How often do you and your partner have sex? Does it even matter? Is there an amount of sex you ‘should ‘ be having? The answers to these questions are as unique to each couple as fingerprints.
Recent studies suggest the average Australian couple is having sex once or twice a week. But as you know, averages are not always the best way to get an accurate picture.
There are couples that rarely, or never, have sex. Then there are couples that have sex multiple times a day, even after years of marriage. And everything in between.
How much sex should you be having?
The topic of sex in a relationship can sometimes be a difficult one. But it can also be a vitally important one, depending on what sex means to you.
There’s common adage that says when a couple’s sex life is good, it makes up 10 to 15 per cent of their relationship satisfaction, but when sex is a challenge, it accounts for 40 to 50 per cent of a couple’s relationship dissatisfaction.
For some, sex is inextricably linked to feelings of intimacy and closeness to their partner. It reinforces a bond and makes them feel desired.
For these people, a lack of sex can make them feel they are being rejected and their partner is no longer attracted them. This often causes them to withdraw other forms of affection as a result, to the detriment of the relationship.
But the opposite is also true.
For many people, sex doesn’t hold the same emotional connection. They may value other forms of intimacy more highly or have an aversion to the act of sex itself. The presence of sexual trauma in a person’s past can also complicate matters.
For them, a partner wanting frequent sex, and being upset or withdrawn when sex doesn’t happen, can lead them to feel their partner only values them for sex.
Communication is key
You can probably see these two positions on sex in a relationship are bound to conflict through no fault of either party.
If you find yourself in this position, it’s important to keep communicating with your partner about how you feel.
Sexologist Dr Armin Ariana told the ABC that sexual desire in couples, as well as within individuals themselves, is a constantly evolving thing.
“People are meant to be mismatched. That’s the beauty of relationships – creating that balance,” he says.
“Understanding that imbalance [between partners] is normal and is a good place to start. Finding how to get to a desire balance, that’s more important.”
Dr Ariana also suggests expanding your concept of what ‘sex’ is.
On average, sexual intercourse lasts around five minutes. If you’re only focused on that part, you’re missing out on other forms of pleasure.
“By taking in the whole journey of sex and what comes before it, we are more likely to be satisfied with the experiences we have,” Dr Ariana says.
“That’s not just foreplay, but the meal you have beforehand, the kiss you share when you come home, for example.”
How often do you and your partner have sex? Are you satisfied with that amount? Let us know in the comments section below.