Reasons Not To Have Sex Survey Results

Jay Dee

Reasons Not To Have Sex Survey Results

Oct 09, 2013

This was a simple little survey that I created, originally to answer a simple question:  do husbands and wife’s agree on whether or not the choice to not have sex on a given night is mutual.  This question was raised due to a comment on

Reasons Not To Have SexThis was a simple little survey that I created, originally to answer a simple question:  do husbands and wife’s agree on whether or not the choice to not have sex on a given night is mutual.  This question was raised due to a comment on a recent post.

I added a few more questions, partially so that it wasn’t a two question survey, partially because, well, if people are going to fill it out, I might as well get a bit more data, and partially because it’s generally a bad idea to ask only what you want on a survey, because people tend to answer differently if they know what you are looking for, thus ruining the data.

In total, 159 respondents filled out the survey when I grabbed the data set I’ll be working from.

Individual Questions

Number of responses: 159

What is the number 1 reason for not having sex in your marriage on any given night?

There were 47 individual answers given including the original 4 I posted.  I did my best to consolidate the data into categories.The rest were responses by only one individual or people said “multiple reasons”, which completely violated the “number 1 reason” phrase in the question.

  • Too tired/too late/need to get to sleep – 49%
  • Not in the mood – 26%
  • Doesn’t want sex (flat out refusal purely based on the grounds that it is sex) – 6%
  • Earlier fight (or just emotionally disconnected) – 6%
  • Head-ache/Sore back/Sore neck – 3%
  • Menstruation – 3%
  • Body Image Issues – 2%
  • Medical Issues – 1%

It was nice to see the stereotypical “I have a headache” is not so popular these days.  Seems like “I’m too tired” has replaced it as the go-to phrase.  Not that I’m saying everyone who answered that is just using it as an excuse to get out of sex.

On those nights, whose idea is it not to have sex?

  • Husband – 19%
  • Mutual – 31%
  • Wife – 50%

I would consider myself to have a

  • High Sex Drive – 78%
  • Low Sex Drive – 22%

How often does sex get turned down?

  • Never – 5%
  • 10% of the time – 12%
  • 20% of the time – 19%
  • 30% of the time – 8%
  • 40% of the time – 6%
  • 50% of the time – 15%
  • 60% of the time – 6%
  • 70% of the time – 5%
  • 80% of the time – 10%
  • 90% of the time – 6%
  • Every time – 10%

Husbands’ Responses

Number of responses: 90 (57%)

What is the number 1 reason for not having sex in your marriage on any given night?

  • Too tired/too late/need to get to sleep – 45%
  • Not in the mood – 30%
  • Doesn’t want sex (flat out refusal purely based on the grounds that it is sex) – 9%
  • Earlier fight (or just emotionally disconnected) – 7%
  • Head-ache/Sore back/Sore neck – 3%
  • Menstruation – 3%

On those nights, whose idea is it not to have sex?

  • Husband – 7%
  • Mutual – 23%
  • Wife – 70%

I would consider myself to have a

  • High Sex Drive – 95%
  • Low Sex Drive – 8%

The husbands are pretty much where I’d expect.  I’d imagine there are more low-drive husbands in the population, but they are less likely to frequent a site about sex within marriage.  They are also less likely to admit (even on an anonymous survey) that they have a low sex drive.  Thank you to those who are man enough to speak the truth.

How often does sex get turned down?

  • Never – 3%
  • 10% of the time – 7%
  • 20% of the time – 18%
  • 30% of the time -5%
  • 40% of the time – 6%
  • 50% of the time – 15%
  • 60% of the time – 5%
  • 70% of the time – 8%
  • 80% of the time – 10%
  • 90% of the time – 8%
  • Every time – 16%

These stats are in line with what I’m seeing out in the population and other statistics: between 10-20% of Christian marriages being sexless.

Wives’ Responses

Number of responses: 67 (43%)

By the way, I love that we have a fairly even distribution of man and women in our surveys.

What is the number 1 reason for not having sex in your marriage on any given night?

  • Too tired/too late/need to get to sleep – 54%
  • Not in the mood – 22%
  • Doesn’t want sex (flat out refusal purely based on the grounds that it is sex) – 3%
  • Earlier fight (or just emotionally disconnected) – 4%
  • Head-ache/Sore back/Sore neck – 3%
  • Menstruation – 3%
  • Body Image Issues – 3%
  • Medical Issues – 3%

On those nights, whose idea is it not to have sex?

  • Husband – 36%
  • Mutual – 42%
  • Wife – 22%

Notice that the wives say it is a mutual decision nearly twice as often as the husbands say it is?  And are 5 times as likely to say it was the husband’s decision.  I have a hypothesis about this one that it probably going to take another survey to resolve.

I would consider myself to have a

  • High Sex Drive – 60%
  • Low Sex Drive – 40%

I’m a little surprised that 60% of the wives say they are high drive.  This could be due to the fact that there was no “normal drive” option, because if I chose that, the vast majority would select it by default, because people like being “normal”.  It could also be due to the fact that low-drive wives are far less likely to visit a blog on sex.

How often does sex get turned down?

  • Never – 3%
  • 10% of the time – 7%
  • 20% of the time – 18%
  • 30% of the time -5%
  • 40% of the time – 6%
  • 50% of the time – 15%
  • 60% of the time – 5%
  • 70% of the time – 8%
  • 80% of the time – 10%
  • 90% of the time – 8%
  • Every time – 16%

The women’s stats seem radically skewed.  Only 1% will admit to turning down sex every time. That doesn’t match with the accepted number of 10-20% of marriages being sexless.  But, this fits with the hypothesis I mentioned earlier.  More on that in a later post, if I can prove it.

High Drive Spouses’ Responses

Number of responses: 124 (78%)

So, we have far more “high sex drive” respondents than “low sex drive” respondents.  Not surprising really.  This is a skewed representation of the population, because high drive spouses are far more likely to be researching about sex and participating in surveys about sex.

What is the number 1 reason for not having sex in your marriage on any given night?

  • Too tired/too late/need to get to sleep – 49%
  • Not in the mood – 27%
  • Doesn’t want sex (flat out refusal purely based on the grounds that it is sex) – 8%
  • Earlier fight (or just emotionally disconnected) – 6%
  • Head-ache/Sore back/Sore neck – 3%
  • Menstruation – 3%
  • Medical Issues – 2%

On those nights, whose idea is it not to have sex?

  • Husband – 19%
  • Mutual – 28%
  • Wife – 53%

I am the

  • Husband – 67%
  • Wife – 33%

How often does sex get turned down?

  • Never – 5%
  • 10% of the time – 10%
  • 20% of the time – 16%
  • 30% of the time -9%
  • 40% of the time – 7%
  • 50% of the time – 14%
  • 60% of the time – 6%
  • 70% of the time – 5%
  • 80% of the time – 10%
  • 90% of the time – 7%
  • Every time – 12%

Low Drive Spouses’ Responses

Number of responses: 35 (22%)

What is the number 1 reason for not having sex in your marriage on any given night?

  • Too tired/too late/need to get to sleep – 49%
  • Not in the mood – 26%
  • Doesn’t want sex (flat out refusal purely based on the grounds that it is sex) – 3%
  • Earlier fight (or just emotionally disconnected) – 6%
  • Head-ache/Sore back/Sore neck – 3%
  • Menstruation – 3%
  • Body Image Issues – 6%
  • Medical Issues – 2%

So, whether high or low libido, the answers pretty much line up on the dot.  Now, this creates an interesting possibility.  More on that later.

On those nights, whose idea is it not to have sex?

  • Husband – 19%
  • Mutual – 28%
  • Wife – 53%

Again, sex drive has far less of an impact on this question than gender did.  Does this make anyone else curious?

I am the

  • Husband – 67%
  • Wife – 33%

How often does sex get turned down?

  • Never – 5%
  • 10% of the time – 10%
  • 20% of the time – 16%
  • 30% of the time -9%
  • 40% of the time – 7%
  • 50% of the time – 14%
  • 60% of the time – 6%
  • 70% of the time – 5%
  • 80% of the time – 10%
  • 90% of the time – 7%
  • Every time – 12%

Here, the stats are fairly separated again, as one would expect.  The low-drive spouses are saying they turn their spouse down for sex far less often than the high drive spouse recalls.  Though across the board (for drive and gender), about 15% of spouses will admit that sex is a 50/50 shot.  About a quarter of the time, it has between a 40% and 60% chance of refusal when asked.  Those are pretty bad odds for any betting game, particularly when what you are betting with is your sexuality against the one person you are allowed to express it with.  In fact, on average, spouses say they have a slightly higher (though close to equal) chance of being rejected rather than accepted.  That’s unfortunate.

Answering the Question

Whose Idea Not To Have SexAs I said earlier, all this was inspired by a statement in the comments:

Or maybe it’s that I see the problem more as the family’s schedule has gradually gotten out of hand/husband and wife haven’t worked together to set priorities effectively/now they are stretched so thin they don’t have time for sex, rather than one person has a huge time management/commitment problem and the other person needs to come down on it like a rock. The latter is definitely possible, but it seems like the former is more common.

So, I guess we better answer the question, who is responsible?  Filtering only for responses where the main complaint was “Too tired/too late/need to get to sleep”, which to me all sound like “there isn’t enough time”, or “we’re over scheduled”, what do we see?

35% believe it’s mutual, that the decision not to have sex is a joint one.  This leaves 65% believing it is one spouses decision/responsibility/choices.  And these are split into some interesting categories.

67% of high drive husbands believe it is the unilateral decision of the wife.  I have no doubt that a large percentage of those wives believe their marriage is egalitarian, and the husbands do too…until you mention sex.  For high drive wives, 53% believe it is the unilateral decision of the husband not to have sex.

So, where are all these people who believe it is mutually agreed upon?  Well, a large portion are in the low-drive wives club.  Half of them believe it was mutually agreed upon not to have sex.  Now, you might think that this is a low-drive issue, but it’s not entirely.  Then men who are low drive freely admit, it is their decision and no one else.  100% of them say that the decision not to have sex is theirs and theirs alone.  So, what is going on with the low-drive wives.  We can’t blame the lack of libido, or the gender, it has something to do with the combination of the two.

The rest are in the high-drive spouses club.  33% of them agree that it’s mutually agreed upon not to have sex on a given night due to tiredness, it being too late, or that they need to get some sleep.

Your Turn

A special thanks to Gaye at www.CalmHealthySexy.com for bringing up the topic, and to all those who participated in the survey and especially those who re-tweeted and shared that we were looking for respondents.  Data is data, but the interpretation is based on personal opinion, insight and experience.  What do you think the data is saying?  Let us know in the comments below.

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