If you could use a little more action in the sack, follow our expert tips for bringing sex back
Two-and-a-half times a week. That’s what the statistics say is the average hit rate for a couple, married or dating, in the bedroom department. Sound a familiar? We all know there’s no such thing as normal when it comes to sex, so what is it about the horizontal tango that gets us feeling all competitive? When the figure relates to weight, height, IQ or running times, you can be sure that your stats will be higher or lower than those of woman sitting next to you. Yet when it comes to how often you get naked with your man, it’s hard not to feel anxious if you’re falling short of the average.
The survey found that married couples have less sex than those who are dating, with just 16 per cent of dating couples doing it once or less than once a week compared to 35 per cent of married couples. So if you’re not getting your two-and-a-bit a week, is it a genuine cause for concern? Not necessarily – it’s about quality, not quantity.
‘Forget the averages and instead focus on how you feel about your sex life‘. ‘If you feel you want to do it more often but it’s just not happening, that’s an issue you can address.’
There’s loads of reasons your sex life might be flagging – we’ve pinpointed a few of the most likely culprits and asked Doctors to share their expert solutions. Get ready to bring those averages up!
The busy schedule
You’ve worked hard all day, hit the gym, made dinner, maybe even done the kids’ homework with them, and now the idea of sex seems… Well, like more effort and hard work you could do without!’ When energy levels are low and you’re mentally “busy” it can be hard to relax enough to get aroused for sex’. ‘But sex works as a great relaxant so it’s worth making the effort.’
Solve it: Schedule sex just as you would any other event in your week. ‘It sounds unromantic but if you’re someone who lives by their calendar it’s essential’. ‘Sex, like dinner, meetings and after-school clubs, needs to be allotted its own time and place.’ To ensure your scheduled sex doesn’t feel like a chore, create an erotic atmosphere. ‘Start with massages or a warm bath, and use soft lighting and music to get in the mood’.
The routine rut
Like a car navigation system, your man seeks out the quickest and easiest route to orgasm. Trouble is, once he’s found it – yay! – he’ll always use the same path. ‘Both men and women tend to fall into this trap’. ‘But the problem is that sticking to what you know works best is boring. If it were only about the orgasm, we’d all just stick to masturbating – part of the fun of having sex is that the road to orgasm isn’t always a straight path. It involves an element of surprise, too.’
Solve it: Do it anywhere but the bedroom. ‘Being in new surroundings forces you to approach sex from a new angle’. ‘Try it in the kitchen, in the shower or, if you really want to force yourselves into some new positions, try a cramped space like a tent!’
‘Sticking to what you know is boring. Part of the fun of sex is that the road to orgasm isn’t always a straight path’
The waning passion
You couldn’t get enough of each other when you first met, but now? You’re not bothered. ‘At the beginning of a relationship your body is alive with a cocktail of chemicals that make you want to tear each other’s clothes off’. ‘But in the long term, your body slows the production of those chemicals.’
Solve it: ‘If you recently started or stopped taking oral contraceptives, this can affect your attraction to your man‘. ‘So before you write him off, try going back to the same method of contraception you used at the start of the relationship. It may be that your altered hormone levels are contributing to a lack of lust.’
The low libido
If sex rarely crosses your mind and feels like just another task on your never-ending to-do list, it could be that your libido is at fault. ‘If you don’t even feel the need to masturbate, it indicates that your lack of desire for sex isn’t about your partner, but rather about you’. ‘It could be down to fatigue, depression, medication, hormonal changes as a result of having a baby or there may be a psychological issue at play.’
Solve it: See your doctor to assess the problem. ‘A lack of sexual desire can be a result of a medical condition, anaemia or diabetes, for example, that needs treatment’. ‘Or it could be a side effect of medication that you’re taking. Fatigue is also a common cause of lack of desire for sex and is something you should address, as it’s likely to affect all areas of your life, not just sex.’