Updated: Nov 15
If you’ve found your way to this blog as a Reya Health reader, you already know that this will be a little fun, a little real, and just like chatting with an old friend. If you’ve found this blog because you Googled “why is my sex drive low?” or “how often should my partner and I be having sex?”, you’re also going to be right at home. I’ve done all of the research for you, and will make it as simple as I can. Sex drive and sex frequency are a matter of individual health, preference, and choices. That’s right, everything on the internet will take you to the same answers. No matter the science or data behind sex frquency and sex drive, it boils down to you and your personal traits. The data also happens to be commonly heteronormative, so it’s not all-encompassing of every person’s sexual experiences.
It is (unfortunately) inherently engrained in today’s society to believe that there is a “normal” and a “not normal” way of doing things. There’s nuance to sex, and why we as humans feel the need to compare our experiences with those of others to feel like we somehow fit the “right” definition. But there is no “normal”, there’s just you. And listen… I know you’re still curious about the stats and what other people are up to (you can be nosey here, it’s okay), so I looked for some of the most frequently Googled questions about sex drive and frequency so we can chat through them together.
What happened to my libido?
Specifically for women, sexual desires naturally fluctuate over the years, with the highs and lows commonly coinciding with the beginning or end of a relationship, major life changes, illness, medications, or mood disorders (Low Sex Drive in Women - Symptoms and Causes, Mayo Clinic). With the affects that stress can have on your body, it’s no surprise that individuals see a decrease in their sex drive, but the impotant thing here is to not associate it with wrongdoing or shame. To ask “what happened to my libido?” sounds a bit like blame, and I hope you know that if it’s you that has Googled this question, there isn’t something wrong with you as a person. If you happen to be bothered by your low or decreased sex drive, it might be time to reach out to your doctor and see if there’s another factor in the way.
How much sex is normal?
Normal is subjective to you and you only. There is no “normal”, just what works for you and your comfort level. Whether it's once a day, week, month, year, or even not at all - if you are happy with the frequency of sex in your life, then that’s what you should strive for. If you’re unhappy with the frequency, that conversation can be hard in a relationship or tricky as a single person, but depending on where you are and where you want to be, you can make the changes to build a frequency that works best for you. "Most of what we focus on is that sexual health and intimacy is based on consent, honesty, and mutual pleasure," says Barb Depree, MD, a gynecologist and founder of MiddlesexMD. "If they're feeling respected and fulfilled it's going to be healthy for them” (13 Benefits of Sex that can Improve your Mental and Physical Health, Insider)
How often should I have sex in a relationship?
It shouldn't be a surprise that the answer sounds the same as the last few - you should have sex as often as you and your partner want to have sex. According to data collected by the General Social Survey, 17% of married couples have sex once a month, 25% said they have sex weekly, and 10% said they didn’t have sex at all in the past year. When scouring the internet, you’ll see a handful of sources that say “Happy couples have 'x' amount of sex per week”, but don’t listen to them. It might be a suggestion or even a (likely biased) statistic, but its not you and your partner(s) and exactly what you want. The importance when trying to find a cadence for you and your partner is understanding that this is more about your emotional and physical satisfaction than reaching a number or statistic.
What do I do if my partner and I have a mismatched Libido?
Every couple experiences situations where one person’s sexual needs do not align with their partner’s, and these situations are called sexual interdependence dilemas (What to Know about Mismatched Sex Drives, Medical News Today). The important thing to note is that libido’s change (see the first question we looked up). Time, aging, life stresses, health changes, and more can interrupt what may have seemed like a perfectly matched libido heaven (that was just the honeymoon phase). Mismatched or different also does not mean permanent, so keep working together and openly communicating to see if there’s something that can bring you back to a balance that is comfortable for everyone. If it’s something that’s causing added strain on your relationship, don’t hesitate to reach out to couples therapists, family doctors, and online communities who might understand and help you through your struggles.
Is having sex good for you?
Sex has it’s proven benefits, like releasing dopamine in your body, helping with confidence, giving you physical activity, and strengthening emotional bonds. Having sex comes with risk and reward, and is all about personal preference and pleasure, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be one certain way or another. If it's good for you, it’s good.