If you get married, will you get more sex and better sex? So far as I know, a methodologically persuasive study has never been done. That would involve following people over time as they stayed single or got married or got unmarried, and seeing how their sexual behavior and sexual satisfaction changed (or didn’t change) with those transitions. All we have are studies that compare married and single people at one point in time. You can never know from those kinds of studies if any differences really are about being married vs. single or whether they are about any of the many other ways that married and single people differ other than in their marital status. With that qualification, here’s what we know.
The most relevant reviews of the evidence on getting married and (not) getting sex
Chapter 2 of Singled Out
Getting married and getting sex (or not)
Other articles that may be of interest
I. Sex in and out of marriage
Frequency of sex is declining, but that’s not what matters most
7 reasons why young people are having less sex
Melancholy marriage: Are we in a post-romantic era?
Are monogamous relationships really better?
Keeping marriage alive with affairs, asexuality, polyamory, and living apart
America’s cheating hearts: Results from decades of research
II. Sex and the single person
Single at heart: What do we know about it?
More than sex: 11 meaningful facts about single people
Teen dating, sex hit record lows for recent decades
Single forever: Stories and insights from gay men
Times reporter thinks single women fear intimacy; I’m afraid he’s wrong
Can the rise of singles and the urge-to-merge coexist?
III. Let’s not be too conventional in our thinking
What counts as normal?
Sex drive? There’s no such thing
So long, compulsory sexuality! See ya, Viagra! Asexuality is here
What you miss by doing what everyone else does
PT blogger answers my questions about sex, single parenting, Steve Pinker, and stupidity
For asexuals, gays, and lesbians, adolescent romance is especially depressing
Asexualities: First ever collection of scholarly essays
Asexuality is a sexual orientation, not a sexual dysfunction
ASEXUALS: Who are they and why are they important?
The boldest new idea about sex
That’s so aromantic!
60 sex-relevant terms you may not know – and why you should
An updated and expanded version of this section (Section III) can now be found here: Rethinking sexuality and monogamy: Let’s not be too conventional
[Also see: Everything you think you know about single people is wrong.]