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47 Interesting Sexless Marriage Statistics And Divorce Rates

Steffo Shambo

Updated on Apr 27, 2024
sexless marriage statistics

Sexless marriage statistics can be a real eye-opener for married couples struggling with physical intimacy in their sex life.

That’s why we’ve compiled these research studies from across the world. Discover the reality and impact of being in a sexless marriage and how it can cause frustration, loneliness, or even boredom for couples.

Sexual intimacy isn’t required for everyone — but for many couples, the strength of the marriage bond comes under severe strain in a sexless relationship. And often, a lack of sex is a contributor to divorce.

While you read through these 47 fascinating sexless marriage statistics, pay extra attention to #15 and #20.

What is a sexless marriage?

in a quarrel wedding cake topper

The definition of a sexless marriage, according to the International Society for Sexual Medicine, is that there is no “normal” frequency of sex, providing both partners in the relationship are happy.

However, sex therapists define marriage to be “sexless” when a couple has sex fewer than one time per month or less in the previous year.

Can a sexless marriage survive?

Sexless marriages can and do survive, but it’s essential to consider why the deed isn’t being done.

Answer this: where are connection, trust, and intimacy missing in your relationship?

A lack of sex doesn’t appear out of nowhere and is often just a symptom of what’s really going wrong in the relationship. Heal the disconnect, and sex lives in relationships become stronger than ever.

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47 interesting sexless marriage statistics

1. They’re more common than you might think: in 2009, The New York Times reported that according to data collected from the General Social Survey, about 15% of married couples hadn’t engaged in sex once in the past six months to a year.

2. Couples’ sex frequency nearly halves near the end of a couple’s first year of marriage. [7]

3. Roughly 27% of women and 15% of men did not have sex in the last 12 months.

4. In a survey of 16,000 American adults, Swedish behavioral economists found that quadrupling sexual frequency from once a month to once a week boosted happiness as much as having an extra $50,000 in the bank.

5. In a study of 26,000 Americans, participants reported having sex 54 times a year on average, approximately once a week.

6. Couples in sexless marriages consider divorce more often than couples with regular sex.

7. Smartphones harm our relationships and intimacy. Technology can “undermine immediate interpersonal interactions” and “interfere with or intrude into everyday social interactions (either between couples or within families).” [11]

8. 2015 American Sociological Association (ASA) reveals that women initiate almost 70 percent of divorces. [11]

9. Sexual frequency in married couples has declined in America but stayed steady among the unpartnered, reducing the marital/partnered advantage for sexual frequency. [2]

Men and sexless marriages

The insights in this Medical News Today review are truly fascinating. Here are the stats and factors that are contributing to a husband finding him less in a sexless marriage these days:

sex frequency and gender in marriage statistics

10. 1.7% of men in a married couple don’t have sex at all, compared to 1.3% of women.

11. 5.2% of men in a married couple have sex 1-2 times per year, compared to 5.5% of women.

12. 35.4% of men in a married couple have sex 1-3 times per month, compared to 32.4% of women.

13. 57.6% of men in a married couple have sex weekly or more, compared to 60.9% of women.

14. Men with lower income (those with an annual income of ≥$50 000 vs. $0-$9999) are more likely to be in a sexless marriage. [1]

15. Men in part-time or jobless vs. those in full-time employment are more likely to be in a sexless marriage. [1]

Women and sexless marriage

These sexless marriage statistics hold critical insights into what makes a woman happy in her marriage.

16. 12% of midlife women [7] report low libido in a sexless marriage.

17. 7% of women 65 and older [7] report low libido in a sexless marriage.

18. 33% of women aged 45+ are distressed about their lack of sexual desire.

19. Only 48% of married women want sex on a regular basis after four years of marriage.

20. Princeton behavioral economists asked 1,000 women which life activities made them happiest. Women ranked sex Number One.

21. Women with exactly two previous sex partners before marriage have higher divorce rates than those with 3 to 9 partners. [7]

22. More than 6% of married women say it’s been over a year since they have had sex with their spouse. [7]

Age and sexless marriages

sexless marriage and age statistics

Does age have anything to do with having a healthy sex life?

Here are the sexless marriage statistics on the link between age and a sexless marriage:

23. Millennials were most likely to “report problems with sexual desire in the past year,” — according to a 2021 survey of adults ages 18 to 45 across the US. [7]

24. 3.5% of 20-year-olds in marriage report not having sex in the past year.

25. 4.6% of 25-year-olds in marriage report not having sex in the past year.

26. 6.5% of 30-year-olds in marriage report not having sex in the past year.

27. 7.9% of 35-year-olds in marriage report not having sex in the past year.

28. 15.6% of 40-year-olds in marriage report not having sex in the past year.

29. 19.8% of 45-year-olds in marriage report not having sex in the past year.

30. 23.9% of 50-year-olds in marriage report not having sex in the past year.

31. 25.8% of 55-year-olds in marriage report not having sex in the past year.

32. 29.1% of 60-year-olds in marriage report not having sex in the past year.

33. 32.0% of 65-year-olds in marriage report not having sex in the past year.

34. 34.1% of 70-year-olds in marriage report not having sex in the past year.

Cheating and sexless marriages

sexless marriage couple having a quarrel in the dining table

35. 91% of Americans consider extramarital sex wrong. [8]

36. 40 years ago, only 70% of Americans considered cheating “always wrong.” [7]

37. A 2021 survey by Health Testing Centers polled 441 people and reported that a little over 46% of respondents in a monogamous relationship said they had affairs.

Why are divorce rates so high?

You’ve probably heard that 50% of marriages end up in divorce.

While that was once true, new research shows an interesting turn in divorce trends that can give married individuals hope of a fulfilling, joyful marriage that can stand the test of time.

38. “[A]t the world level, the proportion of adults aged 35-39 who are divorced or separated has doubled, passing from 2% in the 1970s to 4% in the 2000s.” [5]

39. In 2019, the US marriage rate was 6.1 per 1,000 total population. [3]

40. Marriage AND divorce rates in the US are decreasing. In 2000, the marriage rate was 8.2 per 1,000 people. In 2019, it’s now at 6.1.

41. Divorce rate was 4.0 per 1000 people in 2000. In 2019, it dropped to 2.7. [3]


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42. Millennials are choosing to wait longer before getting married and staying married longer. [3]

43. Post-divorce, single-parent households are among the most financially vulnerable groups — even in wealthier countries. A European study showed that 47% of single-parent households were “at risk of poverty or social exclusion” in 2017, compared with 21% of two-parent households. [4]

44. In 1963, only 1.5% of couples had divorced before their fifth anniversary. By the mid-’90s, this increased to 11%. [6]

45. The term “half of marriage end in divorce” stemmed from this statistic: 48% of American couples married in the 1970s were divorced within 25 years. [6]

46. Since the ‘70’s, divorce rates have fallen, and marriage length is increasing. [6]

47. Divorce rates in wealthier counties — such as America, the UK, and Germany — have been falling since the ’90s. The mean marriage length in these countries is over 12 years. [6]

Here are 10 reasons why divorce rates are so high

marriage certificate being stamped

Marriages change, and so do circumstances.

For example, the physical exhaustion that comes with small children can make setting time for your spouse extremely challenging.

Other reasons include a person’s sex drive changing throughout their life, and low libido can make sex feel like a chore. In addition, this lack of sex can create a discordant level of desire between partners.

Another factor is that menopause can make sex difficult or even painful for a lot of women. So, as you can see, there are so many factors that contribute to high divorce rates.

However, experts agree that the most common causes of why regular sex has become a thing of the past include:

  1. Lack of commitment
  2. Lack of physical intimacy
  3. Infidelity
  4. Lack of communication
  5. Financial disagreements/ money struggles
  6. Mismatched desire to have children
  7. Addiction
  8. Poor conflict resolution struggles
  9. Domestic violence
  10. Religious or cultural differences

Top 10 reasons and causes of a sexless marriage

couple arguing in the bedroom

This list surprises a lot of couples as they believe it’s all to do with time and stress. It really is true that if something brings you joy and pleasure, then you’ll find a way to make time for it.

Here are the common reasons and causes of a sexless marriage:

  1. Sexual desire mismatch
  2. Frequent marital conflict
  3. Trust broken and other relationship issues
  4. Erectile dysfunction issues
  5. Lack of spice in a relationship
  6. Adultery
  7. Abuse
  8. Refusing to talk about the lack of sex
  9. Loss of sexual interest
  10.  Mental health issues

Top 10 negative effects of a sexless marriage

Here are some of the most common side effects of when intercourse disappears in a marriage, though not all of these will likely present in one relationship:

  1. Feeling rejected
  2. Less openness
  3. Less unity and less team mentality
  4. Self-esteem issues
  5. Feelings of failure
  6. One or both partners feel themselves drifting apart
  7. Anger and resentment
  8. Begin to see partner more as a roommate
  9. Loneliness
  10. Depression and anxiety

Conclusion

So, we’ve explored the reasons behind sexless marriage statistics, its effects, and really interesting statistics that show the true landscape of sex in marriages.

You might feel hopeless about ever being able to enjoy a passionate sex life with your partner. What’s more, you might even be scared off getting married when you see the stats. Maybe even question is marriage worth it.

That’s the dilemma I see in young men today.

Plenty of people are eager to give relationship advice online, but what many men need to heal their lack of sex is knowledge and relationship skills.

If you don’t want to become part of the sexless statistics, you must learn the proper relationship skills. Sex and love is an art, just like learning a new language or sport — it takes practice.

A great marriage does not fall out of the sky, it is built. You can create new realms of pleasure in the relationship by harnessing a blend of ancient learnings and modern practices.

Here is the free training you need to heal a sexless marriage. Do your sexless marriage a favor and watch it today.

FAQ

What percent of sexless marriages end in divorce?

The percentage of marriages that end in divorce in the US varies between 40% and 50%.

Can a marriage survive without intimacy?

How much sex and intimacy a couple needs vary, but the root cause of any lack of intimacy must be healed so that a healthy sex life and marriage can thrive.

Is a sexless marriage healthy?

According to a Pew study, both men and women find sex and intimacy in marriage to be “very important” to a successful marriage.

How many marriages end due to a lack of intimacy?

We cannot know for sure, as there is no study carried out yet to explore the tie between divorce rate and intimacy issues. Sex therapy can be used to reignite intimacy and passion.

How often do married couples have sex?

On average, married couples have sex 54 times a year, just around once a week.

References

[1] Ueda P, Mercer CH, Ghaznavi C, Herbenick D. Trends in Frequency of Sexual Activity and Number of Sexual Partners Among Adults Aged 18 to 44 Years in the US, 2000-2018. JAMA Netw Open. 2020 Jun 1;3(6):e203833. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.3833. PMID: 32530470; PMCID: PMC7293001.
[2] Twenge JM, Sherman RA, Wells BE. Declines in Sexual Frequency among American Adults, 1989-2014. Arch Sex Behav. 2017 Nov;46(8):2389-2401. doi: 10.1007/s10508-017-0953-1. Epub 2017 Mar 6. PMID: 28265779.
[3] FASTSTATS – Marriage and Divorce (2022) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
[4] At risk of poverty or social exclusion (AROPE) – Statistics Explained. (ND) [5] Population Facts (2011) United Nations. Department of Economic and Social Affairs • Population Division.
[6] Ortiz-Ospina, E. and Roser, M. (2020) Marriages and divorces, Our World in Data.
[7] Fogle, A (2016) 10 Surprising Realities About Married Sex. Good Housekeeping.
[8] Wagaman, A. (2013) Americans Grow Increasingly Intolerant Of Extramarital Affairs StarTribune.
[9] (Sbarra et al., 2018) Smartphones and Close Relationships: The Case for an Evolutionary Mismatch “Smartphones and Close Relationships: The Case for an Evolutionary Mismatch“
[10] American Sociological Association (2015) Women more likely than men to initiate divorces, but not non-marital breakups  

[11] Sbarra, D., Briskin, J. L., & Slatcher, R. B. (2018, November 5). Smartphones and Close Relationships: The Case for an Evolutionary Mismatch. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/rqu6f


ACTIVATE YOUR MASCULINE POWER 5-DAY COURSE

Unleash the secrets of your inner fire of willpower, harness your sacred sexual energy, and embody healthy masculine energy.

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Steffo Shambo

Steffo Shambo

Men's Tantric Relationship Coach

I am the founder of The Tantric Man Experience™, a pioneering transformational coaching program for men. With over 1500 hours of certified tantra training in India and Thailand and 7 years of experience helping hundreds of men worldwide save their marriages and reignite passion in their love lives.

I have over 8 million views on YouTube and have been featured on VICE and Newstalk Radio for my life’s work - helping men unleash their full masculine potential.

My holistic FLT method seamlessly integrates ancient tantric philosophy with my modern expertise in relationships, sexuality, dating, and men’s health.

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