Are You Having Too Much Sex? Spring is coming, and with pheromones flying couples may find themselves asking: Is it possible to have too much sex? BY MACHELLE M. SEIBEL, MD
It's hard to imagine that too much sex could be a problem, but it can be.
There are definitive psychological dangers to not getting enough sex. A healthy sex life confers a wealth of side benefits, such as cardiovascular exercise, a lower incidence of cold and flu, better sleep, longer life, reduced depression, and surprisingly, an improved sense of smell!
But is too much sex possible? Are there physical perils to making sex an every night ritual? Do people clamor for a miracle drug to dull the senses of an overzealous spouse in the bedroom?
While women who don’t have sex during menopause can actually suffer from vaginal atrophy, the only serious danger that women face from an excess of action, assuming they desire each other, is chafing—a problem which can be solved by the judicious application of lubricant, or a long-lasting three-day vaginal moisturizer.
Men, however, do face potential risks when it comes to marathon love making sessions.
In younger circles, where hooking up is common, men are sometimes compared for their sexual abilities and more are taking medications to enhance erectile function even when they don’t have an erection problem. The penis is composed of very rugged tissue. However, when spurred on by drugs such as Viagra or Levitra, the penis may not have a chance to rest and can become dangerously engorged, lose oxygen, and although a small chance, suffer damages. If an erection lasts over four hours, see your doctor.
The reason that men lose their erection between orgasms is because the penis has to replenish its oxygen supply. Think of a deep-sea diver changing tanks. If the tissue does not rest up and receive new oxygen, the erection can swell up to a painful degree, which may lead to an embarrassing hospital visit.
If you are having so much sex you are experiencing pain or numbness, definitely take a break. If your emotional desire is flagging and you are just going through the motions because you feel like you have to compete, take a few nights off and you might find yourself looking forward to it again. The pressure to transform a loving experience into a marathon event can lead to erectile dysfunction where none had existed, or even damage a relationship.
With this in mind, and breaks planned, really the only problems standing in the way of day-in day-out sexual abandon are practical matters. Is your spouse interested in the same amount of sex as you? Is sex interfering with getting to work on time? Are you preoccupied with sex or has it become an obsession often with little satisfaction? If the latter is true it could be due to sexual addiction, which should be treated.
These are important questions, and the answers to them should help you determine if you indeed are having too much sex.
Dr. Machelle Seibel is a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Massachusetts, and former Editor in Chief of Sexuality, Reproduction and Menopause, a journal of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.