How often do you have sex? It’s a question some spouses can easily answer, and some not so easily.
If you read my short story, “After the Baby,” in Behind Closed Doors: Five Marriage Stories, the main character is a husband who knows exactly how long it’s been since he and his wife made love. Because it’s been too long. And I get that in comments and emails from time to time — a spouse who can state with absolute accuracy how many times they’ve had sex with their mate in the last month or year.
Yet maybe we think we know, and don’t. Spouses are not always on the same page about how often sex is happening in their marriage.
I found it interesting that Jimmy Kimmel Live has grabbed couples off the street and asked how many times they’d had sex in the last month. Check out one clip from the show:
One couple matched each other’s answers, but the other didn’t. Why the discrepancy?
It made me think about the suggestion I’ve heard that a spouse track how often they make love in their marriage. Is this a good idea?
I used to think probably not. Because this practice is often suggested by someone who thinks they’re not getting enough, and they’re basically looking for evidence (translation: ammunition) to make the case that they’re being cheated.
But I then I decided to test it out myself. Unbeknownst to my husband (Hi, love! Are you reading this?), I marked on my calendar the days we made love for about a month. And you know what? It was more often than I thought it would be.
As the higher-drive spouse right now in our marriage, maybe I was a little more focused on when it wasn’t happening than when it was. And isn’t that really a bit short-sighted? Perhaps even selfish?
Now that I have a better sense of our routine, I can relax a little more. Yes, I sometimes want a higher frequency of sexual intimacy, but we’re doing pretty well. And putting those instances on the calendar, I could connect what might have gotten in the way of us making love or, better yet, what made it a good time to make love.
My general conclusion was that loaded calendar days kept us from connecting in many ways, including physically, while quality time together often ended with lovemaking. Hardly a stunning revelation, but it was helpful to see in my own life.
If you can approach tracking the frequency as an interesting experiment, perhaps it would be worthwhile to see how often you’re making love. I suspect what would happen is what occurred in the video. Some couples would find that they’re having sex about as often as they thought, and then they can decide whether that’s enough for their marriage or if they need to make some calendar changes.
Other spouses will discover a discrepancy — probably because lower-drive spouses think they’re doing it more often than they are, and higher-drive spouses think they’re doing it less often than they are. For this second couple, it could be eye-opening to discover the truth of what’s happening in your relationship. And it might pinpoint an attitudinal or behavioral change you need to make for the wellbeing of your marriage.
Having actual data could help you avoid making unfounded accusations about what’s happening in your sex life. After all, one of the Ten Commandments is “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16). And let’s face it: Some spouses have falsely accused their spouse of pursuing more or giving less sex than they actually are. If you’re tracking to uncover the truth, maybe this idea would work for you.
Have you ever tracked the frequency of sex in your marriage? Were you surprised by the results? Do you consider this a good or a bad idea?
Related Post: How Often Should You Have Sex?
79 thoughts on “Should You Track the Frequency of Sex in Your Marriage?”
I keep track on my Period App on my iPhone. Not that we’re TTC or anything because he had a vasectomy over 6 years ago. But yeah, that’s how I keep track.
Oh, that’s right! There is that option on many apps. Thanks for the reminder!
On our 20th anniversary my husband and I talked about our past 20 years and wondered how many times we had made love. We were both a little disappointed to realize we had no idea . So, from that day I started keeping track by puttIng a tally mark for each time in a pocket calendar I keep in the bed side table. ( I also use it to track my cycle and I keep track of the number of days my husband travels for work so that he can keep a healthy work/ life balance) . On that first day we each gave our guess to what our number would be the next year. It was fun. That was 5 years ago and I still track every single time. I am the lower drive spouse so I use the tallies to motivate myself. For example, if it’s been 3 or 4 days I can clearly see that in my calendar and I know I need to make it happen that night . I also use it as a bit of a tease for my husband. I’ll say something like ” I already marked a tally for tonight so don’t be late for bed”. We have never used it as ammunition. My husband never even looks at it. But, for me, it’s the best way to keep us on track and to not let too much time go by between tallies. Also, we now have a “best year” , ” best month” and ” best week” total that we can try to beat.
Oh, that’s lovely! Thanks for sharing.
I did once for one year. I tracked not only when we did it, but what we did. It was just at the cusp of addressing Hubby’s refusal and one-sidedness. It didn’t seem he wanted to change, so I started tracking to not only see if there was change, but tracking whether or not I orgasmed (we went 3 years without him giving me an orgasm…just piv-only quickies for him).
There was an improvement, but after that year I decided to not bother tracking. Now, we average two times per week. I orgasm about 1/4 to 1/3 of the time, though I could orgasm closer to 3/4 to 90% of the time if he would do what it takes to get me there, but he refuses. Still, better than never getting an orgasm.
We have been tracking for about 4 years now using an app. Originally, it was to prove a point but it also enabled us to have a meaningful discussion about it and make adjustments. It’s a good visual to see if we are connecting on a regular basis. I will add that this type of tracking should not be used to abuse the lower drive spouse but rather just a tool to enhance your relationship. I (Tim) being the higher drive spouse, keep track and Heather asks me on occasion how we are doing. For us, it has been great to know that our frequency is much higher than we anticipated.
I think your comment about high drive vs. low drive spouse perceptions is right. In a sexual satisfaction poll I ran, Husband’s reported an average of 5 sexual encounters years per month compared to the wives reporting 9 per month. I know that’s a male female split, but the high/low drive split was 80% of men reporting higher drive. Your post has prompted me to do a pure high/low drive split when I get a chance.
Very interesting! I’ll definitely look for that post.
I track on my period-tracker app like KellyK, and I would say I’m the higher drive (mainly due to his work stress and hours). I don’t track for ammunition at all. My tracking is more so that I can know why I might feel disconnected or emotional–after 3 or 4 days, I start to feel all those things, and knowing how long it’s been since we connected is an easy way for me to diagnose (and fix) the problem.
We’ve been married 6 months and talk about frequency or whatever as often as necessary. He knows it’s important to me, and I know it’s important to him.
I do not know, however, whether he’d have an idea of how many times we have it, on average, per month. I might ask, because now I’m curiouse!
Yes I have an app that I use. I track how many times, if I orgasmed and have notes also. It shows hearts where we had sex and I will show him and say how beautiful is that? I keep it for fun I just started on our 8th anniversary and I want to count how many times We made love this year.
About a year or so ago, I read something about an app called Pink Pad. I now keep track of my menstrual cycle with it, and there is also a place to mark “Intimacy”. I’ve been surprised, too, at what my head thinks about the number of times a week we’ve made love, and the actual number that I’ve put down. Hubby doesn’t see it as it’s on my phone, so it’s just a good reminder to me when it’s been a couple of days.
I have been tracking our times of intimacy for the last few years now. My spouse states that even though frequency is not high, we are still not sexless. So I started tracking. Technically, she is right…the highest total for one year is 17. Last year was only 13. The technical definition for sexless is 10 or less per year. Why do I still feel sexually starved? 🙁
How about sexually famished? One study showed that couples were happiest when they made love about once a week, which would be 52 times a year. That’s well below the 17 you mentioned, so I can understand. Maybe you could show her the research and ask what she thinks? (As I often say, then be willing to listen, not pressure. Look for baby steps, progress, hope.)
Sexually Famished – what a name for it. I have had the same complaint with my sexual frequency. I did track as the higher sexual driven spouse. I did this to prove to myself and to her, what our frequency actually was. I did this for three years, one of which we were in baby making mode and the two following that. Trying to conceive was the highest frequency and she was also tracking those attempts, but I noticed that we did not have sex if her conception calendar told her she was not as fertile. During peak times, she was more willing – three or four times in a week. Having this information actually made me feel a bit used. As if I was only good to get her pregnant.
Our tallies were 26 (TTC), 17 (8 weeks after baby – no sex at all then eased back into it) and 21. I have a hard time letting go of the absence of sex for long stretches. Like more recently, when I was not actively tracking, when we only had sex once from Oct – January. I also tracked the position and the satisfaction level I had from the sex. This helped me realize I wanted us to feel closer, not just in bed. It revealed how being close led to better “Hotter” sex.
So, although we are technically not “sexless” based on the definition, I feel that we are in certain times and I really like your “famished” terminology.
I think I might suggest to her that she track the frequency, so she actually knows when it is occurring. I loved the earlier comment about using it to break records and for the lesser driven person to track so they know how long it actually has been. Helpful ideas – I hope I can implement!
(So sorry for the long delay in publishing this comment!)
I’m glad you have some ideas to try. I will say this: “During peak times, she was more willing – three or four times in a week. Having this information actually made me feel a bit used. As if I was only good to get her pregnant.” In that peak time, women also tend to be more sexually interested and responsive. It’s how God made us, to ensure procreation. You might use that information to pursue sexual intimacy in those times when she might be more receptive.
I’ve been tracking since early in our marriage (3.5 years now). I am the higher drive spouse by a ton, and I started, initially, to see if I was being unfair. Nope, I was totally accurate in how much sex we were (not) having. At the time, my husband kept saying it was 1-2 times per week; it was actually once every 10 days. Then I kept track and tried to figure out what influenced when we had sex. That was only for the first year or so; since then, it has dropped a lot, to about once every 20 days, or, since we’ve been trying to conceive, maybe two times during one week, and then not at all the rest of the month.
As of this cycle, I am officially suspending fertility treatments (10 total months of drugs; 3 rounds of IUI) and I am debating whether to continue tracking sex (or, for that matter, the days I ovulate). It’s kind of demoralizing to look at a calendar and see my fertile period and not see any sex there, or only one time, month after month.
Funny enough, I’ve never told my husband that I was keeping track or what our frequency is. (He does know that I track things related to fertility, but I don’t know if he realizes I track all days we have sex.) I can’t imagine bringing it up, only because it would seem like an attack. I’ve brought up sexual frequency in general, and his response has been anywhere from antagonistic (early on) to just tired (like in year 2, before I quit asking entirely).
Have you accepted that is the way things will be? I am in a similar situation and am so frustrated I don’t know what to do. I think I am left with acceptance.
I actually think you need to balance acceptance of what is, while working toward something better. Unfortunately, that’s often smaller steps than we want to take toward our goal. But progress is important, even if you take that time to work on yourself. I’ve heard from many couples who say that things eventually changed, in positive ways they didn’t expect, because they were both accepting and nurturing of the sexual intimacy in their marriage.
I initially started tracking it to help me discern perception vs. reality. “Has it really been THAT long? Wait, no, it just felt like it…” 🙂
It’s helped me IMMENSELY, both with the perception and to understand our patterns. Patterns such as :
– when he tends to be more stressed with work and thus, less likely to be interested (which reminds me to love on him in other ways, like making a favorite meal or making sure we get to bed a little earlier so he can get a good night’s sleep)
– my hormones during my cycle, which tend to make me really short tempered at certain times, and also affect how much I enjoy sex
– days/times/circumstances that we are more likely to have sex – we don’t put it on the calendar, but there’s a definite and unintentional pattern as to when it happens! Now that I know, I try to carve out a little extra time for those times when it’s likely – if it does happen, then we’re not so rushed – if it doesn’t, we’re still a little less rushed for whatever we ARE doing! There are also certain times of the year that get extremely hectic, but thanks to tracking it I’ve seen when they are and don’t get so frustrated at infrequency during those times.
Thank you for all your hard work on the blog! It’s been a real blessing to me, especially as a higher-drive wife!
I used to keep track, but it’s not a good idea for us. I am the higher drive wife. My husband thinks we have sex far more often than we do. When I tried discussing frequency, and asking him what he’d like, he wouldn’t answer. I told him I’d love to be intimate once a day, but I would be more than happy with every other day. He never did give me an answer. Right now we probably average once every 10 days, so yes, I often feel sexually starved.
We also look at things very differently. Say we are intimate on Sunday. By the time Thursday rolls around, I am going crazy. I honestly love and desire my husband and that connection quite a bit. Anyhow, I would say “we haven’t had sex since Sunday!” And if you asked him he would say, “it hasn’t been that long, we just had sex on Sunday!” (Which makes me feel like a loser and like he thinks he’s doing me a big favor. Not a good feeling). So two very different ways of looking at things.
I believe he is far more attractive to me than I am to him. That is probably what accounts for most of the discrepancy. I used to keep track, but then if I told him it had been a long time, he would feel “pressure” and shut down. I’m not really cool with how one person gets to always “shut down” when things don’t go their way. I think it’s a control thing. My husband claims he loves me and is very attracted to me. I’m trying to believe him, but it’s hard based on his actions. He also doesn’t like the suggestions I read in blogs. I tried having us schedule sex, but he got mad – he feels sex should be spontaneous. But then he uses the excuse that life gets in the way.
So keeping track just depresses me. Its another reminder how abnormal our situation is. i am really trying to change my thought pattern and look for the positives, but keeping track of how often my husband doesn’t want me is not the way to go about that.
But like most Christian sex posts, if you’re a normal couple, or a wife who has a husband who loves her and finds her worthy of physical affection, the suggestions are great and I say “go for it!”
Heh. It’s funny. During the first 6-9 months I was married, I tried to figure out “the rules” on when we could have sex or not. There were a handful of things: it had to be a day off work (for my husband), it had to be a day where he had no other plans, it had to be a day when we didn’t have my stepson, only in the mornings and not too long after my husband got up, and I had to not have my period (again, my husband’s restriction; I was open to trying or other forms of intimacy). My husband at the time had split days off, Tuesday and Saturday. Weekends we had my stepson, so never sex on that day off. Tuesdays, we would have sex assuming all the other conditions were met. (If he had no plans for anytime during the day, if I didn’t have to be at work early, etc.)
If I made any kind of comment on, say, Sunday or Monday about looking forward to sex or if I did something that indicated interest or anticipation, like wearing lingerie, then my husband would refuse to have sex that week and we would skip it until the next week. If I tried to bring it up or schedule sex, he did exactly what your husband does — just shut down and said he couldn’t “force” himself to have sex. That was peak frequency; it averaged out to every 10 days, but it was really sex one week, skip a week, sex one week, then another week, then skip.
I kept a meticulous record of what days we had sex when my husband and I started using natural family planning as our birth control method about 9 months into our marriage. I was surprised that I could go so long without realizing we hadn’t had sex. Before I started doing this my husband would comment on how often (or more likely how often we didn’t) have sex. I always thought he was exaggerating. Turns out he wasn’t. I found keeping track to be a helpful tool as the lower sex drive partner. It gave my husband and I a clear number to begin a conversation about what both of us needed in terms of frequency. 5 years and two kids later I’m still keeping track, because it’s a good reminder for me to connect with my husband on a consistent basis. I don’t know that this method would be helpful for everyone, but it works for me.
My husband and I have been keeping track for over 3 years now. We made it a point to be intimate every night (getting close to 1200 nights in a row). In doing so, we have come to learn a lot about ourselves and each other. And because it is usually hard to have sex after a fight or feeling disconnected with each other our nightly streak has forced us (in a good way) to work better together and for each other during the day. Otherwise sex would not be possible….the streak allowed us a fun way to grow in our relationship.
I have a question for the lower drive spouses, male or female. I’m not judging, so forgive me if my question sounds that way. But I’m thinking your answers might help me understand my husband more. (I’ve got the higher drive, and I’m the wife).
It seems like some low drive spouses do not realize just how long it’s been since they last had sex. How can this be? I know to the day. I guess because this kind of connection with my husband is important to me. I don’t understand how the low drive spouse can lose track so easily. Don’t you miss it? Do you not equate sex with love? Is other stuff in your life that much more important than your spouse? Just what causes the lower drive spouse to lose track of frequency? (And I’m a mom, and although my kids are teens now, I’ve always been the higher drive spouse, even when they were babies. So the “I’m just exhausted” thing wasn’t an issue for me.) What causes the lower drive spouse to just not care that much? Or do they care but it just feels like they don’t?
My husband gets upset when I ask him why he doesn’t care. Or how he doesn’t realize when it’s been 10 days or so. Doesn’t he ever want me the way I want him? I really feel like everything else in his life is just so much more important to him. What am I missing? Oh how I wish I could change and not like sex. I’d love to be the lower drive spouse, but I really just don’t feel that way at all. I love him too much.
I’m the lower drive spouse. I’m also very lucky that my hubby has never pressured me or made me feel guilty when it’s been a while. We try for 2-3 times per week but often it’s only once per week that we are intimate.
I think for me the biggest cause is that physical touch is the bottom of the barrel when it comes to my love languages. And with little kids, sometimes by the time hubby gets home I’ve reached my limit on physical contact for the day. I’m also not a night owl so we only have a hour or two together after the kids go to bed. I don’t know that either of these would apply to your husband though, B.
I used to be the higher drive wife, but now we are about even, if not he wants it more. I wondered, too, about him not knowing/caring. But, I realized it extended to much more in our marriage and in his life. He is not detailed oriented at all, except concerning his job and his hobby. Otherwise, that’s it. Me, I can be an elephant.
I wondered how he can be detail oriented at only those two things and not other things. It is probably because he either counts them as very important, or it is his capacity level. Also, he leaves the details of our relationship to me because I am the detail gal. That’s one of the reasons he married me and agreed for me to stay at home, even before kids, because I took on all the details.
I wish I had the capacity to be more laissez-faire, but I don’t. I don’t understand his differences, and he doesn’t get mine. But, simply accepting how it is goes a long way to building up. You have to figure out what kind of foundation your marriage has before you can choose what type of marriage you can build on it.
I’ve been both the lower-drive spouse and the higher-drive spouse. Let me try to give your question a go.
I adore seafood. Like really love seafood. But if you ask me when I last had seafood, I can give you a general window of time, but I don’t remember exactly. I also don’t remember when I last wore my favorite outfit. Or when I had a last massage. My point being that all of these are important and beloved, but my memory sucks.
What I do know is when I’d like to next do something. Like if I get a craving for seafood, I know that I want to make that happen with the next couple of days. If I schedule an event for which my favorite outfit is the perfect choice, I can mark on the calendar when I’ll wear it. If I start to feel my muscles aching, I know it’s time to schedule a massage.
Higher-drive spouses have ongoing urges that keep them aware of their longing for something and how long it’s been. But lower-drive spouses don’t have that same craving, so to speak. It doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy the experience, but they just don’t realize that it’s been way too long since they had seafood — I mean, sex.
While I like eating seafood, it’s not crucial to my health. But sexual intimacy needs to be part of a healthy marriage. But if a lower-drive spouse doesn’t have an independent and regular craving, maybe it would be helpful to track sexual intimacy so they get a realistic view of how long it’s been since their last encounter. And then they can prioritize sex for the marriage.
I am high drive also but had a one year period of hating sex and about three more years of being lower drive than my husband (I still wanted sex more than most people’s standards but not my normal self at all) while I was working through everything that had happened during that one year.
I honestly do not know how often we had sex during that time. I did care though. I was very aware of how much I did not want sex and I was miserable. My husband would tell you that from where he was standing that I did not care. I was hurting so badly that I built up a wall and the more he pushed the more I shut him out.
Libido is is not a one size fits all issue. There’s so many things your guy could be going through causing it.
Some food for thought too… My hubby appears to be lower drive than me, but he is actually higher. Just because his drive does not present itself the way I typically would think(I initiate about 90% of the time) does not mean it is not there.
All good points. Thank you.
I have a very low, if not non-existent sex drive. I don’t think about sex much, and I never feel an internal urge to be sexual. This in no way means that I don’t enjoy sex or my special time with my husband. It has nothing to do with not caring, it has everything to do with having more of a responsive desire as opposed to having a spontaneous desire for sex. I need a reminder and even then, I need to readjust my mindset.
You ask: “Don’t you miss it?” No, I don’t miss sex until my husband reminds me and we start in. Then I remember how nice it can be. It’s like I have a blind spot.
“Do you not equate sex with love?” Sex is only one form of expressing love. I love my husband regardless of how much sex we have.
“Is stuff in your life that much more important than your spouse?’ Absolutely not! My spouse is the most important thing in my life. Sex, I have to work at making a priority. Since menopause, I have to schedule sex, otherwise it might slip off the radar screen.
“What am I missing?”
You are missing the fact that no two people are exactly the same.
His sexuality is just as valid as yours.
I read something the other day that rang a cord with me:
“Is it more important that people crave sex than it is that they enjoy the sex they have?”
Emily Nagoski PhD and author of “Come as you are”
PS: It sucks being the lower drive spouse. We are the bad guys and often reminded of it.
Thank you for chiming in! This is something higher-drive spouses need to hear. Blessings!
I would say the only thing worse than being reminded of it is NOT being reminded of it. You know what happens then? Your husband, who wants to be the good guy and NOT remind you of it suffers in silence. Many sexless years later and a developing porn addiction, he will emotional check out and you will be left with not much of a husband at all.
So you can pick your poison. Get annoyed by a husband who still cares. Or get left alone by a husband who has given up.
Yes, I do believe we need to reminded, without being nagged. That, however, can be a fine line in some marriages. Which is why making the decision to simply track the frequency yourself is a good idea.
As for the porn addiction, I just have to pipe up and say that a porn user can’t blame someone else for his/her decision to engage in that. I understand that the appeal might be higher for someone in a sexless marriage, but not everybody goes there and we have to own our choices.
Praying that you don’t fully give up, but rather find healthy and helpful ways to pursue the sexual intimacy, and other kinds of intimacy, your marriage should have.
Ok. Lower drive spouse here! No, I do not equate sex to love. That’s an unfair equation. When I am recovering from child birth and can’t have sex, do I then not love my husband? When teenagers sleep together, do they love each other? I think the answers to these questions are obvious. If sex= love, then rape could not happen. Sex is fun, it’s a part of our biology, is necessary for a healthy marriage, but it is not love. When our biology messes up, a low drive spouse does not necessarily miss it. And because love has so many other aspects, including conversation and working to provide for each other’s needs (food, money, etc), it is possible to feel that love has been both expressed and received without sex. Is other stuff in my life that much more important than my spouse? No! My life is my spouse. I wash dishes for him. I listen to him. I plan our days around him, and vice versa. There is nothing I do in life that does not revolve around our life together, and perhaps this is not true for your husband, but I would suspect he feels it is. Therefore, he feels he loves you and prioritizes you. Now, you equate love to sex, so you don’t feel he loves you very much at all. That is not true, but it still feels that way. Asking him why he doesn’t care is making the big and hurtful assumption that he, in fact, doesn’t, when he really might. Should he be meeting your sexual desires to the best of his ability? Sure! He definitely should! But, if he is not, it is more likely because he misunderstands how to love you in a way that makes you feel loved.
Also, low drive spouses can just plain struggle with the hard work of sex. It might sound crazy to you, but for me sex can be really hard, and often ends without a “bang” for me I’d I can’t manage to get my body to cooperate. After too many times like this, I start to wonder why on earth my husband wants to push something on me that is absolutely no fun for me, but is somehow supposed to be about “love”. Again, I don’t know your situation, so that might not be the case for you, but that’s my personal experience, for what it’s worth. Hopefully you and your husband can come to a good understanding in this someday.
Thanks for your thoughts on this. I appreciate your viewpoint.
I do hope that you can pursue ways to get your body to cooperate. Most high-drive spouses really want their lower-drive spouse to enjoy the experience as well. And certainly that’s what God desires — mutual intimacy and satisfaction. Blessings!
Thanks! We do and have pursued ways to make it enjoyable for me, and have come a long way!! I am married to a very loving man, and generally he had no idea I wasn’t enjoying the experience, because I felt it would ruin it for him if I spoke up. We have changed that negative pattern, and no longer experience those times of resentment, but I mentioned it as an example of a possible low drive spouse perspective. Also, hormones can be brutal. Not sure what it’s like for guys, but there area handful of days in the month when my body just laughs at me and says “no way!”, and breastfeeding has a similar effect. Fortunately for me, pregnancy hormones have the opposite effect, so it all evens out in the end. And even when sex was a huge struggle for me, I still strove to be available two or three times a week. I guess I was just trying to point out that sometimes our bodies betray us, and when our spouse just constantly pursues sex in spite of our physical lack of drive/interest/pleasure, it can be a very lonely and unloved feeling – similar, I would guess to the feeling a high drive spouse gets when continually rejected. It is my personal thought that an effort to understand and reach out on either side (ideally, both!) goes a long way to resolving this conflict of high versus low drive. At least, that was true for us.
Also, for what it’s worth, it helped me to mark when we did the deed. Kept me aware and helped me be ready when I knew he would want it. Thanks for all your good advice!
Thank YOU. And yes, I agree with your ideas about communication, compromise, and connection. Blessings!
yup. There are definitely days when my body is like NOPE. Even if we have extended foreplay, and appear to be quite wet. It’s actually uncomfortable then and after about 3-5 of those in a row it does get like – why are we doing this again?
Hi B, I’m the lower-drive spouse. Since having our daughter 24 months ago I’ve been a lot more in tune with my body and I’ve notixed that when I’m ovulating I am totally ready to jump in bed every night! The rest of the month, occasionally I’ll be keen, and other times I’ll be quite apathetic toward the thought of having sex (if I can put it that way). For me, I think I may have had an orgasm 10 times in nearly 5 years of marriage (total guess, but point being, not often at all), and a lot of the time he finishes and I have everything pent up and I’m just frustrated! – so, sometimes I prefer not to have sex because it saves the frustration of not finishing anyway. In the last 3 years of our marriage I have had the occasional thought that I would be totally fine if I never had sex again… but then again, if it was taken away from me, I am totally sure I would miss it! There you are; hats a bit of my story and thoughts. All the best
When I started going through menopause, my libido all but disappeared. I could go weeks and feel like we just had sex yesterday. My husband was becoming upset so we started keeping track. In so doing, I realized I had become oblivious to reality. Ever since then, I have insisted on scheduling weekly sex because I can’t rely on my libido and don’t want to have to rely on my husbands frustration level to remind me it’s been too long.
Now, both of us know when the last time was, when the next time will be, and the frequency seems to be working for now.
Hi! This is Karen Pierce. My husband Rob and I are the first couple in the Jimmy Kimmel clip in your post!! We were in L.A. on a a bus tour and ended up on the show. It was surreal. That was February of 2016. Of course it was a big deal back home but after a year it’s died down…until this afternoon while I was sitting in the pick up line at the kids’ school. A mom friend of mine comes running up asking if I had seen this blog. Hysterical! I forwarded it to my husband and told him our television appearance is living on in infamy. I’m so glad we had matching answers! We had no idea what Mr. Kimmel was going to ask and it all happened so fast we barely had time to talk beforehand but we just agreed that no matter what we would be honest. Gotta keep it real. We are premarital counselors at our church. The subject of sex isn’t talked about nearly enough in church circles. It’s nice to see blogs like this out there. To give an update on our sex life since it’s out there now, Rob and I are in a Sunday School class at church and we are reading the book Intimate Issues and it has been helpful in improving our monthly “quota”. We have moved from 5ish a month to more like 9-10ish! Woohoo! Anyway, that’s our story! Thanks for putting us on your blog!! Nice article and keep up the convo!
Wow, wow, wow! How cool is this! Y’all were such a great couple there. I’m so glad to feature you here. And that you’re premarital counselors at your church? Maybe God was making sure you had this experience to share something real with your students.
Many blessings to you both! And I’m glad that number moved up. Isn’t that a nice place to improve in your marriage? 😉
Thanks for commenting. This made my day!
It’s a small world after all. Very cool. Glad things are improving in your marriage.
Rule of thumb:
High drives dont care or are fine with it, consider it a useful tool
Low drives hate it, because it proves just how little sex there is
Aw. That’s not very fair. A lot of the people commenting here are low drives, and consider tracking a useful tool, to help them remember to give sexual attention, including myself.
Many of us who are low drive people are painfully aware that we are considered mean, cruel, and selfish persons. We often feel subhuman for not having sexual urges oozing from our pores.
We are regularly reminded what a disappointment we are to our partners that we don’t meet the sexual expectations that our spouses were hoping for.
But, comments like this one only add salt to the wound because it makes it sound like we are the way we are… on purpose.
Is this what high drive people truly believe?
I disagree with this “rule of thumb” too. And I’m the higher-drive spouse.
What I hear from many higher-drive spouses is that they appreciate the effort lower-drive spouses put toward meeting their longing for sex. I think that’s actually true for most marriages. Few of us are perfectly matched in our drives, but as we reach out toward one another, we can find beautiful intimacy in between. I hope that you can feel your true value and also enjoy sexual pleasure when you engage in your marriage bed. Blessings!
Seeing all of the various comfort and activity levels and personal differences
perhaps we all need to rethink how to better educate those who are
considering marriage in the future. It would be great if you could take
a test like a Myers Briggs survey to shed light on tastes and preferences and then
be aware how they can change with time . There have been majors differences for a long time
and industries have been created to offer short lived solutions . Acknowledging the truth tha everyone is different is a stepping stone to developing solutions should problems arrive down the road and strengthen couples when storms threaten
Feedback is the highway to awesome
and repetition is the mother of perfection.
I used to be high drive and would know exactly how long since we had sex. Now, we’re about even in terms of drive and I lose track (I’m breastfeeding so my hormones are out of whack). I used to be the initiator, but now I don’t feel like initiating much. My husband has agreed that he needs to initiate more often, so we were just saying recently that he should track when we make love, and when it has been a while he should get things going. I think it is so much nicer when he initiates anyway. Great post!
I track it (very discrete little x’s on my calendar in my bullet journal). I’m the distracted sort and it lets me know when we’ve had sex. I look at my calendar each morning and I plan to have the time and energy a certain number of times a week. It keeps me on track.
I like the idea of tracking it. I use the period app too and really like that you lock the app so no one gets our truly private stuff;) I started keeping track after he had a vasectomy to prove to him that he would be getting it more if I didn’t have to worry about birth control but it turned out being really good for our relationship. Life gets in the way but being able to see those little heart icons gives me an idea of how we are connecting. And it answers the question ? When was the last time? He always over estimates how long it’s been:) Our best number was 24 out of 30 days. We usually avg 16-18 now so it’s an incentive in a way when I’m keeping track. I want to give him my best so it helps to see quanity, quality is much easier to judge and recall!
No need to track here. We have, by default, scheduled sex. At least once, but usually twice, and sometimes three times per weekend we have sex.
Now, if you tracked how often I get to orgasm, that is a whole different deal. :-/
I used to have a five year journal where I tracked when we had sex and a few other things, but I haven’t found the need to track since we established a “rule” where we try to never go more than 3 days without some kind of sexual connection. Unfortunately this means we usually only do every three days, but that means two to three times a week, which I feel is pretty good for our stage of life (3 littles and pregnant again). I *know* hubby would love more, but even he said he is too tired for more at this stage when no one is sleeping well.
WOW! 42 replies and counting, and many of these are from higher-drive wives. One respondent mentioned her husband’s rules on when not to have sex (sounds like most of the time). For years I believed that the church rules regulating sex in the Middle Ages were created by bachelor monks who hated women. Now I wonder . . .
I’m the higher-drive in our marriage, but after nearly 54 years I’m finding that my body doesn’t always function as well as my desire, even when my wife wants it. (SIGH).
I started tracking a few years ago. I did it for several months because my high drive husband kept saying that it was once every couple of weeks. At the time we was also traveling on a weekly basis. I not only tracked when, but also who initiated and who climaxed. I kept my tracking a secret until he got really mad because I was having my period and he was home for the weekend. My periods were extremely heavy so I was not comfortable having sex during them even though he was. I don’t think he realized just how bad they were. I also had fibroids to make matters worse. I showed him the calendar where I had been tracking. He was shocked to see that even with him gone five days a week we would average twice a week, except those weeks my nasty periods fell on the weekends. He was also shocked to see that I actually initiated occasionally. He has struggled with porn use so by my keeping track of climaxing he discovered that he rarely climaxed with me which I had been telling him was one of our problems. I have thought about going back to tracking because we are in a season where life is busy, crazy busy. I can already see sex getting put on the backburner and since I’m the low drive then it must really be infrequent if I’m noticing it.
Yeah, the nasty periods always made me think, Don’t even touch me. Maybe you could talk to your doctor about that and see if there’s anything you could do to help out on the bad periods. Although I agree that it’s reasonable to say not now when you are going through those particular days. And it’s nice that your husband accepted that information you provided.
Last summer I had a partial hysterectomy. Best thing I have done. I would get extremely anemic and weak from so much blood loss. The period that lasted three weeks was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. I so wish I had done it years before when they first got really heavy.
Thank you to those who responded to my question about lower drive spouses. Some of what you said was helpful. Some was hurtful, and a little mean, but I guess I kinda opened myself up by asking the question. And of course I noticed all of the lower drive people that responded were women. Not one single husband. But I’m going to focus on the responses I found helpful, and ignore the snarky parts.
Two things I disagree with. I very much equate sex with love. Sorry if that’s “wrong” – but I love my husband and he is the only person I want to have sex with. I feel very loved and like our love is strengthened when we are intimate, and I wish it happened more often.
I also think it’s much harder to be the higher drive spouse (especially the wife), who is the one often being rejected, and rarely pursued. Maybe I’m still not seeing it from a low drive point of view, but I think it’s harder to feel rejected and unloved than to have a husband who loves and pursues you often.
But perhaps this is where we need to try to understand each other’s differences.
I also think my marriage needs to mature. My husband and I were not true Christians when we married. We had no premarital counseling, no parental guidance, and decades of generational sin weighing on us. Praise God we did come to a saving knowledge of Christ and we have made it this far by the grace of God alone. We’ve been married over 20 years, but with such a rocky start, maybe we still have a lot of maturing to do.
Sometimes I feel we’ve missed the boat and it’s too late for us. I just passed 40 and am officially “over the hill.” I have kids in college and high school. From the comment section, it seems most of my fellow readers are much, much younger than me, with little children, or just starting families. I feel like that stage of my life has passed, and it’s too late for me to have that “young, married, happy romantic relationship.” So while I see a need to mature, I’m not sure if there’s time. I don’t know.
I do thank God that my children have grown up in a Christian home, and Lord willing they will marry like minded women and they will all have decent pre-marital counseling and have a much more solid foundation. I’m also thankful that they will have access to your blog and resources like it.
What? You’re 40 and “over the hill.” I’m nearing 50, and I refuse to believe I’m anything but Queen of that Hill. Come on, girlfriend — let’s don our tiaras and remember that it’s never too late!
Oh, and I don’t think anyone was being mean. Forceful perhaps, but not mean.
Aw, I hope you don’t feel bad because of anything I said. I did not mean that it was wrong for you to feel that sex= love. Those are your feelings, and they are valid. That does not mean what you feel is reality, as I often have to remind myself about my own feelings. Sex is one expression of love, and if you can wrap your mind around the fact that there are many other ways to show love, it might comfort you to realize that your husband IS showing you love, just not in the way you want (or maybe he’s not, I really don’t know! By if he claims to love you,I would think he is showing it in at least a few areas!). I think you are definitely in a hard place, especially as the HD WIFE, because it is less common. And rejection is hard. It feels an awful lot like rejection tho, when a spouse constantly pursues sex with you regardless of your feelings and ability to participate in a way that is fun for you. It feels like they just want to use your body because they want sex, not at all like they are in love with you and want to share that love. Do you see what I mean? You feel unloved because sex is your main way of feeling loved /expressing love (and for the record, that is FINE!!! You are not wrong for feeling this way!) and your husband avoids it. He might feel unloved because sex seems like your goal, and not him. (Again, a lot of assumptions here, cause I don’t really know you guys. Please take this with a grain of salt. He might just be majorly sinning in this area by denying you, don’t know. But I hope not!)
So what has helped me and my husband is for me to realize that no matter what else I do, he will feel most loved by me when I’m sexually available to him. You can’t make your husband realize this, so aside from praying for him, that aspect of the situation is null and void. But my husband also stepped back and realized all the ways I was expressing love and learned to appreciate them, and also to realize that my lower drive was completely unrelated to my love for him, and was actually all hormone-driven. Hormones are powerful and sometimes work against us.
I know I also reached a point of avoiding sex because I was scared of my ability to perform, as my body just would not cooperate very often. Maybe your husband struggles with that? I don’t know. But if you could look at him and see a hormone problem instead of a love problem, it might help ease the hurt you feel.
Feeling unloved, whether because you are high drive and rejected or because you are low drive and not good enough, is not fun. I’m sorry for the pain you experience because of this, and I hope that you and your husband come someday to a place of joy together.
It’s never too late for a happy, romantic relationship! When I was newly married, someone asked me how it was going, and I responded that we were enjoying the honeymoon phase. His answer was “we’ve been married 20 years and we are still in the honeymoon phase!” That’s my goal for our marriage.
As to age, well you can’t always be young! But some of us are not too far off your age and are just starting families! I’m in my mid thirties with a six month old, and am hoping for three more. We didn’t meet and marry until my early thirties. Life stage doesn’t always equate to age! Please don’t write off someone’s advice, especially when they want to help just because their age and/or life stage is different to yours. Some of the comments from the young ones and the older ones too (no matter your perception of young and old) are pure gold.
When we got married , we put $1 in a jar every time we had sex and set it aside for date night. It was fun to try and fill the jar.
(Of course, $1 probably isn’t enough nowadays. Even at 3 times a week, that would only be one cheap date every 6 months. Better up that to $10 ! 🙂 )
I track in my bullet journal. My husband didn’t know, but seemed pleased when he realized I did it. I have obsessive tendencies with eating, exercise and the like, so I keep tract mentally anyway. It just happens. I think it’s helpful. My husband seems reluctant to initiate. I hit a major depressive episode for most of our first year, so I guess he felt like a jerk trying to initiate if his wife collapses in bed and starts to cry (for the umpteenth time that day). So I tend to initiate. Mostly I just want to make sure we get to bed/ get up early enough so that it can happen. My husband isn’t good with routines and schedules and stuff. 20 years of being a bachelor I guess. So he’ll do things like start cooking soap at 11 pm when he needs to teach a class at 10 am the next day…
I started keeping track to “prove” my husband wrong when he said how little we had sex. However, I was the one who had my eyes opened! I now use it as an incentive on my part to have more sex because I know he desires it more than I do so when I see it has been a week (or two, unfortunately), then I will make more of an effort.
So what level of frequency opened your eyes? Does this mean you also have a sense of how much is not enough? And this motivation to increase it… where did this motivation come from? Please enlighten me. I am sexless and married to a guilt-free wife.
On the Apples’s iPhone has an app called Health Kit. Inside you can everything about your health including sex frequency. date and time and was protection used (never with us). We count every sexual event not just sex.
Married 19 years, together 22 years…I began tracking frequency in November of last year on the IPhone health app. My wife has no clue but if she found out would just think it’s weird to track that. We are like the first couple on TV, we know our frequency. I however am formerly addicted to porn and sex ( with my wife ) . The reason I track our sex is so I can clearly see that it hasn’t been THAT long since we’ve done it ( average 3x week ) and to see that I’m really blessed to have a wife who is a lesser drive spouse continue to meet my needs on a more than regular basis. This means so much to me given my past history of porn use and the tracking just solidifies that she’ does meet my needs even though I think I could do it every day…. Also, on a day when we do it twice (which is occasional) I can look back and be reminded ” um that was a really good day” therefore once again confirming her never ending love for me. Thanks for this blog, and the others too. A quick Shout out to Daily Generous Husband for sending me over here!!
High drive husband here. I’ve tracked our frequency or lack there of since January 2016 after becoming sexually frustrated since the birth of our son in February 2015. I did discuss my thoughts and feelings with the wife and got a “that’s all you ever think about.” I said I would be happy with three times a week; (hoping for two and would settle for one.) Since then we averaged about once per month sometimes about a month and a half. Since I started logging our encounters, we managed to do the horizontal mambo 16 times in 2016. For 2017 we managed three weeks in a row but the last time was 60 days ago. I’ve pretty much given up initiating because there’s only so many no’s and excuses a guy can take. I still check her sex temp daily just to see if there’s any chance but often think I should decline if she initiates but then think that’s not how I want to be treated.
Have you asked her why she is so reluctant? Sometimes if a lower-drive spouse feels pushed over and over, they shut down, but if you show caring in how they’re struggling with a lack of desire, they might open up. I’m not saying this is an easy fix, but I am hoping to suggest a way for you two to connect both emotionally and physically. Because yeah, I get it — you want to make love to your wife more!
Know I’m late to this post but thought I would throw out there. I am not sure which of us is really the higher drive spouse because I know my hubby loves to get it on but we did go through a period of time where I felt like he was never initiating. Then he said I never initiated…I should keep track of who initiates. 😉 I do it partly as a matter of family planning and also just to keep track of symptoms and things (like when I’m preggo I tend to spot during the early first trimester and I like to know when we had sex in comparison). I definitely don’t use it as ammunition. I’m currently expecting #3 and have been going through the wonderful nauseous phase. Mine tends to be worse at night or when I’m very tired which is bad news for our sex life. I feel really bad because between his crazy work schedule and that we have slipped off towards once every 7-10 days of late. We both prefer about 2-3 times a week. To me it was fun to track and say “hey! we did it this week we met our goal!” It also helps encourage me to initiate when I know it’s been awhile.
I don’t have to track my sexual frequency because I know exactly how much. 3 times in the last 9 months. I would love to bring up the issue of frequency, but ever since our marriage counselor told my wife I didn’t really need sex because I wouldn’t die without it, she decided that frequency was a phony issue. Even if I had an app to track it, I would still need a wife who consider the issue of frequency even relevant.
All of the marriage blogs in the world talking about the problems of sexless marriages will not help until the people who don’t read them (my wife in this case) begin to care. Until then, the very fact that both spouses even care is, in my book, a victory.
Honestly, at that point I would ask to speak with that marriage counselor alone and explain what the rejection means to you. That counselor needs to understand how integral sex is to the higher-drive spouse’s sense of acceptance and intimacy. Praying for you.
I agree that he should know that. But then I have to wonder what his Masters Degree in Christian Counseling taught him if a lowly software engineer like me has to educate him on this obvious fact. Shaunti Feldhahn has a great series on this about teaching women what sex means to their husbands on an emotional level. Too bad our (former) counselor is too stuck in his mindset to see that. I think he is dogged by the fear that husbands will abuse the “need” argument to manipulate their wives into giving it up more often. What makes it especially ridiculous is he didn’t even inquire as to how often we were having sex. If I was trying to manipulate my wife into increasing our frequency from three times a week to every day, maybe he might have a point. But I was crying out in desperation to increase from practically not at all to something close to a real marriage. I’m actually way too reasonable about my expectations.
That was a couple of sexless years ago, though, and we no longer see him since we go to a different church.
Truly a frustrating situation! Believe me that many of us are pushing to get better education and understanding about this subject among Christian ministers, counselors, and other resources. I have seen a real change in the last 20 years, but there’s more work to be done.
28 June 2016 to 1st September 2017, 2 times, both in February a week apart, (Our new record that was, twice in 15months. !st September2017 until to today, 3 times. all three in the first two weeks of September when on Holiday. Been married for 22 years, and average times per year, including our really sexed up first year of Marriage, all of 16 times that year, 8 times the second and 5 times the third, we average if I am lucky, 6 times a year.The more she goes to Church, the less we have. While I still have my faith, I have lost religion and have ceased going to church, the Church councellor stating that I suffer from the sin of resentment, and that as long as we love each other, sex is not necessary. I am now thinking, that even if I was single and not having any sex, that would be better than living in a marriage where there should be at least a little expectancy that there would be some physical intimacy, then having a desire for it and living with the disappointment of having none.
The Church counselor may be right about resentment, but not about sex being optional in marriage. God’s Word says otherwise. I encourage you to seek out resources that show a better, more scriptural way. I wonder if your wife, being religious, would be willing to read my devotional book, Intimacy Revealed.
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