We're going to preface this by saying that, when it comes to matters of the heart, there's no one-size-fits-all formula; it's up to you and your partner to decide what works for you in the bedroom. Sex expert Tracey Cox is in agreement: "Your fitness levels, the state of your relationship, your natural resting libidos, medication, stress levels, career pressure, depression, menopause, erection difficulties, feeling unwell, too drunk, too angry, too tired—we're human beings, not machines, and all these factors affect desire," she wrote for Daily Mail.
"Traditionally, therapists say sex counts for about a quarter of the total happiness of a relationship."
But as far as science is concerned, there are certain (admittedly generalizing) formulas to look to if you're trying to determine how much sex is "normal" or, better yet, indicative of a happy, loving relationship. While the "average" couple is said to have sex once a week, according to a 2015 study on the sexual frequency and well-being of married couples, others suggest that as long as the pressure's off, the more sex, the better. Daily sex is not the norm for long-term couples.
"A sizeable US study done earlier this year (of 2,400 married couples) found although couples who had more sex said they were happier, the benefit leveled off at once a week," Cox wrote.
Take the book The Normal Bar, for instance. "Published in 2013 and written by three well-respected U.S. scholars (including sexologist Pepper Schwartz), it draws on thousands of surveys to find out what makes couples happy," explains Cox. "Three to four times a week was the perfect amount for prime levels of happiness, according to the authors."
She goes on to say that if you "don't have children, are in the peak of health, going through a great time in your relationship, highly sexed and highly motivated, this could be your magic number." All in all, she recommends being realistic about your sex life. Time, mood, and level of relaxation all factor into sexual frequency and satisfaction.
Head over to Daily Mail for more from Tracey Cox.