How Much Sex is Normal?

Dear Abby had her hands full with this query:

Dear Abby: I have been married to a wonderful man for 30 years. Our marriage may not be perfect, but it’s quite good.
My dilemma is this: My husband keeps track of every time we have sex and has a personal goal of 100 times a year.
In 2013, he informed me that we’d had sex only 76 times, and that was not adequate for him. He was quite upset about it.
Do you think tracking your sex life is normal, and what do you think about a couple married for 30-plus years having sex 76 times in a year? Is that normal?
Also, keep in mind that he travels for business and is gone about 60 days a year.
Dear Pressured: Your husband sounds like a college student who is striving to get 100 notches on his belt.
Rather than obsess about the number of times you have had sex, the quality of the experience should be more important.
Fifty GREAT times a year would be better than 100 so-so times, one would think. And no, I do not think your husband’s preoccupation is “normal” — whatever normal is these days.

I immediately started counting how many times Henry and I have had sex in my head.

Okay 3 times a week times 52 weeks in a year times 16 years = 2,496 times we’ve had sex!

Except for when I was pregnant for a total of 18 months, which breaks down to 72 weeks at maybe 1 time every 2 weeks which means we only had sex 36 times during my pregnancies.

Shannon Bradley Colleary, married sex, how much sex is normal?
Henry: We are in the Married Sex Special Olympics. I blame your high estrogen.
Me: And I blame your low testosterone.
Henry: Why don’t we just blame the kids.
Me: I’m in. The little cock-blockers!

Then there was my whole irritable bowel phase, which lasted 10 years and Henry’s Restless Leg Syndrome —

Oh, and all the times our daughters didn’t sleep through the night and then the time when the cats were flatulent and, of course, the era where we both got very fat and then too skinny —

And then one of us had a bout of Halitosis, then …. calculating …. tabulating … formatting and collating … carry the nine, multiply this square root … I’ve got it!

Henry and I have had sex 25 times in the last 16 years!

Yes. Right. So, how much sex is normal and is anyone else counting? 

7 thoughts on “How Much Sex is Normal?”

  1. Since we got a kid…maybe once every two months if we reeeeeally fight for it. Maybe. We were hoping for it to get better once the kid got bigger – thanks for busting that bubble, Shannon!

  2. NOT NORMAL. Okay, maybe it is normal to slightly keep tabs in your head but my ex (who is an ex partially for this reason) kept track like this and also rated it! NO! That relationship that lasted 12 years was nothing but a tabulation of how I measured up to what he thought was normal, or what he needed, never what I needed. Never once did we have a conversation about what I needed. That phase of my life went on for TO LONG. Honestly, her husband really needs to layoff that kind of pressure. It does not make for the best pillow talk.

    Now, when I think of “not getting enough” it is more about the connection between us, the closeness we either do or do not have. My new man and I bought a new place recently and have been spending every waking moment on deconstruction, construction, packing and unpacking. It’s a crazy house around here! We have made no time for ourselves and we know it. We may not be putting in the time with each other right now, but we know what the problem is and how to fix it. We take some time to focus on us every once in awhile but until this deal is done, we are running lean. I miss him, every day, even though I see him every day.

    I am at a point in my life where it is the quality, not the quantity. And boy is it wonderful to be able to walk up to your man and say “Baby, I miss you, we need a date,” and have him say “your right, let’s do it now!” Communication is key because at some point, that is all your going to have! We don’t keep tabs or numbers, we keep in touch and go by what we need and how we feel. We may not be doing it every week but we are both happy and satisfied. Isn’t that what it’s really all about anyway? ;^)

    1. Pamela so so sooooo true. Recently my husband and I were able to get away from work and children for just 48 hours. And those 48 hours were exactly what we needed to reconnect. I’m not going to wait so long to do it again. I am one lucky woman and it sounds like you are to. xo

  3. Good suggestion, but with a curious 2½ year old who is always peeking up my skirt (and a windy location), I am not sure I’m desperate/brave enough to try it out. Yet. I know we are probably a little (lot) behind the average, but boy is it a relief to hear that not every couple has sex 2-3 times a week. We’re not freaks, not tired of each other, not breaking up…we’re just busy and sleep-deprived, and then the couch in front of the TV is all that we can manage most nights. But I will definitely try to pencil in a parent date sometime soon – and try not to waste it on napping!

  4. We’ve had sex 4 times in the past three years. Still waiting on this year’s first. Now… is it pathetic that I counted or pathetic that it has been so few times that I was able to count?

    1. Sean I hear your frustration. Sex or lack thereof is often the elephant in the room. I suppose what it boils down to is the importance of sex in your marriage. My mom’s husband was 18 years her senior, so in the last seven years of their marriage (before he passed away) there was no sex. Yet, for her, it was still a marriage and mostly fulfilling. She really did miss sex, but made her peace with letting it go. Life rarely seems to play by the rules. xo

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