Survey Says 1 In 5 Unhappily Married Women Are In A Sexless Marriage

Woman unhooking bra on bed
Why do married people cheat? Boredom, loss of love and anger come to mind — but according to a new survey, unhappily married American women may be stepping out on their spouses because they’re not having sex at home.

Ashley Madison — a dating site for married people looking to have affairs — surveyed 74,600 members from 26 different countries about how often they have sex with their spouses and U.S. women topped the list when it came to sexless marriages.

Specifically, 22 percent of the American women surveyed admitted to having no sex with their husbands at all. The numbers were lower in other parts of the world; 18 percent of women from the UK, 16 percent from Hong Kong, 12 percent from Spain, 9 percent from France, 8 percent from Italy and 8 percent from Brazil said the same.

“Married people in the U.S. face the same dilemmas as their international counterparts when it comes to keeping their marital bed active,” said a rep from Ashley Madison. “But our unprecedented global study showed nearly 1 in 5 unhappily married women in the U.S. are in a sexless marriage, and I’m fairly sure that was not what they committed to on their wedding day.”


Couples who have sex just once a week are the happiest


THE SECRET to marital bliss is not very sexy, researchers announced Wednesday.

Couples having sex every day are not necessarily happier, a new study published by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology reveals.

Those doing the deed once a week are just as cheery, researchers said.

“Although more frequent sex is associated with greater happiness, this link was no longer significant at a frequency of more than once a week,” lead researcher Amy Muise said.

“Our findings suggest that it’s important to maintain an intimate connection with your partner, but you don’t need to have sex every day as long as you’re maintaining that connection.”

Couples shouldn’t put “too much pressure on engaging in sex as frequently as possible,” she suggested.

The study was based on data collected over four decades from a survey of 30,000 Americans in relationships.

“Our findings were consistent for men and women, younger and older people, and couples who had been married for a few years or decades,” Muise said.

But there was no association between sexual frequency and happiness for singles, noted Muise, a social psychologist at the University of Toronto-Mississauga.

Why are you staying in loveless marriage?


Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: This is in response to 65 Year-Old Man with a 45-year-old Approach to Life who complained about his wife’s lack of desire. Really? I would love to hear her side! Methinks she would speak the truth and put an honest spin on “Mr. Romance, I need stimulation.”

I also live in a sexless, lonely marriage. Sports and drinking are his first loves. He gained a lot of weight in our early years together and ignores his doctor’s advice to lose it. He used to fall asleep on top of me after having sex, snore all night and awaken refreshed while I stumbled through my day exhausted from lack of sleep.

I struggled through years of feeling very lonely as he isn’t a talker. We stopped going out to restaurants because he doesn’t talk, and I got tired of having a one-way conversation. I cook great meals and keep a lovely home because it gives me a lift. He has done some pretty horrible things in our years together, and I chose to be the loyal wife and stood by his side. He has never protected me, never looks into my eyes or has romantic conversations with me.

We have no dreams, no goals and no desires. He gets excited when there are two hockey games on TV at the same time. How could I possibly get stimulated enough to be intimate with this man? If I could write a song describing our life together, it would be titled “I lost me when I met you.”

— Sadly Coping, Winnipeg

Dear Sadly Coping: And your husband is sadly coping too, as you are not intimate with him and don’t like his personality anymore. Why did you stay and waste all those years? Why not leave now and both of you can salvage the years you have left? The divorce taboo is over, and there’s nothing worse than feeling desperately lonely while trapped with somebody who keeps you from finding a companion with mutual interests to love, enjoy and have a sexual relationship with.

Are you unable to work and support yourself? It’s not too late to change your life. In fact, you would be free and less lonely if you dumped this man who is such a negative influence. You sound like platonic roommates. What was he like in the beginning? Why did you marry him? Why stay after he did “some pretty horrible things?”

Life on this planet (if you are lucky enough to have the wherewithal to live, eat and be comfortable) is a gift to make much of. People can do that if they surround themselves with the right people. You know he is wrong for you. You’re being loyal to someone you say is causing you to lose your very self — your soul. You can’t give that away to anybody. It’s all any of us have.

-Michael Forman (Author of sexless story SEETHINGS)

The Novel ¦The Author ¦ Order

SEETHINGS novel by Michael Forman

I don’t have sex with my husband any more and our marriage is happy without it (he feels the same)

Sex_Sexless-marriage_Happy-without-sex_Stocksy_620x349When Clare first met her husband they had a great sex life. Now they haven’t made love for years, but couldn’t be more content with their sexless marriage. She talks to Mandy Appleyard

It’s funny to think back on the early days of my relationship with John and realise how important sex was to us both then. It’s hard to imagine that was even us.

The immediate attraction between John and me was physical when we met at work. I always joked that I noticed his beautiful bum in Levi 501s before I even saw his face. For the first decade that we were together, our sex life was active, adventurous and very much the glue that held our relationship together.

Eighteen years after tying the knot with John, I am happy to say that our marriage is a strong and happy one.

Of course, there have been a few bumps in the road (my post-natal depression after having our son Alex 17 years ago, John being made redundant when he was 48 and plunging into a full-scale mid-life crisis). But, on balance, we remain a loving and committed couple.

A marriage without sex

However, we haven’t had sex since the beginning of 2008. We still share a king-size bed every night at our home in Yorkshire. We still kiss and cuddle and enjoy a tactile, physically affectionate relationship, but it’s more than seven years since John and I made love.

So what’s wrong? How do I cope with the sadness of knowing, at the age of 53, that sex is behind me? That my husband no longer desires me physically?

The truth is, I couldn’t be happier about our situation, and nor could John. I don’t feel rejected by him because my libido, like his, has waned.

Sex isn’t how we love each other now; it’s no longer part of the fabric of our relationship, and that’s absolutely fine because we both feel the same way about it.

It’s as if we have moved to a place beyond sex. I would worry for my marriage if we weren’t tender and loving in other ways but we are, and we have always been open with each other about our feelings.

I went off sex when I was approaching the menopause, which is not untypical. It became uncomfortable and, eventually, undesirable.

I told John how I felt and he said he understood. He’d just been made redundant from his job as an engineer and was doing a lot of soul-searching, so I think sex was probably not much in his thoughts then anyway.

I thought my libido would make a comeback after the menopause but it didn’t. “What if it never comes back?” I asked John in bed one night.

“It’s nothing to worry about,” he replied. “We’re in our fifties, we’re fit and healthy and still very much in love with each other, and I don’t see any benefit in fretting about sex if neither of us is bothered about having it.”

A new phase in the relationship

His reply was both logical and reassuring. Our marriage would have been in deep trouble if one of us had still felt the need to be swinging naked from the chandeliers on a nightly basis, but thankfully we both seemed happy to move into a different phase of our relationship.

Perhaps this sounds too easy, but I have always felt secure in my marriage to John. We are very lucky that we talk easily and openly about whatever’s bothering us, and that we have shared interests.

We used to make love until dawn in the early days. Today we’d rather put on our boots and head up into the Dales for a long walk and a pub lunch, or catch a flight to Paris or Budapest to explore the city for a weekend.

We both love cooking and homemaking, taking to the road in our vintage MG, spending time with our 17-year-old son who’ll be leaving for university next year, and dreaming about buying a dilapidated property in France that we can renovate in our dotage.

Happy in a sexless marriage

We have plans and dreams, and we don’t need sex to fulfil them. We do need the closeness of sharing a bed, of cuddling up next to each other on the sofa in the evenings, of walking hand-in-hand sometimes.

I know people will judge the path we have chosen. They will say there must be something wrong, something missing, in a sexless marriage; that there is something unnatural about our celibacy.

But that’s not how we see it. So irrelevant is sex to me, in fact, that I don’t even think it would be a deal-breaker if John had it with someone else.

It would shock me because, like me, he says he’s not interested in sex any more, but it would make no sense to call time on my marriage simply because John had chosen to find elsewhere something he knew wasn’t available at home.

Anyway I’m confident that, like me, he cherishes and respects our relationship, and would be unlikely to put it in jeopardy for something we have both grown to regard as extraneous.


Sexless Marriage or Cheating?

You have argued that society’s position on cheating is logically incoherent. Society says, on the one hand, sex is not that important, so living in a sexless marriage is not a big deal. On the other hand, society says cheating can never justified because sex is that important, so important you shouldn’t do it with anyone else, not even if your spouse won’t do it with you.

I think you’re being unfair to society, Dan. There is no inconsistency in saying the pain caused by infidelity outweighs the pain/frustration caused by forced celibacy. The problem for the prospective cheater—or the current/former cheater trying to ease his/her conscience—is that you’re weighing your own, known pain against the unknown pain your spouse might potentially have to endure. So society really needs to know: Would the average person rather be cheated on or trapped in a sexless marriage?

This is where you might actually provide a real service. We need a survey! So what do your readers say? Which is worse? Let’s settle this question once and for all, so you can get back to answering questions about parrot masturbation!


Inside a sexless marriage: ‘I will hit rock bottom and get sex from other men’

148171-bad6009e-83d0-11e3-b939-7fcb48a5bb4aTHE first time her future husband was naked on top of her, Julianna Colt thought to herself “Oh no, this is not going to work”.

They’d been dating about three weeks at this point. Julianna wasn’t attracted to his body and the sex, she says, was just “meh”.

“I was used to being with hot, young guys with muscular, sculpted bodies. I was like a guy in that way: I needed a hot body,” she writes at Elizabeth Street , a blog for mums.

This man had ticks in all Julianna’s other boxes – he was handsome, fun, confident and mature. But she wished the sexual chemistry was stronger.

“We were definitely lustful for each other and it was fun to be with him, but the mechanics were sorely lacking. I didn’t like the order he did things,” she recounts.

“I didn’t like his lack of attention to certain areas, and I didn’t love his motion in the ocean. But I was determined not to worry since everything else with us was so great. We were falling in love.”

This is not what Julianna had with her husband.

This is not what Julianna had with her husband. Source: ThinkStock

And it wasn’t just their sexual styles that varied. Julianna noticed their libidos were in different gears too.

“We would come home drunk from a fun night out and I would want to start making out before we’d even made it through the door. He was easily embarrassed and would push me away in public and then when we got home he would want to order late night pizza rather than eating me, so to speak.”

She recognises these things as huge red flags, but ignored them because she had a great guy who wanted to marry her.


“I hadn’t really had that before.”

Julianna decided to take the lead.

Julianna decided to take the lead. Source: Supplied

When they became engaged, Julianna took charge and started to give her fiance pointers about how she liked to have sex, and positions he could assume.

But this embarrassed her man. Offended, he stopped and rolled over.

“I knew he was sensitive but, my god, was he so sensitive that I couldn’t even talk about sex? My previous boyfriend loved any sort of commentary or instruction. It felt so normal and natural to me to be able to talk about what I wanted sexually.”

During their engagement, the pair had less and less of their “horrible sex”. The frequency dwindled to one or two times a month.

They got married anyway, and finally the chemistry ignited on their wedding night.

“That night in our hotel suite we had the best sex and the most physically connected night of our lives together to date. He was amazing, the sex felt amazing, we did it multiple times. It was all unprecedented. I was thrilled – it meant that we were capable of having great sex,” she recalls, saying that the good sex lasted into their honeymoon.

'Life inside my sexless ma...

When the honeymoon was over, so was the decent intercourse. Source: Supplied

Years down the track, that spark has fizzled. Julianna says she’s had sex with her husband only 10 times a year every year since they married.

Everyday life – her children, pregnancies, work, etc – distract Julianna from the anger, embarrassment and sadness she feels. But she lives with a nagging feeling.

“I can’t help but know that I went from a life of having sex 300 times a year to 10, if I am lucky.”

The couple discusses the issue a lot. Julianna’s husband feels misunderstood and under-appreciated and that affects his libido.

But Julianna doesn’t buy it. She believes a man’s sexual desire should be strong enough to overcome such “trivial things”.

“When I was looking for marriage counsellors I came across an article about sexual incompatibility in couples. It said that if a couple has sex less than 10 times a year, then they are in a ‘sexless marriage’. It felt like another nail in the coffin of my marriage,” she writes.

She describes the horrible cycle she lives in. She feels angry and rejected, and every night she waits for him to make the first move.

The obvious solution is to talk about the problem with her husband, but Julianna says he shuts down.

“Now I watch gorgeous men on TV and fantasise. I have my little electronic friend who satisfies me weekly. Every time I have an electronically-induced orgasm I tell myself I need to find a new lover.”

She’s not ready to cheat, but admits she thinks about it all the time.

“If my husband and I ever do break up one day, it will be due to our sexual differences. I think one day I will hit rock bottom and simply tell him that I need to have sex with other people.”

What do you think of Julianna’s story? Comment below or continue the conversation on Twitter @newscomauHQ.

Read Julianna’s story at Elizabeth Street. She’s written another piece called Should I Get a Divorce.

Hot tips to fix an unromantic marriage

Sexless relationship

If you are in a marriage that is sexless, it is time you do something about it. In a marriage, you have to have that body contact with your spouse, otherwise things can never work out for the best. Making love at least twice in a week is important to help connect and build on your love as one in your wedded life. If your relationship lacks the one thing that binds two bodies together, which is sex, consider your marriage to be falling apart.

As a couple, if you are witnessing this unromantic separation, it is suggested that talking to each other and communicating your feelings to each other is the best way to make the romance in your marriage work. If you ignore your love life and leave it aside, it will only create more misunderstandings and problems. If talking it out doesn’t seem to work, try out some of these hot tips to fix a sexless marriage; and if in case these tips fail too, it is only best that you consider speaking to a specialist if you want to survive in your marriage.


-Michael (Author of sexless story in SEETHINGS) Subscribe to blog.

The Novel ¦The Author ¦ Orde
SEETHINGS novel by Michael Forman



Infection Stops Sex: Help!


Last year, when married only a year, I developed a chronic bladder infection. I’m seeing a specialist and taking antibiotics.

I’m getting better, but have frequent flare ups. Our physical relationship has taken a huge toll.

The pain and discomfort makes sex infrequent, or restrained, since we’re both wary of my pain.

My husband’s been loving, attentive and very concerned for my health.

However, he’s increasingly frustrated with the lack of sex.

We’ve tried many “alternatives” but nothing works the same way.

Sex was a huge part of us and our love.

My doctor’s asked me to be patient. We’ve set a deadline for reconsidering our options, including separation if I’m not getting better.

My husband says he doesn’t want to leave me, but I feel it’s unfair for him to live in a sexless marriage for the rest of his life.

Should we seek some professional guidance?

Painful Decision

You must seek professional information and guidance right away, and on several levels.

Your specialist will have previously dealt with chronic bladder pain affecting sexual activity.

Don’t be embarrassed, you both need to ask him/her how you each can best handle this.

A marital therapist will also benefit you both. In a still-young marriage, you haven’t faced many intense issues like this.


But many couples experience periods of abstinence — e.g. for months during difficult pregnancies. The therapist will have ideas and encouragement for you both.

Setting a deadline for options and thinking about separation is premature.

Maintain intimacy through touch, stroking, cuddling, kissing, while helping your husband have orgasms manually or orally, without you experiencing pain.

It’s “not the same” but it’s deeply loving, compassionate, and bonding.

It’ll help you stay optimistic and less stressed about your condition as the antibiotics and time heal you.


-Michael Forman (Author of sexless story SEETHINGS) Subscribe to blog.

The Novel ¦The Author ¦ Orde
SEETHINGS novel by Michael Forman

Not Jaded. Adequately Adjusted.

No, I’m not a jaded person. I’ve simply looked at reality and adapted to it.

Keep going.

  • People change.
  • Fairytales are for books.
  • I can’t change you.
  • Who I am matters.

Sexlessness shouldn’t be MY problem. It’s actually yours. It’s now part of my life because I believed in monogamy. I trusted it. I trusted you too.

To hell with you! This insane control over sex is going to stop here and now!

I’ve done the counselling sessions. I supported you and did the therapy. I’ve heard every excuse in the book:

  • Too tired.
  • Too busy.
  • Visitors in house.
  • Neighbours will know.
  • Too sick.
  • Taking a break.

Taking a break?

How can you take a break from something you never do?

So I asked for a change. It was a radical suggestion, I know. I never thought I’d ever hear myself speak those words either. I asked to open the relationship up. You declined. That’s your right. It’s also my right to live without pain. With or without your permission, that pain will go.


Tonight, I’ve made a date with someone. I plan to have sex and it won’t be with you. I’d like to think it’ll be everything I’ve dreamt it to be. Even if it’s half of that, it’ll be ten thousand percent better than the icy alternatives. I’m trying not to say those words :”But it’s YOUR fault.”

I’m trying to be nice about this. I’m even trying to find the guilt to make this prickly journey worth it. Perhaps it’ll come afterwards. I sure hope it does. You’re worth some.

I’m nervous. I’m excited. I know what to do when I’m there but not sure how to get it there. I’m so used to you saying ‘no’ that I’m afraid I’ll waste a perfectly good opportunity. I hope I don’t – and I kind of hate you for doing that. Fourteen years of no’s changes a person.

I never saw what you did as abuse. No one would agree with me anyhow. I’m on my own.

So tonight it’ll be about me. I’ll try and forget all that stuff and let go. It’s not the way I would’ve preferred things but it’s the way they have to be. I just wish you would’ve paid more attention and believed in me. It’s not like you didn’t know. I tried and tried.

I love you.- Ax

Listen to author read this:

Every month, thousands ask Google for help with their sexless marriages


People are much more worried about the lack of sex in their marriages than the lack of, well, anything else, including happiness, love, and talking. At least, that’s what the Google search results seem to indicate.

Here’s a sad fact: 21,090 people per month googled the phrase “sexless marriage,” and nearly 3,000 more searched for “sex starve marriage” and “no sex marriage.” For comparison, the other top marriage related searchers were 6,029 people searching for “unhappy marriage,” and 2,650 searched for “loveless marriage.”

Google searches about spouses being unwilling to have sex are 16 times more common than searches about spouses being unwilling to talk.

The numbers come from an article for the New York Times, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz crunches data from Google searches and offers a number of findings — some surprising, others not — about life in the bedroom.

The data suggest a lack of sex is a less common concern for unmarried couples. “Sexless relationship” was searched 3,675 times per month, fewer than the 5,867 searches for “abusive relationship” and slightly more than the 3,563 searches for “complicated relationship.”

There’s much more interesting data on people’s sex searches in the full article.