When I became engaged, an older fellow shared a “wedding game” he and his wife tried when they tied the knot. Apparently they had a clear glass jar sitting on their nightstand. In their first year of marriage every time they made love, a penny would be dropped into the jar. After the first year, a penny would be taken out of the jar when nooky was commenced.
With a twinkle in his eye, the old guy finished by saying, “After ten years of marriage, we gave up on the game. The jar was still half full.”
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Doesn’t the old joke go, “As soon as the marriage starts, the sex stops?”
More recently, I was interviewed for a TV show. The young reporter asked me, “On average, how many times in a week do you have sex?” Average? I travel fifteen days out of the month and, when I get home, my body is exhausted from the wear and tear. “Sporadic” would describe my average. Does that make me sexually inadequate? Hardly.
There is no average for how many times a couple makes love in a week. End of story.
Of the billions of people on this planet, you have a unique libido. Your life experience and stage of life create the ebb and flow of your sexuality. Take, for example, a typical 18-year-old who feels randy and invincible. By the time that 18-year-old reaches 40, daily responsibilities replace the energy and zeal sex once occupied. Your sexual uniqueness becomes like a thumbprint.
When you become coupled, it is a matter of working with two people’s sexual thumbprints. This is where things can get complicated because the natural ebb and flow of two people’s thumbprints rarely coincide. Sometimes, the two of you are in prime sex-zone mode and cannot wait to get home to rip each other’s clothes off. At times, your partner feels romantic and your mind is on work. On occasion, you nudge your partner expecting some nooky and they rollover and go to sleep, leaving you feeling ripped off.
Every now and then, the two of you will have a week where there is sex everyday; the next month, nothing will happen. This doesn’t make you abnormal. It makes you human.
While the camera was rolling, I contemplated all of this. Hindsight being 20/20, my answer to that young reporter should have been, “There are too many variables to come up with an average amount of sex the average person has in a week. That includes me.”
Unfortunately, because I felt the nervous pressure of being on camera, I chickened out. With my pride in mind, not wanting to be publicly humiliated, I stared straight into the camera, smiled and answered, “Oh, about five times a week.”
There are happy couples who have sex pretty much every day. There are happy couples who have sex once a month. And even though it goes against everything you have learned, sexual happiness is not a matter of quantity. It is a matter of what works for you at this present time in your life with your current partner.
A healthy sex life takes time and effort. It takes flexibility and forgiveness. It also takes two human beings understanding that sexuality is a constantly changing variable.
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How much sex is normal? Surveys that give norms on sexual activity shouldn’t be taken too seriously. When questioned about personal information, most people get nervous, smile straight into the camera and lie.
And for goodness sake, do not fall into the trap of measuring your happiness against someone else’s measuring stick. If you are happy with the sex in your relationship, then you are normal. No measuring sticks needed, thank you very much.