Once a week is “right” for sexual happiness, according to a study. But there is no magic formula.
A 2017 study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that the average adult currently enjoys sex 54 times a year, which is equivalent to about once a week. We have a lot of expectations about what relationships should look like, says Dr. Logan Levkoff, who received his doctorate in human sexuality, marriage, and family life education from New York University. Often what we see on the internet or magazines does not reflect reality!
How often should you have sex?
When it comes to sex and how much we have to do, Levkoff says there is no “normal” and that all relationships are different. “Normal” is what makes you and your partner feel fulfilled, and communication plays a key role in ensuring that both parties feel fulfilled.
That being said, a 2017 study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that the average adult currently enjoys sex 54 times a year, which is equivalent to about once a week. This shows that there is less sex, about nine a year, compared to a similar study done in the 90s. Interestingly, however, another study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science – which surveyed over 30,000 people over 40 years for three different projects – he discovered that a frequency once a week was the gold standard for happiness. Couples who had sex more than once a week were not reported to be happier, and those who had sex less than once a week reported feeling less fulfilled.
“Normal” is what makes you and your partner feel fulfilled, and communication plays a key role in ensuring that both parties feel fulfilled.
The importance of sexual intimacy
Sexual intimacy is vital in any relationship and not just for everyone’s sensual pleasure.
“Proximity and connection is a human need,” said Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a licensed clinical psychologist based in NYC. “When they are in a long-term relationship, it is important to reconnect through sex. Brain chemicals released during sex further improve the connection.
Levkoff agrees, adding that sex should not always be limited to sexual intercourse. Physical intimacy contributes to this connection – including tickling, oral and manual stimulation, and sharing sexual fantasies. At the end of the day, the emphasis should not be on getting a large number of sexual acts, but rather on meeting the needs of both partners and bonding as a couple.
5 reasons why we don’t have enough sex
Although it is perfectly normal not to be able to have sex from time to time, things get problematic when sex becomes a chore and when physical intimacy is no longer a priority in your relationship. To resolve the issue, you need to understand the causes and then make the appropriate changes.
Stress manifests itself in a multitude of ways and has an impact on both mental and physical health. Mentally, it can make you feel overwhelmed, irritable and even depressed. Physically, you may experience stomach aches and headaches, induced by excess cortisol in the blood. All of the above can put a major block on your libido, says Levkoff.
To reduce stress, look for symptoms and anticipate the causes of stress. Prioritize what is important to you, don’t be afraid to say no, meditate, do breathing exercises and dedicate time to yourself and your partner. Also, take care of your body by eating well, sleeping properly and exercising often.
- Body insecurity
Body insecurity is a common cause, especially when it comes not just to appearance, but to the feeling of being bloated and simply, explains Hafeez. Those with low self-esteem in terms of body image often feel feelings of shame or embarrassment about being naked in front of their partner and not having the sexual confidence to initiate or engage in sexual intimacy.
Although difficult, you must overcome these insecurities. Get up mentally instead of giving up or giving up and use a professional who can help you along the way. Do things that make you happy and build self-confidence and exercise often, which releases endorphins and can give you a greater appreciation of your body.
- Chronic medical problems
Chronic conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, pain, fatigue, stiffness, swelling, vaginal dryness and limited function, can also have an impact on libido, says Levkoff, who has addressed this topic extensively. Certain conditions and medications can affect sexual desire or the ability to become physically aroused. Consult your doctor – someone who will support you during this conversation – about treatment plans and ways you can work towards better sexual fulfillment.
- Smart devices
The irony of technology is that while it makes us feel more intellectually connected to people, it can take us even further when it comes to intimacy, says Levkoff. It’s a good habit to keep electronics – including phones and TVs – out of the bedroom. It is neither the first nor the last person to say that electronic devices spoil our state of relaxation, sleep or libido.
- Declining connection
Sexual desire can be compromised if you do not feel emotionally connected to your partner. Restarting this connection can be as simple as going on a getaway on a weekend without children, relaxing and having fun and feeling young again, like at the beginning of the relationship. You can learn how to satisfy your partner if you watch erotic videos from free porn!
Obviously, sex has many benefits and the more often it happens, the better. However, remember that not everything is lost when you do not have it as often as everyone else. Frequency is not what matters, what really matters is quality.