We're often told that a happy and healthy sex life isn't about a number — it's about two mutually satisfied partners. But just like aiming for drinking eight glasses of water each day, it's only natural to wonder if there's a baseline we should observe for our sex lives, too.
According to couples psychotherapist and certified sex therapist Sari Cooper, studies have found that "happy couples have sex three to four times per week." But she cautions couples to be wary of the results, which may only survey snippets of respondents' time together. "These polls may not take in the total picture of a couple's life — think early marriage, pregnancy, having young children, or having a job that requires travel — and may cause perfectly happy couples to feel inferior or worried that they're not doing enough."
Sometimes it doesn't even take a study to make us feel sexually inferior, like we're competing to hit that healthy number. For example, when you gather with your girlfriends for a girls' night out and one confesses she had sex five times last week, while you haven't got it on for a few weeks — you can feel like you're missing the mark with your own husband.
"My ideal is to have a couple talk frankly about how much they'd like to be intimate, and negotiate how and when they could make that happen," Cooper says. The number you come up with in a discussion with your spouse is the right number for you.