Leandie Buys Realtionship Therapist & Clinical Sexologist

The 3-times-a-week rule & other ‘bedroom’ myths you should know

In my years as a clinical sexologist and relationship counsellor, I have heard everything – I have counselled couples with relationship issues, couples working through infidelity, rape victims, people struggling with pain during intercourse, couples struggling with infertility, men struggling with erectile dysfunction, people struggling with desire, and many, many other issues.

I’ve put together five of the most common myths that I’ve heard during the years, and the truth about them:

1.     The ‘three-times a week rule’

For some reason, a lot of couples that I’ve counselled think that to prove that their relationship is working, they need to be having sex at least three times a week. I’m not sure where this number came from, but it is one of the most common myths that I’ve encountered in my years of practicing as a relationship therapist and clinical sexologist.

The “three-times-a-week” rule is absolutely a relationship-killer.

Firstly, sex does not follow rules and secondly, every relationship is different. Couples who put pressure on themselves to “perform” will only become frustrated and unfulfilled in their relationship.

The national average, according to the Durex survey, is 2.8 times per week. However, this is the AVERAGE. Some couples are happy with once a week and some couples have sex five times a week.

It is very important to understand that all relationships are different, and couples should never compare their relationship with someone else’s. The only thing a couple can compare their relationship to is itself. Is it better or worse than it was? Are we living up to our expectations of our relationship?

If a couple compares their relationship with others, they will only end up finding all the faults.

The number of times a couple has sex per week is entirely up to them, and the only time it should become an issue is when one person in the relationship wants sex a lot more than the other, and it starts to cause conflict, tension and resentment in the relationship.

When this happens, it is called Desire Discrepancy, and the couple should seek professional counselling before the relationship is damaged. A therapist will help the couple to understand each other’s libido’s and might uncover hidden reasons why the one person’s libido is lower than the other’s.

2.     Orgasms are quick and easy

If there is a rule about orgasms, it’s this: The harder you try to have one, the further away it seems to get.

In other words, if you keep trying to make it happen, you’ll end up feeling less aroused than when you started. Be careful not to become so involved in trying to reach orgasm that it becomes the only reason you and your partner are intimate.

Don’t make orgasm your GOAL because if you don’t achieve that goal every time, you will feel extremely disappointed. Your partner may even feel that you are disappointed with him, or you may feel that you failed your partner by not achieving orgasm.

However, pretending to orgasm is also not a solution.

Remember, that you are not the only woman to ever have trouble achieving orgasm. Every woman has to experiment to find the right ‘formula’ for herself.

If you are interested in reading further on the subject, I suggest and excellent book called “The elusive orgasm” by Dr Vivienne Cass. In the book, Cass discuses how all women experience orgasms differently. For some it might be a breathtaking experience and for others, it might be a light “flutter” on the stomach.

Statistics show that most women (70%) achieve orgasm through clitoral stimulation, and a few (30%) through vaginal stimulation.

The best recipe for orgasm is: relax, take your time, focus on the pleasure of stimulation and enjoy each other as much as possible. When you know you are in your head, thinking “his arm must be getting lame now, or his tongue must be sore”, because you are not reaching your orgasm, stop, because you are going to panic or even getting too anxious because you are not getting there.

3.     Size counts…

Let me state it once and for all: Size doesn’t count!

What the majority of men don’t understand is that the most sensitive part of a woman’s pelvic area is the first two centimetres at the entrance to the vagina. Stimulating the clitoris has been shown to help women reach orgasm more easily.

Several studies have found that only about 30% of women can orgasm from vaginal sex without clitoral stimulation. As you can see, it is not a matter of size, but of technique that leads to a fulfilling sex life.

It takes men only three to five minutes to be ready for sex.

It takes women as long as twenty minutes! For women, sex is not just a physical act, it is also linked to her emotions and her overall opinion of herself. A man can look at a pretty woman and become aroused. For a woman to become aroused, all of her senses have to be stimulated.

A woman who feels loved, appreciated, safe, comfortable, relaxed and happy will be far more satisfied during sex than an unhappy woman.

4.     Most women don’t masturbate

It’s the 21st century, and there is still a lot of taboo about masturbation.

Although we know that most men do it, it’s not something that often gets brought up in general conversation.

However, I tell my clients that are struggling with sexual satisfaction, that if you don’t know what “buttons” to push to turn you on and lead you to orgasm, you can’t expect your partner to find them either. I encourage my female patients to explore themselves through masturbation so that they can teach their partners about their bodies and find out what really turns them on.

Women should always be in control of their own bodies and their own sexuality and sensuality.

5.     Men are always ready to have sex

All men will experience erectile dysfunction at some time. When their partner experiences erectile dysfunction, women often take it personally. They feel desperate, unsexy, unloved and unwanted, or they suspect an affair. This can be soul destroying.

It is important that the man schedules an appointment with his GP, or consults with an urologist, as a blood test can determine if low testosterone levels and other hormones are affecting his libido. There are many other causes including stress, fear of failure as a lover, fear of ED, low self-esteem, and unhappiness in the relationship. Medication, certain health issues, and age can also cause erectile dysfunction.

If the problem has already affected the relationship between the couple, they should visit a sexologist or relationship counsellor to help them get their relationship and intimacy back on track

Because sex is such an integral part of relationships, men often feel like they are failures as men, husbands and partners if they struggle with erectile dysfunction. There is definitely a social stigma associated with sexual issues, but most people don’t realise that we will all struggle with some sort of sexual issue at some point in our lives.

Basically, the statistics show that around 40% of men over 40, 50% of men over 50, 60% of men over 60 and 70% of men over 70 have erection difficulties at times.