Sex is different for everyone, so why do we worry so much about how often we should have sex? Let's look at whether there is such a thing as a 'normal' sex drive and how much sex you actually 'should' be having.
BY THE ROAM TEAM 9 MIN READ
is someone's overall desire for anything sexual, and it can be affected by biological, psychological and social factors.
When it comes to sex, people usually worry about whether they’re having ‘too much’ or ‘too little’ sex and whether this could jeopardise their relationship as a result. It’s no surprise that so many think this way when historically, sex has been tied to performance and is closely related in film, TV and media to outdated notions of masculinity and femininity. This all makes it look like there is only one way to have sex. Destigmatising this idea is key to realising sex is as unique as the individual.
Libido fluctuates in all individuals due to a range of mental, social, and physical factors including mental health, alcohol consumption, diet, hormonal cycles and even the weather. Think of libido as your mood: in the short term, if you’ve had a difficult day at work or you’ve caught the flu, your mood may be lower. In the long term, if you’re experiencing mental health issues or don’t have enough time to do things you enjoy, your mood will adjust accordingly. Equally, positive changes affect your mood, and libido is much the same. It’s a reflection of your personality and your environment.
Because of changes in libido, the amount you have sex in a relationship fluctuates too. However, having sex frequently, such as a few times a week, in a relationship, builds intimacy with your partner, which in turn strengthens your relationship. Intimacy, whether in the form of sex or in other forms, is therefore key to and for a healthy relationship, as well as having many health benefits.
Factors such as age and gender could be said to make a difference to libido, with some women experiencing a drop in libido as they enter their 40s and 50s, and men reporting a shift later, in their 60s and 70s. Some studies show that higher levels of testosterone in men results in higher libido overall when compared to women.
Those in relationships might find that their libido fluctuates according to changes within the relationship itself such as compatibility, responsiveness to each other’s needs, and general fulfilment derived from that relationship.
Generally speaking, it’s useful to look holistically at how these factors operate together rather than exploring one issue in isolation.
There is usually a reasonable explanation for low libido, and it’s typically linked to wider issues. Libido is directly related to various hormones and peptides within the body, meaning it can be affected by a variety of factors, including stress, depression, fatigue, illness, menopause, and psychological trauma amongst many others. Research now recognises that libido is a key indicator of general health and good quality of life.
Negative sexual experiences like difficulty having sex due to pain, or inability to orgasm can make sex feel upsetting and frustrating, which lowers libido as a result.
As well as mental health, non-sexual health problems like arthritis, cancer, and diabetes can affect your sex drive. And certain prescription medications, like hormonal contraceptives or antidepressants in the form of SSRIs, have the same effect. Unhealthy eating habits, smoking and drinking, and lack of sleep also have a negative impact.
Navigating your sex life within your natural libido means paying attention to how you feel and what makes you happy, as well as your partner. Having low or high libido only becomes a problem when it causes issues in your relationship, or if there’s a sudden change. Simply put, however, if you are happy, satisfied and receive and give love in your relationship, your sex life should both reflect and be aided by frequency of sex within the boundaries of you and your partner’s natural libido.
Libido is hugely personal and varies from person to person. The idea that you need to be having a standardised amount of sex is a total myth. Libido is largely intuitive and the only time there is a problem is when you feel that there is one! If you are unfulfilled by the amount of sex you’re having, or unhappy with the highness/lowness of your libido, that’s when you can take action.
As a society, we need to ease into establishing a more open dialogue about sex and sex drive. It’s normal for libido to fluctuate, and normal to have higher or lower sex drive than others – we are not all the same, and allowing free flowing conversations among friends will detract from the impression that everyone else is having more sex than we are.
Be kind to yourself and your body when it comes to sex drive. Don’t compare yourself to others, follow your intuition, and look after your physical and mental health. Libido is just one of many factors that indicate personal health and wellbeing, so give yourself the attention you need!
You can always supplement your libido with Roam's 100% natural Libido Supplement for Him and Her, to balance mood and ease the stress which can contribute to low libido.
Team Roam x