Are you get­ting enough?

Re­search from T.O.’s Amy Muise un­cov­ers the an­swer to sex­ual fre­quency needs

Bayview Post - - Life - DR. JESS Jess O’Reilly is a sought-af­ter speaker, au­thor and sex­ol­o­gist (www.SexWithDrJess.com).

Stud­ies sug­gest that cou­ples who have sex more fre­quently are happier, but Amy Muise (PhD), now an as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor at York Univer­sity, and her team found that this as­so­ci­ated hap­pi­ness maxes out at once per week. Muise ex­plains that weekly sex seems to be enough to main­tain the con­nec­tion, and the hap­pi­ness boost is re­ally about pri­or­i­tiz­ing in­ti­macy and sex — not about keep­ing score.

Once per week is in line with the North Amer­i­can av­er­age for mar­ried cou­ples who re­port that they have sex “sev­eral times per month to weekly.” And al­though ex­perts cau­tion that qual­ity is more im­por­tant than quan­tity, ad­dress­ing sex­ual fre­quency is es­sen­tial, as de­sire dis­crep­an­cies can lead to ten­sion, strife and re­sent­ment.

To over­come the ex­pe­ri­ence of de­sire dis­par­i­ties, you need to talk openly about how of­ten you want to have sex. This con­ver­sa­tion is of para­mount im­por­tance be­cause most of us can­not ac­cu­rately gauge how of­ten our part­ner de­sires sex. If you want sex more of­ten than your part­ner, you’re more likely to un­der­es­ti­mate their in­ter­est and they’re likely to do the op­po­site and over­es­ti­mate yours.

To ad­dress this dis­con­nect, I sug­gest you un­der­take a sim­ple ex­er­cise with your part­ner ev­ery six months: record how of­ten you want sex on a piece of pa­per (e.g., once per week, once per month, once per hour). Be hon­est. Un­der­neath your num­ber, write down how of­ten you be­lieve your part­ner wants to have sex. Have your part­ner do the same and then com­pare notes. Have a laugh. Have a dis­cus­sion. And then ad­dress strate­gies to meet some­where in the mid­dle.

As you search for com­mon ground (this is key to cre­at­ing sex­ual com­pat­i­bil­ity), you’ll want to ask and an­swer four ques­tions:

1. What can we do when one is in the mood and the other is not (e.g., self-plea­sure, toys, al­ter­na­tive forms of in­ti­mate con­nec­tion, ex­plore ways to get in the mood — this one is so im­por­tant, as many of us only ex­pe­ri­ence sex­ual de­sire af­ter we’re aroused)?

2. What can I do to ad­just my in­ter­est in sex (e.g., ex­er­cise, med­i­tate, pos­i­tive self-talk, give di­rec­tions, fan­ta­size, mas­tur­bate)?

3. What can my part­ner do to sup­port my in­ter­est in sex (e.g., share work­load, in­crease af­fec­tion, spend qual­ity time, eroti­cize daily in­ter­ac­tions, im­prove sex­ual tech­nique and se­duc­tion)?

4. How can we in­di­cate to one another that we’re (not) in the mood and how can we stay con­nected when sex is off the ta­ble?

Cul­ti­vat­ing com­pat­i­bil­ity is a team ef­fort, and you are, of course, not re­quired to meet your part­ner’s sex­ual needs, but if you’re in a monog­a­mous re­la­tion­ship, you likely want to find a mu­tu­ally sat­is­fy­ing bal­ance.

Amy Muise and her team found that weekly sex is suf­fi­cient for cou­ples

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.