Can You Have Sex Every Day? Here’s What a Doctor Says
Is daily sex a goal we should all aim for… or too much of a good thing? According to research and a mental health pro—it depends.
The average American adult has sex about once a week, according to 2020 research published in JAMA Network Open. Another survey suggests about 4% of us have sex daily—but is there any benefit to having sex more often?
How often should you have sex?
“The answer is whatever people are comfortable with,” says Michelle DiBlasi, DO, chief of inpatient psychiatry at Tufts Medical Center. “It’s safe to have sex every day, even multiple times a day. But it’s also OK to not have sex that often.” Studies show that people who have sex daily have the same level of happiness as people who have sex weekly or less, she says.
In fact, 2017 research published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that 15% of males and 26% of females didn’t have sex that year and reported similar happiness levels as their sexually active counterparts. “It really is about what works for people.”
What happens when you have a lot of sex?
The biggest benefit behind having frequent sex is that it reduces cortisol levels in your body, Dr. DiBlasi says. “This is a hormone that’s released when you’re under stress—so [having sex] lowers the stress in your body to make you feel calmer and it can help you sleep better at night.” In the immediate term, having sex releases endorphins in your brain, too. These happiness hormones are the body’s natural painkillers and mood boosters.
Another benefit to having regular sex is that it can strengthen the connection between you and your partner. This is because our bodies produce oxytocin when we have sex, a hormone known to help us bond with others. “And the nice thing about it is that after you have sex—or even just have close physical touching or cuddling—that oxytocin can last in your body for up to two days,” Dr. DiBlasi says.
Research published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology in 2022 says having sex may also lead to a longer lifespan. The study found that people who have sex at least once a week have a 10 to 21% lower risk of dying from heart disease, 44 to 49% drop in non-heart disease mortality and 69% lower cancer mortality.
Am I having sex too often?
Daily sex can be healthy for some people, but problematic for others, Dr. DiBlasi explains. For example, if you don’t want to have sex but feel pressured by your partner, you’re not going to enjoy its benefits—and it can negatively impact your mental health and relationship.
Frequent sex does increase your risk for some physical issues, she adds. “You may experience increased soreness or chafing of the skin, and it can cause higher rates of certain infections like urinary tract infections.”
Ultimately, the right amount of sex you should have comes down to what is most comfortable—and satisfying—for you and your partner. “The best way [to discuss each other’s needs] is always to be honest and transparent,” Dr. DiBlasi says. “Start a conversation letting them know this is important to you and that you want to know their feelings about it, what works best for them, and reach a compromise about what would be best in your relationship.”
Michelle DiBlasi, DO, chief of inpatient psychiatry at Tufts Medical Center
YouGov Plc: "Sex frequency August 24, 2017"
JAMA Network Open: "Trends in Frequency of Sexual Activity and Number of Sexual Partners Among Adults Aged 18 to 44 Years in the US, 2000-2018"
Archives of Sexual Behavior: "Sociodemographic Correlates of Sexlessness Among American Adults and Associations with Self-Reported Happiness Levels: Evidence from the U.S. General Social Survey"
European Journal of Preventive Cardiology: "Sex saves lives"