- Comparing your sex life to others can be an easy trap to fall into, but there is no “normal” amount of sex couples should have.
- Focusing on sexual satisfaction and intimacy rather than sexual frequency is the best way to ensure your sex life is healthy, according to gynecologist Dr. Donnica Moore.
- If you and your partner have sex less than 10 times per year, it’s considered a “sexless marriage.”
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I’ve been in a committed relationship with my partner for four years. When we first got together, we had sex every day – sometimes multiple times a day. But now, it seems that spark has fizzled and we have sex once a week, if that.
I don’t feel a particular need to have more sex and my partner doesn’t voice any concerns either, but my friends have told me how often they have sex and it worries me that our once-a-week schedule is going to hurt our relationship in the long run. Should I make an effort to increase the amount of sex we have?
– New York City
It’s easy to compare your sex life to what your friends (and even complete strangers) are up to, especially when society suggests sexual frequency directly affects romantic fulfillment. But in reality, a “normal” sex life is all about defining what works for you and your partner – no one else.
Gynecologist Dr. Donnica Moore said it best: “It all depends on everything.”
When determining what a normal and healthy sex life is for you, the most important factor to consider is whether the sex you do have is satisfying. Like so many other things in life – friends, books, jobs – quality trumps quantity when it comes to sex.
If you and your partner come to the shared understanding you’re having fun and leaving the bedroom feeling content, it simply means your preferred sexual frequency is different from your friends, and that’s totally fine.
You also shouldn’t compare your current sexual habits to the sex you had when you first started dating, since the butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling that comes with new romance typically puts your appetite for sex into overdrive.
But if you want to up your sexual frequency, Dr. Moore suggests focusing on the factors you can change to get there. If work different shifts and you’re rarely alone together, scheduling in sex may be the best way to ensure you make time for each other at least once a week.
If stress from lack of sleep, kids, or poor work-life balance keeps you from getting in the mood, consider sticking to a sleep schedule, hiring a babysitter (I’m sure this one’s crossed your mind a few times before), or forcing yourself to leave the office at a specific time each day. In hectic times, prioritising regular sex might seem silly, but it could be what you need to de-stress.
On the other hand, if health problems are preventing you from craving and having more frequent sex, don’t beat yourself up. The body’s hormones are constantly fluctuating and affecting sexual function, and you can always talk to your doctor about potential solutions.
And if you’re still looking for a solid number when it comes to what’s “normal,” Dr. Moore said a couple that has sex less than 10 times per year is considered to be in a “sexless marriage,” barring specific circumstances like health issues or a long-distance relationship.
It’s possible that your concerns might just come from unrealistic expectations about what sex should look like in the first place. Some people might think having sex once a week is too much, and that’s perfectly normal.
Bottom line: Sex lives are like snowflakes and each is unique. As long as you find pleasure in yours, that’s all that matters.
Have any sex or relationship questions for our columnist? Email [email protected]
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