Do Long-Term Couples Have Better Sex?

What does a healthy sex life look like after marriage? Does being in a long-term relationship mean your sex life is about to hit the jackpot or plummet into the abyss? We’ve all heard the myths about a healthy sex life in long-term relationships and the dreaded “less sex over time” scenario. So, what’s the real deal? Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty and separate fact from fiction.

Read more: Is Scheduling Sex, Unsexy?

Myth: Couples in Long Term Relationships have Unsatisfying Sex

It’s easy to see why so many people think that people in long-term relationships have boring, unfulfilling sex lives. How many TV shows, movies, books, even stand up routines, rely on this tired trope?

Like nearly everything in life, the reality of intimacy in committed relationships is far more nuanced and far more interesting. 

Contrary to popular belief, a long-term commitment isn’t a death sentence for your sex life. In fact, a national poll published by Parade Magazine found that 88% of Americans in committed relationships (in this study’s case, married couples) are happy or at least content with their sex life. That’s a pretty huge majority.

One counterpoint: A study found a steady decline in sexual satisfaction after the first year of a relationship. However, this decline isn’t exclusive to long-term couples; the spice drops down for everyone after the first year, not just those relationships that then go on for a decade or more.

Myth: Couples in Long Term Relationships have Little Sex

You know what shouldn’t be surprising? Partners in long term relationships get it on pretty frequently. After all, they love each other, they find each other attractive, and, maybe most importantly, they usually sleep in the same bed! What else is gonna happen?

The data backs this up. According to the 2018 General Social Survey study, about 50% of all couples in committed relationships reported they were having sex at least once a week. Only 36.5% of all Americans (single, married, or otherwise) can report the same sex frequency.

In other words, couples in long term relationships have more sex than the average.

How Often Should Long-Term Couples Have Sex?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how often should long-term couples have sex. Certainly, there are averages we can point to, and there does seem to be a “magic number” of sexual frequency for couples that are most satisfied with their love life (once a week). However, averages are great for scientific study, but why would you want your relationship to be “average”?

Both you and your partner are unique people with unique levels of libido and different perspectives on what sex means and how important it is to different aspects of your relationship. Intimacy mismatches are a common cause of contention for long-term partnerships, and many couples go through a period where intimacy doesn’t match up. 

The key is the ability to feel comfortable sharing worries and concerns, to ask and be asked, even around sensitive subjects like sex. Frequency of sex is not the key to strictly better or more satisfying sex – and it shouldn’t be the measure by which you evaluate how good your love life is. 

Factors Leading to Decreased Sex

Routine: The Novelty Factor Wears Off

In the honeymoon phase of a relationship, everything feels new and exciting. You can’t keep your hands off each other, and the sexual tension is palpable. However, as time goes on, the novelty wears off. The same moves, the same places, and even the same times can become monotonous. It’s not that you love each other any less; it’s just that the initial excitement has faded. To counter this, try to introduce new experiences or settings to keep the spark alive.

Stress: The Silent Libido Killer

Let’s face it, adulting is hard. Work pressures, financial stress, and the responsibilities of children or other family members can be overwhelming. This stress can significantly impact your mental health, which in turn can affect your libido. When you’re stressed, sex may be the last thing on your mind. It’s crucial to manage stress effectively, not just for your overall well-being but also for maintaining a healthy sex life. Consider stress management techniques like meditation, exercise, or even couples therapy.

Health: When the Body Says No

Physical health can be a significant factor in your sex life. Conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and hormonal imbalances can lead to decreased sexual desire or performance issues. Even medications for these conditions can have side effects that impact your sex life. It’s essential to consult with healthcare providers about any concerns and possibly undergo a medical evaluation.

Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Sex Life

Open Communication: The Foundation of Intimacy

One of the most crucial aspects of a satisfying sex life is open communication. You should feel comfortable discussing your desires, fantasies, and boundaries with your partner. This openness can lead to a more fulfilling sexual experience for both parties. If talking about sex feels awkward, start small. Share one thing you enjoy and ask your partner to do the same. The more you communicate, the easier it will become.

Regular Check-ins: Keep the Conversation Going

Don’t assume that one “sex talk” is enough to last you a lifetime. People change, and so do their desires and boundaries. Make it a habit to check in with each other regularly about your sexual relationship. These check-ins can be as simple as asking, “Is there anything new you want to try?” or “How have you been feeling about our intimacy lately?” Regular conversations can help you stay in tune with each other’s needs and desires.

Spice It Up: Variety is the Spice of (Sex) Life

Routine can be comforting, but it can also lead to monotony. Don’t be afraid to try new things in the bedroom (or wherever you prefer). Whether it’s a new position, incorporating toys, or even changing the scenery, a little variety can go a long way in maintaining a healthy and exciting sex life. If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of resources available, from books to articles to professionals, that can offer suggestions and guidance.


So, there you have it. Being in a long-term relationship doesn’t have to be the end of your sex life; in fact, it can be the beginning of a more intimate and satisfying sexual journey. The key is communication, trust, and a willingness to work together to keep the spark alive.

Great sex starts with great quality time. Cupla, the shared calendar app designed exclusively for couples, helps you find the ideal time for date night automatically, ensuring you always have time for intimacy, both physical and emotional. Trial Cupla now for free on iOS or Android.

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