For many new couples, sex is a touchy subject, especially when it comes to any numerical. The number of partners, penis size, and other questions that have numeral answers often get distorted.
The frequency of sex is another question that falls under this category. Some couples might brag about doing it every day, as if people would think that there’s something wrong with their relationships otherwise.
So how often do couples have sex? Short of actually going out and asking people on the street, let’s see what the studies have to say.
Psychotherapist and author Dr. Ian Kerner, PhD, states that there’s no one answer to this question. When couples ask him how often they should have sex, he’d answer that there are many factors that influence this.
However, there’s enough research on this topic to draw a few conclusions.
In general, couples have sex between once a week and once a month. Even though this might not seem as often as you might have thought, it’s the average for most couples. According to a study, only 26% of couples have sex once or more times per week. All others do it less often.
However, more recent studies have shown that the average couple in the US has sex once a week, which is considered a “normal” frequency. Of course, what’s normal for one couple may not be the same for the next, and it depends on various factors.
What Affects Sex Drive?
Sex is one of our most primal needs. Still, this doesn’t mean that this need is felt equally. Many times, people think there’s something wrong with them if they have a low sex drive. But such thoughts might be more psychological than anything.
Some people simply have a lower libido than others. This is completely normal and no reason for concern. However, there are a few potential underlying conditions.
The state of both your body and mind can cause a low sex drive. It’s not surprising that many physical and mental health issues can negatively impact it.
For example, stress and anxiety are sometimes related to low libido. This is because the cortisol level goes up and this hormone is known to suppress testosterone and other hormones related to sex drive regulation.
In addition, depression, even in its mild or sessional form, can cause people to have sex less often. Not only does it make the depressed feel unwell and unhappy with their life, but it also directly impacts several hormones and neurotransmitters that influence sex drive, such as serotonin and dopamine.
As for physical health issues, thyroid issues are among the most common. Thyroid hormones regulate metabolism, so if they’re off balance, the production of sex hormone goes down.
There are many other reasons why a person might not want to have sex. From lack of sleep to a poor diet, many lifestyle choices can affect this. It’s important to remember that the causes and consequences can switch places.
Not having sex as much as one needs can cause many physical and health issues. Of course, this is highly subjective, but research has shown a strong connection between a poor sex life and overall health.
But is it true the other way round? Can sex make the quality of one’s life better?
Yes, and here’s how:
Health Benefits of Sex
Having sex regularly isn’t only important for a person’s relationship but the overall well-being as well. There are many ways that sex affects the body for the better.
First of all, it boosts the immune system. Frequent sex boosts the production of proteins, antibodies and other chemicals that fight off infections. Of course, this doesn’t mean that one should rely on sex for a strong immune system. Assuming that there’s nothing with the immune system, sex can only help.
In addition, it can also help protect from heart diseases. Not only is sex a great way of raising heart rate, but it also keeps the levels of testosterone and estrogen healthy. However unrelated they might seem to cardiovascular health, these hormones are actually very important for preventing heart diseases.
As you might know, for anybody who has trouble sleeping, sex can be a great solution. After an orgasm, the body produces prolactin, a hormone associated with the feelings of calmness and sleepiness. Of course, sex in this sense also includes masturbation.
Similarly, sex relieves stress and anxiety. Both intercourse and orgasm prompt the body to release the “feel-good hormones” dopamine, endorphin, and serotonin. Aside from this, intimacy is known to affect self-esteem and well-being.
Sex and Relationship Quality
Many couples understand the importance of a healthy sex life. Being intimate can strengthen the relationship.
Research shows that couples who have sex less than once a week get into fights more often than those who have sex more than that. Of course, this is just a general rule, and the actual impact of sex can vary from one couple to another.
It’s important to remember that this can be interdependent. Much like not enough sex can put a strain on a relationship, the opposite can be true. Couples who feel that their relationship is falling apart won’t feel the need to be intimate with one another, so these issues build onto one another.
So How Often Should You Have Sex?
If you pay attention to statistics, having sex once a week is enough to reap all the benefits mentioned above. It keeps your mind, body, and relationship healthy.
However, just because this is how often people have sex on average doesn’t mean you have to as well. When it comes to the frequency of sex, the only determining factor is how often you want it.
It can be every day or once a month. There really isn’t a wrong answer here, as long as you’re satisfied with your sex life. Only when there’s a difference between how much you want it and actually getting it should make you think about whether it’s time to change something.