Sex oftentimes seems like a math equation: How often should you have sex? How long should sex last? There always seems to be a magic number and an imaginary scoreboard.
Despite what you might've been lead to believe, the number of times you and your S.O. get frisky during the week and how long should sex last per session shouldn't depend on what you think you should do—far from it.
"The pressure stems from wanting to 'keep up with the Jones' or wanting to feel 'normal' or have a 'normal' sex life," says sexologist Marla Renee Stewart, MA, sexpert for Lovers (opens in new tab). "However, you really don't know what is going on in people's relationships, so it's best not to compare yours to anyone else's."
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How often should you have sex? Is there a set number?
While Stewart doesn't believe couples need to conform their habits to anyone else's, she does feel as though there is a number to suit biological needs.
"Having sex three to four times a week can help you maintain your intimate connection and bond, as well as fill you with those happy hormones that are necessary for our health," she says.
While it's totally up to you and your partner, there is certainly no need to keep track. Three—or 33—might work well for you. Who knows! Maybe your desire fluctuates based on your mood and circumstances, and that's OK, too!
"People are more likely to have sex when they have less stress, so the more that you can help your lover out with whatever stressors they have in their life, the more that frees them up for sexual possibilities," Stewart adds.
How do you find a perfect number?
Since things can get digits-focused in the bedroom, you'll want to be open with your S.O. and convey your needs.
"It's best to talk about this ahead of time and telling your partner how many times you like to have sex," Stewart says."That way, you two can compare your number and come up with a number that would suit the both of you. The best thing you can do is check in with one another to see if you are happy and satisfied."
(Psst: experts say talking about sex is considered the key to making the experience all the more enjoyable. Might as well make the conversation productive and lengthy!)
Bottom line? You shouldn't focus on pleasing anyone but yourselves. This also goes for the amount of time you've concocted in your heads about the duration of sex: considering no relationship is the same, and there are many different types of romantic activities involved, a scoresheet isn't necessary.
"No one should feel pressured to have sex for a certain amount of time," says Josh Porter from adult toy retailer Romantix (opens in new tab). "Sex should last as long as the participants feel aroused."
You do you—literally. When in doubt, a little self-love can go a long way, and it's key to helping women have their most intense orgasms. Get to know yourself first, and it'll be a perfect way to make romance with a partner satisfying—for both parties.
Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, covering all-things news, lifestyle and entertainment.
The heart of her time at Future has been devoted to My Imperfect Life, where she's been attuned to the cosmos and honed in on astrology coverage within the Life vertical. She's partial to writing pieces about the next big TV obsession—anyone else impatiently waiting for "Conversations with Friends"—and keeping you up to date on new trends like the latest must-have from Zara.
Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, amNewYork and Newsday, among other outlets.
When Danielle is not working, you can usually find her reading a new book, coffee at hand, or attempting a new recipe. (Recommendations always welcome!)
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