How often are healthy couples having sex?
I’ve often wondered why the less-is-more people don’t pair up with other less-is-morites, and why the more-the-merrier people don’t pair up with other more-the-merriers. I haven’t met one couple in 17 years of counseling that is in 100% agreement.
Your marriage is normal if you and your spouse don’t agree on how much is enough. If you two do agree, then clearly your marriage has a super power and you should wear a cape.
You can Google the question to find some social norms, but for me, applying statistical averages to emotional needs feels incomplete.
Healthy couples do not have a how-much-is-enough perspective of sex. Instead, they embrace a lifestyle of intimate moments taking sex off their to-do lists and makes room for sweet encounters like:
– sharing the sink in the morning
– getting the kids ready for school
– kissing before leaving for work
– texting in the middle of the day
– eating family dinner at the table
– tag-teaming family chores
– having conversations about nothing on the back patio
– throwing parties with friends and all their crazy kids
– singing in the minivan
– kissing the way they did before they had kids
– snuggling while watching TV
– catching him looking at her that way he looks at her
– making mistakes along the way
– forgiving quickly and moving on
– dancing in the kitchen
– laughing together
– crying together
– dreaming together
– praying together
– serving together
– growing old together
Sex without a lifestyle of intimacy can begin to feel dutiful for many couples.
How often are healthy couples having sex? I’m not convinced this is the right question. The truth is, it doesn’t matter what the national average is for couples. What matters is what works for your marriage. Some couples need to have sex every day, while others need it once a week. The goal is to establish a lifestyle of intimacy in your marriage . . . whatever that looks like.
I will say that sexless marriages do not appear to be as happy as marriages enjoying sex more regularly. This is especially true in my online practice. I’ve noticed when my sexless couples are intimate, they return to counseling with an extra spring in their step. Sex is good, y’all!
How can you and your husband get on the same page?
1. Talk about it.
Make space to talk about your sexual and non-sexual needs. There is no such thing as, “If he really loves me then he should just know.” True love mindreading only exists in the movies . . . because there’s a script!
Don’t be afraid to schedule some time together to talk about things that are on point and things that are missing in your relationship. Possible conversation starters could be: What are the things you would never want to change about us? What are some things you wish were different about us?
2.Customize your needs.
Healthy couples know how to express their needs in ways their spouse can understand. For example, it’s not helpful to say, “I need more romance.” If you need more romance, then describe specific romantic behaviors, “I like it when you text me in the middle of the day,” or “I need more kisses that don’t necessarily lead to sex.”
Possible conversation starters could be: What are some things I do that makes you feel loved? What are some things you wish I would do that would make you feel loved?
3.Adopt a lifestyle of intimate moments.
Feeling stuck in this area? You probably did this when you two were dating (that’s why you wanted sex more back then). Go back to sweet things you did for each other when you were dating: buying each other cards; talking positively about each other to friends and family; holding hands; smiling when he walks in the room. If it worked then, it will work today.
4.Don’t wait until you feel like having sex to have sex.
Sometimes we forget that sex is a good idea. Going from a day of changing dirty diapers and picking up toys to a night of mind-blowing sex can be a difficult mental shift for many women. This reality also applies to some men as they transition from a stressful day at the office to family life. However, going from a day of changing dirty diapers and picking up toys (or a day at the office) mixed in with a lifestyle of intimate moments makes ending the day with a great night of sex more possible. Non-sexual physical touch paired with intimate encounters reminds us that lovemaking is life-giving.
5.What if we don’t agree?
If you and your spouse can’t agree on how much is enough, then you may want to consider seeing a counselor. A good marriage counselor can help you unpack the barriers impacting your marriage and help you customize the specific needs and solutions for your relationship.
How often are healthy couples having sex? The answer is: as often as they want.
Intimacy cannot be quantified. There is an exact number of times a year you should change your air conditioning filters, fertilize your shrubs, de-clutter your closets, and wash your windows, but there is not an exact number for intimacy.
Marriage is a journey, so love generously, kiss wastefully, live boldly, and make lots of love and memories along the way.
I want to give a huge shout out to the woman who bravely started this conversation. Keep your questions coming firstname.lastname@example.org! Women helping women through honest conversations brings community and hope to us all. Plus, check out some other conversations we’ve discussed recently:
How do you shift your mindset from a busy day to intimacy with your spouse?
Tasha Levert, Ph.D., is a licensed professional counselor in New Orleans who provides face-to-face and online care. She is a conference speaker, worship leader and the author of Stories of Hope for the Sleep Deprived. Tasha and her husband Tim (Pastor with Students at the Vineyard Church of New Orleans) have three beautiful daughters and a lazy schnauzer named Gumbo.
To find out more about Tasha or her practice go to tashalevert.com or broomtreecounseling.com.