When you and your partner first got together, the sparks were electric. Every touch and sensation were new, and you were so excited to experience every single one that you couldn’t keep your clothes on or your hands off each other. You disappeared into the wonderful honeymoon phase that is marked by googly eyes in public and going at it like rabbits who just got out of prison in private.
But, time passes, and those initial naive thoughts that your partner is perfect are replaced by the realization that he doesn’t close the cabinet doors after he leaves the kitchen and she won’t order her own french fries because she plans on stealing all of yours. The frequency of your lovemaking wanes as life’s demands take over and you remember that you have to occasionally leave your bedroom to work, eat, and socialize. As time continues to move forward and your love becomes even more comfortable, you start to wonder—are we having the right amount of sex to stay happy?
Sex is a huge portion of any healthy relationship, and, while it is obviously not the main event in your partnership, it provides an important time-out from the pressures of daily lives and allows you and your partner to experience a quality level of closeness and vulnerability. Due to the big impact sex can have on your relationship, the frequency of your sexual encounters can register as a huge source of frustration and leave you searching for the secret to the perfect amount of sex. Too much sex could make you worried that your relationship is purely physical and too little sex can send you into a spiral of concern that your partner is no longer sexually attracted to you. So what’s the magic number?
According to information gathered by Happify, an app that trains you how to be happy, the ideal number of romps in the hay is 2 to 3 per week. These stats also report that “people are 55% more likely to report higher levels of happiness when they have sex every few days” and that “having sex once a week made people 44% more likely to have positive feelings” towards their partner. Relationship therapists traditionally agree, recommending two steamy sessions a week to help foster intimacy when couples are in counseling.
Does this mean you need to be scheduling a biweekly romp with your partner? Not exactly. This generic prescription is clearly intended as a guidepost for the masses and can serve a nice pat on the back for those have met their “quota” for the week. But we have a different opinion on that topic: we think that there is no magic number.
That’s right; we think you and your partner should be having as little or as much sex works for your relationship. You two have low libidos and prefer to have sex only when the mood strikes? That’s awesome! Are you both ultra-sexual beings who need it twice a day? Go for it! Does your number vary from week to week depending your kids’ soccer games and art classes? That’s cool! The most important factor in your sex life is that you are satisfying both you and your partner’s needs—not conforming to a number that might be too little or too much for your schedule or your desires.
That being said, you might not be 100% on board with your current weekly total, and that’s ok too. Life gets busy, things come up, and relationships go through natural hills and valleys that will impact how often you and your partner get it on. Our recommendation is to sit down and talk it out with your partner. Communication is an essential part of any sexual relationship, and getting on the same page with how often you get down is an important topic to cover. If you’re looking to start this chat, we recommend covering three important points.
Pick an amount that works for BOTH of you.
You and your partner might have varying levels of need over the course of your relationship due to hormonal changes and libido-suffocating situations in your lives. For example, if your partner’s job is in crisis, his or her sex drive might change dramatically depending on how he or she deals with stress. Stay in contact with your partner about how much is enough. Remember it’s ok to say no if you’re not in the mood and it’s also ok to ask for sex if you want it. The point is not to set a specific goal, but to discuss what ballpark figure will make you both happy.
Talk about how to make the first contact.
Do you feel like you’ve had to initiate more and more when you prefer to have your partner make the first move? Do you prefer to take charge, but your partner is stealing your thunder? Your partner is not a mind-reader, and it is not his or her responsibility to know what you want. The only way for your partner to satisfy your needs is to clue him or her in on what’s going to start your engine. Does he need to set the scene, or does just a quirk of his eyebrows get you ready to go? Is right when you get home from work the best time or do you prefer to unwind from the day for a few hours? Be honest with your partner on what specifically works for getting you in the mood and how he or she can help.
Remember that there is more a sexual relationship than sex.
The definition of “intimacy” will vary from couple to couple, and it is important to nail down what it means to you and your partner—and we’re talking about more than just sex. Some couples have intimate moments while snuggling during a movie marathon or cooking dinner together, all without removing any articles of clothing. Some might give impromptu oral without asking for any reciprocation. And others still might enjoy making out on the couch like teenagers. Spell out to your partner what you need other than sex in your relationship to help you feel connected on a daily basis. It will take the pressure off the bedroom and make your tumbles under the covers even more incredible.
A happy couple is one that is not only sexually intimate, but also connects on a mental, emotional, and spiritual level. In other words, there is no perfect prescription for how to make a couple instantly happy. It takes work, dedication, and some natural chemistry to make a relationship work, and when you find someone to take the journey with, it’s all worth it.4