Sexual Myths and Your Relationship
Myth #6: For a good relationship you should have sex X times per week/month/year.


Our Obsession with Counting

Ever since Kinsey's landmark studies of American sexual practices, we've been obsessed with counting - number of partners, frequency of sexual intercourse, how many seconds until orgasm, how many orgasms. And with this comes the belief that there is some canonically correct "way to do it", a magic formula that, if met, guarantees sexual satisfaction to all.

This persistent demand that sex somehow be broken down into its simplest tangible components paradoxically leaves the puzzled practitioner less satisfied.

Quality of Sex Is More Important Than Quantity of Sex

Gina Ogden's wonderful book The Heart and Soul of Sex critiques this American fetish of wanting to count everything. She points out that it is the quality of sexual experience that matters far more than the quantity of various acts -- the ineffable quality of a lover's touch upon one's body, the spiritual powers that are unleashed in sexual alchemy as two lovers play together.

With regard to the perennial question of frequency of sexual contact between partners: it's the interesting challenge that every intimate partnership faces. Rarely do two long-term lovers experience sexual desire at exactly the same moment. It's also likely that these same two partners experience hunger -- or fatigue -- on different schedules as well. But it seems easier to negotiate the mutual satisfaction of those needs, perhaps because we're more practiced at discussing them openly and calmly, and take it less personally.

Obsessing about "what's normal" dismisses the reality of the complexity of human sexuality. There is no normal! What matters is that sexual interaction be completely consensual, the delightful result of two adults discovering how to dance their sexual and sensual dance together. It's entirely likely that that may be different each and every time.

« Previous Myth #5: Talking about sex takes the romance away

Next Myth #7: It's best to find what works in sex, and stick to it »

Return to Menu of Sexuality and Sex Therapy Articles »