Welcome to Ask Anka, a weekly column in which sex therapist Anka Radakovich dives deep into your most intimate issues with advice and tips to help you live your best sex life. Have a question for Anka? Drop us a DM (no fear, we'll keep it anonymous) on Instagram @brides
How frequently should we be having sex once we’re married?
There is no magic number to how many times the magic should happen in the bedroom. But one thing is for sure: Amazing sex leads to an amazing marriage. You have to figure out how much sex each of you need, so everyone can be happy—and that might be different for everyone. There will be times when you can’t get enough of each other and want to do it three times a day. Other times you just might not be feeling it, and that’s okay. Here are some things to keep in mind so you worry about doing it less and actually do it more.
Do the Math, but Don't Keep Score
Newly-married couples in their 20s and 30s report having sex an average of 2-3 times a week. While several studies have tracked how much sex people are having, which can range from twice a day to twice a month, a more interesting study that surveyed 30,000 Americans said couples who had sex once a week felt happy in their relationships; less than once a week made them feel unsatisfied.
Stress Less, Talk More
Instead of focusing on the exact frequency of sex, focus on using sex as a stress reliever—instead of getting stressed out and then using that as an excuse not to have sex. Stress is the number one reason people don’t want to have sex.
Take this, for instance: I once had a boss who was subtly abusive to me all day long, knocking me down at any opportunity, so he could prove how smart he was. One night my boyfriend wanted to have sex, but I couldn’t get my mind off my jerky boss, leaving me to turn down my lovely boyfriend's sex suggestion. He was hurt, and proceeded to ask, “Is there anything I can do to make it better?” I told him I hadn't had a massage in years, which led him to rubbing my back and making fun of my boss’s hair. By making me laugh and forget my work woes, I was ready to have sex with him.
One reason people cheat or feel unhappy in relationships is that one person “shuts down” the other person for sex too often. But usually refusing to have sex with someone has nothing to with their partner. Another reason could be being mad at each other. This “shut down” leads to more resentment, less communication, and eventual cheating, with “my partner won’t have sex with me” as the excuse to cheat. It doesn’t need to happen. If you are mad at your partner, bring it up, work it out, yell at each other if you have to, and then have some amazing make-up sex.
How to Have (More Frequent) Sex
A recent study called “Music Makes it Home,” discovered that couples who listened to music—trying out new stuff from Spotify, Tidal, Pandora, and Apple Music, and playing it out loud in the house together—had more sex. That’s because they put their phones down, and talked to each other more. The study also revealed that music changes our brains. When we listen to music, our nucleus accumbens and the striatum parts of the brain, or the “pleasure centers,” release dopamine, and we feel happy. The study surveyed 30,000 people and found that 67% of couples said they had more sex when listening to music “out loud,” as opposed to listening to it alone with headphones. Listening to music in the house with someone you love can lead to dancing, singing really loud, and doing spontaneous karaoke before you find yourself doing it.
Anka Radakovich is a couple’s counselor, certified sexologist, and sex therapist. Follow her on Twitter @ankarad.