Sexual frequency and happiness; it is common to wonder how much sex other people are having compared to how much you are having with your partner.
When you hear a friend talking about their sexual frequency, you begin to question if the amount of sex you are having is the “normal” amount.
The curiosity about this is completely natural and understandable. Most people want to know how their bedroom activities stack up in comparison to others, especially when we hear all this talk about how sex is often linked with happiness. But does that necessarily mean that more sex means a happier relationship?
Sex educator Dr. Logan Levkoff, PhD from New York University tells us that is not necessarily the case.
“We have lots of expectations about how relationships are ‘supposed’ to look,” she says. “Many times, this fairy-tale model does not mimic our lives or our realities.”
How Much (Or How Little) Sex Should You Have?
A 2017 study appearing in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that the average adult currently engages in sex 54 times a year, which comes to about once a week.
Another study published in 2015 which surveyed over 30,000 American over 40 years dives into the link between sexual frequency and happiness. Couples are reportedly most happy when they have sex at least once a week. However, happiness does not increase with a higher sexual frequency.
“Although more frequent sex is associated with greater happiness, this link was no longer significant at a frequency of more than once a week,” claims researcher Amy Muise. “Our findings suggest that it’s important to maintain an intimate connection with your partner, but you do not need to have sex every day as long as you’re maintaining that connection.”
This research reveals that once a week frequency is the “Goldilocks” average for relationship happiness. Couples having sex more than once a week did not report being any happier, and those who had sex less than once a week reported feeling less satisfied.
Sexual Timetable: Men vs Women
One problem many couples run into is the issue of sex timetable differences. Studies have shown that men and women have different windows of time where they feel the most interested in sex.
Testosterone levels build up overnight so men are usually up for sex in the morning hours, while women are more in the mood for sex later in the evening.
With conflicting ideal “sex clocks” mixed in with a couple’s own personal daily schedule, it is not uncommon that sexual desires and frequency among couples will experience fluctuations.
However, if a couple never seems to want to have sex at the same time, Dr. Levkoff cautions that a significantly mismatched libido might mean that you and your partner just are not that sexually compatible, especially if you are in the beginning stages of the relationship.
When it comes to sex and how much and how often you should be having, Dr. Levkoff says there’s no right or wrong nor is there any “normal” amount of sex, and that everyone’s relationship is different.
Normal is whatever feels fulfilling for you and your partner, and communication plays a key role in making sure both parties are satisfied. Avoid getting caught up in the comparison game, by focusing on what other couples may or may not be doing you are losing focus on your own relationship.
Overall, the takeaway is to find the frequency that pleases you both, aiming for a number that you both agree upon. That number can change from week to week. Although, at least once a week, this will keep you happy, healthy, and feeling close to each other.
This article was originally published in Kiss & Tell Magazine.
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— Ash Pariseau