How Much Sex Should I Be Having?

Getting the quantity and quality of sex you want

As a sex therapist for over 40 years, I found that over and over, many women asked me the same question: “How much sex should I be having?”

My answer is always the same: “It depends how much sex you want to have and that depends on how often, with whom, where and with what sense of satisfaction!”

It’s a “how long is a piece of string?” question, only the string has many colours!

Sex certainly can be about quantity, but it also needs to be about quality.

Sex certainly can be about quantity, but it also needs to be about quality

Here are some contrasting examples which highlight the quantity versus quality difference in the real sex lives of some men and women.

A woman may have what I call ‘log sex’ twice a week with a male partner. This is where she lays there like a log while he gets on top and thrusts his penis in and out of her vagina until he comes and then he rolls over and goes to sleep. I do not recommend it.

Log Sex is only about quantity and there is no quality in the experience for her. He is relieved to have ejaculated. She is left with no relief and indeed, may feel emotionally empty and flat.

Another woman may only have solo sex once a week but it is a ritual of self-care, where she carefully sets up an evocative setting of erotic toys, lovely lubricant, candles and music. Then she sexually stimulates herself for half an hour, experiencing multiple orgasms.

Couple in bed with feet exposed
Sex isn’t just about quantity – the quality is also important.

Benefits of frequent pleasurable sex

The most important things to remind yourself in deciding how often to have sex are the good reasons to have regular sex!

The benefits of expressing your sexuality and having sex include:

  • Pleasure: Enjoy the magic of your senses – all over your body and not just your genitals.
  • Fun: Take sex lightly at times – laugh, giggle and romp (by yourself or with your partner).
  • Intimacy: Enhance the closeness you feel with someone special.
  • Love: Demonstrate the love you have for another by unconditionally giving and receiving pleasure.
  • Release of tension: Sex to orgasmic release can be wonderful for stress management. It’s even been suggested as a treatment for migraine headaches!
  • An end to boredom: Sex is a wonderful alternative to watching TV on a rainy day.
  • Good health: Sex is beneficial to overall health, and some studies suggest it may even be associated with a reduced risk of two leading causes of death – cancer and heart disease. (1, 2)
  • A good night’s sleep: Sex is the best, cheapest and most pleasurable sleeping aid you’re likely to find.
  • Well-being:  Sex is also good for your mental health with a clear link between satisfaction with sex life and psychological well-being. (3)

So, with all these benefits, I encourage you to have as much sex as you want!

Sex for the single woman

Let’s say that the woman who practices self-care as a weekly priority is not in a partnership. She relishes the sex date with herself as a delicious experience of pleasure.

Sadly, there are far too many women who are in solo situations who are just too busy to pleasure themselves at all. They are really missing out on their birthright!

Surely once a week would not be too hard to commit to?

Woman's finger on sliced orange
Write your own rules when it comes to the frequency of solo play.

I wonder if the myth is true that every single man has a morning ‘session’ in the shower? (Remember the opening scene in the movie American Beauty when Kevin Spacey’s character admits as such?)

If this daily practice for men is true, why shouldn’t woman do it too?

So how often should a single woman be having solo sex? As often as she wants to!

Any time of the day that suits her schedule – although a lot of women (and men) like to have an orgasm as part of their sleep preparation. Solo sex to achieve orgasm before sleep is both a reward for working hard all day and to soothe the nervous system so you can surrender into a deep and healing sleep.

Some sex therapists might counsel against a solo sex ritual every night because you get dependent on your own techniques to ‘get yourself off’. However, I say do whatever you want that ‘rocks your boat’. It’s nobody else’s business! You can always learn how to mix it up when you are with a partner when that time comes around.

Do whatever you want that ‘rocks your boat’. It’s nobody else’s business!

And for women who like a friendly toy for their solo trysts why not try this collection? Having a range of toy types on hand means you’ll have the perfect tool to suit your needs, wants and mood at the time – and there’s something to be said for variety in the bedroom!

  • Fast clitoral stimulation: Try the Satisfyer Pro 2 Clitoral Stimulator which uses Air-Pulse Technology to help women achieve quicker, more intense and even multiple orgasms. It feels like oral pleasure but more intense.
  • G-spot targeting: Go for the Lelo Gigi 2 Vibrator which has a curved and flattened tip to accurately target your g-spot while channeling powerful yet quiet vibrations.
  • Pinpoint precision: The We-Vibe Tango Mini Vibrator features a tapered tip that delivers intense vibrations with pinpoint focus and is discreetly designed to resemble a lipstick.
  • Broader coverage: The Le Wand Petite Massager is ideal for intimate massage or relieving muscular tension with a flexible neck that moves to fit your curves.
  • Blended clitoral and g-spot orgasms: Inspired by the movie, the Fifty Shades Greedy Girl Rabbit Vibrator has a bulbous head, girthy shaft and nimble bunny ears to satisfy you inside and out.
  • Booty action: Stimulation via your rear entry can lead to powerful pleasure, and the perfect toy to start with is the B-Vibe Beginner’s Vibrating Butt Plug, which comes with a handy remote.
A man and woman lie face to face on the bed, holding a sex toy as they talk
Including toys during couple’s time can be a powerful motivator.

Sex for a couple

When you are single, you don’t have to meet any else’s needs for sex, but as a partner, you do. That’s why you should always spend time communicating about your wants and needs in the early days of your relationship.

What if partners have mismatched libidos?

Imagine your partner has a high sex-drive and you don’t (or the other way around). What if you make a live-in commitment and then find out that your high-drive partner wants sex ‘swinging from the chandeliers and nothing is off-limits’, every night? You are the person who wants sex once a week, in bed, with the lights off.

Partners with mismatched libidos for quantity sex will probably struggle. So do not match up unless you know your partner’s expectations. Would you want to be like the first woman described in this article who had to put up with dud ‘log sex?

Two women embrace intimately
If you’re struggling to find time for sex, schedule it!

If you want to have more sex and to share intense sensations, try incorporating a couple’s vibrator:

  • Finger vibrators are ideal for foreplay and can be used to tease and please your partner before the main action begins.
  • Couple’s rings are worn at the base of the shaft to help him achieve harder, longer lasting erections while stimulating her clitoris, hands-free, with every thrust. Win-win!
  • Wearable C-shaped vibrators, such as the We-Vibe Chorus, are slipped inside the vagina with the other end over the clitoris, for the external stimulation during sex that many women need to climax.
  • Strapless strap ons are wonderful for women in same-sex relationships or those penetrating their male partner.
  • Light bondage toys are an easy way to add excitement and spice to sex whatever your relationship stage. Choose from simple eye masks to adventurous swings!

Negotiating how and when you have sex

Some couples plan the best times to have sex for the week ahead. It could be Sunday morning when they are most likely to be together and have some spare time. If you are on a hectic schedule of evening appointments, you may want to arrange for some early morning sex sessions (depending on whether you are a night or morning person).

Some couples plan the best times to have sex for the week ahead

Not only should you plan when you are going to have sex, you should also plan who does what and when. I ask people to first pencil in their plan and then write in ink to show what actually happened at the end of the week. Unfortunately, too often what was planned didn’t happen because people were ‘too stressed, too tired and too busy’.

Some people might say that planning takes away all the spontaneity of sex. I do not agree with this. Try counting the number of times you have sex in a month without planning. Then do a new month’s plan and include in your diary all the times that sex was spontaneous as well as the times you did have sex as planned. I call the spontaneous sex occasions the bonus sex times. Lap them up and keep planning as well.

You will be having a lot more sex and loving it!


(1) Ebrahim, S, May, M, Shlomo YB, McCarron, P, Frankel, S, Yarnell, J & Smith, GD 2002, ‘Sexual Intercourse and Risk of Ischaemic Stroke and Coronary Heart Disease: The Caerphilly Study’, Journal of Epidemiology Community Health, vol. 56, no. 2, pp. 99-102, viewed 3 September 2020, DOI 10.1136/jech.56.2.99

(2) Petridou, E, Giokas, G, Kuper, H, Mucci, LA & Trichopoulos, D 2000, ‘Endocrine Correlates of Male Breast Cancer Risk: A Case-Control Study in Athens, Greece’, British Journal of Cancer, vol. 83, no. 9, pp. 1234-7, viewed 3 September 2020, DOI 10.1054/bjoc.2000.1467

(3) Conrad, S & Milburn, M 2001, Sexual Intelligence, Bantam Books, New York