I want to talk about a question many of you ask yourself but rarely say out loud. How much S3x is enough S3x? What’s “normal?”
So many people worry that they’re not having enough S3x, or that they’re having too much S3x. Take two people getting it on with their partners with the same frequency: twice per week. One is completely frustrated because she wishes she was doing the bump daily. The other resents the pressure from her partner and wishes she could scale it back to once a month. Truth is, we’re all SO different.
According to the Kinsey Institute, 18- to 29-year-olds have S3x an average of 112 times per year, 30- to 39-year-olds an average of 86 times per year, and 40- to 49-year-olds an average of 69 times per year. Thirteen percent of married couples have S3x a few times per year, 45 percent a few times per month, 34 percent two to three times per week, and 7 percent four or more times per week.
Almost half of married couples have S3x a few times per month. Does that surprise you? It kind of surprises me. When you think back to a time when you had S3xual mojo — in the true, Austin Powers sense of the word — how often were you having S3x?
What happens to us? 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 S3x again.
Many compounding factors played a role; she was Brea5tfeeding, she had postpartum depression, and the medication she took for her post-partum 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 together twenty years. At first, things were hunky dory, but as the years passed, their S3xual frequency dropped off until they were only having S3x a few times per year.
She tried seducing her husband, because her S3xual needs demanded more S3x than she was getting, but to no avail. As a result, her self-esteem dwindled and her libido suffered. She asked if he was Gaey, 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 S3x every day. She worried that maybe she was a S3x addict or 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.
After talking with Sophie and Monica, I got really curious about S3xual frequency, so I started asking people in relationships to answer these three questions:
1.How much S3x would make you perfectly blissful?
2.How much S3x would make you feel satisfied and content?
3.What’s the bare minimum S3xual frequency you would need to get by, if you knew it wouldn’t last forever (such as when your partner is ill)?
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. But here’s what they said:
1.Blissful: 3 to 5 times/week
3.Bare minimum: once/month
I asked my buddies on Twitter how much S3x was enough, and here’s what they had to say.
“When you have enough S3x, you know it. Just like an Org*sm, there is no doubt…
you’re full and satisfied, and your cup runneth over. Divine S3x is the only S3x that touches the whole body.”—@DorisJeanette
“Money and S3x are similar. When you have some, you can’t get all you want. If you don’t have any, you can’t get any. Another similarity between money and S3x, you only need enough to get by on, and some days you need way more than others.”—@PheasantPhun
“Seems like it ebbs and flows through the years and if no one is dissatisfied, it’s all good. We check in. If it’s been a while, we talk about it, and usually it’s a mutual sense of just being too tired.”—@ThingsMomsLike
“How much do we get it on? A lot more now that hubby is home and walking around Nak3d!”—@stephanieelliot
“Can you ever have enough?”—@amandabeez
I can’t help comparing everyone else’s answers to my own S3x life (it’s impossible not to compare ourselves to others, isn’t it?). My husband and I probably get down about once or twice a week. I’m pretty sure if I showed up in my black teddy more often, he’d be all over that, so I guess I’m the brakes in our S3x life.
Why don’t I put out more often? I mean, I love my husband and I think he’s totally S3xy. So what gets in the way? Time, energy, not wanting the burden of any more expectation in my life. But despite that, we’re content. Is content good enough?Not sure. Could it be better? I think so. Could we grow in mojo as we explore our S3xuality together? Yes. Will we? Hope so.
If you and your partner are both happy, it’s enough. Enough said. If one of you is dissatisfied, it bears exploration because those seeds of discontent breed loss of mojo and relationship discord.
Can you talk to your partner about it? I know S3x is hard to discuss, but can you touch base periodically and check in? If you and your partner disagree about S3xual frequency, can you make compromises?
So often, we make assumptions about our partners that simply aren’t true. Maybe you wish you could have S3x twice a week, but your partner only wants it every other week. Maybe you assume your partner just isn’t that S3xual, when in truth, your partner just doesn’t always want to put in the hour-long ordeal of loads of foreplay.
What if you could just have a quickie every now and then, just to tide you over? Would you be willing to sacrifice quality for quantity? Or is it all about quality and quantity be damned?
How much S3x is enough for you? Are you able to talk to your partner about your wants and needs? If you’re not putting out, why not? What roadblocks are keeping you from owning S3xuality in a rocking, S3xy way? What can you do to better own your S3xuality?