How much sex is too much sex?
We can probably all agree that sex is a good thing; a very good thing, even. But like all good things, you can have too much sex. If your sex life is starting to interfere with your schedule, it could be a sign that you have a problem. Sex can boost your mood and decrease levels of anxiety, as well as helping you to feel more relaxed, but having too much sex could get in the way of a healthy lifestyle (1). Yes, it's normal to have sex - in fact, it's a vital part of a happy relationship, but if you find yourself letting the chores pile up or skipping work in order to get between the sheets with your partner, you may be getting too much.
How much sex are other people having?
A study by the Kinsey Institute revealed that the average 18-29 year old has sex 112 times a year - for those aged 30-39 this falls to 86 times a year (2) - so what's a healthy amount? Sex experts agree that once to twice a week is classed as a 'healthy sex life' for those in a relationship. During the honeymoon stage, it's normal to have sex every time you see each other, whilst moving in together can also (temporarily) increase the frequency of sex (3).
Having sex too often can lead to physical as well as emotional problems, particularly for women. Lack of lubrication can lead to friction, so if you experience pain or numbness, it might be time to give it a rest for tonight. Using lubrication helps to reduce friction, making sex more comfortable and reducing the likelihood of condoms breaking (4).
Are you addicted to sex?
If you're worried your sex life is getting in the way of leading a normal life, you may be suffering from sex addiction, also referred to as hypersexuality. Having out-of-control sexual impulses, performing risky sexual acts (such as unprotected sex or sex with a stranger) or using sex as a solution to feeling depressed could all indicate a problem.
Quality over quantity
What it really comes down to is quality over quantity. Even having sex with your other half everyday doesn't necessarily mean you're doing it too much, if you and your partner are both happy with that. If one person is more satisfied sexually than the other, problems can start to arise. Being open and honest with your partner about your sexual needs and how often you'd like to get intimate can bring you closer as a couple. Studies actually show that couples who communicate with each other about sex are more likely to be sexually satisfied (6).
Compromise is the key to sexual satisfaction
If one partner has a higher sex drive, it's a good idea to meet in the middle. Talking about your desires and scheduling time for intimacy ensures nobody feels unsatisfied. It's important that you never feel pressured into doing anything that makes you feel uncomfortable - that includes the frequency of sex. It's easy to feel physically and emotionally overwhelmed if the frequency or type of sex you're having is wrong for you.
So how much sex is too much? Well, regular sex is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and happy relationship, but it's important to remember that your libido may not always match your partners. Sex drive can rise and fall over time, and there's no harm in taking responsibility for your own sexuality. Masturbation is a natural solution to the problem of having a sex drive that's higher than your partners, and not something to be ashamed of. However much sex you're having, if you and your partner are both happy - then that's all that matters!
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