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Most Irish Adults Have Sex Less Than Once A week
Irish Times 17/10/2006
Carl O'Brien

Most Irish adults have sex less than once a week. A majority of men (58 per cent) and women (57 per cent) have sex less than once a week, while a quarter of men and women have sex less than once a month.

One in six women and one in seven men reported sex less than twice a year.

Overall, significantly more women (70 per cent) than men (57 per cent) believe their current frequency of sex is about right for them. More men (40 per cent) than women (33 per cent) find sex “extremely pleasurable”.

A number of factors are crucial in influencing how regularly a person has sex, including age, the length and stability of a relationship and health.

Marriage and cohabitation are associated with a higher frequency, although it tends to decrease as the length of the marriage increases.

The report reflects other international research which shows that increasing age is associated with a lower frequency of sex. Frequency of sex rises for both men and women as age increases, with a peak among those aged 35-44, before decreasing again among older groups.

The figures for young people show they inhabit the two extremes of frequent and infrequent sex. This group has the largest proportion of people who report having sex daily, as well as the largest proportion reporting sex less than monthly (this figure is twice that of even the oldest age group).

Married people or those living together have significantly higher frequencies of sex than those in casual relationships, or who are not in a relationship.

However, relatively high frequencies of sex for unmarried people and the strong impact of not having a current relationship on the frequency of sex show that non-marriage is no longer a bar to sexual experience. The availability of partners is the crucial factor.

The distribution of frequencies of sex also appears to be influenced by educational group. There is evidence of a greater frequency of sex among people with higher education qualifications. Social class, however, does not appear to have any measurable impact.

A large proportion of men (29 per cent) and women (51 per cent) have had a single sexual partner in their life to date.