What Is A “Normal” Sex Drive? (Hint: It Doesn’t Exist)

When I was younger, sex was a forbidden topic. Everyone was curious about it, nobody was sure how complex it was, and all I really knew for sure was that it often leads to a baby. Then things made a bit more sense — well, sort of. I realized that birth control was a thing (thankfully) and sex can happen in plenty of different ways. But what about the frequency of sex? Is there a certain amount of time that people should be hitting the sheets on a weekly basis?

  1. Discussing sex drives may make you paranoid about your otherwise-healthy relationship. One thing you know for sure is that it’s a big part of connecting with your partner. That said, it’s very common to feel bad if you’re not having sex as much as people on the internet. Case in point, there’ve been plenty of times I’ve read a relationship-related post on Reddit saying that a couple’s sex drive went from four times a week to once a week, and how that just wasn’t enough. Was that normal?
  2. It’s a tough conversation to have with your partner. If they’re not initiating, and you’re not in the mood, it’s hard to suddenly ask if they’re getting enough sex out of the relationship. But, it may be important to ease your mind. When you’re comfortable with your partner, sex shouldn’t be a hard thing to talk about. It’s not the greatest and easiest, but it’s simply a natural part of your lives and your relationship.
  3. Here’s what science has to say about it. Of course, there have been numerous sex drive studies that can explain this pretty decently. WebMD reports that typically, men do have a stronger drive than women do. Men usually think about sex at least once a day. But, that doesn’t mean they’re constantly in the mood. It’s still a bad stereotype to assume that guys are always horny. Guys can very much be sexually assaulted if a woman assumes he “wants it.”
  4. But, that doesn’t occur just in straight relationships. The study also says that gay men have more sex than lesbians do. They’re also more into the idea of casual sex. Again, that’s not everyone — just the majority.
  5. Different libidos are only a problem if you have a problem with it. The thing is, every couple is different. You can never have sex but still have a better relationship than people who are constantly in the bedroom. If you and your partner don’t hold it as a high priority, it simply isn’t. But if it is, then the only person who’ll really know the answer is your partner. Aside from regular compatibility, sexual compatibility is very important.
  6. Your libido can also change. If you’ve had a really hard or pressing month, it makes sense that you’re not in the mood to be touched. New moms who nurse also feel a total drop, since they’re literally attached to a newborn most of the day. You can’t expect someone’s sex drive to constantly be the same. So, don’t automatically assume that everything is doomed if you and your partner stop having sex for a little bit. Put yourself in their shoes and understand what might be going through their head. If they’re stressed out at home, try and put in an effort to help them out. That, in itself, might spark up their libido.
  7. If your sex drive is too high, that also may be problematic at times. Greatist reports that there are plenty of things that may cause a high libido —it could be low self-esteem, drug use, or even anxiety. If your sex drive has gone up an alarming amount, it may be something you want to look into — especially if your partner’s is at a normal level and you’re fearful of cheating.
  8. Biological and environmental factors may also be at play. If your partner was raised in a home where sex was never discussed, or if an abstinence-only education was provided, it may be difficult for your partner to open up about sexuality. Again, that’s okay if they’re okay with it. If they’re happy with the amount they’re having (or not having) sex, it’s totally up to them. They might not be your best match if you disagree, but there’s nothing unhealthy about their view.
  9. You should never compare yourself to another couple. Every single couple is different when it comes to sex. You have a right to decide who to have it with, and how many times you do it. If you’re perfectly content with not having sex, there’s nothing wrong with you. If you like having sex every day and have a partner who feels the same, good on you. Just make sure to never shame someone for the amount of sex they’re having, or not having.
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication with a focus in Broadcasting and Print Media Studies from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, she has written for sites like LittleThings, HelloGiggles, and Scary Mommy and is currently an e-commerce editor at Bustle.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making her phone run out of memory after taking too many photos of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @karenebelz or on Instagram @karenbelz.