HE wants it once a day, she’d take twice a month – the burning question on many long-term couples’ lips is: what’s the norm?
Sex therapist and social commentator Bettina Arndt has provided some guidance to this prickly question.
“The majority of people have sex less than twice a week,” she said, quoting a survey of nearly 20,000 Australians.
“Many have it far more, and plenty hardly ever.”
Ms Arndt, here to address the Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network, also shattered the myth that 21st century woman had evolved a “rapacious desire”.
“There are women, I call them ‘my juicy tomatoes’, who have a strong desire all their lives, but they are rare,” she said.
“All evidence shows most women, after displaying an initial strong desire, lose interest.”
Instead they “dread the hand that comes creeping toward them in the middle of the night”.
Ms Arndt’s advice for a healthy relationship has not changed since she controversially put a new twist to the Nike slogan “Just do It” in her best-selling 2007 book, The Sex Diaries.
“‘Just do it’ is not about women lying on their back and thinking of England,” she said. “It stems from research in Canada which shows many women have no spontaneous desire in a relationship, but the desire often kicks on once they get started.”
The advice was not just relevant to women. “I’m there to say to men they must just do it too if they are the ones avoiding sex. You can’t leave your partner craving intimacy as he or she will feel rejected, unwanted and unloved.”
Most often, however, it was women who did not match their mate’s desire.
Ms Arndt’s talk to the Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network was on why wives would rather eat chocolate than have sex.
She said this was because “many women will do anything but have sex”.
“The basic point is many women are stuck with a fragile libido and this has always been the case.”
Ms Arndt was in favour of making a date for sex reasonably regularly. “It makes sense to put sex on your to do list, once a week at least,” she said. “Many women find that if they have it regularly, they want it more.”
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