So, apparently the average times of sex that one has a year is 54 times, so roughly once a week.
I call bullshit! Sure, there’s been a study… that’s 5 years old. But this study was of Americans only and was looking at individuals, not couples, or throuples etc. It also wouldn’t have taken into account asexual folk, people with disabilities, queer sex, solo sex, people who lie…and so on.
As a sex and relationship therapist, I can tell you that this number doesn’t seem to match up with my experience, personally and professionally. I’m not even going to tell you the number I think it might be, as this is not the point.
My issue with this study is that although it’s great to research sex (yay), putting a magnifying glass over a specific number can only do more harm than good. It sets us up for failure!
Why? Because people start to compare (and despair). There’s probably less of an issue thinking you’re above average… kinda like being in the mile high club, it’s a cool thing right? If you forget the icky airplane loos. Though of course, as we have to remember, there’s more than 7 billion people on this planet and for some, being above average will make them think something is wrong with them (slut shaming?) Which will be a similar feeling to those who are below average, worrying they’re broken and unloveable.
And even if you’re smack in the middle and you’re having an average quantity of sex…someone, somewhere will want to be having more, or less!
FYI - there is NOTHING wrong with you. You are amazing, you are normal.
This is all on the assumption that the people reading into these numbers actually care about their numbers and therefore subscribe to the heteronormative view that we should be having sex in a certain way, a certain amount of times a week. And even if you don’t subscribe to this BS, somewhere deep down we have ingrained in us (some of us) the need to conform and be the best, and therefore care anyway. Sigh.
So what do I think we need to focus on instead? QUALITY!
Quality has us focussing on how good the sex is, instead of counting.
If you could just take a moment, find your breath, ground your body and think about you and just you. Outside the influences of society, outside the influence of your partner. Think about your sex (solo or partnered) and how you’d like it to be. If you really have a think about what you want and need, do numbers come into it? Do they really?!
Sure, for some of you, it might matter. But come on, go deeper, look deeper, feel deeper. If numbers really matter, then quality still has to mean something right?
Let me ask you this. Do you want to be having sex for you. Or do you want to be having sex for a survey? For someone else? To just be a number in a system?
Focussing on quality will have you realise that when it’s good, you may not need it as much. You may also discover that quality = exploration. Quality = difference. This means that sex is a smorgasbord of play and touch and sensations and feelings and joy. It isn’t all about piv (penis in vagina), it isn’t all about orgasms. I’ve found what people really want when they want sex (apart from the odd quickie), is connection! And yes, you can find connection in casual sex, duh.
When you feel decently connected, felt, heard, seen and loved in sex, you realise you can also feel this way out of sex. Sex isn’t always the answer. Sometimes we ain’t got time for that! Sometimes sex isn’t the top priority. Sometimes we have to work, or do the washing up, or see our friends, or have a good conversation about the relationship. Sometimes you’re injured, or hungry, or grieving… the list goes on.
I know sex feels like it takes over your whole life, especially when you’re not having it, but does it need to? Yes it will be a priority, but only if we want to be. And when we make things a priority, it doesn’t discount all the other priorities in life! We can balance it all and make it all good.
I have another question for you. If you think sex is what matters right now, are you sure? Do you think a better sex life is the magic wand for a great relationship? Maybe your difficult sex life is just the consequence of relationship problems…maybe. Maybe it’s Maybelline. Maybe what you want is to connect. Maybe you don’t actually want much sex. Maybe your partner actually doesn’t want much sex. Maybe you think a high quantity of sex is the answer because that’s what the media tells you?
Let me ask you again… is 54 times a year really what you want? Have you even spoken to your lover about this? Are these just assumptions flying around? Are you forcing yourself and your libido to be something that it’s not? Sure, it might have been higher in the honey moon phase or when someone’s single, but that shit dies down when life kicks in.
And don’t get me wrong, a difference in libido and desire DOES exist in all/most relationships. But usually it’s manageable. Usually in therapy it’s resolves with communication and connection, not more sex.
This blog wont be for all, because as I said… 7 billion of you out there. But the point of this is to make you find you. Find your authentic and autonomous sex (or sexless). It could even be about quantity still, if you wish it, but have a little thinkle of why that is and if it feels right. If so, yay you. If not, sex therapy exists to explore further. Head over to my website, this website, our Insta pages or anywhere you love to feel validated in your sex life. Find what’s right for you and fuck the numbers.
Thanks for reading my lovelies
Love, your local sex & relationship therapist, Bima Loxley (they/them)