Are You Having Enough Sex?

by Christopher J.

January 7, 2022

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Real life can be busy. And with hyper-sexual images and storylines dominating shows and movies, couples often ask: Should we be having more sex? Mary Andres, a professor at the University of Southern California, and co-coordinator of marriage and family therapy program says there is no magic number when it comes to how often you should have sex with your partner. How much sex should a couple have? A 40-year study that surveyed more than 30,000 Americans, found in 2015 that couples who have sex once a week are the happiest. So, should couples put a number on how often they hop in the bed? Andres said couples need to understand how often each person needs to have sex to be fulfilled in the relationship. “Some people want to have sex every day, and they are,” she said. “Other people have other priorities, so sex isn’t on the top of their list, so they are having it less.” The primary problem for many couples is not the frequency of sex, but how they talk about it, according to Heidi Crockett, a licensed psychotherapist in Florida and an (AASECT) American Association of Sexuality educators, counselors and therapists, certified sex therapist. “If both people in the couple have a general desire to want to please their partner and participate in the relationship and talk about things openly, usually something can be negotiated that can satisfy both people”. Is your hyper-plugged-in life hurting your sex life? Today, couples have an onslaught of distractions keeping them from having sex, Andres said. “A lot more people are connected to devices – if they are watching videos, TV in the bedroom, texting or updating Twitter feeds, it’s detrimental to their sex lives,” Andres said. She compares refreshing a Twitter or Facebook feed to gambling. “That immediate gratification can be more compelling than let’s take the time to get in the bed and have sex,” she said. “Sex may have longer gratification and might have a bigger payoff, but people are going for fast and easy.” She said people can reclaim their bedroom and use it not to update Twitter, but to spend time with their partner. Too tired for sex? Join the club. Particularly for couples with children or stressful jobs, sometimes the idea of having sex is too much to bear, but having sex can have positive effects on your life. Andres said sex does several things for people; it releases endorphins that make you feel good and increase the feeling of closeness with your partner and it can clear the mind. Andes said if you have a “noisy brain,” sex reallocates your blood flow to your genitals and can help clear your thoughts. Schedule sex like you would any other activity, and show up! While the idea of romantic, spontaneous sex may be what many picture, it’s hard to find time for sex when people are consistently hard-pressed for time. “We have to schedule sex like everything else,” Andres said. “If you are scheduling going to a class, you show up turn off your phone, leave it in your car… People have to prioritize their sex lives the way they prioritize other things.” When is it time to see a counselor? Andres said people should seek help if they feel rejected or like their partner is not listening to their needs sexually. She said many couples might try to learn how to be more open with their partner about their needs by reading a book or watching a video on connecting.”Even couples that are happy with their sex life could see a therapist, because they will ask questions the couple may not have discussed or ideas they might not have known,” she said. Going to a therapist is an opportunity to learn more about yourself and your sex life.” Follow Mary Bowerman from USA Today Network on Twitter: @MaryBowerman