Chinese medicine has quite a bit to say about sex: Too much is bad for men, but women get to have as much as they like. Too little is bad for men and women – unless you don’t fancy it, in which case it’s best not to have any. There are other guidelines too: women shouldn’t have sex during their period, and men could generally do with a nap afterwards. All this advice applies to sex with a partner as well as solo activity.
How much sex should men have?
The Chinese medical classics recommend the following as a general guide for the guys. These numbers apply to sex with a partner as well as solo activity. Age 20: once or twice a day. Age 30: once a day or once every 2 days. Age 40: once every 3 – 4 days. Age 50: once every 5 – 10 days. Age 60: once every 10 – 20 days. Age 70: once a month or less.
These guidelines aside, if you’re a man and feel very tired after sex, sweat at night, have chronic lower backache and weak knees, and/or urinate frequently, it’s advisable to keep sex to a minimum for the time being.
What if you’re a man and don’t fancy that much sex?
Libido is determined by quite a few different factors and your body is pretty good at telling you when you need to be saving the sort of energy expended during sex. Some men are born with more of that sort of energy, and some with less. The natural rhythm, stresses and strains of life also influence the ebb and flow of that energy, and it declines naturally with age. So, despite what society sometimes says, it is perfectly normal (and may even be healthy) for men to lose interest in sex from time to time or altogether.
What about libido in women?
Women are a wonderfully diverse bunch and female libido is no exception. Some women are born with libido on a higher setting and some on a lower setting, so what today’s society calls ‘low’ (or ‘high’ for that matter) is perfectly normal and healthy for many. Healthy libido also fluctuates with nature’s monthly and seasonal rhythms, and life’s stages like having children and menopause. You can trust your body to tell you exactly how much sex you should be having.
Many happy couples don’t have sex
The confidentiality of the treatment room means I get to glimpse life behind the scenes. One of the wonderful discoveries this has afforded me is that there are many happy, loving and faithful couples of all ages who don’t have sex at all. Considering what a naturally variable thing libido is, it’s a wonder that any couples have regular sex! It seems more realistic to adjust our expectations and celebrate our relationships with and without sex.
What if you’d like to change your libido?
Because libido is influenced by so many factors, it’s impossible to give one-size-fits-most advice about increasing or decreasing it. A full Chinese medical diagnosis can determine what is going on for you, whether your libido can be adjusted, and what lifestyle changes could make a difference. Depending on your diagnosis, acupuncture, tai chi qigong exercises and herbs may also dial your sex drive up or down within your own unique healthy range.