How Long Most Married Couples Go Without Sex, According To New Study

Can you guess?

How Long People Go Without Having Sex And How To Fix A Dry Spell Unsplash 

Yikes! A sexual dry spell. It happens to the best of us. I mean, I’ve been in a consistent relationship for YEARS, and we still go through dry spells, even though we sleep in the same bed every night.

Whether you’re single and playing the field or you’ve been married for decades, sexual dry spells can happen to anyone. Sometimes, you don’t even realize until it’s too late that it’s been months since you’ve rolled around in the sheets with someone new.


Want to know how to fix a dry spell? Why do couples have them and what can they do with all of that sexless time on their hands?  Superdrug conducted a survey of 1,500 Americans and Europeans to find out the answers.

When Was The Last Time You Had Sex?


The very first order of business in this survey was to find out how long it had been since participants last had sex.

Women and men who were married or in a long-term relationship said that it had been a week, on average, since they had sex.

As expected, people with a significant other had more access to sex on a regular basis.

Single people said that it was about two months since last having sex, while divorced participants said that it had been up to three years.

There was actually one person who went 27 years without having sex. Both European and American men and women went about two weeks on average without having sex, while American men were more often to go without sex for a month.


Generational Dry Spells

When looking at different generations, the average time without sex differed. Baby Boomers and GenX-ers, went without sex for two months on average. However, there was one Baby Boomer who went 12 years without doing the deed and a GenX-er who hadn’t done it in 24 years.

Millennials were the least likely to go without sex for long periods of time. On average, millennials waited a month or less to have sex. For one person in this generation, the wait time was nine years.


Complaints About Dry Spells

While some dry spells were quite long, the survey found that not too many people liked to complain about it to their friends. Although people weren’t likely to complain, the study points out that it would actually be more beneficial for them to talk about sex as it helps to normalize the concept.

The study showed that 21 percent of European women shared their thoughts on a dry spell with friends while only 17 percent of European men complained about it to their friends. Americans were less likely to talk about it, with only 12 percent of women sharing with their friends and only 15 percent of men talking about it.


Who Is To Blame For Dry Spells?

The study found that American and European women were more likely to blame themselves for a sexual dry spell than men. More than half of the participants expressed that they were sad about the lack of sex and a third said that they were feeling unattractive.

It can actually be mentally exhausting for people who aren’t reaping the physiological benefits of having steady sex. For women, 26 percent of them blamed the dry spell on the fact that they felt unattractive.


How Long Until a Sexual Dry Spell Happens In a Long-term Relationship?

The study found that dry spells are more likely to occur earlier in younger people.

Millennials experienced dry spells about 2.5 times sooner than Baby Boomers, which is about five years. However, GenX-ers identified dry spells occurring on average, 3.5 years into their relationships.


While the age of Tinder makes it seem like the younger generation is having lots of sex, it turns out that they are doing it much less than their parents did. The power of the hookup culture isn’t very strong and is causing people to drift away from each other sooner than older couples.

Do Dry Spells Cause Couples To Split?

The study showed that not too many couples have broken up because of dry spells. American and European men were very similar as 86 percent of them stuck out their relationships despite the dry spell.

However, American and European women were different. For American women, 93 percent of them didn’t let the dry spells determine the outcome of their relationship. However, 17 percent of European women decided to call it quits due to lack of sexual intimacy.


The survey found that initiating new sex positions and talking it out between partners is the best way to end a dry spell.

What Activities Are People Doing To Cope With Lack Of Sex?

So, what are people doing with all of this down time? Masturbating!

More than 60 percent of men and 42 percent of women took to masturbation for pleasure when they weren’t having sex. Even for those who are having sex regularly, masturbation still seemed to be a healthy way to pass the time.


According to research, women who masturbate regularly feel better about their own bodies. Masturbation also helps to lower stress by releasing hormones and endorphins.

Some other popular pastimes were exercising, binge-watching TV, and sleeping. For men, 15 percent of them spent the extra time drinking while 22 percent of women used that time to shop.

Who Is Willing To Lower Their Standards To Have More Sex?


While a sexual dry spell is likely to make people feel down, most American and European women weren’t willing to lower their standards to get a good lay. However, men admitted to being a lot less picky in order to have more sex.

For European women, 22 percent of them were willing to lower their standards for sex while 37 percent of European men were willing to do the same for the sake of their sex lives.

The pickiest were American women, of whom only 16 percent were willing to lower their standards. For American men, 47 percent of them were willing to ease up on their standards on a suitable sexual partner.


In fact, 22 percent of these men said that they would call up a former partner just to satisfy their sexual needs.

In Conclusion

Sexual dry spells happen to everyone and people choose to deal with it in different ways. The best way to learn how to fix a dry spell is to be more open about sex and more open-minded about sexual partners.

In the end, having sex is both mentally and physically good for our health, so don’t get too down on yourself and start getting into bed with a partner more often.