As a couples’ therapist, I often meet with clients experiencing dissatisfaction with their sex life. They come to see me with questions such as, “Do you have to have sex several times a week in order to make a relationship work?” and “Is it even possible for a sexless marriage to be considered a healthy relationship?”
More often than not, when couples seek help with incompatible sex drives, the main issue is the difference between how much sex each partner feels they should be having as opposed to how much sex each actually wants to have.
Imagining that everyone else — from friends to neighbors to colleagues — is having far better and far more sex than you are is something many men and women do.
But the reality of it all is typically quite different from what we imagine.
The thing is, most people only hear about the wild sex stories because those are the ones people want to tell, and this leads people to believe how burning hot it must be in everyone else’sbedrooms. And if you suspect this level of hotness doesn’t exactly match your own, then you assume there simple must be something wrong with your relationship.
But is there? Do you really HAVE to have sex two to three times a week to have a good sex life?
No, you most certainly don’t!
This often comes as a bit of a surprise to people. After all, love and sex are inextricably connected, right? Yes, but… most often frustrations arise because we tend to think that the activity level of our sex life is directly proportional to the level of love in our relationship, meaning that if we’re not as active in bed as we think we should be, we assume that there must be something wrong with the relationship or the quality of the love we feel for one another.
Hang on a minute! Not everyone has a high sex drive, and if both partners feel fine with the amount of sex they are having and neither feels like they’re missing out on anything because they simply enjoy the pleasure and the intimacy they share when they do have sex, then what’s the problem exactly?
But “shouldn’t” we…? No, you shouldn’t.
Every couple should have their very own definition of what a well-functioning sex life looks like. For some, a well-functioning sex life is not about quantity, but rather about quality of their sexual experiences. There are so many couples who would much prefer to schedule in sex; let’s say on the first Saturday of every month or every sixth or eighth week, and then go all out on those occasions, really spoiling and pleasing each other.
Then there are couples who prefer to have sex whenever they feel like it.
For some couples that could happen several times per week, while for others it will be closer to once every few months. Not everyone feels the need to have sex several times a week and if that’s how you guys feel, then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Essentially, you have a well-functioning sex life as long as you’re both happy with it, whether that means every 3 days, weeks, months, or years.
Yes, for some ongoing feelings of sexual desire are important, and for others, not so much. There is no hard and fast rule and there is no right or wrong way for your personal sex life to manifest.
Additionally, the frequency with which you have sex may also differ depending on whatever period of life you’re in.
I’m pretty sure that a well-functioning sex life looks a bit different to a couple who just met than to a couple who is now raising young kids together. Or later in the relationship, one partner might at some point be ill or may no longer be able to have penetrative sex. Again, none of these couple’s sex lives will be right or wrong. They will just be different.
So please, let go of what you think things should look like.
It’s no use thinking there’s a certain “recipe” you need to follow in order to have a “good relationship” and a “good sex life.” It’s entirely up to you what constitutes these. No one else.
If you and your partner are both feeling satisfied, then take a deep breath and enjoy that you’re on the same page. Let go of the thoughts of what you should be doing. There’s only one thing you should be doing, and that’s whatever is good for you and your partner and your relationship.