Sexless Marriages: How Common Are They, And How Do People Cope With Them?

Sexless Marriages: How Common Are They, And How Do People Cope With Them?

Nationally representative U.S. survey data reveal that approximately 1 in 7 adults today are living in a sexless marriage, meaning they report engaging in little to no sexual activity [1, 2]. Despite how common sexless marriages are, surprisingly little research exists on the topic. So why does sexual activity decline in so many couples in the first place and how does it affect the partners? Also, what are the factors that might lead people to stay in sexless marriages despite the fact that the experience tends to be highly distressing?

 

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When Your Sex Drives Get Out Of Sync: Dealing With A Sexual Desire Discrepancy

When Your Sex Drives Get Out Of Sync: Dealing With A Sexual Desire Discrepancy

Over the years, I’ve received countless emails from readers saying things along the lines of, “He says I don't want it enough. I think he wants it too much. What do we do?” Sometimes it’s women who want less sex than their male partners, sometimes it’s men who want less sex than their female partners, and sometimes it’s same-sex couples who aren’t on the same page about how much sex (or what kind of sex) they'd like to have.

Cases like this—where couples have persistent problems when it comes to matching up their sexual wants and needs—are known as sexual desire discrepancies. They’re incredibly common, too.

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"He Says I Don't Want It Enough. I Think He Wants It Too Much." Dealing With A Sexual Desire Discrepancy

"He Says I Don't Want It Enough. I Think He Wants It Too Much." Dealing With A Sexual Desire Discrepancy

A reader submitted the following question:

"Is there such a thing as wanting too much sex? He says I don't want it enough. I think he wants it too much. He fully admitted to thinking twice a day would be good. I think that's excessive considering that we are parents and have lives. Is there some study out there about this issue?"

It sounds like you and your partner may have a sexual desire discrepancy, a situation in which two people prefer different amounts or types of sex. Believe it or not, this is one of the most common sexual problems out there. Consider this: a national survey of British adults found that 27.4% of women and 23.4% of men reported having a sexual desire discrepancy.

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Sex Question Friday: I Want More Sex Than My Husband. What Should I Do?

Sex Question Friday: I Want More Sex Than My Husband. What Should I Do?

Every Friday on the blog, I answer people's questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week's question comes from a female reader who isn't satisfied with the amount and type of sex she is having with her husband:

I have been married for 11 years. We are good together, but our sexual drive, what I want, how I want it, and how frequently I want it does not match. Talking to him has not helped. I get frustrated. I masturbate but don't feel satisfied. What can I do?”

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Women's Most Common Sexual Problems (Infographic)

Women's Most Common Sexual Problems (Infographic)

Sexual functioning plays a huge role not only in terms of how we feel about ourselves, but also how we feel about our relationships. Despite its great importance to everyday quality of life, there is surprisingly little research out there examining the prevalence of sexual difficulties and the factors associated with them. Check out the infographic below for a look at some brand new data from the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles concerning women's reports of sexual problems. Next week, we'll take a look at some of the most common sexual difficulties facing men.

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How Many Sexless Marriages Are There And Why Do People Stay In Them?

How Many Sexless Marriages Are There And Why Do People Stay In Them?

Data from nationally representative U.S. surveys suggests that about 1 in 7 adults are living in sexless marriages, or relationships in which the spouses report having little to no sexual activity with one another [1, 2]. Despite how common sexless marriages are, there is next to no research on this topic. For example, why does sexual activity disappear in these couples in the first place and how does it affect the partners? Also, why do so many people remain in these relationships if they find the lack of sex to be distressing? A recent study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family provides some insight into these provocative questions [3].

 

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Sexual Desire Discrepancies Are A Relationship Problem, Not A Gender Problem

A recent piece in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) entitled “How often should married couples have sex? What happens when he says ‘more’ and she says ‘no?” caused quite a stir this past week. The original piece told the tale of a married couple (Chris and Afton) that developed a sexual desire discrepancy (the clinical term for a case in which one partner wants more sex than the other). The couple communicated with each other about the discrepancy, read a self-help book together, and ultimately worked through it. That’s a positive outcome, right?  Judging by the responses that appeared on Jezebel, The Week, New York Magazine, and several other websites, this is anything but a happy ending. The problem? The partner who desired more sex in this scenario was male and the one who wanted less sex was female.
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Sex Question Friday: I Have A Higher Sex Drive Than My Boyfriend. What Can I Do?

Every Friday on the blog, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a female reader who is frustrated by the fact that she wants to have sex more often than her boyfriend.   

So I am 20, my boyfriend is 23, and I have a MUCH higher sex drive than him. We have been together for 3 years, and he took my virginity when I was 17. Almost every time I want to have sex and I "put the moves on him" he pushes me away and tells me he's not in the mood and I'm starting to get frustrated. Is there any way you could help me or point me toward some helpful literature even?

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