Getting (Not Giving) the Shaft

Time for the results from my extremely non-scientific poll of how often men would like to have sex in marriage, charted against the actual numbers as reported by married couples to the General Social Survey (GSS).  With 99 votes on my poll, the trend is clear enough to draw some conclusions.

My first mistake was in inventing my own time frames instead of using the ones used in the GSS.  The most frequent category used by the GSS was “4+ times per week,” while I had three catetgories more frequent than that, two of which got the bulk of the votes.  At the other end of the scale, my “monthly or less” category includes three of the GSS categories, two of which got the bulk of its votes.  And in the middle, the GSS had a “2-3 times a month” category that didn’t fit into any of mine.  More on how I massaged those issues later.

First, the raw data:

My Poll:

  • Monthly or less 1.01%  (1 votes)
  • Weekly 2.02%  (2 votes)
  • Twice a week 19.19%  (19 votes)
  • 3-4 Times a Week 40.4%  (40 votes)
  • Nightly 21.21%  (21 votes)
  • Morning and Night 12.12%  (12 votes) 
  • So Often You Get Fired for Missing Work 4.04%  (4 votes)

The GSS:

0: NOT AT ALL (in the last year) 6.8
1: ONCE OR TWICE (in the last year) 6.7
2: ONCE A MONTH 12.9
3: 2-3 TIMES A MONTH 20.3
4: WEEKLY 23.9
5: 2-3 PER WEEK 23.6
6: 4+ PER WEEK 5.7

My first attempt at a chart kept each poll’s categories as-is, and simply interleaved them.  This is hard to read, but judge for yourself.  The blue bars represent the frequency reported to the GSS, from lowest to highest, and the red dots/lines are what my poll reported.


As I said, that’s ugly.  So I tried to lump the periods together to get something that would match up better between the two data sets.  The groupings I settled on were Monthly or Less, Weekly, Semi-weekly (meaning 2-3 times), and 4+/week.  This left two groups that didn’t fit well into one of those.  The 2-3/month group from the GSS, I divided half-and-half between Monthly and Weekly.  That seemed to be the fairest way to do that.  Likewise, I divided the 3-4/week group from my own poll evenly between Semi-Weekly and 4+/week.  That resulted in the following much more readable chart:


Now, I think you can see that quibbling over whether I should have split those two in-between groups differently is pretty irrelevant.  Even if I gave the “Getting” side the benefit of the doubt both times, the disparity here would still be very clear.

In the two bars on the left, 3.03% of the men in my poll reported wanting sex weekly or less.  According to the GSS, 70% of couples reported having sex that infrequently.  In the right-hand two bars, you see the opposite: 97% of the men in my poll want sex more often than weekly, but only 30% report getting it that often.  And if you look just at the fourth bar, nearly 60% of men want sex at least 4 times a week, but less than 6% are getting that.  So a man who goes into marriage hoping to have sex at least 4 times a week has, at best, a 1-in-10 chance of getting it.

The GSS didn’t even bother asking about higher frequencies; maybe they didn’t think daily sex in marriage would be common enough to count.

The takeaway here is clear.  Men — at least the kind of men who will answer a poll on the manosphere — want a lot more sex in marriage than they’re likely to get.  The only man who’s likely to get all the sex he can stand is the one who wants it only monthly.  Those who want anything more than a Sunday afternoon quickie had better plan ahead for how they’re going to make sure that happens, because it’s not at all the norm.  If these charts represent 100 couples, only 3 of them have sated husbands, with maybe another 6 or so doing okay, but 90 hungry.  Not  good odds.

The message to wives is clear too: if you think your husband is happy with your weekly romps, maybe he is — or maybe he’s not at all but doesn’t know what to do about it.  Even if you’re going at it 2-3 times a week, there’s a good chance he’d like more.  If you really want to keep him satisfied, it may take a lot more sex than you had guessed.  Try offering it every night for a couple weeks, and see if he turns you down.

7 thoughts on “Getting (Not Giving) the Shaft

  1. Why doesn’t the GSS simply ask the question about desired level at the same time they ask for the actual? This seems like an obvious enhancement. Given the volume of the data, tehy certainly could stratify some of the results (e.g., by age, marital status).

  2. In case you missed it, the “Monthly” vote was an accident.
    The guy posted a “correction” in the “Comments” section below the poll.

    ohnevermind – 5 days ago
    Sorry — the “Monthly” vote was an ACCIDENT! I cleared cookies and revoted, but I can’t delete my accidental vote.

    So the true total for “Monthly” is ZERO.

  3. Hurting, I agree, it’s too bad they didn’t ask how often people want sex. I don’t see that one in the long list of variables, though.

    They do let you stratify the results at that site, which is pretty interesting. That’s how I was able to break sex frequency (SEXFREQ) out for just married couples (MARITAL(1)). You can filter on lots of stuff. For instance, just now I re-ran my request by adding AGE(18-44), to try to leave out the post-menopausal folks. That did drop the “monthly or less” groups down from 26% to 12%. But 4+/week, which is where most of the guys in my post fell, only went up to 9%. So still a huge disparity between wanting and getting, even among the still-fertile.

    Adding Catholic (RELIG(2)) squeaked the 4+/week group all the way up to 9.9%. Removing that and adding ATTEND(8), which means people who attend church more than once a week, actually dropped that group down to 7.7%. That surprised me; I figured the most devout, traditional group would be doing it the most. Maybe I’m assuming too much about people who attend church that often. I tried several different variables, but couldn’t get the 4+/week group over 10% until I hit on CHILDS(8): eight or more children. Yeah, that one’s kind of obvious.

  4. Cail:

    We true believin’ fisheaters should be in the highest frequency group, but even the church goin’est ones I know don’t practice all of the tenets of the faith, especially as it relates to contraception (I’ve had three men share intimate details of their vascectomy experiences).

    I doubt many Catholic pastors really preach the ‘do not deny one another’ doctrine. As you suggest there are lots of frustrated men out there. In all likelihood a great many are Catholic.

  5. It would be nice if people got some education about this in their pre-marital classes. Engaged women should be told, “He’s likely to want it more often than you want it. How do you plan to handle that, given the biblical admonition not to deprive one another?”

  6. There is a frequency men desire and a lower frequency they will tolerate. It would seem from your data that most marriages operate at the toleration level.

    The lesson is pretty clear: no matter how often a married man is getting sex, he wants it more often.

    If he’s getting it once a week, he probably wants it twice a week; if he’s getting it twice a week, he probably wants it three times a week; if he’s getting it three times a week, he probably wants it 5 times a week.

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