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Sexual Frequency: How Much Sex Is Enough?

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Sexual Frequency: How Much Sex Is Enough?

I want to talk about a question many of you ask yourself but rarely say out loud. How much sex is enough sex? What’s “normal?” So many people worry that they’re not having enough sex- or that they’re having too much. Take two people getting it on with the same frequency- twice per week. One may be completely frustrated because she wishes she was doin’ the bump daily. The other may be resenting the pressure from her partner and wish she could scale it back to once a month. Truth is, we’re all SO different.
What’s “Normal?”

According to the Kinsey Institute, 18-29 year olds have sex an average of 112 times per year, 30-39 year olds an average of 86 times per year, and 40-49 year olds an average of 69 times per year. 13% of married couples have sex a few times per year, 45% a few times per month, 34% 2-3 times per week, and 7% 4 or more times per week.
What happens when you're not having enough sex?

Almost half of married couples have sex a few times per month. Does that surprise you? It kinda surprises me. When you think back to a time when you had sexual mojo- in the true, Austin Powers sense of the word- how often were you having sex? What happens to us? I know, 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 sex again. Many confounding factors played a role- she was breastfeeding, she had postpartum depression, and the medication she took for her postpartum 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 married twenty years. At first, things were hunky dory, but as the years passed, their sexual frequency dropped off until they were only having sex a few times per year. She tried seducing her husband, because her sexual needs demanded more sex than she was getting, but to no avail. As a result, her self-esteem dwindled and her mojo went poof. She asked if he was gay, 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 sex every day. She worried that maybe she was a sex addict- 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.

How much sex is enough? My straw poll:

After talking with Sophie and Monica, I got really curious about sexual frequency. How much sex is enough? So I started asking people in relationships to answer these three questions:

1) How much sex would make you perfectly blissful?

2) How much sex would make you feel satisfied and content?

3) What’s the bare minimum sexual frequency you would need to get by, if you knew it wouldn’t last forever (such as when your partner is ill)?
The Answers:

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.

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