According to a recent study, the average Australian couple has sex 1.4 times a week. But that's on average, which means it incorporates a lot of different age groups. And that got me wondering: what's an average number for young people?
So I asked around Melbourne (on a Friday) and got a range of answers, from constantly all the way to never. Some couples declined and said that sex shouldn't be discussed in public. Another couple, for medical reasons, hadn’t had sex that week and got a bit tearful. But the majority were open to speaking about their sexual activity, and in most cases were wrapped about the frequency.
Here's what they said.
Cam and Sarah, both 33
VICE: Hey guys, how many times you have you banged this week?
Sarah: Four times
And is that an average week for you?
S: We go anywhere between three and five. When you have been together for a few years, you come off the ball a little bit. It's routine.
Would you say there’s a healthy frequency for sex in a relationship?
C: I'd say ours is pretty healthy. Three to five is pretty healthy.
S: I would like it more.
What do you think is unhealthy?
S: If you're not having sex at all in one week, I think that's problematic.
C: Whatever both couples agree on is probably the healthiest. Some might want more, or less, you just want to be on the same page. Which apparently, we're not? You want more?
S: We might have some figuring out to do.
Adrian, 30 and Sarah, 28
How many times have you had sex this week?
S: Which day are we in? Friday? So three times.
Do you always find the time to have sex three times a week?
S: It depends. We travel a lot so sometimes it is difficult, but generally we do.
A: We make sure we have time for sex.
Do you feel that you have formed some kind of sexual routine?
S: We used to have a routine because we were working. But now that we’re travelling, moving around, it’s a bit more exciting, it’s different. Things have changed up and so has the routine. It's good to change things up.
Vivian, 33 and Maddie, 31
How many times have you had sex this week?
V: I think at least eight. It was Maddie's birthday this week.
So, other weeks you have less sex?
V: I'd still say at least eight times a week.
M: It depends how much we're working.
That’s every day of the week! What do you think that says about your relationship?
V: That we're having sex a little bit more than average. We are pretty happy. I feel like most couples would be having sex two or three times a week.
Do you feel like higher sexual activity reflects a couple’s happiness?
V: It's definitely a way to express love.
M: Yeah, and if it's an expression of love, and it's happening a lot, I guess that's pretty good. I'd say the couple is pretty happy.
Fabiana, 21 and Carlos, 23 (These are fake names btw)
Hey Fabiana and Carlos, many times have you done sex this week?
C: Let me think. This week was a festival, but probably five?
F: And, I got my period this week.
C: Oh yeah, it’s a full moon this week. You're in sync with the moon. Still, four or five.
How long have you been together?
F: Two months
Has the frequency of your sex life increased or decreased since the beginning of your relationship?
F: It's been steady.
C: Four of five times a week.
Would you say this is average for people in their early 20s?
C: Probably. It depends what country you're from though. I find cultures express themselves differently. Sexually, differently. In Brazil it is more common to have sex. We are both from Brazil. Look at how Australians dance and how Brazilians dance. See for yourself—that is the key.
Beth, 28 and Alex, 36
Hey guys, many times have you got it on this week?
B: is not enough an answer?
How many times should you be?
B: I think there's no answer to that question. The word "should" is too restrictive. "Should" is somebody else telling you what to do, not what you want to do.
A: As much as each person is comfortable with.
B: Yeah, relationships don't work when one person doesn't meet the other’s expectations or vice versa.
Okay well, looking back at the beginning of your relationship, do you think you're having more or less sex?
A: We got together a year and eight months ago. And it’s become less frequent since then.
B: We moved in together, and I started a job I hated, and it all went down hill.
A: Well I wouldn't say down hill.
B: On a slight decline.
A: Frequency less, but, better sex.
B: Yeah, quality is better.
The less sex the more we appreciate it?
A: A friend I work with said to me, "Sex is like oxygen, it's only important when you're not getting it."
Do you agree with that?
B: Yeah, I think about it way more when I am not having it.
A: Yep, if I'm not having sex I’m thinking: “I probably should be. Let me address that.”
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This article originally appeared on VICE AU.