Many couples wonder how much sex is normal in their new relationship. Sex experts say it depends on the individual couple.
Licensed marriage family and sex therapist Christene Lozano says it’s completely up to the individuals how often they want to be intimate. She also points out that going too long without sex can put unnecessary strain on the relationship.
1. You’re in love
If the two of you are in love, there is a strong chance that sex is already a major part of your relationship. This may be a sign of intense chemistry and can also include things like licking lips, twirling hair, and extended eye contact. But it’s important to note that this doesn’t mean you have to be sexually intimate all the time.
In fact, sex might not even be what the two of you want right now. If you’re in a new relationship and find that you are sex-less more than you are together, this could be a sign of a bigger problem. It’s important to talk about the issue and work out a compromise.
It’s not just teens who are having less sex than they used to: people of all ages and marital statuses are spending less time in the sack. And this is no small thing. The waning of libido is not only linked to divorce rates, but it can have an impact on happiness overall.
Ultimately, it’s not just about hitting a number — sex is about creating intimacy between two people. And if that’s the case, then the two of you will determine what amount is normal for your relationship. For some, that may mean once a week; for others, it could be more or less.
2. You’re excited
In the beginning of a relationship, it’s normal to be super stoked about your new partner. You’re engrossed in each other, you love talking about everything from your favorite foods to the latest episode of Game of Thrones and you probably want to spend a lot of time together. This includes, of course, intimate activities.
This is especially true when you’re in the honeymoon phase. During this stage, you might be eager to have more sex because it’s exciting and it releases all of those feel-good hormones that enhance feelings of connection and intimacy, explains Fleming.
However, as your relationship progresses, it’s not uncommon to see a dip in sexual frequency. If you and your partner decide that once a week is more than enough, then that’s totally fine. However, you should always make sure that you’re prioritizing your sex life and you’re communicating openly about sexual desires.
It’s important to remember that the average couple has sex about once a week, but it really depends on the individuals. And comparing how much sex you have to what others do can be a slippery slope to dissatisfaction. Instead, sex therapists say that you should focus on having quality time in the bedroom and ensuring that your needs are met. This way, you can avoid the feeling that you’re missing out on something vital to your relationship’s happiness.
3. You’re vulnerable
One of the biggest things to remember when you’re wondering if the amount of sex your partner and you are having is normal is that there’s no such thing as a “normal” amount. It depends on everything from your age and sex drive to what your partner is dealing with in his or her own life.
Experts do agree that on average, couples have sex about once a week. But sex therapists warn that that statistic shouldn’t be your only guide.
Instead, you should focus on what your needs are, and make sure you’re communicating them to your partner. “We can become a bit nostalgic for the beginnings of our relationships where sex was more frequent, but in reality we shouldn’t let that number dictate whether or not we’re satisfied with our sexual relationship,” Battle says.
You should also take into account that sex doesn’t have to be solely physical—you can also bond with your partner through cuddling, oral and manual stimulation, or just talking about your sexual fantasies. And, remember, the most important factor in a satisfying sex life is that both partners feel fulfilled by it. That might not always happen right away, but with communication and patience, it can come around eventually. Hopefully, by then you won’t be Googling how much sex is normal.
4. You’re communicating
Many couples may struggle with the question of how much sex is normal. In fact, it’s so popular a topic of discussion that you can find an endless number of articles and message boards dedicated to the subject. But the answer isn’t as cut and dry as you might think. In reality, it’s up to the couple to figure out what their ideal frequency of physical intimacy is.
Generally, experts say that the average couple has sex around once a week, though this can vary slightly between couples depending on ages and libido levels. However, experts warn against using this as a metric for your own relationship because it often doesn’t account for individual preferences or the ebb and flow of a couple’s sexual satisfaction.
New relationships go through a period of time called limerence that can last anywhere from 18 months to 2 years, Sari Cooper, certified sex and relationship therapist and founder of Center for Love and Sex, tells INSIDER. During this time, your brain is full of chemicals that create feelings of euphoria and connection with your partner.
During this time, your desire for sex might be higher than it is later on in the relationship because of all these positive emotions. This is a great time to try out different methods of physical intimacy and see what works best for you and your partner.