Sex is a natural and important part of life. It’s supposed to be fun and positive. But if you’re having too much of a good thing, it can feel like it’s taking over your life!
Is it normal to have this much sex?
Sex is very personal. Your “normal” might be different from someone else’s. The average adult has sex about once a week , but it’s fine to have more—or less—as long as it works for you.
There are certain times when you might have a lot more sex than usual. If your sex drive suddenly goes through the roof, it can catch you off guard. But there are lots of things that affect your sex drive:
- Lifestyle changes: Eating right, exercising, and getting enough sleep can all increase your sex drive.
- Age: Your sex drive can go up and down over your lifespan.
- Medications or recreational drugs: Many drugs—legal and illegal—can affect your sex drive. If you recently started or stopped taking something, or changed your dosage, it might be the culprit.
- Your relationship status: It’s common to have lots of sex when you start a new relationship. Or, maybe you just left a relationship where the sex wasn’t great, and now you’re making up for lost time.
- Mental health: Stress can kill your sex drive… or it can make you want to have sex all the time as a coping mechanism. Some mental illnesses have a unique effect on your sex drive. For example, people with bipolar disorder often have more sex than usual during a manic episode. Sex can also be a person’s go-to coping skill for things like depression and anxiety. If you think a mental health condition might be involved, take one of our mental health tests.
There’s also a lot of variation in who people have sex with . It’s normal to experiment with your sexuality.
Different cultures and religions have their own beliefs about what’s acceptable or moral. If your sexual behavior doesn’t line up with those expectations, you might feel guilty and think you have a problem. In those situations, you need to ask yourself what needs to change: your sexual behavior, or your beliefs about sex? Either one is fine, but don’t let other people control how you feel about your sexuality.
Things like non-monogamy and polyamory are also becoming more socially acceptable. These types of relationships can absolutely be healthy and consensual. But we’re not saying it’s okay to cheat on someone. When you step outside the boundaries you and your partner have defined for your relationship, you’re violating their trust. Cheating is fairly common among both men and women, but it’s also usually just one of many problems in a relationship.
When does my sexual behavior become a mental health issue?
It’s not so much about how much sex you’re having, or who you’re having it with—it’s about how it’s affecting your life.
- Is sex taking up so much of your time that it’s hard for you to complete your responsibilities?
- Is your sexual activity out of line with your values?
- Are you having unsafe sex?
- Are you hurting someone else by cheating on them or by pressuring them to do sexual things they’re not comfortable with?
If the answer to any of these is “yes,” it might be time to think about changing your sexual behavior. This could mean doing things differently, or cutting back on the amount of sex you’re having. If you’ve already tried cutting back and you can’t, there’s a possibility you could be addicted to sex. Take a look at the definition of behavioral addictions and see if it describes your sex life.
Whether you’re addicted to sex, or you just feel uncomfortable with your sex life in some way, it’s helpful to find someone you can talk to about it. Your family doctor, a local sexual health clinic, or a therapist who specializes in sexuality are great places to start.
- Twenge et al. (2017). Declines in Sexual Frequency among American Adults, 1989–2014. Archives of Sexual Behavior 46, pp. 2389-2401. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-017-0953-1
- Center for Sexual Health Promotion at the Indiana University School of Public Health. (2018). National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior (NSSHB). Retrieved from https://nationalsexstudy.indiana.edu/keyfindings/index.html