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Hey Bestie: How often do ‘normal couples’ have sex?

Updated: Mar 13

HEY BESTIE: Our love life lately hasn’t been great, we are only having sex once a month. But when I bring this up with my partner, they insist that once a month is fine. How often do “normal” couples have sex?

Hey Bestie: How often do ‘normal couples’ have sex?

Ahhh, the age-old question of how much is “normal”.

I feel that as a sexologist and therapist that this is probably the most common question that I’ve been asked over my 20 years of being in this field.

According to the International Society for Sexual Medicine, there is no “normal” frequency of sex, providing everyone in the relationship is happy. And yes, I can practically see the eyes roll, so let me give you a little more information that might be useful.

As much as I would like to say that the answer to this question is simple, it’s actually not.

There are quite a lot of variables that impact the frequency of sex.

Libido is one of those tricky things in life that is impacted by so many thing, which include: The status of your relationship, age, stress, health, fitness, medication, and lifestyle to name a few.

Now, let me take a moment to briefly explain each one of these.

If things are going well in your relationship — good connection, good communication, etc then things in the bedroom tend to be good as well — which means that the opposite is also true.

As you age, your libido goes on a rollercoaster.

Each partner might experience different libidos at different times, which doesn’t help the situation. Openly discuss how things are feeling for you.

Stress: The more you have, the less you are thinking about sex. Your mind is preoccupied with other things.

Health: You might have a medical condition which is impacting your sex drive. You might be undergoing medical treatment or be on medication that can also wreak havoc in this area, sometimes without even being aware of the impact that it has.

Fitness: Yep, how’s your cardio? Your heart? Sounds odd to think of your heart but it’s the blood pumper and you need it for sex — no joke!

Medication: Mentioned above in health. Please take the time to understand your medication and the impact that it can have on your sexual health.

Lifestyle: Are you engaging in things that might impact on your libido? Recreational or illicit drugs, overindulging in alcohol, not sleeping well, not eating well, all these things can impact your libido.

Essentially, you can use the list above as a checklist. Chances are your sex life is being impacted by one of these things. If you can narrow it down, you can then work together towards either understanding how the issue impacts you and then if so inclined, you and your partner might be able to take the steps towards fixing the issue at hand.

Now for those who simply need to know, the latest research from the The Journal of the American Medical Association (2020) summarised its findings that roughly 35 per cent of people report having sex one to three times a month whereas roughly 56 per cent of people report have sex once a week or more.

If you aren’t having sex about 1-3 times a month and you don’t feel that the reasons above explain why, then it’s time to check in with a professional because after all, everyone deserves to have a great sex life.

Your bestie,

Amanda xx

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