Cosmo Goes Inside the Secret Sex Lives of 20-Something Married Women

A sex study conducted by Cosmopolitan says that many young married couples in their twenties are already dissatisfied with their sex lives! 52% of respondents wish they were getting it on more often.

The survey of 1,162 respondents ages 20 to 29, was drawn from Hearst publications social media accounts It found that a majority (60%) said they had sex at least 2 to 3 times a week before they were married, which dropped in frequency post-marriage. Men were more likely than women to say they wished they were doing the deed more often (62%), but nearly half (47%) of women also said they wanted more sexy time. The good news here is at least they are still getting laid.

How many times a week do 20-something marrieds do it? Elizabeth, 24, told Cosmo “There was definitely a drop-off after the first few months of marriage,” who celebrated her second wedding anniversary, although she and her husband have been together for about six years. “Right after the wedding, it was great, we were having sex all the time. But now, there are just so many times when one of us feels stressed out and just wants to go to sleep.” Omg, wait until AARP does a sex survey, which will reveal that seniors are lucky if they get sex once a month!

But the good news is that while everything is not perfect, most married twenty-somethings are happy in their marriages — and continue to find their spouses as attractive, or more attractive, than they did before the wedding. Yay! The vast majority of respondents (93%), said their marriage is “extremely” (64%) or “somewhat” (29 %) happy.

Like couples of any age, the survey found that “scheduling is often the main issue–either couples work different hours, or travel frequently.” Some couples who have problems all couples have, including a lack of communication, or mismatched sexual needs, said that “their desire have sex with their spouse isn’t gone.” They’re just too busy to get busy.

Others said the stress of dealing with their partner’s family and friends, and financial pressures, like buying a house, stressed them out more than when they were single or dating.

Esther Perel, who commented on the study for Cosmopolitan, said “For married couples, the quality of sex is more important than the frequency. The real question is, are they erotic with each other and do they maintain that erotic energy? You don’t always maintain desire in a marriage only by having masculine-focused, penetrative sex. People can maintain intimacy in other ways.” Three words for 20-something married men: Use your tongue.

But the biggest ball buster for young couples was having a baby. Half (51%) of respondents with children said that having a child has made their sex life somewhat or much worse.  One wife said “The exhaustion of pregnancy on top of having a baby is pretty terrible. I feel bad because I know that sex, for him, is kind of a stress reliever, and also because having that time together is something I want too. But it’s so hard to find a few minutes to even stop and think, and then I’m usually too tired.”

The study found that getting married initially does often make couples feel more sexually connected. But for some, like Shannon, 26, who’s been married for three years, the felling may not last. “Our ‘honeymoon paper’ lasted quite a bit past the honeymoon,” she says. “We used to have sex pretty much every day–now I’d say we’re lucky if it’s once a week.” After three years, the feeling may not last. “Our ‘honeymoon period’ lasted quite a bit past the honeymoon,” she says. “We used to have sex pretty much every day — now I’d say once a week.”

Shannon reveals that she and her husband both masturbate when they’re not able to have sex. “We’ve talked about it and we’re both pretty clear that it’s not a substitute for the real thing, so I wouldn’t say either of us really feels bad about it, or that we do it all the time,” she says. “It’s just helpful when one of us isn’t in the mood.” We say never feel bad about it, just do it.

The survey showed that majority (55 %) of respondents masturbate at least 2 to 3 times a month. Men, however, are much more likely than women to say they masturbate — and they also masturbate more frequently. 24% of women say they never masturbate, compared to 13 % of men. And a majority (52 %) of men masturbate at least 2 to 3 times a week, while only 20 % of women say the same. We absolutely love sex surveys, but we don’t need one to tell us that guys rub it out more than girls do!

And finally, do 20-somethings watch porn? The answer is a big, throbbing yes. Nearly half (48 %) of men reported that they watch porn weekly, while approximately two-thirds of women watch porn a few times a year or less (20 %) or never (45 %). “Porn doesn’t have any of the things that women find pleasurable about sex, says Perel. “There’s about one minute of foreplay in porn, usually, and for her the foreplay is often the main thing.”

We wish all 20-something couples many orgasms to come.

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Anka Radakovich is a legendary Sex Columnist, Certified Sexologist, Sex Educator, Screenwriter, and Author of the new book THE WILD GIRLS CLUB, PART 2, Tales from New York to Hollywood. THE WILD GIRLS CLUB, Part 2 is her third book. Her first two books The Wild Girls Club; Tales from below the Belt, and Sexplorations; Journeys to the Erogenous Frontier were both published by Crown/Random House. She was the Sex Columnist for DETAILS Magazine for 9 years and is currently a Sex Columnist for BRITISH GQ. Her writing has appeared in dozens of magazines including Marie Claire, Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Men's Journal, Seventeen, Glamour, and Maxim. She has appeared on numerous television shows including 8 appearances with Conan O’Brien. She was a Jeopardy question under the category “Men’s Mags.” As a Sex Educator and Sexologist, she is a college lecturer at Universities throughout the country who offers her unique brand of sex education. She lives in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @ankarad.