If you and your partner have resolved to have more sex in 2020, you may be wondering just how often you should engage in a romp in the sheets. Is your sex life normal compared to other couples? What is the ideal amount of sex for optimal health and happiness? What role does it actually play in your relationship? While the answers to most of these questions differ on a personal basis, sex therapists and researchers have weighed in on the benefits of regular intimacy and come up with a number that may be shocking to some people.
How much sex is enough?
Though it is impossible to quantify exactly how much sex is enough for your relationship, experts agree that the national average of once per week garners the maximum amount of sexual happiness. That is to say, that, yes, of course, sexual frequency is connected to satisfaction and happiness in a committed or marital relationship; however, there was no measurable difference in the happiness of study participants who engaged in sex once per week versus something like three for four times a week.
If you’ve been feeling overworked or overwhelmed and struggling to find time for sex in your marriage, you are not alone. Amy Muise, a postdoctoral researcher studying sexual relationships at Dalhousie University in Canada says “I do think couples can end up feeling pressure to try to engage in sex as frequently as possible,” she goes on to posit that once a week “is maybe a more realistic goal to set than thinking you have to have sex everyday and that feels overwhelming and you avoid it,” said Muise, who is lead author of the study, which was published in November in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.
Though more frequent sex is certainly not bad, research shows that this number of once per week seems to be enough to enhance and maintain the romantic spark and physical connection in a long-term relationship. The studies authors warn, however, that this statistic won’t be true for every single couple. “Certainly there are couples for whom having sex less frequently will be fine for their happiness, and there are couples who will get increases in happiness if they have sex more than once a week,” Muise said.
It is also important to take into consideration that measuring happiness levels is incredibly subjective, and couples that have sex once per week may simply be happier to begin with. Or, as researchers suggest, sex may increase happiness, and happiness may increase sexual frequency.
How to have sex more
Be open and communicative with your partner about your sex life and make safe situations where you can talk about it freely. If one feels like you are having sex too often, and the other not enough, you may have to work out a compromise. Opening these channels of communication will not only help get your sexual relationship on track but will help you in other areas as well.
If you feel too busy and overworked, you may need to schedule out times for sex. Though this might not seem like the most romantic and spontaneous thing to do, it could help increase anticipation and give you something to look forward to. Or, if you feel like you need a little quality time to reignite the spark, take a quick weekend getaway without distractions or spend a night in a quiet bed and breakfast. A change of scenery may be just what you need.
Whatever you decide to do, remember that your sexual frequency is between yourself and your partner. If you are both happy with the amount of sex you are having, don’t try to change it to fit into what is considered “normal.”
Health benefits of sex
Sexual intercourse isn’t just key for supporting emotional and mental wellbeing and feeling closer to your partner; it also has notable health benefits that can improve your physical self as well.
Lowers your blood pressure: Studies have shown that regular sex could lower your systolic blood pressure and help you stay relaxed.
Boosts libido: Though it may seem backward, the more you have sex, the more you will want to have sex.
Lowers heart attack risk: Sex is a form of exercise, and engaging in regular intercourse could help strengthen your heart and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
-The Alternative Daily