Apr 022014 22 Responses

Are You Having Enough Sex?

When couples ask how much sex they should be having, I generally say, “Probably more than one of you wants and a little less than the other desires.” Rarely does a couple possess the same sex drive.

Most of the time a husband desires more sex than his wife, but about 30% of the time the wife has a higher drive. Because of these differences, continual communication and negotiation must take place to have a healthy sex life. (For the 30%, see: Gentleman, Start Your Engines)

Here is a simple test to see if you are having enough sex:

Imagine you’ve scheduled sex. Maybe it’s a birthday, an anniversary, Valentine’s Day, or just an agreed upon rendezvous. No matter the scenario, you both plan on having sex tonight. (See: Three Types of Sex Every Married Couple Should Have)

Because sex is planned, the whole day is different. The day is filled with flirting. Moods are elevated. Communication is enhanced.

After work, the babysitter arrives. A nice restaurant is chosen. The night goes perfectly.

When you return home, the babysitter leaves, the kids are put to bed, and the time has arrived.

But there’s an issue. Maybe you ate too much. Maybe the night went too late. Maybe what began as a scratch in the throat has given way to a cold. Maybe work calls.

Whatever the issue, what was supposed to be the highlight of the night doesn’t take place.

What happens?

Disappointment is understandable.

Frustration is understood.

But is there trust? Compassion? Understanding?

Or is there anger? Bitterness? Deep division?

Extreme hurt or anger following this scenario can be a symptom of several issues but the most obvious may be the frequency, or infrequency, of sex. (See: I Wouldn’t Sleep With You Either)

The more satisfied a couple is with sexual frequency, the less influence one episode has on the feelings of a couple. If one disappointment causes an extreme response, the problem is something other than the one event.

Consider it this way: the longer it’s been since your last meal, the more important your next meal will be. If you skipped breakfast this morning, you would probably be pretty frustrated if you had to work through lunch. Yet if you had a late breakfast and ate more than normal, you may not even be upset if your lunch meeting cancels.

If your spouse gets a headache tonight and doesn’t desire sex, will it be a minor frustration or a major fight? If it’s the former, you are probably having enough sex. If it’s the latter, you probably need to consider increasing the frequency.

A Second Thought

There is a second consideration on this issue. Junk food is far more tempting when we are hungry. It’s much easier to make wise choices regarding food when our stomachs are satisfied.

The same is true with sex. While an individual is responsible for their own decisions and adultery is clearly forbidden, a husband or wife can assist their spouse by making sure they are satisfied with their sex lives. To regularly starve our spouse and then to send them out in a junk food world is foolishness. (See: You Will Have an Affair If…)

Your spouse was created by God to desire sex. God has clearly communicated that sex is only between a husband and wife. If God created your spouse to desire sex and made you the only appropriate sexual outlet for your spouse, how does that influence how much sex you have with your spouse?

Knowing your spouse is going to face a lot of “junk food” tomorrow, what kind of meal do you plan to cook for them tonight?

Are you happy with your sex life? Forward this to your spouse and thank them.

Is there some aspect of your sex life which needs improvement? Forward this to your spouse as a discussion starter.

For more, see:

The Top 5 Sex Posts of 2013

Spicing Up Married Sex by Learning from the Adulterer

22 Responses to Are You Having Enough Sex?
  1. Joshua Rogers Reply

    Great word. This is some serious wisdom.

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  5. deelmo Reply

    I liked this article. But you should also realize that if you ‘equate’ sex with food, then also note that if ‘food’, any type of food, is constantly being ‘served up’ whether you’re hungry or not, then a person will naturally develop an aversion to food. I don’t think most people want to ‘eat’ as much as some other people do. There must be compromise. The high drive spouse will have to dial it down, and the low drive spouse will have to dial it up. Both spouses need to accept this joyfully and with goodwill. Otherwise there will be resentment on both sides.

    A recent medical research paper has stated that sexual frequency of once per week is the normal and that anything over that does NOT lead to being more ‘happy’. Couples who were asked to increase their frequency actually reported being LESS happy. IMO – this was because of the ‘pressure’ being put on one spouse to ‘just do it’ and pressure put on the other spouse ‘to perform’.

    Sex is such a beautiful, complicated gift from God to marriage. It takes two people willing to compromise, willing to share, willing to serve the other, in order for it to enjoyed. And sex should enjoyed by both spouses.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      I’ve heard about that paper but haven’t seen it. I would love to see a link if you have one. I could imagine once a week would be great for many people, but it depends on season of life. I doubt once a week would be good in the early years of a young marriage.

  6. Chris Reply

    I read the article stating sex more than once a week did not make married couples happier. However, it doesn’t pass the “common sense” test, at least for most couples. More sex, close, attentive sex, not just going through the motions, absolutely makes my marriage stronger and draws me closer to my wife. It also makes me feel I can handle anything at work because I know my wife believes in me, not through empty words but in actions that impact the very core of my being. And it doesn’t take recreating scenes from Hollywood movies, which aren’t realistic, especially when trying to spend intimate time together without waking the kids. The reality is that being physically intimate often is a rarity, and sometimes it is less than that. However, those rare weeks are proof enough to me to know that multiple occasions for sex in a week definitely make for a happier marriage. And this is after more than two decades of married life.

  7. […] It’s all foreplay. (See: Are You Having Enough Sex?) […]... kevinathompson.com/its-all-foreplay
  8. Anthony Reply

    Well the answer is no, 1128 days since the last time. Last time I tried I was outwardly rejected. Add in that there is no effort on her part for affection, intimacy, or any other closeness. I am even scolded for even looking at her. She has plenty of affection available for our children, our dogs, cats, and other animals. Being married now for over 18 years early on we enjoyed a healthy sex life but now I have been rejected, yet I am expected to keep giving and meeting her needs for other things while my well is long since empty. Counseling has been suggested but we don’t have the budget for professionals.

  9. Todd S. Reply

    As I said on another post, I am a fallen man. I didn’t start out this way. I always had a strong drive for sex and romance, but I was born again at an early age, before the temptations of the flesh reached their peak. My wife and I dated for four years before we married, and while we weren’t virgins when we wed, we never lived together before we married.

    Fast forward to kids and jobs and so forth, my wife was always too exhausted for sex. I get it, but it still hurts when you think you’re not good enough for twenty minutes of love at the end of a stressful day. I used to joke that I was ready for sex once or twice a day, but my wife was only ready every week to ten days. So we compromised and did it every week to ten days. Except I wasn’t joking.

    I like how you say that a couple should be having sex probably more than the one who wants it less, and less than the one who wants it more. I was brewing bitterness and resentment for many years. I masturbated much more than I should have. I would find comfort and the pampering that I needed when traveling on business through massage parlors, escorts, stripper bars, etc. Ten years ago I was outed by someone who saw me at a hotel with a lady. We patched it together and things were somewhat better, but still not what I dreamed of in a relationship.

    So most of my 33 year marriage I was disappointed. I felt I had made a huge mistake by marrying my wife. I tried to communicate this to my wife, but I admit that the timing was probably poor, when she was tired and ready for sleep, and the conversations didn’t go well.

    Four years ago I began a wonderful relationship with an employee/coworker. We were alike in every way, including being disappointed with our choices in our spouses. I was an easy target for an affair, as I cared little for the future of my marriage; The way I saw it, the worst that could happen is I would get divorced and either be with the girl of my dreams or just be alone but not miserable any more.

    The other girl’s husband figured out what was happening just about four years into it, and made her leave my employ and never see me again. I had to confess to my wife what was going on as well. I made all sorts of promises in the heat of it, but after the adrenaline was reabsorbed, I just felt empty. My wife is approaching me for sex daily now, and I don’t mind, and I certainly can still perform, but my heart is not into it any more. I feel like my one chance to be happy is to leave.

    What I haven’t read on your site is when does it get to be too late? At a certain point is it too late to rekindle the fire? Can we get past the bitterness, resentment and trust issues? Can we ever be happy together again? Can I ever get over what I had with the other girl? I feel like if I have a chance with her, and I don’t take it, I will regret it for the rest of my life.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Have the two of you sought counseling? Are you still going, doing the homework, and making an effort. Until you have made a true effort at reconciliation, there is no way to tell if a relationship can make it or not.

  10. Todd S. Reply

    We are on our second counselor. Our first was a Pastor counselor that is a Gottman devotee. He painted such a bleak picture of what a reconciliation would look like that I didn’t want any part of it. All safety and no excitement. It felt like a game of cutthroat, the two of them against me. We have a much more intuitive counselor now, much younger. We are following her assignments and talking about the tough issues. Still not sure where it will end up, but the new counselor is promising.

  11. Todd S. Reply

    On many of your messages you describe how dangerous sexual rejection can be. We are proof of that. I have been conditioned to pull away from my wife due to the sleepless nights and ill feelings toward her. My personal counselor recommends cognitive therapy. What do you think?

    I have said that I would give up everything I own to be with the other girl. I can’t seem to let go. I’m not sure what to pray for.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      I think therapy would be useful. Remember–the other girl is an illusion. YOu are comparing the best of her to the worst of your marriage.

  12. Todd S. Reply

    Two marriage counselors, one personal counselor, one associate pastor (Who lost interest pretty quickly), and a several friends all have been counseling me/us. Love can’t be turned on and off like a water faucet. My wife has hope, but I really don’t. When do you call it quits?

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Hard to say. I will say, you have to be careful about getting too many voices involved. One personal counselor and one couples counselor are enough. Pastors can support, but they aren’t counselors.

  13. […] 5. An inappropriate perspective or expression of sex. Adultery doesn’t guarantee the end of a ... kevinathompson.com/7-habits-that-lead-to-divorce

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