27% of Americans Would End a Relationship If Sex is Unsatisfying

C. Price

Written by: C. Price

C. Price

C. Price is part of DatingAdvice.com's content team. She writes advice articles, how-to guides, and studies — all relating to dating, relationships, love, sex, and more.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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This is an exclusive study conducted by DatingAdvice.com, which surveyed respondents over the course of three weeks to reflect an accurate representation of the U.S. population.

Just how important is the quality of a person’s sex life? Is it important enough to end a relationship over?

In DatingAdvice.com’s new study, nearly one-third of Americans said they would end a relationship if the sex was unsatisfying.

In fact, 33 percent of men and 22 percent of women would do so.

Gay respondents, divorcees and African-Americans were the most likely demographics to break up with a partner for unsatisfactory sex.

Gay men and lesbian women were 50 percent more likely to leave a sexually unsatisfying relationship than straight men and women.

More than one in three divorced respondents answered in the affirmative, but only about one in five married respondents did.

Thirty-eight percent of African-American men and women would discontinue a relationship if they weren’t happy in the bedroom, which is three times the rate of Asian-American men and women.

“One-third of Americans would end a

relationship if the sex was unsatisfying.”

Gina Stewart, a DatingAdvice.com expert, said sex is a crucially important component of a relationship to many Americans.

“While some think satisfying sex between two lovers can be developed, others believe sexual chemistry either exists or it doesn’t,” she said. “This study mirrors those attitudes, with a significant portion of people either unwilling to work at an unsatisfying sex life or believing such a relationship is doomed.”

In terms of age, older Americans had some of the lowest responses, as just 24 percent of respondents aged 65 and older approved of this behavior versus 32 percent of those aged 35 to 44.

Geographically, there doesn’t appear to be a huge difference depending on what part of the country someone lives in. However, those in the Northeast and Midwest appeared marginally more open to the idea than those living in the South and West.

The findings also show wealthier Americans are torn about their feelings with this issue. Those earning $125,000 or more a year had a 72 percent lower likelihood of ending a relationship due to bad sex than those earning slightly less annually.

The study surveyed 1,080 respondents over the course of three weeks, balancing responses by age, gender, income, race, sexuality and other factors in order to accurately represent the U.S. population. The study has a margin of error of +/- 2.8%.

The Breakdown: Americans Who Would Leave If Sex is Unsatisfying

By gender:

  • Male: 33%
  • Female: 22%

By sexuality:

  • Straight: 26%
  • Gay: 39%

By marital status:

  • Single, Never Married: 30%
  • Married: 22%
  • Divorced: 38%

By age:

  • 18 to 24: 29%
  • 25 to 34: 27%
  • 35 to 44: 32%
  • 45 to 54: 25%
  • 54 to 64: 25%
  • 65 and older: 24%

By race:

  • White: 26%
  • African-American: 38%
  • Hispanic: 30%
  • Asian: 13%

By income:

  • Under $25,000: 27%
  • $25,000 to $49,999: 25%
  • $50,000 to $74,999: 31%
  • $75,000 to $99,999: 30%
  • $100,000 to $124,999: 36%
  • $125,000 or higher: 21%

By region:

  • Northeast: 29%
  • Midwest: 27%
  • South: 26%
  • West: 26%

Visit DatingAdvice.com/Studies for more research on dating and relationship topics. 

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