How much sex is ‘normal’?

I’ve read lots of books about the frequency of having sex.  Some say this much is too much and you are probably an addict.  Some say that much is not enough and you are starving (or starving someone else).    It all gets very confusing when you try and ‘legislate’ something as a norm … that was never meant to be legislated as such.

I find it interesting that God doesn’t say anything about limits or moderation.  In fact, I kind of get the impression that He is saying the opposite of moderation here in this letter to the Corinthians.  “But afterwards resume marital relations, lest Satan tempt you [to sin] through your lack of restraint of sexual desire.”  This reads like satiation of sex (marital relations) can be used to beat Satan at trying to use your sexual desire against you.  Also notice that, God says (plainly) sexual desire.  Not how much or how little desire; just … desire.

Do not refuse and deprive and defraud each other [of your due marital rights], except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, so that you may devote yourselves unhindered to prayer. But afterwards resume marital relations, lest Satan tempt you [to sin] through your lack of restraint of sexual desire. (1 Cor 7)

Couple this with the fact that men think about sex (on average) way more than women.  According to a study done by researchers at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction at Indiana University, their findings reveal that 54 percent of men think about sex several times a day, compared with just 19 percent of women.  You can find the complete article here.

Whether men actually do think about sex, some reports say, every 7 seconds (which I personally believe is a stretch) and that women probably once or twice a month, isn’t really what intrigues me.  It’s the fact that men do … several times a day.  Add to the mix that it is physically possible for a man to have an erection and ejaculate probably several times per day. (consideration given to factors such as age, health, stress etc)  Also, there is a lament from married men that they aren’t getting enough sex.  In her book, for women only, Shaunti Feldhahn states that,  On each survey and in my random interviews around the country, an urgent theme emerged: 

Men want more sex than they are getting.

So, when we line up the knowledge, that men desire more sex than they are getting.  And that the information coming to light through many well respected authors who‘ve researched and published about marriage and sex, that it’s not just a desire for men; but a need, against the backdrop of the scripture in James 2:

For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?

No, a husband isn’t going to physically die if he’s sex starved … he’ll just feel like he wants to.  But it doesn’t negate the implications of the text:  You have, within your being as his wife, to provide what he needs but don’t freely offer (by acting on it).  I can’t see God being pleased with this dynamic happening between a son and daughter of His.




  1. Thanks Sis. It kind of hit me like a ton of bricks when I saw the parallel in James 2. It would be as if I was refusing my husband night after night, but then leaving for work every morning all fresh and dressed up and loving, “Bye honey, have a great day! Love you bunches!!” — just doesn’t wash some how.

  2. After a return reading of this post, I am going to parse the scripture a bit, without adding I hope, and suggest an interpretation: “But afterwards resume marital relations, lest Satan tempt you [to sin] through your lack of restraint of sexual desire.” (1 Cor 7)

    God isn’t calling sex or sexual desire a sin, within marriage anyway. He has made allowance for both between a husband and wife and stated the purpose of marital relations. I frequently see wives make the argument that submitting to (sharing, giving) sex to keep their husbands faithful is not a valid or reason to have sex and should not be necessary. It’s their husbands job to control their urges to sin and, after all, God will provide a way out. It seems God just told them they should and why and for that exact reason. I am not releasing men from not exercising restraint. But to that point: “lest Satan tempt you [to sin] through your lack of restraint of sexual desire.” Of course he is talking about both sexes here, and he is acknowledging our sinful lack of restraint of sexual desire. He realizes we are sexual creatures just as He created us and we will be tempted in improper directions because of our acquired sin nature. Through His grace, He has provided us a way out of that sin trap: fulfilling sexual relations with our spouse. It would thus seem to be against His design to deny your mate. He is not, speaking of sexual desire within the marriage being sinful but normal and fitting into His plan.

    He knows we will “burn” with desire. He knows we will be tempted because of our lack of restraint. He has, as always, provided a way out of temptation and further sin. Did I miss or misstate something?

    Great insight on the application of Jame 2 here, Robyn. I’ll be purloining that for future reference.

    This post needs a reblogging elsewhere.

  3. Thanks Brother D. I agree with your statement, “God isn’t calling sex or sexual desire a sin, within marriage anyway.” It is a natural desire within us. It’s along the same lines as the desire to eat.

    If Darrell is a “meat-a-tarian” and I only prepare for him rice and tofu with beef ‘flavoured’ broth, his desire for steak will build with ‘burning desire’ for the very thing he’s not getting. No, he won’t die, but with every meal I serve that is not what I know he wants and say, “Here brother, enjoy your dinner and be filled with the Holy Spirit!” Then, with the way society is with all the fast food restaurants and steak houses, well, you can see from this perspective how utterly cruel it is. Especially when you’ve taken a vow to promise that you will only eat the steak your wife prepares.

    And then Satan comes in and uses this desire for steak, which is a good desire, to turn it into sin.

    I’m my husband’s way of escape. From what I hear from women, they blame the desire on their husbands, rather than on Satan who is the one who is increasing the temptation. Sadly, I used to have this opinion as well, thankfully, “The truth has set me free.”

    Nah, you didn’t miss or misstate anything that I was trying to convey.

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