If you get to a certain stage of a relationship, it’s totally normal to wonder how much sex you should be having. Some people claim the sex drops off after certain big events— moving into together, getting married, having children— but it’s important for your relationship to keep your sex life on track. Yes, things will naturally ebb and flow over the years and dry spells are not usually something to worry about. But sometimes your sex life can slowly fade away— until it’s too far gone to rescue.
So how much sex should you be having? Well firstly, we need to touch base about sex drives. Because the ‘right’ amount of sex for you to be having depends on how much sex you want to be having. And that can be different for everyone. According to sex therapist and New York Times bestselling author Ian Kerner, PhD, there really isn’t a ‘normal’ sex drive to have: “normal is such an elastic word… it depends on what your baseline libido is”. So it’s silly to think that there is a ‘right’ amount of sex to be having, when everyone’s libido is different. Remember that.
Is Once A Week The Magic Number?
If you’re talking about the ideal frequency to have sex, once a week is a figure that’s quoted a lot. Maybe because it’s easy to remember— but maybe because science has agreed. Research from Amy Muise, an assistant professor of psychology at York University in Canada, found that once a week was the sweet spot. “Muise and her study team found that couples who have a lot of sex tend to experience better wellbeing,” Time explains. “‘Sex is associated with feeling more satisfied in a relationship,’ Muise says. But beyond once a week, the wellbeing benefits of sex seem to level off. That’s not to say that having sex a few times a week (or more) is a bad thing. It just doesn’t seem to make couples any happier.” So that seems to suggest that at least once a week is key. And anything over that is just a bonus.
Communication Is More Important Than An Amount
That being said, if you only have had sex once a month since the beginning of your relationship and you’re both happy with that, that’s totally OK— you shouldn’t push yourself just to meet an arbitrary number. And if you’re someone who normally has sex every day, then only have it once a week can be a sign that something is wrong. So the most important thing is doing what’s right for you as a couple and making sure that you the communication open. If you’re going through a dry spell, you can talk about it— just don’t throw around any blame or resentment. Saying something like, “We haven’t had sex much this month, I guess we’re both busy with work— I hope it calms down soon.” is totally OK. It shows that you’re aware of it but not blaming anyone, plus it serves as a good reminder to you both to make more of an effort when you have time.
There is no amount of sex you ‘should’ be happening. You just need to make sure that you know what works for you and stick to it. If it starts to slide, talk about it. It’s the best way to get things back on track.