Make your lovemaking count

Do you and Hubby only manage to have sex once a week? Your marriage is not doomed. Here’s how to make your time between the sheets extra special. BY SASHA GONZALES

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Do you and Hubby only manage to have sex once a week? Your marriage is not doomed. Here’s how to make your time between the sheets extra special. BY SASHA GONZALES

My Reading Room

VANESSA MARIN, sex and relationship therapist based in the US 
Ahh, sex. You and the Hubs are lucky if you even get to do it once a week, and when you do, it’s rarely of the earth-shattering variety.

You’re not the only one who wishes you could have more sex, and better sex at that. Many of us long for the days when sex with Hubby was romantic, passionate, and lasted all night. Now, it’s more “meh” than “mmmmm” – and over before you know it.

In a survey of 80 Simply Her readers, 45 women said they had sex with their husband three times a month on average. Twenty-five revealed they had sex even less than that – just twice a month at most. The rest said they had sex twice or more times a week.

Interestingly, most of the women polled assumed that everyone else was having more sex than them. When we asked how often they thought their friends did it, 70 women guessed about once or twice a week.

When it came to how often they thought was ideal for happily married couples to have sex, 78 answered “at least once a week”.

Once a week may not sound like a lot but, according to a study published in the November 2015 issue of the journal Social Psychology and Personality Science, this is all it takes for couples to maintain happiness in their relationship.

Amy Muise led the study. A social psychologist affiliated with the Relationships and Well-Being Laboratory at the University of Toronto, Canada, she found that, while having sex more than once a week was not associated with greater well-being, if you and your man have sex less than once a week, happiness declined.

It’s true then. When it comes to great sex, frequency isn’t everything. So, if you’re only doing it once a week – or less than that – how do you make it count? Vanessa Marin, a sex and relationship therapist based in the US, says you should focus on the quality of your lovemaking.

“This is a tricky question. Quality sex means different things to different people,” says Vanessa. “For some couples, it’s slow, romantic lovemaking with candles burning and soft music playing in the background. For others, it’s an intense quickie first thing in the morning or whenever you can fit it in.

“However, most people would have a sense of the kind of sex that feels most satisfying to them, and that’s what’s important,” she adds.

Vanessa encourages you to sit down with your man and discuss how each of you defines great sex, so that you can meet the other’s needs and experience quality sex together.

You can start by thinking about how you’d like your ideal lovemaking session to go, what your favourite positions are, and how you like being touched.

Then, share this with your husband and ask him to give you his answers. You can also talk about your best sexual memories of each other. In opening up about what you enjoy, you will both be able to come up with your own definition of quality sex.

Quality sex leaves you feeling fulfilled, physically and emotionally. It deepens the intimate connection you share and is something you both look forward to. While we all have different ideas of what constitutes good sex, Vanessa has a few recommendations to help you experience it.

This is your special time together. Don’t let anything interrupt it. Turn off your phones and other electronic devices, put away your to-do list, and try to be in the moment with your husband.

Even if you’re both into quickies, no one likes to feel rushed. Make sure you both know that you have all the time in the world for each other.

READER POLL We asked Simply Her readers…
How often do you have sex?
13% Twice a week or more
31% Twice a month
56% Three times a month

How often do you think others are having sex?
88% Once or twice a week

How often should a happily married couple have sex?
98% At least once a week

CREATE A SEXY ATMOSPHERE Put on some nice lingerie, light candles, take a shower or bath together, play some sexy music or read a sexy novel to get in the mood.

TAKE TURNS TO FOCUS ON EACH OTHER For at least a few minutes, try focusing all of your attention on your hubby’s body. Give him a massage or kiss him all over. Ask him to do the same to you.

KEEP THE LOVE GOING Be affectionate with each other after sex. Cuddle, touch or engage in romantic chit-chat. 

“How we keep sex interesting”
 These women don’t have sex that often, but when they do, they really make it count.

“On average, my husband and I have sex five times a month. To spice things up, we make an event of it. I’ll wear something sexy and he’ll light the candles. We try to pick a time when we’re not too tired – usually at weekends when our son is at his grandparents’ place. It’s always special because we make it so.” – Linda*, 38, sales consultant

“Gary* and I make love about once a week, usually when we’re both relaxed and the kids are asleep. We really take our time, allowing ourselves to get lost in each other. We’ve been married for 10 years, but we still explore each other’s bodies as if it was new to us.” – Dawn*, 42, financial advisor

“We usually have sex in the morning, when we’re both feeling rested and have energy to spare. Sundays are mostly when we do it, because this is when the kids sleep in and our helper is not around. We do it in bed or in the shower and the sex is always so much fun. It’s our time to connect.” – Carla*, 38, designer

“My husband and I only have sex three times a month because we’re always travelling for work. Sometimes, we have a romantic dinner at home and follow that with passionate lovemaking. We don’t have kids yet so we up the excitement by making love on the couch or even on the kitchen counter. It takes us back to our newlywed days, when we couldn’t get enough of each other.” – Rebecca, 34, marketing manager

*Names have been changed.