How often do people have sex?
[IOL, 2/26/19] We can’t know for sure how often individuals actually have sex. Some people may incorrectly report their sexual frequency, either by mistake or on purpose. But the national estimates data are based on representative samples, so they’re a useful guide.
What do we mean by sex? Some studies simply ask participants how often they “have sex”; others define it specifically, such as “activity with another person that involves genital contact and sexual excitement”.
Of course, averages don’t reflect the diversity of the population. Some people, whether they’re in a relationship or not, never or almost never have sex. Others have sex every day.
And individuals can vary from year to year, depending on their sexual opportunities, health status, and other factors.
How often we have sex is based on our genes, biology and life circumstances.
Biologically, if couples have intercourse at least twice a week, sex is likely to occur at least once during the six days a month when a woman is fertile. The couple would therefore be more likely to reproduce than other couples who have sex less often.
Reproductive success can lead to genetic selection of behaviours. In other words, people who have sex frequently may be more likely to have children, and therefore keep their genes in the gene pool.
But the level of genetic push towards having sex can vary from one person to another.
Our life circumstances may play a role in how often we have sex, especially as other things compete for our time: paid work, child care, house work and, increasingly, our smartphones and 24-7 entertainment options……
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