Should you go on a sex fast? Here's what the experts say about the new trend

Thanks to Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker, sex fasts are the latest hot topic of conversation

empty bed meant to signify sex fast
(Image credit: Siraphol Siricharattakul / EyeEm/Getty Images)

The idea of a sex fast seems like a foreign concept to most couples, but Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker's recent attempt has seemingly gained traction. 

The PDA-prone couple seemingly cannot keep their hands off one another for a split second, yet they managed to forgo the most intimate act of all. In a recent interview, Kardashian claimed the gesture made "everything better." 

Is this bound to be one of the new sex trends of 2022? Is it actually worth pursuing? It's all up to you and your S.O.

“Take a long and honest look at your relationship with sex and ask yourself whether it is healthy," says Annabelle Knight, sex and relationship expert at Lovehoney. “If the answer is, 'yes,' then why stop? Why give up something you enjoy and makes you feel good?"

It's a sensitive subject, but the case can be made for attempting a sex fast or staying away from it entirely. Here's what the pros have to say. 



The pros of a sex fast

1. Reignites passion

Taking a little breather allows you to start talking about sex and what's working or not in the bedroom. Science says that discussions on the subject lead to even more intimacy.

"A break from sex can be an opportunity to renew our relationship with sex and restart on a better footing," Knight says. "Sometimes a break can enable you both to sit back and talk about what has gone wrong, reflect and then approach sex again with renewed vigor."

If you need a few more expert-backed tips for how to reset your sex life, we have you covered. 

2. Defines the relationship

How to have the "defining the relationship" talk—it's a tall order, but sometimes a sex fast could help put things into perspective. 

"A fast from sex can help determine if your relationship is more than just physical attraction," says Charlotte Johnson, Sexpert at Mega Pleasure. "Find the difference between lust and love."

3. Offers a mental health break

Let's face it: it's not uncommon to be stressed about sex. Between feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt to emotional trauma, the thought of the act can feel overwhelming at times, and a little break could be beneficial. 

"Maybe you have the psychological pressure of wanting to have an orgasm or maybe you suffer from performance anxiety. Having a sex fast alleviates this pressure and anxiety because you are no longer worrying about how you need to perform or what your body is doing," suggests Marla Renee Stewart, MA, sexpert for Lovers.

Woman lying on bed with legs in air

(Image credit: Image credit: Getty Images)

The cons of a sex fast

1. Increases detachment

"When humans have sex, endorphins are released which is good for their health," says Jacob Østerby Bager, researcher at Bedbible.com. "When you don’t have sex It can start minor mind games which make you feel less connected to your partner."

2. Decreases health benefits

Activating your pleasure points not only feels good but does the body good: O's are an immune system pick-me-up and a mood booster that's most welcome. You'd be waving those feelings goodbye with a sex fast. 

"You don't get the health benefits of having sex such as the boosts of your happy hormones (dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin), cardiovascular exercise, or an additional shared bonding time with a lover or lovers," Stewart says. 

The fast could also possibly hinder your perception.  

"It can affect your self-esteem and confidence," Johnson says. "You may lose confidence in your sex skills after long intervals of no sex."

3. Boredom

Well, maybe the Netflix lineup isn't to you and your S.O.'s liking. Now what?

couple holding hands in bed

(Image credit: Getty Images / Meng Yiren)

There are no rules—always do what works best for you and your partner, sex fast or not. 

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!)