Stress Less Parenting

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Is Your Sex Drive Normal?

How often do most married people have sex? Is it true that men want sex more often than women? Read on for these answers and more.

Research does back up one stereotype: Men think about sex more, masturbate more, and will go out of their way to get sex more often than women. This is on average— it doesn’t reflect any particular woman’s sex drive or ability to enjoy sex or be aroused.

About 2% of men (and 5% of women) between 18 and 24 report having sex four or more times a week. But 24% of married women and 21% of married men that age say they have sex four or more times a week.
Not including foreplay, intercourse typically lasts 5.4 minutes. A study of 500 heterosexual couples in five countries helped researchers come up with this number — not very impressive, considering how often we think and talk about it (and how long we often think it lasts).
A glass or two of red wine per day can increase your libido. It’s the same for men and women. But too much can have the opposite effect, especially in men: Alcohol abuse is the leading cause of impotence and other sexual issues.  Women shouldn’t have more than one drink a day, and men should limit it to two. But don’t start drinking just to increase your libido, and don’t drink at all if you’re pregnant.
Just under 50% of all married people between 25 and 60 have sex 3 or 4 times a month. This is a higher rate than single people or people who have partners (not spouses) in that same age range. Guess we know who’s getting all the action.

After noticing that sexual interest in men changes with the seasons, scientists wondered if it had something to do with light. A study showed that men who sat in bright light for 30 minutes a day said they had more interest in sex.

Birth control pills do not limit a woman’s desire. Most women say they don’t notice any change in their sex drive, and some even say the pill makes them friskier.

Testosterone supplements do not increase a man’s desire. The hormone is linked to sex drive — as well as muscle and bone mass and strength — but giving testosterone to men doesn’t seem to make a difference in their interest in sex.

Viagra belongs to a group of drugs called PDE5 inhibitors. PDE5 is shorthand for an enzyme that’s involved with your body’s biochemical reactions. The medication makes the enzyme work more slowly, and that helps the penis keep an erection.

When men watch a lot of porn, there’s some evidence that this can lead to trouble with intimacy (but not desire).

During ovulation, a woman’s sex drive usually increases. It’s one of nature’s ways to keep our species going. A woman thinks about sex more often when an egg is moving from an ovary to her uterus, and this is when she’s most likely to get pregnant. This leads to more sexual arousal — and, theoretically, more babies.

During pregnancy, libido fluxuates, depending on the woman of course, and depending on where she is in her pregnancy. Early on, she may be too nauseated or exhausted to have any interest in sex. But in the second trimester, some women say they have more desire and more intense orgasms. This may because there’s more blood flow to certain organs, and that can lead to better sensation and more pleasure.

Obesity is linked to lower sex drive and decreased sperm count. It can also lead to lower levels of testosterone.

Drug abuse may cause sexual problems for over a year after a man stops using drugs. The two areas most likely to be affected are sexual pleasure and orgasm. But some illegal drugs also can decrease desire and arousal. If you or someone you love has a problem with drugs or alcohol, help is available.

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