You can never get enough of a good thing, right? It turns out that sentiment might be wrong when it comes to sex.
Of course, there’s the physical side of having too much sex: As Kat Van Kirk, certified sex therapist and author of The Married Sex Solution: A Realistic Guide to Saving Your Sex Life, explains, one or both partners can experience rashes, irritation, or even genital micro-tears (ouch!) as a result of too much getting down and not enough lubrication.
Plus, if your partner’s sex drive outmatches yours, Van Kirk says, appeasing his or her appetite can feel like too much sex. “One or more partners may feel overwhelmed by the expectation to perform sexually more than the other,” she explains, “and this can cause withdrawal and resentment.”
Then, there’s the idea that if you’re having sex like bunnies, you might not be doing, well, anything else. Says Madeleine Castellanos, M.D., sex expert and author of Wanting to Want: What Kills Your Sex Life and How to Keep It Alive, “if stuff is not getting done — like cleaning the house, going to work, or taking care of your basic needs — in order to have sex, then it’s probably too much sex.”
And if the thing you’re not doing is working on your relationship, subbing in makeup sex for the tough talks you should be having, then you might be getting it on too often. “Using sex as a way to resolve problems in the relationship in lieu of talking about them might be a way that a couple uses sex to avoid the actual work of the relationship,” says Castellanos.
Finally, while “sex is a source of pleasure and vitality and it’s natural to have a strong drive for it, if you find that you look for sex compulsively, you may be using sex as an outlet for something else,” warns Castellanos.
But with all those big maybes out of the way, our experts say, it’s not very likely anyone’s having too much sex. For the most part, partners don’t want to get down all the time — and even if they do, their schedules don’t allow it. “When it comes to the frequency of sex, each person has their preference, which is then limited by their schedule, their sleep pattern, and of course, their partner’s availability,” Castellanos says.
Over time, a couple finds their sweet spot and has sex a comfortable amount for them, whatever that may be. “The majority of people find that this falls somewhere between one to two times per week,” Castellanos says, “and this frequency is usually higher during the first couple of years of a relationship.”
As time goes on, you may actually see a dip in your sex schedule, Castellanos says. “It’s very realistic that couples cut down their frequency of sex after the first few years, partly because of a drop in dopamine, and partly because of their routine,” she explains. But over the course of your relationship, that’s OK, Van Kirk says. “Couples will find their own ebb and flow. There will be times of more sex and times of less. The most important thing is to stay connected and communicate so that you can weather and enjoy wherever you are on the spectrum.”