There’s one thing every one of my clients and every potential client has in common: they think they aren’t having enough sex. Sometimes they tell me they’re having sex several times each week. Other times, that number drops to a few occurrences per year.
Regardless of their number, most people don’t think they’re having enough sex
This is what happens when we don’t have honest conversations around sex. People compare themselves to some undefined norm, often without a) having had conversations with others, and b) reflecting on their own satisfaction with their sex life.
It’s easier to think that if you just have more sex, you’ll feel more satisfied or your relationship problems will improve. Unfortunately, that’s not often the case.
Numbers are just information
My friend, Kimmay reminds me of this all the time. In fact, she created an entire campaign around it called #MoreThanMyNumbers!
Numbers are information. Information is useful. But it doesn’t tell the whole story of who you are or what your sex life and relationship are like.
Numbers don’t tell us if the sex is satisfying or unfulfilling. How your partner(s) treats you. If you enjoy yourselves.
The only thing it reveals is how often you have sex.
I don’t care how often you have sex
People are often surprised that, as a sex educator, I don’t care much about this number. Here are a few things I do care about:
- The quality and connection between partners
- Your day to day interactions
- Whether you feel seen and supported
- Your pleasure
I also care about why you feel you aren’t having enough sex. Why you want more sex. And, if you want more sex, why you aren’t having it?
When your sexual frequency indicates a problem
As a piece of information, how often you have sex can indicate that something is wrong in your sex life or relationship. This usually happens when it’s paired with another issue, one you may or may not even be aware of. Here are three common issues that I often see paired with the complaint about not having enough sex that would indicate there’s some work to do:
The three most common issues that this struggle is paired with and would indicate an issue:
You and/or your partner(s) aren’t happy. If you aren’t satisfied with your sex life and/or how often you have sex, it’s worth exploring what else is going on in your life and relationship that holds you back from getting it on more frequently.
There’s a mismatch in your desire. If one of you wants sex daily and the other would be happy with monthly, then your frequency will be part of a larger conversation about your sex life and how to satisfy both your needs. It’s worth noting that desire is a complex issue, and can easily be drained by exhaustion, stress, or similar issues.
You never talk about sex. One of my recent counseling clients came to me complaining of low desire and infrequent sex with her husband. She wanted to want and have it more! Through our work together, she and her beau discovered that their libidos were pretty much the same, as were the contexts in which they felt in the mood. They had never talked about it so both assumed the other was unhappy! Their issue wasn’t how often they had sex but how to be OK with not wanting it more.
I can’t guarantee this will be what happens for you, but talking helps get you on the same page and discover what the real problem is.
The only people who need to be satisfied with their number is you and your beau(s)
Your sex life is your own. If you’re struggling to reconcile your expectations with your reality, start to notice your thoughts and gently investigate them.
For example, maybe you find yourself wishing you had sex more. Start by simply noticing this thought when it comes up. Then, expand your awareness: what was happening around you and in your mind when this thought popped in? Next, question it. Is this true? What does having more sex mean to you? Why is it important to have more sex? Are there other ways to meet this need?
Getting underneath the thoughts help you discover your truth and follow your own path, without comparison or worry about the shoulds.
If you feel fulfilled, then keep on keeping on.
If you don’t, take a bigger picture view to see what is holding you back from having sex more frequently.