Do married couples or single people who are ready to mingle have more sex? YourTango Experts Senior VP Melanie Gorman sat down with relationship experts John Gray, Tammy Nelson, LiYana Silver and Debi Berndt to get to the bottom of this question.

Turns out, it isn't such an easy question to answer. Even if you're having more sex, are you enjoying it? Factors like newness, mystery and routine affect not just the amount of time spent in the bedroom, but also how much fun you're actually having! Check out the video above for more facts and fictions about who's getting frisky.

TRANSCRIPT:

We have this myth in our culture that sex is supposed to be spontaneous.

Melanie Gorman: So there’s a preconceived notion that single people have more sex than married people do.  I actually think that married people have more sex.  But is it the single mom, is it the married mom, is it the CEO?  Who’s having more time in the bedroom?

John Gray:  Well when we look at the differences between men and women what we know to be the case is that the hormone that allows women to enjoy sex (having is one thing, enjoying sex is another), is oxytocin. And when women are stressed, oxytocin levels are low.  So the more stressed a woman is, the more overworked a woman feels, the more in a hurry and a greater sense of urgency in her life, the less oxytocin she’s going to have, so she’s not being able to enjoy sex.  Often single people will brag about how much sex they’re having, I’m talking more from the male point of view, but, and they are having a lot of sex when they first get into a relationship.  Because when you first join a relationship there’s a newness and a lack of history.  So newness and a lack of history stimulates huge amounts of oxytocin because the woman’s kind of in a fantasy land, the man’s in a fantasy land.  We don’t have any history yet of being disappointed or- reality hasn’t set it.  So often when single people couple up in a serious, in love relationship they have a lot of sex for awhile, and generally that tapers down.  But it doesn’t mean we can’t continue to have passionate loving sex.  I’ve been married 28 years and have great sex.  But clearly when I was courting my wife we had a lot more sex then.  (laughs)

Melanie: What do you think? You deal with couples that deal with infidelity like, how are they doing?

Tammy Nelson:  Well, that’s kind of a different question because recovering from infidelity brings up a whole new spectrum of issues.  But I, you know I think that we long for someone in the space in between us.  You know attraction happens in that space.  So we want someone who’s over there.  And you know if they’re sitting next to us on the couch every night, not so much.  So sometimes there’s more of a spark if you’re single and you’re still in that space where there’s an attraction.  Because you’re not totally together and merged yet.  But that being said, sex also happens because of opportunity.    If you’re living with someone and you’re there all the time there’s a lot more opportunity for that connection to happen.  But I agree with John, if there’s a space for an emotional connection first, you know women have a tendency to want that first in order to have sex.  And what I see is that men have sex in order to have an emotional connection.  So sometimes you know there’s, there’s that crossover that’s hard to you know, climb over in the middle of the bed. 

Melanie: Yeah, yeah.

Debi Berndt:  Well and I think, I work with a lot of singles, and what I think happens is that they have a lot of sex in the beginning, you know, they’re exploring themselves, and then they get to the point where they make a decision they want to get married.  And that’s probably the worst position to be in because you’re now forced to like look for Mr. Right and you sort of have this hyper control over your sexuality and you’re really trying to find “The One”.  And a lot of times they suppress that sexual urge and that need and then they’ll end up having these one night stands every once in awhile and feel a lot of guilt afterwards.  And so there’s a lot of this idea almost like you’re saving yourself now and you want to be the good girl now.  So there’s a little conflict there and so they uh, they stop - they claim they want to have sex but they don’t want to just have a fling any more. 

Melanie: But why do we think single people have more sex than married people?  I mean that’s a really common sort of misconception in the media.  What do you think?

Liyana Silver:  Well and I think actually, just going back to what you were saying before is - I don’t know that it’s a single or married thing, actually just depends on your levels of stress.  And I work a lot of entrepreneurial women who are [inaudible] in corporate who aren’t necessarily staying at home and generally they’ve taken their schedule or they’ve taken their well-being into their own hands and so they have a lot more say-so about how much how when and how much they’re enjoying.  They can certainly fall into the trap of now I’m my own boss and I’m just going to be as stressed as I was in corporate.  But usually I’d say they’re having the most and the best quality sex.
(laughs)

Tammy:  So it’s the entrepreneurs. 
Liayan: It’s the entrepreneur.
Tammy:  Well I think, you know, we have this myth in our culture that sex is supposed to be spontaneous.  And I can tell you that if you’re working a full-time job and you have a family and a house you’re not going to come home and sweep the dishes off the kitchen table and say “take me now”.  I mean that’s never going to happen.  That sex doesn’t have to be spontaneous.  It probably wasn’t even when you were dating.  You knew, ok we’re going to get together tonight so I’m going to wear, you know, good underwear. 
(laughs)
And shave my legs.  The reality is you can be as spontaneous as you want if you plan it.  You can plan a sex night.  That’s not a date night.  That’s not going out to dinner and eating rich food and drinking wine, because you’re going to come home and go to sleep.   That’s not sex night.  But if you plan one night a week to carve out for our sacred erotic night, that’s not the roommate stuff, the companionship, the daily management of your lives together.  It’s the time when you know, this is when we can be as spontaneous as we want within this time that has to do with us, that makes us more than just roommates. 

Melanie: So what it looks like here is that couples are having more sex than singles, sorry single people, but sex does naturally change the longer you’re together.  Create some space, create some distance, plan it out, wear your good underwear. 
(laughs)

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