Do you have to have sex several times a week in order to make a relationship work? Is it even possible to have a healthy relationship without a lot of sex? Read on and be surprised by the answer…

As a couples’ therapist, I often meet with clients experiencing dissatisfaction with their sex life. One couple in particular sat on the couch in my clinic. They had contacted me to get me to help them with their sex drive.

This is a conversation I’ve heard many times before but may have a bit of a surprising twist. More often than not, there’s such a big difference between how much sex you feel you should be having to how much sex you actually want to have.

The neighbor’s crazy sex life – Keeping up with the Joneses

Imagining how everyone else – your friends, your neighbors, your colleagues – is having far better and far more sex than you are is something many, many men and women do. The reality of it all is a bit different than what we tend to think.

The thing is, we only hear the wild sex stories and this leads us to believe how burning hot it is in everyone else’s bedrooms. And what if this level of hotness doesn’t exactly match your own? Then there must be something wrong with the two of you. Or is there?

Do you really HAVE to have sex two to three times a week to have a good sex life?

NO! You most certainly don’t!

Having several sexologist certifications under my belt, me saying this often comes as a bit of a surprise to the couples I meet. The thing is though my job is not about pushing forward rules of how much sex people should be having. My job is all about helping couples and guiding them to find “their solution” and to uncover what’s good for them.

Love and sex are connected, right?

Often the frustrations take shape because we tend to think that an active sex life is directly proportional to the level of love in the relationship. If we’re not as active in bed as we feel like we should be, then there must be something wrong with the relationship or the love we feel for one another. No?

Hang on a minute!

Not everyone has a high sex drive and if both partners feel fine and don’t feel like they’re missing out on anything but simply enjoy the sex and the intimacy they have when they do have sex, then what’s the problem exactly?

But “shouldn’t” we? No, you shouldn’t. I know A LOT of couples, and I’ve helped so many couples figuring out their very own definition of what a well-functioning sex life is.

For some, a well-functioning sex life is not about quantity but rather about quality. There are so many couples that would much prefer to schedule in sex; let’s say the first Saturday in every month or every sixth or eighth week and then go all out. Really spoil each other and please each other. Or couples who just have sex whenever they feel like it but are fine even if it’s only every few months.

Not everyone feels the need for sex several times a week and if that’s how you guys feel, then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. You have a well-functioning sex life as long as you’re both happy with it. Whether that means having sex every 3 days, weeks, months, or years.

Who decides?

But isn’t desire important? Yes, for some this is important. For others: not so much. There isn’t a rule of “this is how a well-functioning sex life looks.” There is no right or wrong way to have a well-functioning sex life.

Well-functioning looks like whatever you guys decide it looks like. It can also differ depending on whatever period of life you’re in. I’m pretty sure that a well-functioning sex life looks a bit different to a family with young kids than it does to a couple who just met. Or what about the people who are ill and maybe aren’t actually able to have penetration sex (a.k.a. good old fashioned in/out sex)? Again, this sex life would look very different.

So please, let go of what you think it should look like. It’s no use thinking there’s a certain “recipe” you need to follow in order to have a “good relationship” and a “good sex life”. It’s entirely up to you what constitutes these. No one else.

If you and your partner are both feeling satisfied, then take a deep breath and enjoy that you’re on the same page. Let go of the thoughts of what you “should be doing.” There’s only one thing you should be doing, and that’s whatever is good for you and your partner and your relationship.