Sex at least once a week is good for you, suggests a new study in Archives of Sexual Behaviour. We're apparently having less of it than we were 10 years ago.
Once a week "may be optimal"
For example, from 2010 to 2014, the average U.S. adult had sex nine fewer times per year than U.S. adults did from 2000 to 2004, the researchers found. This drop was even steeper for married couples who live together – they had sex 16 fewer times a year.
This is consistent with research done in South Africa – which, in 2014, found that 22 percent of South African men, for example, had sex less often than three times a month – while 16 percent were considered to be in a sexless relationship.
On average, they were found to have sex 52 times a year, which paled in comparison to the global average of 104 times a year.
Meanwhile, 2017's Sunday Times Lifestyle Sex Survey, conducted in association with local research house Ratepop, indicated that single men and women in the country were sexually unhappy, having less sex compared to married couples – an average score of 5.4, which is below the national average of 6.4.
"We can only speculate (why this is)," said the latest study's author, Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology in the U.S. She believes competition for free time – owing to accessibility of streaming entertainment and other technology-based diversions – may be contributing to the decline.
Despite the sex-frequency drop, the average U.S. adult still has sex about 54 times a year, Twenge pointed out, with married couples having sex around 51 times a year.
Canadian psychology professor, Amy Muise, believes that people are still having sex is a good thing, because having it once a week "may be optimal" if you're hoping to maximise happiness, various studies have suggested.
"Sex is associated with feeling more satisfied in a relationship," Muise says.
So if you're falling short of that once-a-week quota, making an effort to have more sex could be a good idea.