The pressure to be having more, more, MORE sex is all around, isn’t it? Seen on the cover of magazines at the checkout line, overheard in the locker room, and even scribbled on the walls of bathroom stalls. But should you be having sex daily?
The only thing you ~should~ do is have solo or multi/partnered sex as much or as little as *you* feel comfortable with.
It depends on who you ask.
Researchers — and some of the general population, it seems — have a very limited definition of sex.
What researchers are typically referring to as sex is usually penis-in-vagina or penis-in-anus penetration. Depending on the nature of the study, oral sex (and sometimes rimming) may be included in the definition.
While these things absolutely can qualify as sex, so can MANY other things, like kissing, touching, solo and mutual masturbation, outercourse, and any other intimate activity that brings a person sexual pleasure.
With so much that can “count” as sex and the incomplete view of what’s typically studied, comparing your sex life to the so-called average is pretty pointless given how flawed the “average” data is.
Turns out that daily sex is not all that common.
According to a 2017 survey, only 4 percent of adults said they were having sex daily. In this survey, sex was referring to “intercourse.”
The number of people masturbating on the daily is higher, according to the 2020 Tenga Self-Pleasure Report. Based on the findings, 13 percent partake in solo play every day.
It’s no secret that sex has numerous benefits for your mental and physical well-being. Individuals and partners can enjoy more of these if they indulge daily.
Let’s get down to the personal and relational benefits of sex.
Let’s take a look at what science says sex can do for a person.
It can improve sexual function
Looks like practice makes perfect — or at least better — when it comes to sex.
The more sex you have, the better your sexual functioning. This goes for partnered and solo sex, too.
This equates to an easier time having an orgasm and more intense orgasms. Oh yeah!
It can reduce stress and anxiety
Sex and orgasms have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety in human and
That’s because sex can reduce the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. It can also release endorphins and oxytocin, which have a relaxing and stress-busting effect.
It can help you sleep better
Who rolls over and falls asleep after getting off? Hint: It’s not just people with penises, according to a 2019 study.
The study found that having an O before bed, either from partnered sex or self-lovin’, helped people fall asleep faster and sleep better.
It can put you in a good mood
Duh, right? Of course sex can put some pep in your step, but there are solid biological reasons for it.
Sex and orgasm can trigger a surge of feel-good hormones, and some research from 2006 suggests that these good feelings last well into the next day.
It can help relieve pain
Why reach for aspirin when you can dance the horizontal mambo with yourself or a partner to relieve pain?
The endorphins and other chemicals released during arousal and orgasm are natural pain relievers that work like opioids. This could explain why sex and orgasm offer quick relief from menstrual cramps, migraine, and headaches for some people.
It can be good for your heart
Sex is good for your heart and not just in a warm and fuzzy way.
Along with lower stress and better sleep, which are good for the heart, sex can also lower blood pressure and counts as mild to moderate exercise, depending on how long and hard you go.
Furthermore, frequent and more satisfying sex has also been linked to a lower risk of heart attack.
The personal benefits we just covered translate to relationships, too, along with some partner-specific benefits.
It can bring you closer
They don’t call oxytocin the love hormone for nothing.
Oxytocin has several relationship-enhancing effects. Bonding, affection, and trust are just a few.
It’s released in the early stages of love as well as during all kinds of sexual stimulation. We’re talking kissing and cuddling, nipple stim, and other erogenous play, too.
The benefits for your relationships don’t end with actual sex either, according to a 2017 study of married couples. Turns out that postcoital glow continues for 48 hours after sex and contributes to pair-bonding. The stronger the afterglow, the higher the marital satisfaction.
More sex = more sex
That chemical cocktail released during sex is hella strong and go-ood. So good, in fact, that it leads to wanting more, which is why the more sex you have, the more you and your partner(s) will end up having it.
This is why experts often recommend you not be so quick to say no to sex when your partner(s) is in the mood and you’re not, and why many suggest it as a way to deal with mismatched libidos.
Bonus, pleasuring yourself can also increase your sex drive and make you want to have more sex with your partner(s).
Better sexual functioning
Yes, this was one of the personal benefits listed, but it definitely helps sex with your partner(s), too.
Improved sexual functioning from more sex doesn’t just mean better orgasms, but also things like stronger erections and an increase in vaginal lubrication production, which can make partnered sex better.
A few, but for the most part, as long as sex is consensual, pleasurable, and not having a negative impact on your life, it’s all good.
If you have sex daily, you’ll want to consider these potential personal drawbacks.
Chafing and other discomfort
Excess friction from all that rubbing/thrusting/vibrating/kissing can leave your skin raw and chafed. Frequent handling of your tender parts is bound to leave your parts, well, tender.
Not only could this put a damper on your daily sex sesh, but chafed skin can also crack and give bacteria a way into the body, increasing your risk of infections.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
And speaking of infection, frequent sex of the partnered or solo variety can increase your chances of a UTI.
This is assuming you’re engaging in play that involves your genitals, since your urethra basically sits front and center to the action, which can push bacteria inside.
Not enough time prep or recovery time
Certain sex acts don’t require much in the way of prep or recovery, but others, like, say, anal or aggressive sex, might not be practical or even safe without sufficient time before and after.
This can lead to pain and injuries and put you out of commission for a while.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
If you’re having sex with someone other than yourself, there’s always some risk of contracting or transmitting an STI.
The more often you have sex, the more you increase the odds of contracting one. Regular STI testing and disclosing your results to your partner(s) is key to preventing transmission and a crucial part of overall safer sex practices.
If all involved feel good about it and aren’t just going through the motions for the sake of meeting a quota, daily sex can actually be pretty great for your relationship(s). Then again, so is any amount that you’re all happy with.
A 2015 analysis of 30,000 people found that couples who have sex more than once a week are no happier than those that have it just once weekly.
Here’s how to go about getting a daily helping of pleasure without burning yourself or your nether regions out.
Treating yourself to some daily sexy time should be more about pleasure than pressure, so try not to beat yourself up if you don’t make it happen every day.
Try these tips to keep the quality while upping the quantity:
- Schedule your solo sesh on busy days but be open to rubbing one out outside that time if mood and opportunity happen to line up.
- Masturbation’s about more than clits and dicks, so show the rest of your body (including your booty!) love, too.
- Try different strokes to mix things and experiment with tempo and pressure.
- Use erotic stories and porn for some sexy inspo.
- Keep things fresh by trying different locations, positions, sex toys, and props.
- Seduce yourself by setting the mood with candles, music, or a hot bath.
Daily sex can be a little more challenging when you’ve got different schedules and libidos to sync, but it can be done as long as you’re realistic about it.
Try these tips:
- Broaden your definition of sex to include acts like mutual masturbation, making out, and dry humping to accommodate varying time constraints and energy levels.
- Keep things interesting with new positions, toys, and props.
- Schedule sex in your calendars if you have busy or opposite schedules.
- Keep must-haves like lube and barrier protection stocked so you have them when you need them.
- Quickies are totes fine but set aside time for some longer sessions and afterglow.
- Don’t feel pressured or pressure your partner(s) to play if you’re not all totally into it.
Daily sex can be great for your well-being and relationship, as long as your focus isn’t only on frequency. Taking the pressure off and doing what feels good will serve you better than trying to hit some statistical (or perceived) norm.
Like most things in life, quality over quantity is better. If you can have both, well that’s just a nice bonus.
Adrienne Santos-Longhurst is a Canada-based freelance writer and author who has written extensively on all things health and lifestyle for more than a decade. When she’s not holed-up in her writing shed researching an article or off interviewing health professionals, she can be found frolicking around her beach town with husband and dogs in tow or splashing about the lake trying to master the stand-up paddle board.