Frequency of Sex by Age [2022 Statistics Reveal ALL!]

Curious if folks your age are having more or less sex as you are? Check out these interesting stats we’ve gathered on frequency of sex by age ALL IN ONE PLACE. Read on:

Whether we’re married, single, or anywhere in between, sex affects most of us in one way or another. So it’s only natural to wonder if others in our age group are having more or less sex than we are.  

More often than not, we don’t talk about it enough. So let’s talk about it. 

At the end of the day, the amount of sex that’s right for you is the amount that you’re comfortable with. That being said, let’s dive into just how often people are having sex based on their age.

Here are some highlights from our research:

  • Both men and women are most sexually active between the ages of 25-29, with 74.4% of men and 74.3% of women reporting at least one sexual encounter in the past month. 
  • Almost one-third (29.35%) of Americans in 2021 reported having NO SEX at all in the past year. 
  • In 1991, Americans aged 16-45 had more sex (138 times per year) than any other country except France. Since then, however, sexual frequency has been declining. 
  • Adults who have never been married are having sex about 14 times per year more than married adults. 
  • California is the most sexually-active state in the US. It leads the country in contraceptive sales, promiscuous cities, and sexually-active universities. 
  • From 2000 to 2018, sexual frequency has decreased across all age groups in the US.   

Sex in America: How Often Is It Among U.S. Adults?

Before we begin the age breakdown, let’s start with the basics. When it comes to American adults of all ages, how often are they actually having sex?

  • In 2002, the average American was having sex about 64 times per year. By 2014, that number had dropped to 53 – roughly once per week. (Research Gate, 2017)1 
  • From the early 1990s to the late 1990s, adult sexual activity increased by 2 times per year. However, from the late 90s to the 2010s, average sexual activity decreased by 9 times per year. (Research Gate, 2017)1
  • Relationship status also affects sexual activity, with “never married” Americans having significantly more sex than married Americans. Here are some statistics by relationship status: (Research Gate, 2017)1
    • Adults who have never married – 69.81 times per year.
    • Married adults – 55.96 times per year.
    • Divorced adults – 46.24 times per year.
    • Widowed adults – 10.19 times per year.
  • There’s more to the story than simple averages. A mere 26% of couples report having sex at least once a week. Most couples say they have sex 1-2 times per month or less. (HealthLine, 2018)2
  • One 2018 survey found the following data on sexual frequency in married couples (Mind Body Green, 2020):3
    • Sex once per week – 25% of participants
    • 2-3 times per week – 16%
    • 4+ times per week – 5%
    • Once per month – 17%
    • 2-3 times per month – 19%
    • 1-2 times in the past year – 7 %
    • No sex in the past year – 10%
  • In 2018, 57% of Americans reported a decrease in sexual activity. 35% said it remained the same, and only 8% reported an increase. (Zava Med, 2019)4 
  • In 2021, nearly one-third of Americans claimed they hadn’t had sex in the past year. Here’s a breakdown of sexual frequency according to that survey. (GSS Data Explorer, 2021)5
    • No sex in the past year – 29.35% of participants
    • 1-2 times in the past year – 11.64%
    • Once per month – 13.12%
    • 2-3 times per month – 16.27%
    • Once per week – 13.31%
    • 2-3 times per week – 12.42%
    • 3 or more times per week – 3.89%

How Frequently Do People of Their Age Have Sex?

We’ve covered sexual frequency in general, but what about different age groups? Are your twenties really going to be the most sexual time of your life? Does sex get less fun as you get older? 

Let’s take a look at the data. 

  • The average sexually-active 16-45 year old in 1991 reported having sex 138 times per year – more than any other country except France. (National Library of Medicine, 2001)6 
  • From 2004 to 2009, about 10% fewer Americans over the age of 45 reported having sex at least once per week. Women went from 43% to 32%, while men from 49% to 41%. (AARP, 2010)7 
  • Single Americans over 45 report more frequent sex than married ones. 48% of singles over 45 have sex at least once a week, compared to just 36% of married couples in the same age group (AARP, 2010).7 
  • From 2016 to 2018, more US adults aged 18-44 reported having sex once or more per week than any other degree of frequency. Here’s the breakdown by age and gender (JAMA Network, 2020):8
  • 18-24-year-old sexual activity:
    • No sex in the past year
      • 31% of men
      • 19% of women
    • 1-2 times per year
      • 9% of men
      • 10% of women
    • 1-3 times per month
      • 23% of men
      • 18% of women
    • Once per week or more
      • 37% of men
      • 52% of women
  • 25-34-year-old sexual activity
    • No sex in the past year
      • 12% of men
      • 11% of women
    • Once or twice per year
      • 6% of men
      • 6% of women
    • 1-3 times per month
      • 27% of men
      • 25% of women
    • Weekly or more
      • 50% of men
      • 54% of women
  • 35-44-year-old sexual activity
    • No sex in the past year
      • 8% of men
      • 8.5% of women
    • 1-2 times per year
      • 11% of men
      • 8% of women
    • 1-3 times per month
      • 31% of men
      • 31.5% of women
    • Once per week or more
      • 50% of men
      • 53.5% of women

Average of Sex per Week by Age Group

While many studies cover tighter age groups and more extended time periods, here’s a look at sexual activity in a slightly broader scope on a weekly basis. 

  • One study analyzed the average sexual activity per year and per week by different age groups. The results are as follows: (Esquire, 2016)9
    • 18-29-year-olds report having sex 112 times per year or twice a week. 
    • 30-39-year-olds report 86 times per year or 1.6 times a week.
    • 40-49-year-olds report 68 times per year, or 1.3 times a week. 

At What Age Are Men and Women the Most Sexually Active?

So when is the best age to be having sex? If you’re still in college, don’t worry – your best days can still be ahead of you. However, if you’re past your thirties, this doesn’t mean you need to slow down. 

Check out this data on when people are most sexually active on average. 

  • For men, the highest rate of vaginal intercourse and sexual activity rate is reported at age 25-29. Here is a more in-depth breakdown of reported male sexual activity by age. (Research Gate, 2010)10
    • Age 14-15
      • Sex in the past month – 7.9%
      • In the past year -8.9%
      • Lifetime – 9.9%
    • Age 16-17
      • Past month – 16.1%
      • Past year – 30.3%
      • Lifetime – 30.3%
    • Age 18-19
      • Past month – 31%
      • Past year – 52.8%
      • Lifetime – 62.5%
    • Age 20-24
      • Past month – 52%
      • Past year – 63.3%
      • Lifetime – 70.3%
    • Age 25-29
      • Past month – 74.4%
      • Past year – 85.7%
      • Lifetime – 89.3%
    • Age 30-39
      • Past month – 71.3%
      • Past year – 85.3%
      • Lifetime -92.6%
    • Age 40-49
      • Past month – 61%
      • Past year – 73.6%
      • Lifetime – 89.3%
    • Age 50-59
      • Past month – 44.1%
      • Past year – 57.9%
      • Lifetime – 85.8%
    • Age 60-69
      • Past month – 38.9%
      • Past year – 53.5%
      • Lifetime – 86.9%
    • Age 70+
      • Past month – 28.2%
      • Past year – 42.9%
      • Lifetime – 88.1%
  • Women also report the highest rate of sexual activity and vaginal intercourse at ages 25-29. Here is a complete breakdown of female sexual activity by age: (Research Gate, 2010)10
    • Age 14-15
      • Sex in the past month – 5.9%
      • In the past year -10.7%
      • Lifetime – 12.4%
    • Age 16-17
      • Past month – 20.8%
      • Past year – 29.7%
      • Lifetime – 31.6%
    • Age 18-19
      • Past month – 43.1%
      • Past year – 62%
      • Lifetime – 64%
    • Age 20-24
      • Past month – 61.9%
      • Past year – 79.9%
      • Lifetime – 85.6%
    • Age 25-29
      • Past month – 74.3%
      • Past year – 86.5%
      • Lifetime – 90.7%
    • Age 30-39
      • Past month – 63.5%
      • Past year – 73.5%
      • Lifetime – 88.7%
    • Age 40-49
      • Past month – 55.8%
      • Past year – 70.3%
      • Lifetime – 94.5%
    • Age 50-59
      • Past month – 39.9%
      • Past year – 51.4%
      • Lifetime – 94%
    • Age 60-69
      • Past month – 28.9%
      • Past year – 42.2%
      • Lifetime – 92.4%
    • Age 70+
      • Past month – 11.9%
      • Past year – 21.6%
      • Lifetime – 89.2%
  • High testosterone in males aged 19-40 increases libido and sexual function, contributing to this demographic being the most sexually active. (PLOS One, 2014)11 

At What Age Among Men and Women Do Most People Stop Having Sex?

There’s no set age when people stop enjoying sex, but there are some trends that show a decline with age. 

  • In one study, older people (53.7 years on average) reported that sex becomes less enjoyable as their view of aging becomes less positive. Feeling older can also reduce sexual interest. (National Library of Medicine, 2018)12

Which States in the U.S. Are the Most Sexually Active States? 

If you feel more sexual than your home state, it might be time to consider a move. Here’s some info on how the different US states rank in both sexual desire and sexual activity.

  • One study by the alcoholic-beverage company FourLoko used Google search data to determine which states’ residents were the most – or trying the hardest to be – sexually active based on the volume of sex-related search terms. (FourLoko, 2021).13 
    • 1. Rhode Island
    • 2. Maine
    • 3. Michigan
    • 4. New Hampshire
    • 5. Massachusetts
    • 6. Ohio
    • 7. Pennsylvania
    • 8. Vermont
    • 9. Washington
    • 10. Wisconsin
    • 11. Colorado
    • 12. Florida
    • 13. Nevada
    • 14. Missouri
    • 15. Montana
    • 16. Minnesota
    • 17. Arizona
    • 18. Oregon
    • 19. New York
    • 20. Iowa
    • 21. Nebraska
    • 22. Delaware
    • 23. Connecticut
    • 24. Illinois
    • 25. Georgia
    • 26. North Carolina
    • 27. New Jersey
    • 28. Indiana
    • 29. Tennessee
    • 30. Kansas
    • 31. Wyoming 
    • 32. Idaho
    • 33. Virginia
    • 34. North Dakota
    • 35. Kentucky
    • 36. Alabama
    • 37. New Mexico
    • 38. South Carolina
    • 39. Texas
    • 40. Hawaii
    • 41. Utah
    • 42. Maryland
    • 43. South Dakota
    • 44. California
    • 45. Arkansas
    • 46. Oklahoma
    • 47. West Virginia
    • 48. Alaska
    • 49. Louisiana
    • 50. Mississippi
  • Using a variety of statistics, one study determined the most sexually active states in the US. (Insider Monkey, 2017)14
    • 1. California leads the US in the most promiscuous cities, contraceptive sales, and sexually active universities. 
    • 2. Texas has the second-highest condom sales and birth rate in the US. Austin and San Antonio are also two of the most sexually active cities in the country.
    • 3. 43% of New York residents claim to have sex daily, with even more claiming to have sex more than once per week.
    • 4. Oregon places on every published list of most promiscuous states, and OkCupid reports that Portland has more walks of shame than any other city. 
    • 5. Colorado takes fifth place simply because Denver sells contraceptives at 189% of the national average and female contraceptive sales at 278% of the national average. 
    • 6. Arizona makes the list because of Arizona State University, one of the most sexually active campuses in America. 
    • 7. Washington boasts two cities with condom sales 89% and 27% above the national average. Those cities are also in the top 10 biggest customers of Babeland, a popular sex toy and supply store. 
    • 8. Massachusetts has 7 universities that rank among the most sexually active colleges in the US. 
    • 9. Connecticut citizens claim that 32% of them have sex more than once a day, while 51% claim to have sex at least once per week. 
    • 10. Missouri citizens also claim that 32% of them have sex at least once per day, and 23% have experienced a one-night stand at least once. 
    • 11. Utah has annual condom sales 24% above average. 

Sexual Activity by Age: Through 2000-2018

American sexuality has gone through some changes since the year 2000. Here’s a look at how it’s evolved over the past couple of decades. 

  • About one-third of men aged 18-24 report no sexual activity in the past year. Among women aged 25-34, sexual activity decreased. (JAMA Network, 2020)8
  • Over the years, sexual activity in men has decreased across all ages. Men 18-24 saw an absolute decrease, doubled in men aged 25-34, with a slight further decrease in men aged 35-44. (JAMA Network, 2020)8
    • Sexual activity in 18-24-year-old men
      • 2000-2002
        • Not at all – 19%
        • 1-2 times per year – 13%
        • 1-3 times per month – 16%
        • Weekly or more – 52%
      • 2004-2006
        • Not at all – 17%
        • 1-2 times per year – 16%
        • 1-3 times per month – 21%
        • Weekly or more – 46%
      • 2008-2010
        • Not at all – 12%
        • 1-2 times per year – 18%
        • 1-3 times per month – 22%
        • Weekly or more – 48%
      • 2012-2014
        • Not at all – 30%
        • 1-2 times per year – 13%
        • 1-3 times per month – 17%
        • Weekly or more – 40%
      • 2016-2018
        • Not at all – 31%
        • 1-2 times per year – 9%
        • 1-3 times per month – 23%
        • Weekly or more – 37%
    • Sexual activity in 25-34-year-old men
      • 2000-2002
        • Not at all – 7%
        • 1-2 times per year – 6.7%
        • 1-3 times per month – 21%
        • Weekly or more – 65.3%
      • 2004-2006
        • Not at all – 8%
        • 1-2 times per year – 7%
        • 1-3 times per month – 20%
        • Weekly or more – 65%
      • 2008-2010
        • Not at all – 7%
        • 1-2 times per year – 4%
        • 1-3 times per month – 23%
        • Weekly or more – 66%
      • 2012-2014
        • Not at all – 13%
        • 1-2 times per year – 5%
        • 1-3 times per month – 21%
        • Weekly or more – 61%
      • 2016-2018
        • Not at all – 14.1%
        • 1-2 times per year – 8%
        • 1-3 times per month – 27.6%
        • Weekly or more – 50.3%
    • Sexual activity in 35-44-year-old men
      • 2000-2002
        • Not at all – 6%
        • 1-2 times per year – 5.9%
        • 1-3 times per month – 27%
        • Weekly or more – 61.1%
      • 2004-2006
        • Not at all – 8%
        • 1-2 times per year – 4%
        • 1-3 times per month – 29%
        • Weekly or more – 59%
      • 2008-2010
        • Not at all – 8%
        • 1-2 times per year – 8%
        • 1-3 times per month – 28%
        • Weekly or more – 56%
      • 2012-2014
        • Not at all – 8%
        • 1-2 times per year – 7%
        • 1-3 times per month – 31%
        • Weekly or more – 54%
      • 2016-2018
        • Not at all – 8.1%
        • 1-2 times per year – 11%
        • 1-3 times per month – 31%
        • Weekly or more – 49.9%
  • Women’s sexual activity significantly decreased among women aged 18-24 and 25-34, while women aged 35-44 saw only a slight decrease in sexual activity. (JAMA Network, 2020)8
    • Sexual activity in 18-24-year-old women 
      • 2000-2002
        • Not at all – 15%
        • 1-2 times per year – 10%
        • 1-3 times per month – 21%
        • Weekly or more – 54%
      • 2004-2006
        • Not at all – 21%
        • 1-2 times per year – 8%
        • 1-3 times per month – 19%
        • Weekly or more – 52%
      • 2008-2010
        • Not at all – 13%
        • 1-2 times per year – 13%
        • 1-3 times per month – 21%
        • Weekly or more – 53%
      • 2012-2014
        • Not at all – 18%
        • 1-2 times per year – 11%
        • 1-3 times per month – 24%
        • Weekly or more – 47%
      • 2016-2018
        • Not at all – 19%
        • 1-2 times per year – 10%
        • 1-3 times per month – 19%
        • Weekly or more – 52%
    • Sexual activity in 25-34-year-old women
      • 2000-2002
        • Not at all – 6.6%
        • 1-2 times per year – 5%
        • 1-3 times per month – 22%
        • Weekly or more – 66.4%
      • 2004-2006
        • Not at all – 6%
        • 1-2 times per year – 5%
        • 1-3 times per month – 26%
        • Weekly or more – 63%
      • 2008-2010
        • Not at all – 7%
        • 1-2 times per year – 6%
        • 1-3 times per month – 29%
        • Weekly or more – 58%
      • 2012-2014
        • Not at all – 7%
        • 1-2 times per year – 5%
        • 1-3 times per month – 26%
        • Weekly or more – 62%
      • 2016-2018
        • Not at all – 12.6%
        • 1-2 times per year – 8%
        • 1-3 times per month – 26%
        • Weekly or more – 54.2%
    • Sexual activity in 35-44-year-old women
      • 2000-2002
        • Not at all – 10%
        • 1-2 times per year – 10%
        • 1-3 times per month – 29%
        • Weekly or more – 51%
      • 2004-2006
        • Not at all – 7%
        • 1-2 times per year – 6%
        • 1-3 times per month – 34%
        • Weekly or more – 53%
      • 2008-2010
        • Not at all – 10%
        • 1-2 times per year – 7%
        • 1-3 times per month – 30%
        • Weekly or more – 53%
      • 2012-2014
        • Not at all – 9%
        • 1-2 times per year – 7%
        • 1-3 times per month – 30%
        • Weekly or more – 54%
      • 2016-2018
        • Not at all – 8%
        • 1-2 times per year – 7%
        • 1-3 times per month – 31%
        • Weekly or more – 53%
  • A 2011 study showed that the frequency of sexual activity declines with age. However, women are far less likely to report sexual activity at any age. Here’s a breakdown of sexual activity by age: (National Library of Medicine, 2007)15
    • 73% of 57-64-year-olds report being sexually active.
    • 53% of 65-74-year-olds report being sexually active.
    • 26% of 75-85-year-olds report being sexually active.
  • The less positively a person views their aging, the less pleasure they get from sex. Feeling older can also reduce a person’s interest in sex. (National Library of Medicine, 2018)12

Conclusion

Sex is an amazing part of the human experience, and we all go through phases experiencing more or less of it. On average, it is most frequent in the mid to late 20s and steadily declines with age. Some states and cultures are more sex-positive, while others can make it feel taboo. 

Sexual frequency also appears to fluctuate with time, as different generations approach sex in different ways.  

In the end, what matters most isn’t how often you have sex but how satisfied you are with your own unique sexual experience.


Footnotes

  1. Research Gate, 2017. A study of 26,620 American adults authored by Jean M. Twenge, Ryne A. Sherman, and Brooke E. Wells and published by Springer Science+Business Media.
  2. HealthLine, 2018. An article by Heather Montgomery interviewing David Schnarch, Ph.D., who explains the results of a study of sexual activity in 20,000 couples.
  3. Mind Body Green, 2020. A sexual lifestyle article authored by Kelly Gonsalves, journalist, sex educator, and relationship coach. It breaks down a 2018 General Social Survey on sexual activity for 660 married people.
  4. Zava Med, 2019. A medically-reviewed article on low libido trends, their causes, and different solutions to increasing sexual frequency.
  5. GSS Data Explorer, 2021. A survey of sexual activity in 2,157 Americans conducted by the General Social Survey, a project of the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center.
  6. National Library of Medicine, 2001. A comprehensive article on sexual activity authored by Judith Mackay and published in the Western Journal of Medicine that cites and analyzes studies such as the 1996 Durex survey on sexual frequency.
  7. AARP, 2010. An article on sexual intimacy in adults over 45 written by Ron Geraci, which breaks down the AARP’s 2010 sexual survey of 1,670 Americans.
  8. JAMA Network, 2020. A medical study compiled by Peter Ueda, MD, Ph.D., et al. measuring sexual frequency trends in 4,291 men and 5,213 women.
  9. Esquire, 2016. A lifestyle article published in Esquire that analyses the results of a sexual frequency study conducted by the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Reproduction, and Gender.
  10. Research Gate, 2010. A research article authored by Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., MPH, et al. that assesses rates of sexual activity among 5,865 men and women aged 14-94 in the United States.
  11. PLOS One, 2014. A peer-reviewed research article compiling data from 10,097 Americans across 13 studies to model total testosterone levels across a standard male lifespan.
  12. National Library of Medicine, 2018. A medical study conducted by Amy Estill et al. and published in the Journal of Sexual Research that analyzes the relationship between aging and sexuality.
  13. Four Loko, 2021. A commercial study conducted by an alcoholic-beverage company that used Google search data to determine which states, per capita, were searching for terms that generally lead to sexual activity. 
  14. Insider Monkey, 2017. An article by Jay Martin that utilizes sexual statistics from self-reported sexual activity to prophylactic sales to determine the most sexually active American states.
  15. National Library of Medicine, 2007. A study of sexual activity and problems in 3,005 American adults conducted by Stacy Tessler Lindau, M.D. et al. and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Dainis Graveris

Dainis Graveris

Over last 4 years Dainis have helped millions of people through his advice on this site (200+ guides and 1M+ visits/monthly). His work & advice has appeared on sites like: Healthline, Vice, Cosmopolitan, Men's Health, WomensHealthMag, MindBodyGreen & more. Read More

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