Although I do not generally use others to gauge what is normal for my life, I have recently had discussions with other couples about the frequency of intimacy within their marriage. Their responses left me curious. The title is slightly misleading, as there is no real “normal” with anything parenting or marriage related. After all, we are all different and our marriages each unique. However, these conversations left me questioning whether my sex life is healthy.
How often is enough?
A wise woman once told me in my formative years that “sex is the glue that holds a marriage together.” That statement, made in passing, has really stuck with me. Now that I have been married for almost 6 years, I can say at times, it is 100% true. I personally believe that it is necessary and a must. The real question is, though, how often is enough? As I said before, I don’t typically look at other people’s lives to measure my own success but I needed to know if our sex life was average. Average, I am ok with; below average, I am not.
These past 9 months is the longest I have gone without either being pregnant or breastfeeding in 4 years. To say I am tapped-out, touched-out, etc. come 8:00pm is an understatement. I get ALL the physical contact from my loving two and four year old boys. I was quite comfortable with the amount of times we were intimate on a weekly basis but casual conversations with acquaintances made me rethink things. No, they didn’t have toddlers, but what if my excuse to my husband of “trust me, you are getting it as much as any other dad with toddlers,” simply was not true?! I didn’t want to point blank ask my friends how often they were getting frisky because at the end of the day, I did not care how many times so-and-so was getting it on. Instead, I just wanted to know what the average was for parents of young children. Sex is healthy and necessary for a marriage but how often is unique to each couple. As one mom said, “we were a couple before kids and we will be a couple after the kids leave.” I do not want to neglect my marriage while my children are young. So without further adieu, I have anonymously polled women who fit that description and this is what I learned:
92% have sex no more than 2 times in a one week period
In a one week period, 23% have sex 0 times, 54% have sex 1 time, 15% have sex 1-2 times, and only 8% have sex 3 times. 0% have sex more than 3 times in one week. So if you hit 3, you can reassure your loving partner that you’re doing great!
85% had sex more frequently before having children
No shock there, right? This is a revolutionary study, we know. Whereas post kids, the most times in a one week period was 3; prior to having children, some couples had sex as frequently as 5 times per week. Before becoming parents, 54% of couples were having sex 2-3 times per week and 15% had sex more than 3 times per week.
77% of the time it is the wife saying “no” to sex
Again, no real shock to me. Most women gave the reason that they are tired or tapped out as the excuse. Other reasons included different circadian rhythms, trouble switching from role of “mom” to “wife,” lack of time and weight gain.
I hope that you, like me, find comfort in these honest numbers. If you find yourself in the “less is more” or quality over quantity (read :: you are doing the deed once a week, twice if he’s lucky), then rest assured, you are not alone. Most moms stand in solidarity with you. If you are getting your freak on tri-weekly, rock on momma. Remind your husband he is a lucky man. There really is no such thing as “normal” because every marriage is different. If you are unsatisfied with your current sex life, Angelina offers some great tips on how to keep things interesting.