Sexually active: How Often Should Couples Have Sex?

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In a romantic relationship, it is common to refer to the “honeymoon phase”. This is normally the initial phase of the relationship, which lasts somewhere from a few months to sometimes a couple of years, and where everything feels carefree, happy and optimistic.

During the honeymoon phase both partners are still adjusting and knowing each other, so they find no flaws (or they matter very little) on the other, they spend a lot of time together, laugh a lot, go on many dates, and… are very, very sexually active. 

Once the honeymoon phase is over, normally because the relationship became more serious and stable, the frequency of sex decreases a bit, and this is where some partners get a bit worried. So, how sexually active should a couple be, then?

 

How sexually active should a couple be?

There is no magic number or formula to determine how many times a couple should have sex, because this is something very subjective.

However, studies seem to point to a correlation between a healthy, happy relationship and couples who have sex on average once a week.

Does this mean that couples who are sexually active less than once a week, or more than once a week, are doing it wrong? Absolutely not.

This once-a-week frequency is quite probably related to our routines. We have, for centuries, lead our lives week-by-week: we shop groceries once a week, work during weekdays and rest on the weekends, restaurants and services tend to close once a week, we divide our periods into weeks… well, you get the gist.

With jobs, and kids, and schedules, and chores, we tend to – even unconsciously – divide our life into weeks. Let’s also not forget that certain times in our lives – like vacations, holidays, trips or celebrations – might be more favourable for couples to be sexually active than times of stress.

So, it is not surprising that many couples are sexually active on average once a week. But we’re 100% sure there are happy, healthy couples out there who have sex more than once a week, or less than once a week.

So how much is right for your relationship? Only you and your partner can be the judges of that. Any frequency is good if both of you feel comfortable and happy with it, and if your relationship is not suffering.

 

What does “sexually active” mean for a couple?

 

Now let’s make something abundantly clear: being sexually active does not mean strictly having penetrative sex. We use it here in a wider sense of engaging in sexual activity. Sexual activity, on its turn, can be classified in a number of ways.

Between a couple, it generally involves both partners, but does not necessarily involve the genitals of both partners. In sum, there is no strict definition of sex as penetrative sex only.

And, while many couples might have penetrative sex often, there are certainly other couples who don’t, for the most varied reasons. For once, they might have more pleasure with other sexual activities – which is totally fine.

There can also be underlying health or mental issues that make penetrative sex not the preferred method.

 

Myths, prejudices and most common fears

Unfortunately, there are still some myths and prejudices around the sexuality of a couple.

  • Men will look for sex outside if they are unsatisfied at home. This is more of a toxic stereotype than a myth, which may cause some worry and fear in women. If you are really in a happy and healthy relationship, communication between you and your partner should be enough to decide how to proceed. Infidelity is caused by the person who is unfaithful, not by the amount of sex in the relationship.

 

  • Women like to have sex less than men. While it might be true for some individuals, it can never be a generalization. Female and male sex drives are quite different.

 

  • The more sexually active a couple is, the happier. There is actually pretty recent research debunking this conception. Higher frequency of sex is linked to happier relationships but to a point: couples who were sexually active more than once a week weren’t happier than couples who were sexually active only once a week.

 

  • It is impossible to have a happy relationship without sex. Wrong. Some people don’t even like having sex, so a couple where both partners are asexual can still be happy and fulfilled.

 

  • If a couple has lots of sex even after the honeymoon phase, they have an addiction. Again: the number of times a couple is sexually active a month, a week, or even a day, is no one else’s business. If they’re happy, healthy, fulfilled and aren’t hurting anyone, then it isn’t a problem.

 

  • No sex means no love. As we said there are plenty of reasons why a couple wouldn’t be sexually active. There’s asexuality, underlying health conditions, etc. Sex can be a way to express love but certainly isn’t the only one.

 

  • If someone loses their sex drive it means they’re no longer attracted to the partner. There are many reasons why a partner could lose their sex drive. There are numerous health conditions and medications that affect libido, as there are mental and psychological issues. The best thing here is to communicate and not be ashamed to see a doctor or therapist.

 

  • The sole purpose of sex is procreation. This is not true as it is not a scientific notion. If this belief works well for both partners in a couple, perfect.

 

  • Sex needs to be spontaneous. What sex needs to be is consented, wanted and healthy. Spontaneity does not necessarily play a part in it. For some couples who have busy lives, children and consuming jobs, scheduling sex seems to work wonders!

 

Take good care. Of your vagina. Of yourself. Of our planet.

 

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