Study: 1 in 5 Women Would End a Relationship Over “Bad Sex”

Hayley Matthews

Written by: Hayley Matthews

Hayley Matthews

Hayley has over 10 years of experience overseeing content strategy, social media engagement, and article opportunities. She has also written hundreds of informational and entertaining blog posts. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Bustle, Cosmo, the Huffington Post, AskMen, and Entrepreneur. When she's not writing about dating news, relationship advice, or her fantasy love affair with Leonardo DiCaprio, she enjoys listening to The Beatles, watching Harry Potter reruns, and drinking IPAs.

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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.

Relationships end for all kinds of reasons. Maybe people have grown apart, maybe they want different things or maybe the sex is bad.

That’s right – bad sex is something many Americans would end a relationship over.

But who considers this a deal-breaker?

In our most recent DatingAdvice.com study, we asked more than 1,000 Americans if “bad sex” would end a relationship for them, and we got some surprising responses.

As it turns out, 22 percent of women – just more than one in five – said unsatisfying sex would be the end of things for them.

According to Rachel Dack, our women’s dating expert, satisfying sex is about more than physical fun to women. It’s about bonding with their partner.

“In fact, many report that connecting with their partner during sex is more important than having an orgasm,” she said. “Connecting might include touching, caressing, communicating and feeling understood by her partner, especially when she feels her partner makes it a priority to please her.”

“One in five women would

end a relationship over ‘bad sex.'”

Women typically define satisfying sex in emotional terms. If they feel more connected to their partners, they see the sex as being better, according to Dack.

“Many also report feeling distressed, frustrated or unsure of the relationship if the relationship is sexless or they do not feel physically compatible to their partners, so it is understandable one in five women would end a relationship if the sex is bad,” she said.

While 22 percent of women would put the kibosh on things over bad sex, we also found one in three men would do the same.

However, Gary Lewandowski Jr., who is the chair of the department of psychology at Monmouth University and co-creator of ScienceofRelationships.com, said most likely there are more men and women who would end a relationship due to unsatisfying sex, but they are unwilling to admit it.

“They don’t want to look bad by saying bad sex was a deal-breaker,” he said.

This study also found single Americans are 36 percent more likely than married Americans to break up with someone because of bad sex.

According to Lewandowski, this is because single people care more about sex, while married couples place more emphasis on being companionate than passionate.

“In new relationships and for those who are single, sex is more important or central to the relationship,” he said. “For married individuals, sex is still important but not as central.”

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:

Study: 1 in 5 Women Would End a Relationship Over "Bad Sex"

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