Is it healthy for a non-asexual couple to have sex infrequently?

Dear Melissa,
Is it healthy for a non-asexual couple to have sex infrequently?

Infrequent Fucker

Dear Infrequent Fucker,

That’s a pretty big question. Whether they’re doing it nonstop or not at all, I think every couple wonders whether their sexual habits are normal.

But what is normal? Or in your case, what is healthy? There’s no set way to measure health and frequency when it comes to sex.

Figuring out what’s “healthy” really depends on your definition of healthy.

A healthy sex life is subjective because while I might think unicorning* is really normal and healthy, you might not be so into it.

The real question here is whether or not YOU think your sex life is healthy. I think the fact that you wrote to ask me kinda hints at an answer.

Some couples can have sex daily, some once a month, others not at all, and yet all of those couples can be satisfied and perfectly healthy.

Everyone has physical and emotional needs and in a relationship we want them both to be met so that we can be happy. The problem is that different people meet those needs in different ways, and it doesn’t always match up with our partners.

So, for example, one partner might have sex to meet their physical needs, while the other might have sex as a way of fulfilling not only their physical needs but emotional ones as well. It’s no news that some people don’t have sex just because they’re horny, but rather to connect with their partner on an emotional level as well.

With that in mind, what happens when the sex slows down? If someone gets their emotional fix mainly from sex with their partner, then they might be worried or unhappy if the sex slows down. The other partner who gets the emotional support they need from non-sexual time spent with their partner might not feel as emotionally threatened by infrequent sex.

I’d also like to point out that there’s a difference between infrequent sex where one or both partners isn’t horny, and infrequent sex when one partner (or both) isn’t attracted to the other, but is attracted to other people.

You might be worried that infrequent sex in your relationship is a sign of physical or emotional problems, or a mix of both, but really, it can be any—all or none of the above.

If you’re worried, have you spoken to your partner about it?

I’m guessing you haven’t, or you have and weren’t happy with the outcome.

Talking and being honest is the best way to make sure you’re getting what you want out of your relationship and your sex life. How can anything be solved if your partner doesn’t even know there’s a problem?

Maybe you’ll realize one of you has a higher sex drive than the other, maybe the sex is just slowing down but the relationship is fine, or maybe something between you two needs to be dealt with. Whatever it is, you won’t get to the bottom of it until you bring it all out into the open.

In the end, what’s most important is that both people are happy and satisfied because that’s the only real way you can measure a relationship’s health.

*Unicorning: Strapping a dildo to your head and charging at your partner’s anus or vagina.

—Melissa Fuller

This article originally appeared in Volume 31, Issue 10, published October 19, 2010.