My partner and I have been together for about three years and although sex is still really good, we don’t seem to have it as often as we used too. Is there something wrong with our relationship? How often should we be having sex?
Thank you for your letter. There’s a very telling scene from a Woody Allen film that just about says it all. The main characters are a couple that are experiencing some difficulties in their relationship and they each go to see a psychotherapist. The psychotherapists asks each of them, ‘How often do you sleep together?’. The male character says, ‘Hardly ever. Maybe three times a week’. And the female character answers the same question with, ‘Constantly. I’d say three times a week.’
Whether you identify with the ‘Hardly ever’ or the ‘Constantly’ there is, of course, no ‘right’ amount of sex a couple should be having. Every couple has to find what works for them. Some couples have the time, energy and freedom to be sexual every day. Other couples have to make time in between child rearing and busy jobs. The amount of sex we have depends on much more than just your desires too. Your health, stress levels, events in your lives and much more will have an effect.
It is perfectly normal for a couple to have lots of sex in the beginning of their relationship and for that to change over time. Usually our sexual experiences deepen as the emotional aspects of our relationships deepen. This might mean less frequency (though not necessarily!) but more intimate experiences.
What’s most important is to figure out what works for both of you. Are you happy with how often you have sex or would you like something to change? Talk with your partner about this and see how they’re feeling.
There are so many ways to be intimate and it doesn’t always need to be full penetrative sex to be a fabulous experience. If you want more frequent sexual experiences but your partner isn’t up for it, perhaps you could suggest some alternatives. Maybe your partner could watch you masturbating. Maybe your partner could join in by using a dildo, vibrator or other sex toy on you. Perhaps you could have some long, drawn out sexual sessions and some quickies thrown in for good measure? Maybe you offer each other a sensual massage without the pressure for full sex?
Ultimately no one can tell you how often you should be having sex. Remember that quality is at least as important as quantity. Know that the amount of sex you’re having will change as you go through different phases of your lives. Your relationship is unique and you don’t have to be like anyone else. Communicate openly, honestly and find what’s right for you and your relationship.
With love and delight,