Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses in the bedroom
Submitted by: Marc C Gittelman, M.D.
Submitted on: November 21, 2006
Q: I’m 45 and I have been married for nearly 20 years. Our lives are crazy busy with work and the kids. Forget about being romantic. I like we barely have time to breathe. My husband is always reading magazine articles and he claims that couples our age are having a lot more sex than we do. My girlfriends agree with me and say that they have almost no time for romance. Dr. G, what’s the normal when it comes to frequency of intimacy?
A: That’s one of the most common questions that I get asked by patients, physicians, and medical students. It seems as if everyone wants to know what other people are doing in the bedroom. Sex therapists, psychologists and relationship counselors have studied this, and the findings of a large study were released at the October meeting of the Sexual Medicine Society of North America.
Dr. R. Shabsigh of Columbia University evaluated the sexual habits of nearly 2,000 men who had erection problems but now were being helped by one of the medicines available to me with ED. And now – drum roll – the envelope, please. Slightly more than half of all sexual attempts occurred between 8 p.m. and midnight, with the most popular hour of romance being between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m.
About 15 percent of love-making episodes were started in the wee hours of the morning, between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., with the older patients (over age 66) nearly twice as likely to have morning sex than younger patients (under age 45). Surprisingly only 44 percent of all romantic couplings happened over the weekend. And to answer your question on sexual frequency based on age, the study found that the average amount of times couples found their way to the bedroom was 3.3 times a week for couples under age 45, 2.6 times a week for couples age 45 to 60, and 2 times a week for couples older than 66. The average amount of sex was higher for unmarried couples than for married couples.
But it would a huge mistake for you to guide your romantic inclinations based on the experience of other couples, regardless of what the studies show. Sexual appetite, desire, and timing are extremely personal and are based on a million things happening simultaneously in your life. Your sexual drive and attraction to your partner is the result of your hormones, your general sense of well being and the quality of your relationship at that very moment. My best advice to you and your husband is to be true to your own sense of desire and fulfillment. Rather than keep up with the Joneses, you will be far more fulfilled if you focus on satisfying your own relationship and sexual needs.