How to know if there's enough sex in your relationship
How much sex is enough sex to keep the marriage healthy? The average couple can have sex in three minutes, but does a “quickie” make for good or bad sex? What makes for good sex—for you and your partner?
Does not having frequent sex create a problem in relationships?
It really depends on how people connect with each other in the relationship and how they define sex. Sex to most people, especially males, is a very measurable experience. But there is a whole area of sexuality that doesn’t involve intercourse. People yearn for intimacy in their relationships and sex is a way couples connect. Sex is when you experience physical generosity and at the same time you are totally absorbed in yourself and your partner. Things like touching, kissing, licking and tickling can create a feeling of desire and closeness. There are many couples that are sexually physical with each other but they aren’t having “sex” and that’s okay.
Is there a danger in not defining and accepting the broader definition of sex in your relationship?
Yes, because you don’t have to have just one sexuality style in your life, you can have multiple sexualities in your life and in your relationships. If you only think and know sex as the “act of sex,” if that goes away or doesn’t work like it used to you will feel like you have really lost something in your relationship. Because a relationship is dynamic your sex life will change over time. You and your partner will get older, or have an illness or have something else going on in your life that affects your sex life. If both partners haven’t experienced sex more broadly, then the relationship can really suffer over the long term when things change in the relationship. People would feel better about themselves and their relationship if they widen their view and thought about sex more broadly.
How frequent should couples be connecting intimately either through the act of sex or some other way?
It depends on the relationship and the partners’ level and need for intimacy. Some people really need to be physically intimate to feel connected and satisfied sexuality.
What are the red flags to watch out for in your sex life?
If you and your partner have tried to have sex and it’s failed, and then you waited months before trying again, it can create an issue. It’s better to try again the next night.
Another red flag is if you and your partner usually have frequent sex, say every week, and a few weeks go by and you aren’t having sex. You really need to take the time to connect with your partner, to reengage and have a conversation. Maybe you need to take a break together or simply to have some fun to reconnect.
Lastly, sometimes partners will blame each other for the lack of sex in the relationship, saying things like “You’re never interested in me, you don’t pay attention to me.” That’s not healthy and can cool down opportunities for sex.