Question: How much sex is normal?
I have said this so many times, especially when it comes to sex and kink, there is no such thing as normal. Normal is whatever you want it to be. If you’re married with 3 kids, ‘normal’ might be once a month. If you’re newly dating someone you find insanely attractive, ‘normal’ might be once per day. That isn’t including SO many other factors that come into play. The most important thing is any relationship is communication. Only you can know what you need and what works for you.
Because this is such a common question, I really wanted to get other peoples opinions and advice on it. I reached out to Korppi King and Kaja Echo to help me put into words what a ‘normal’ sex life might look like. Read what these awesome humans have to say about it below!
This is not an easy question to answer, because there really isn’t a right answer. How much sex is normal to someone depends entirely upon the person, their partners, and even elements of their environment and upbringing. Despite the repetition of sexual standards in magazines, movies, and sitcoms, sex isn’t a one-size-fits-all thing. Sure, books and magazines will tell you that a married couple should be having sex at least three times a week, and you’ll hear people say that you should have at least three orgasms a day, but, in reality, it’s difficult to say how much is too little, just enough or too much without taking individuality into account. Sex and how often you have it is a question of complex, personal, and dynamic rhythms and desires that you can’t really quantify with an easy answer.
Sexual appetite varies from person to person, as does our need for sex within a relationship (if, in fact, that’s how you’re choosing to have sex). Some people need sex. Some people don’t. Some people don’t like sex physically, but may feel attraction to other people. Some people don’t feel sexual attraction or desire, but may or may not enjoy the physical sensations associated with sex. And taking our masturbation habits and our nuanced definitions of the word “sex” into consideration only muddies the situation further. Do we count masturbation in our measurement of our appetite for sex? Or do we count only the acts we perform with other people? In that case, where do we draw the line—mutual masturbation, hand jobs, cunnilingus, or just penetrative sex? No matter how we define and measure sex, the answer will still be different for everyone. Just look at the sexual appetites in my own house, for example. I usually want or need to have sex every other day if not once a day. Sometimes more often. Of my two partners, one needs to have sex about five times a week and the other (typically) wants or needs it much less often. None of us is right or wrong. There’s not really a baseline from which any of us deviates. We’re all just different from each other in how much sex we want.
Environmental, emotional, physical and mental changes can also impact our sex lives. Whether it’s a change in our diet or daily routine or a psychological event or change, our sexual appetites respond to fluctuations in and around us. Some people, for example, respond to depression and anxiety by shutting down their sexual systems. Some people have the completely opposite reaction. Even if we don’t realize it, our health, self image, energy level and mindset plays a big part in how aroused and arousing we feel. And so do changes in around relationships or in our routines with each other. I can’t tell you how much my libido spiked when one of my partners and I took ballroom dance classed together—nor can I try to explain how little sexual energy I felt when the same partner and I went to a tantric sex workshop just a month later. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense—and maybe it’s a change we don’t even notice—but it impacts our sex life and temporarily changes our definition of normal.
Simply put, there is no normal. Not for everyone. Instead of asking yourself how much sex is normal, try asking “How much sex is healthy and comfortable for me?” Ask yourself first if your needs are met and if you are comfortable and satisfied without the amount of sex you’re having. If the answer to those questions is yes, ask yourself if the amount of sex you have is hurting you, hurting someone else, or hampering your ability to function in the rest of your life at or above your functionality baseline. If the answer is no, it could be worth taking some time to reevaluate your sex attitudes and routines.
Most of us have deeply ingrained, socially reinforced ideas about how much and what kind of sex we should be having. Media of all kinds is constantly showing us imagery of happy couples boning for hours every single day of the week. We’re also told that if you want sex *too* much, there must be something wrong with you. It’s hard to navigate these images without the feeling that you’re coming up short in some way.
So what’s the “right” amount of sex to have? What is normal? If you do a Google search using the question posed, you’ll find millions of results and article after article about sexual desire and communication. Everyone has a different opinion and many of these opinions change from year to year.
The level of sexual desire one has will always vary! There is no “normal.” Strike that word from your vocabulary now. Whatever you enjoy safely and consensually is a-okay!
If you feel that you’re not having enough sex, take an inventory of how you’re feeling overall. Have you been sick recently or do you have a chronic illness or disability that makes having sex less than optimal for you at times? Are you stressed about things going on at work or at home? Maybe you’re just plain tired and not getting enough sleep. If you have a partner(s), how’s your relationship going? Are you feeling disconnected in any way? It might be a good time to do an emotional check-in with your partner about how you’re both feeling if you haven’t been getting it on recently. They might also be experiencing a low sex drive or their own stresses or aches. Communicate your needs and see if that helps you get back on track.
If you feel that you’re having *too* much sex, well… you probably aren’t unless it’s distressing to you, you’re finding it difficult to accomplish other, non-sexual things, or it’s physically hurting you and/or your partner(s). If everything’s cool on those fronts, I say keep on having fun and don’t worry that you’re abnormal. You’re not. You just like a lot of sex!
I recommend some time and energy devoted to determining what amount of sex feels right to you. Do some journaling; make some notes about your own desire. How much sex feels healthy? Are there times when your drive is overwhelming? Are you worried about your lack of libido? What might stand in the way?
It’s also really important to ask these questions of yourself before communicating with your partner(s) about what you need and want. But I do highly recommend discussing these issues with your partner and checking in about what works for them.
All in all, dear reader, I hope you know that ideas of what’s “normal” shift over time and are based on social mores of whatever time we’re living in. The frequency with which most adults have sex now would probably be unheard of a hundred years ago. And a hundred years from now, it will be different again. As long as you’re staying safe and healthy and consensual, have as much or as little sex as you’d like. It’s ALL good!
*Unfortunately, after finishing this piece I found out that Korppi King is no longer on social media. If she ever decides to recreate her social media profiles, I will update this post with her new information!
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