex is going to mean different things to different people.

For many, sex is a normal and important part of connecting as spouses. It brings us closer to our spouse and eases tensions and stress. But for others, especially those who are staunchly religious, it may be seen more as a means of procreation and not something that is an ongoing, healthy part of a marriage.

I will say, before we dive into the numbers, that I am a big fan of married couples having sex at least once a week. While it’s not frequency alone that creates marital bliss, it is important to connect like that on a regular basis.

We have to make sex a priority and not allow career, life, kids, money, or anything else to shift sex to the back burner and get forgotten about.

Here’s how often married couples have sex by age bracket:

Age of the couple How often they have sex
20-39 2.15 times per week
30-39 1.65 times per week
40-49 1.33 times per week
50-59 1 time per week
60 and over Once every 18 days

The average number of times per week married couples make love

On average, across all age brackets, married couples are having sex 54 times a year. That amounts to slightly more than once per week.

Sadly, however, we appear to be having less and less sex than previous generations.

According to a recently published study by Science Daily, on average, married couples are having sex 16 times a year less now than they were in the early 2000s.

The decline was due, in part, to increasing rates of divorce which are finding more and more people of middle age being single. Despite the image of the “swinging single”, at least when we get past our 20s, we tend to have less sex being single than we do married.

As they note: “The decline was not linked to longer working hours or increased pornography use.” Instead, the study finds simply, that aside from more divorces, aging couples are just having sex less frequently.

They went on to note that “Americans in their 20s had sex an average of about 80 times per year, compared to about 20 times per year for those in their 60s.”

How often do new couples make love?

If you think that newly married couples are having more sex than you, you’d be right!

But let’s face it. Most of us can remember the honeymoon phase of our relationships. Before kids, my wife and had sex daily, sometimes more than once. We were younger and didn’t have the responsibility of raising a family yet.

But there’s a hormonal factor at work too.

Brand new couples go through a phase called limerence.

That term is coined by author Dorothy Tennov in her book “Love and Limerence: The Experience of Being in Love.“,

It refers to what many of us might call the honeymoon phase of a new relationship which lasts from 18 months to up to 2 years. During this period, our brains release a chemical that binds us to another person. It also creates a state of euphoria with the other person.

If you’ve ever had that feeling of craving your partner, feeling slightly out of control, or intense longing, blame those hormones

But while this stage is a common and normal stage for those just entering a relationship, it in no way signifies what the sexual frequency might look like 2, 5, or 10 years down the line.

As an example, I mentioned above that at the dawn of my wife and I’s relationship we were having sex daily. Now, more than 14 years later, it’s about once a week.

Why does the frequency of sex slow down as we age?

Lots of factors can impact sexual frequency as we age, including:

  • Children
  • Busier schedules
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • A drop in libido
  • Hormonal changes
  • Prescription medication
  • Less attracted to our partner due to aging or weight gain

But the fact of the matter is those are all excuses. We can let those excuses dominate our marriage or we can choose to be proactive and find solutions to those issues (and there are solutions for all of them).

In a somewhat recent study by AARP, they found that the majority of men (66.8%) and women (56.7%) felt a satisfying sex life was important for their quality of life.

Having been married twice and in a few other serious long-term relationships, I can tell you that it’s normal for the frequency of sex to change over time.

Life, careers, kids, stress and other factors can all increase and push our sex life onto the back burner. Then, if we allow that to happen over a period of years, sometimes our spouse turns into our roommate or business partner.

When those things happen, couples are also more apt to step outside the marriage to find sexual satisfaction. But if you’re wondering is it ok to cheat if you are in a sexless relationship, the answer would most definitely be no.

In a recent article, I break down exactly what that’s true, and, more important, what some crucial steps are that you can take to turn things around in your marriage.

Trust me, fixing a broken relationship is always better in the long run than simply finding a new one.

The reason for that is both that 2nd (and 3rd) marriages stand a much higher chance of ending in divorce. But also, you’re starting over on the cycle of marriage and sex frequency and will most likely end up exactly in the same spot a few years down the road.

Just click the link to read that on my site.

Is once a month a sexless marriage?

Almost, is the short answer.

Technically “sexless” doesn’t mean a complete lack of sex in the marriage. In fact, most experts note that having sex 10 or fewer times per year is “sexless”. And sadly, about 15% of all marriages are, indeed, sexless.

So while once a month doesn’t quite count as a sexless marriage, it is pretty close, at 12 times a year compared to 10. And it’s close enough to sexless that it’s worth putting the effort in trying to improve the frequency.

I say that because the odds are not good for a sexless marriage making it in the long run.

So if you’re wondering if a marriage can survive without sex or intimacy, I wrote a recent article that dives into that fully, including the surprising statistics for that leading to divorce.

So just click that link to read it on my site.

How can married couples in their 40s improve their sex life?

First and foremost, we just have to recognize and acknowledge (without blame or judgment) whatever the issue(s) is leading to the lack of sex.

So if it’s a medical issue that means making doctor appointments and asking the tough questions and figuring out what we need to change or do differently.

But most often we’ve just allowed other things to take priority over our marriage; we’ve taken our spouse for granted. So first we have to address it. It could be that one spouse has done this more than the other, but in most cases, it takes 2 people to make a successful marriage and it takes 2 to derail it.

So just know that at this point, what’s important is fixing the issue and moving forward.

Here are the best steps to take to reprioritize your sex life:

  • Schedule it – Yes, it’s not sexy, but it works. And as long as it’s happening, who cares?
  • Woo your spouse – Think back to the “little things” you and your spouse did for each other when you were dating or newly married. I’m guessing most of those have fallen off the radar too. Start doing them again. A good sex life starts with desire, not sex.
  • Don’t take your spouse for granted – Your spouse should be the most important person in the world, and yet, we often treat them the worst or with the least consideration. Commit to putting them back at the top of the list.
  • Keep up your grooming and physical appearance – Over time, and especially when taking our spouse for granted, it’s easy to let our physical appearance slip. They may not tell us we aren’t attractive anymore, but their actions may say it. Focus on being the best version of you that you can be; not perfect, but do your best to keep up your appearance.

If there is an underlying issue like an affair that has built up resentment that hasn’t been dealt with, we do have to deal with that first. It doesn’t do either person any good to just hold on to anger and resentment.

If you or your spouse cheated and are wondering if you should stay married after an affair, I dove deep into this topic in a recent article where I outline how to make that decision and I got some awesome advice from 6 noted marriage experts.

Just click the link to read it now on my site.

Final thoughts

In this article, we took a look at the sex life of married couples.

We examined how much sex, on average, married couples have in different age brackets. Then we explored why it drops off as we get older and what we can do to turn that trend around.

Specifically, we answered the question of how often do couples in their 40’s make love with the answer of 1.33 times per week.

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Jeff Campbell