EliteSingles spoke to Dr. Heidi Reeder & Dr. Justin Lehmiller about the pros, cons and complexities of starting a relationship from a 'friends-first' scenario...
In our most recent member survey, we asked 588 participants for their views on the importance on sex in building a long, happy relationship. The results were almost unanimous: 80% of our members believe that a serious, loving relationship cannot be kept healthy without sex.
The signifiance of couple intimacy was strongly shown, with nearly 80% also agreeing that a good relationship needs frequent sex and a majority (56%) rejecting the idea that sexual desire is reduced after years together.
How much sex is best?
In thinking about sex, men and women appear to be mostly on the same page. 65% of women and 69% of men consider the ideal amount of sex to be several times per week. And going without sex seems to be a dealbreaker for most, with 68% saying they would not consider a serious relationship with somebody abstinent. 27% of men, however, would be happy for such a relationship so long as they were allowed other sexual partners, while just 12% of women said the same.
Women are more impatient?
While female singles may not be so keen on polygamy, the women polled did indicate higher levels of impatience compared to their male counterparts. When questioned how long they would happily wait in a new relationship before having sex, just 39% of women (compared to 55% of men) said they would be prepared to give their partner as much time as necessary. 40% of women, meanwhile, said they would want sex within a few weeks.
Although survey participants seemed convinced about the importance of intimacy for a healthy relationship, those that had gone without sex showed surprising commitment: of the 38% who have previously been in a non-sexual dating relationship, as many as 50% had stayed with their partner for more than one year.
EliteSingles editorial, June 2014.
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All statistics based on an EliteSingles members’ survey of 588 participants from New Zealand, Australia, the UK, Ireland and Canada. Average age: 45. 58% female. Some figures may not equal 100% due to rounding.