It is common for couples to ask themselves, “How much sex is everyone else having? Are we normal?” – Yet each couple has their own ‘norm’, and there is no definitive answer of what the ideal number is.
Recent reputable data on Britain’s bedtime habits by NATSAL in 2013, revealed that most of us have sex around five times a month. However, according to a study conducted with more than 20,000 couples, David Schnarch, PhD, found that only 26% of couples are hitting the once a week mark, with the majority of respondents reporting having sex up to once or twice a month.
We can of course gain insight from studies which reveal the sexual habits of couples, yet this is only based on averages, and all couples vary drastically in many different factors, from young to old, new to long-term and so on.
Although you may feel as though all of your friends are having much more regular sex than you are, first consider your age, lifestyle, health, libido strength, work and life stress, and your mental state, for example – these are different for every individual and every couple.
Often people are aware they aren’t having sex very much, and are anxious about the right amount of sex that should be had, but there are underlying issues that need to dealt with before usual service can be resumed.
If you find sex painful, he is having erectile problems, or you are having trouble orgasming, dealing with these problems and seeking professional advice can be more helpful than simply forcing yourself to have more sex.
If you have been in a relationship for a long time and the amount you have sex has significantly reduced, don’t automatically view it as a negative, as for many it is impossible to uphold the standard they set at the beginning.
If you do genuinely want to have more sex though, think about what aspects of your life could be improved before things are able to get back to the honeymoon stage sex life.
Sex therapist Ian Kerner said: “For many people, sexual desire doesn’t emerge at the start of sex, but more toward the middle. You need to commit to generating some kind of arousal (through kissing, making out, dancing, reading erotica or watching porn) that may lead to desire. Be willing to generate arousal and see where it goes.”
Lots of factors affect desire. Yet, maybe the problem lies in you and your partner having a different amount of sex drive, you could both be left questioning the state of your sex life.
Feeling obligated to have sex is not sexy, so if you are the partner who has less interest in sex, it is time to have an open chat with your S.O. Figure out how to move forward; You could schedule in a date/sex night per week, or be vocal if you are simply not getting the kind of sex you want.
However, if you’re the sexually deprived partner, try not to blame or resent your partner. You could suggest trying new things in the bedroom, yet a relationship is based on a lot more than sexually intimacy – snuggle, masturbate, and remember why you are together.
Still worrying? Does it bother you, or do you feel as though it should bother you? The main problem with the title of this post is the word ‘should’.
There is no normal, and no magic number that will guarantee a successful life/relationship. Try and stop comparing your relationship to other people’s, as sex is a personal experience, and quality really does trump quantity.