Can Frequency of Intercourse Impact the Health of a Relationship? Experts Reveal the Answer

Can Frequency of Intercourse Impact the Health of a Relationship? Experts Reveal the Answer

It differs from person to person, and from couple to couple. While some experts think less than 10 times a year is a concern, some others are of the opinion that there is no fixed number to it. But this study gives you the ideal number.

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Every married or committed couple would have wondered at some point or the other if they were having enough sex. The answer is, it depends, because who decides how much is "enough?" However, if you are concerned about being happy with your sex life, then the answer is once a week, which is not too frequent and not too infrequent. For couples that are super busy with work and childcare responsibilities, this number is small enough to not feel any pressure too.

A study conducted by the University of Toronto Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, found that people in committed relationships who had sex more than once a week felt happier but the benefit was the same as when they had sex once a week. Having more sex in a week did not lead to greater happiness than those who did it once a week.

So, rest easy couples and stop judging yourself for having too little sex. It is not a competition against other couples after all.

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"I do think couples can end up feeling pressure to try to engage in sex as frequently as possible," Amy Muise, a postdoctoral researcher studying sexual relationships at Dalhousie University in Canada, told CNN. Once a week "is maybe a more realistic goal to set than thinking you have to have sex every day and that feels overwhelming and you avoid it," said Muise, who is the lead author of the study.

Benefits of sex

For humans, the state of their romantic relationship plays a crucial part in their own happiness. And, sex, of course, plays an important part of a romantic relationship. It is capable of boosting our levels of happiness since people feel more satisfied with their relationship, according to survey data by the U.S. National Survey of Families and Households.
"For people in relationships, their romantic relationship quality is one of the biggest predictors of their overall happiness," Muise said. "Having sex more than once a week might not be enhancing that (relationship connection), although it is not bad."

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The researcher also mentioned where the survey fell short. It is not clear if the sex came before happiness. It is possible that those who had sex weekly or more were already happy in their relationship and life or it could also be true that sex made them happier while being happy also leads to sex regularly.

What experts have to say

Ian Kerner, Ph.D., a sex therapist, told Healthline that there’s no one right answer to how often you should have sex. However, he too recommends sex at least once a week. Dr. Kerner says, “Sex seems to be rapidly falling to the bottom of America’s to-do list; but, in my experience, when couples stop having sex their relationships become vulnerable to anger, detachment, infidelity and, ultimately, divorce. I believe that sex matters: It’s the glue that keeps us together and, without it, couples become ‘good friends' at best, or ‘bickering roommates' at worst.”

According to David Schnarch, Ph.D., who had conducted a study that revealed that only 26% couples are able to hit the once-a-week mark, having sex less than 10 times a year, which is less than once a month, is reason enough to call it a sexless one. While the previous research suggests that 54 times a year, which is the number of weeks we have, is just right.

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You should have sex only as many as times as you like, says Raffi Bilek, a couples counselor and the director of the Baltimore Therapy Center.

“Couples often make the mistake of shooting for some number in order to feel okay about their sex life,” Bilek opines. “The truth is that whatever is comfortable for you and your partner is your normal. You don’t need to be having sex any more or less than you’d like.”