From bonding with your partner to disease prevention and keeping your brain sharp, there's no question that having sex regularly is a good thing, both when it comes to happiness and physical health. But how much sex is normal? Whether you're single, in a relationship, married, or somewhere in between, that's probably a question you've asked yourself at least once.
While there's no such a thing as "normal," here are a few numbers to mull over: The average adult has sex 54 times a year, but that number is on the decline: Recent research out of San Diego State University found that on average, people had sex 16 fewer times between 2010 and 2014 than they did between 2000 and 2004. And as we age, sex continues to be a strong indicator of happiness—a 1992 study found that for couples over 60, if they had sex once per week, they reported being happier and having more exciting lives.
In 2015, the results of a large study were released that left couples around the country feeling either relieved or a little bit anxious: Sex once per week is apparently the magic number. This is based on 30,000 couples who were surveyed over 40 years, who reported being less happy with sex less than once per week but not any more happy if that number moved up to twice or more per week.
While the science surrounding sex is certainly interesting, the truth is that frequency of sex really depends on a variety of factors: stress levels, kids, jobs, and typically where people are in their relationship—most people can attest to having a period of thrice-daily "honeymoon phase" sex at the beginning of their relationship and seeing that drop off once they settled in more.
At the end of the day, sex is deeply personal—which is why we got in touch with real couples to find out how much sex they're having and what variables contribute to more or less sex. Here's what you should know.