So the Sex Sucks? 73% Americans Would Stay in the Relationship

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

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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.

The importance of a healthy sex life is more significant to certain Americans than others. A person’s age, wealth or relationship status might suggest they’re less likely to consider sex a crucial aspect of a good relationship.

But is unsatisfying sex enough of a reason to break up with a partner? New research says that depends on who you ask.

In a recent DatingAdvice.com study, we surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. citizens on whether or not they’d ever call it quits over lackluster sex.

At 73 percent, most Americans disagreed with that concept. Women were slightly more likely to stay in a relationship with low-quality sex compared to men. Nearly eight in 10 women and seven in 10 men said they would not leave a partner for this reason.

Three groups that proved the most likely to stay in a relationship even if their sexual needs were not being met was married men and women, Asian-Americans and high-wage earners.

Seventy-eight percent of married respondents said they would stay in a sexually incompatible relationship versus 62 percent of divorcees.

Eighty-seven percent of Asians answered no to the question “Would you leave a relationship solely because the sex is unsatisfying?” while just 62 percent of African-Americans answered no to that question.

“Eight in 10 women and seven in 10

men would not leave a partner for this.”

Seventy-nine percent of those earning more than $125,000 a year said they would not break up with a partner over disappointing sexual relations compared to 64 percent of those earning between $100,000 and $124,999 annually.

The least likely demographics to stay in a sexually unsatisfying relationship was gay men and lesbian women and younger Americans.

Three-fifths of homosexual respondents said they would stay, but three-fourths of straight respondents said they would stay.

Less than seven in 10 men and women aged 35 to 44 would stay in a romantic partnership even if the sex was bad. On the flip side, almost eight in 10 men and women aged 65 and older would do so.

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 Wouldn’t Leave if Sex is Unsatisfying

By gender:

  • Male: 67%
  • Female: 78%

By sexuality:

  • Straight: 74%
  • Gay: 61%

By marital status:

  • Single, Never Married: 70%
  • Married: 78%
  • Divorced: 62%

By age:

  • 18 to 24: 71%
  • 25 to 34: 73%
  • 35 to 44: 68%
  • 45 to 54: 75%
  • 54 to 64: 75%
  • 65 and older: 76%

By race:

  • White: 74%
  • African-American: 62%
  • Hispanic: 70%
  • Asian: 87%

By income:

  • Under $25,000: 73%
  • $25,000 to $49,999: 75%
  • $50,000 to $74,999: 69%
  • $75,000 to $99,999: 70%
  • $100,000 to $124,999: 64%
  • $125,000 or higher: 79%

By region:

  • Northeast: 71%
  • Midwest: 73%
  • South: 74%
  • West: 74%

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

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