Just like aiming to drink eight glasses of water each day, there may be a magic number to aim for having sex each week.
There are benefits to having a healthy sex life, including a stronger heart, a slimmer waistline and lower risk of prostate and breast cancers, according to the March 7 Time Magazine “Here’s How Much Sex You Should Have Every Week.”
However, based on a recent study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, “Declines in Sexual Frequency Among American Adults,” Americans are having less sex than they were having a decade ago.
But what is the right approach for today’s 18- to 22-year-olds?
John Bartelt, professor of education who teaches a human sexuality class, said he wants to encourage students to discover their sexual preferences free of peer pressure or societal expectations.
“It’s like buying a car; you have to look at the parts,” Bartelt said. “Just like having sex, it’s about who you are and if you are ready. Sex is very individualized, and there are many sexualities as there are as many ages ready to have sex… Your prime time for having sex is based on your own preference.”
In an informal survey among eight La Verne students, six agreed that the magic number for having sex is three times a week, and three out of the eight students said they realistically try to aim for that number weekly.
The eight students consisted of four men and four women. All four men said having sex three times a week would be optimal, and two out of four women agreed.
“Three is my lucky number. It is the perfect median number for the seven day week,” sophomore athletic training major Ricardo Escobedo said.
Some students aim for even more.
“I have sex twice a day, everyday,” senior business administration major Brian Gonzalez said.
“I live with my girlfriend and it is a personal de-stresser for both of us. I might be out of the norm because I have sex every day but I think a normal amount would be three times a week,” he said.
Sex as stress relief is a common theme among La Verne students.
“Sex obviously makes you happy because you’re releasing so many endorphins, but, couples shouldn’t have sex to be happy,” sophomore sociology major Jennifer Garcia said. “Couples should be happy before and after sex.”
There are various benefits to having sex regularly.
Individuals are inclined to sleep better, have a stronger immune system, a more toned body and less headaches. For women, it can lead to lighter periods or less painful cramps, according to the Time article.
However, two out of eight students agree their desire to have sex may change even during the course of their college careers as their priorities change.
“Once you reach a certain point in your college career, you shift focus into more important things like your career,” senior business administration major Nick Wilson said.
“Your first two years will be different from your last two years. The first two years, college students use it to get it out of their system,” he said.
The bottom line is that different schedules, different energy levels and different amounts of time spent together all help define a couple’s ideal healthy sex life, many students and experts agree.
Flora Wong can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.