Updated: Nov 16, 2018
When it comes to frequency of sex, I believe that it is relative to the couple. I’ve had couples in therapy who stated they had sex 3 times/week and one of the partners felt it was not enough. I’ve had other couples who stated that it would be a miracle for them to have sex once/month. If there is more than a month that goes by without any physical intimacy I would consider that to be an issue (outside of medical issues, or age) and it needs to be addressed between the couple. Typically, when there is a lack of physical intimacy, there is also a lack of emotional intimacy and communication. It is important that regardless of how many times a week or month a couple has sex, they both need to be satisfied with the amount of sex they have. Sex is not all of intimacy but it is a part of it. When sex is great in a relationship, it only accounts for a small percentage of the happiness between partners, however when it is lacking, there is a significant decrease in satisfaction in the relationship. As a couple, you never want to get to a point when you feel that you are only roommates. You want your partner to be your best friend, and your lover. It is important for both partners to voice their desires, and needs with one another.
If there is difficulty with sex in the relationship, and a couple wants to get their “spark” or “flame” back, they ask the question of whether or not sex should be planned or spontaneous. In my professional opinion, I believe that it is better to go with what comes naturally. Sometimes, when couples plan sex, they begin to lead more with their thoughts instead of their emotions. This could get in the way of a passionate sexual experience (quality). In couple’s therapy, I sometimes have both partners reflect on the beginning of their relationships when they had chemistry and passion for one another (if it’s lacking). The goal of this exercise is to help the couple focus on the feelings they had with one another when they thought of the past. Often times, in the beginning of relationships, couples have sex multiple times/week or even per day. Thinking of those past feelings could help to ignite some of the flame that was there in the beginning of the relationship. On the other hand, it may be beneficial for couples who lack a sex life to plan a certain amount of times for the week or month. It is understandable that people get busy, raise families, and have jobs which may have some couples may feeling exhausted. Despite these things, it is important to have continued intimacy and passion. I have noticed over the years in working with couples that the ones who are genuinely happy have a wonderful sex life. Although I prefer spontaneity, sometimes planning may be appropriate. When it comes to planning my hope is that the couple does not lead with their thoughts. Thinking can take away from the passion; however if both partners open up during sex, then it can be an amazing experience.
] Lastly, I have to add that quantity and quality are two completely different things, especially when it comes to sex. It is very important to focus on the quality of the experience as opposed to counting the amount of times the couple has sex. I believe that sex is meant to be purely emotional and should be led with passion. When one or both partners focuses on the quantity of sex with their partner instead of the quality, it could potentially lead to a disconnection when the act of sex occurs. Sex will become a task just to please their partner as opposed to doing it because they enjoy it. If they happen to have sex with their partner just because they were in the mood five times in one week then that’s great. However, if they have a countdown in their mind of meeting a particular “quota” for the week, there would be less passion and more disconnection; at least on the partner who may feel that sex is an obligation. As a result the other partner may begin also recognize the disconnection as well. I think of an example of a couple I worked with. They had sex multiple times/week, however they still felt disconnected and unsatisfied. This was one of the couples where I had them actually plan a date night where they would have sex and also express to each other what they wanted and desired from one another. When they came into their next session they were much different with regard to their interaction with one another. They were affectionate in their words to one another as well as their physical affection. They reported that the experience of them expressing their desires to one another and being pleased bought them closer in ways that they had not been in years. This example shows that quality is much better than quality.
If you or your partner are having issues with sex and intimacy, make an appointment with us for a couples session at 678-561-4468 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.