I want to talk about a question many of you ask yourself but rarely say out loud. How much s*x is enough s*x? What’s “normal?”
So many people worry that they’re not having enough s*x, or that they’re having too much s*x. Take two people getting it on with their partners with the same frequency: twice per week. One is completely frustrated because she wishes she was doing the bump daily. Theother resents the pressure from her partner and wishes she could scale it back to once a month. Truth is, we’re all SO different.
According to the Kinsey Institute, 18- to 29-year-olds have s*x an average of 112 times per year, 30- to 39-year-olds an average of 86 times per year, and 40- to 49-year-olds an average of 69 times per year. Thirteen percent of married couples have s*x a few times per year, 45 percent a few times per month, 34 percent two to three times per week, and 7 percent four or more times per week.
Almost half of married couples have s*x a few times per month. Does that surprise you? It kind of surprises me. When you think back to a time when you had s*xual mojo — in the true, Austin Powers sense of the word — how often were you having s*x?
What happens to us? I know: jobs, kids, fatigue, illness, marital challenges — they all threaten to rob us of our mojo. I had a patient, let’s call her Sophie, who had a baby, and afterwards she said she honestly didn’t care if she never had s*x again.
Many compounding factors played a role; she was Brea5tfeeding, she had postpartum depression, and the medication she took for her post-partum blues didn’t help her libido. But seven years later, things haven’t changed much. The kids are older and sleeping through the night, the postpartum depression is gone, and she’s off her meds. But Sophie is still picking up the marital pieces of years of abstinence.
Another patient, we’ll call her Monica, married her high school sweetheart and had been together twenty years. At first, things were hunky dory, but as the years passed, their s*xual frequency dropped off until they were only having s*x a few times per year.
She tried seducing her husband, because her s*xual needs demanded more s*x than she was getting, but to no avail. As a result, her self-esteem dwindled and her libido suffered. She asked if he was Gaey, but he denied it, saying that he was attracted to women, just not her. Ouch.
Monica came to me to ask if she was “normal” because she wanted s*x every day. She worried that maybe she was a s*x addict or that something was wrong with her for wanting to enjoy more physical pleasure with her husband. Four years later, I hear they’re getting divorced. No big surprise there. I feel for you, sister.
After talking with Sophie and Monica, I got really curious about s*xual frequency, so I started asking people in relationships to answer these three questions:
How much s*x would make you perfectly blissful?
How much s*x would make you feel satisfied and content?
What’s the bare minimum s*xual frequency you would need to get by, if you knew it wouldn’t last forever (such as when your partner is ill)?
The answers I got from my little straw poll were surprisingly consistent. Granted, my study selection was limited mostly to married couples with children, so it’s a skewed population. And I asked more men than women. But here’s what they said:
Blissful: 3 to 5 times/week
Bare minimum: once/month
I asked my buddies on Twitter how much s*x was enough, and here’s what they had to say.
“When you have enough s*x, you know it. Just like an climax, there is no doubt… you’re full and satisfied, and your cup runneth over. Divine s*x is the only s*x that touches the whole body.” —@DorisJeanette
“Money and s*x are similar. When you have some, you can’t get all you want. If you don’t have any, you can’t get any. Another similarity between money and s*x, you only need enough to get by on, and some days you need way more than others.” —@PheasantPhun
“Seems like it ebbs and flows through the years and if no one is dissatisfied, it’s all good. We check in. If it’s been a while, we talk about it, and usually it’s a mutual sense of just being too tired.” —@ThingsMomsLike
“How much do we get it on? A lot more now that hubby is home and walking around unclad!” —@stephanieelliot
“Can you ever have enough?” —@amandabeez
I can’t help comparing everyone else’s answers to my own s*x life (it’s impossible not to compare ourselves to others, isn’t it?). My husband and I probably get down about once or twice a week. I’m pretty sure if I showed up in my black teddy more often, he’d be all over that, so I guess I’m the brakes in our s*x life.
Why don’t I put out more often? I mean, I love my husband and I think he’s totally S3xy. So what gets in the way?
Time, energy, not wanting the burden of any more expectation in my life. But despite that, we’re content. Is content good enough? Not sure. Could it be better? I think so. Could we grow in mojo as we explore our se*uality together?
Yes. Will we? Hope so.
If you and your partner are both happy, it’s enough. Enough said. If one of you is dissatisfied, it bears exploration because those seeds of discontent breed loss of mojo and relationship discord.
Can you talk to your partner about it? I know s*x is hard to discuss, but can you touch base periodically and check in? If you and your partner disagree about s*xual frequency, can you make compromises?
So often, we make assumptions about our partners that simply aren’t true. Maybe you wish you could have s*x twice a week, but your partner only wants it every other week. Maybe you assume your partner just isn’t that s*xual, when in truth, your partner just doesn’t always want to put in the hour-long ordeal of loads of foreplay.
What if you could just have a quickie every now and then, just to tide you over? Would you be willing to sacrifice quality for quantity? Or is it all about quality and quantity be damned?
How much s*x is enough for you? Are you able to talk to your partner about your wants and needs? If you’re not putting out, why not? What roadblocks are keeping you from owning se*uality in a rocking, S3xy way? What can you do to better own your se*uality?