How Often Do Gay Couples Have Sex?

Among men who have sex with other men (MSM), 19.7% reported doing so with their main partner more than 156 times in the previous year.
split screen image featuring a bar graph on the left depicting that 19.7% of gay men report having sex more than 156 times annually, 18.9% of gay men report having sex 52 to 155 times each year, and 20.9% of gay men report having sex 36 to 51 times per year, with an aerial photograph of two men locked in an upside-down embrace while laying in bed on the right
Updated:November 2023

Compared to lesbians, gay men tend to have sex more frequently (including oral or anal sex), with 19.7% reporting that they had sex with their main partner more than 156 times in the previous year. [2]

Key Statistics To Know:

  • About 23% of males in a same-sex relationship reported “always” having sex more than 2 times per week. [1]
  • Just 8% of males in a same-sex relationship reported “never” having sex more than twice per week. [1]
  • 86% of men who have sex with other men (MSM) aged 18 to 24 and 72% of those aged 35 to 39 reported that they “formed a new partnership” with someone during the past year. [3]
  • 19.7% of men who have sex with other men reported having sex with their main partner more than 156 times in the previous year, compared to 5.1% who reported doing the same with a casual partner. [2]
  • Compared to heterosexuals, MSM are 2-3 times more likely to report having recent concurrent partnerships (multiple sex partners). [3]

In this article, we’ll explore how frequently gay men have sex within a relationship and/or with casual partners, as well as their likelihood of starting new (or having concurrent) same-sex partnerships.

How Often Gay Couples Have Sex

bar graph on how often gay couples have sex, depicting that among males in a same-sex relationship who were asked how often they engage in sex more than 2 times per week, about 8% said never, about 17% said hardly ever, about 24% said occasionally, about 28% said usually, and about 23% said always
  • When males in a same-sex relationship were asked how often they had sex more than 2 times per week [1]:
    • About 8% reported “never”
    • About 17% reported “hardly ever”
    • About 24% reported “occasionally”
    • About 28% reported “usually”
    • About 23% reported “always”
  • One study found that among men who have sex with other men (MSM), 86% of those aged 18 to 24 and 72% of those aged 35 to 39 “formed a new partnership” with someone during the past year. [3]

While every couple is different, on average gay couples tend to have sex more often than lesbian couples.

Frequency Of Casual Sex Among Gay Men

bar graph depicting that among men who have sex with other men, 19.7% report doing so more than 156 times per year, 18.9% report doing so 52 to 155 times per year, 20.9% report doing so 36 to 51 times per year, and 20.3% report doing so 24 to 35 times per year
  • Among men who have sex with other men (MSM), 19.7% reported having sex with their main sexual partner more than 156 times in the previous year, compared to 5.1% who reported doing the same with a casual partner. [2]
  • Among MSM, 18.9% reported having sex with their main partner between 52 and 155 times in the previous year, compared to 2% who reported doing the same with a casual partner. [2]
  • 20.9% of MSM reported having sex with their main partner 36 to 51 times in the previous year, compared to 18.5% who reported doing the same with a casual partner. [2]
  • Among men who have sex with other men, 20.3% reported having sex with their main sexual partner between 24 and 35 times in the previous year, compared to 45.3% who reported doing the same with a casual partner. [2]
  • One study found that among men who have sex with other men (MSM), 38% reported that their last sexual partner was a casual one, compared to 62% who reported that their last partner was their main partner. [2]
  • Compared to heterosexuals, men who have sex with other men are 2-3 times more likely to report having concurrent partnerships (multiple sex partners) recently and are also more likely to select partners who are greater than 5 years older than themselves. [3]

Our previous research found that gay men have about 30 sexual partners over the course of their lifetimes.

On average, men who have sex with men tend to be more active than heterosexuals or lesbians.

Sexual frequency tends to be higher within relationships than with casual partners, likely because of opportunity.

Sources: