Science says this is how much sex you should be having

Whether we’re dating someone new or we’re in a long term relationship, how much sex we should be having is a question we’ve all asked before. From what we see in the movies and on TV, it can sometimes seem like couples are having sex all the time. But in reality we’re not getting down and dirty all that much, according to a study published in Archives of Sexual Behavior.

Compared to American adults between 2000 and 2004, we had sex nine fewer times each year between 2010 and 2014. Married couples saw an even sharper decline — they had sex 16 fewer times a year. The cause of this is unknown, but experts speculate it’s due to a combination of things, like how busy people are at work, how much time is devoted to raising children, and how often we flip on Netflix instead of have sex. Yikes.

Hearing that automatically makes us wonder how often we should be having sex if we want to keep the passion alive in a relationship. According to Amy Muise, an assistant professor of psychology at York University in Canada, having sex once a week seems to indicate a healthy relationship.

She conducted research proving the connection between a happy couple and a regular sex life. However, she and her team found that couples aren’t any happier if they have sex more than once a week. Of course, it’s not a bad thing to have sex a few times a week, it’s just that couples don’t seem to be any happier because of it.

“Sex is associated with feeling more satisfied in a relationship,” Muise tells TIME. So if there isn’t anything happening between the sheets, you might want to take a closer look into your relationship and see if there’s something else going on that deserves your attention.

Filed Under