How much sex is too much? Between the achy muscles and the rehydration breaks, it’s normal to wonder if too much sex might pose some health risks.
After all, we know that too much of a good thing can be bad for us, and so like potato chips, fast food, sweets and other indulgences, some people nervously Google questions like these:
Can you have too much sex?
Is it ok to have sex every day?
Is too much sex bad for you?
Sex is a normal biological activity that healthy individuals can engage in frequently. Regular or daily sex may actually provide real benefits to your physical and mental health. That said, sex can also become an unhealthy obsession, in some cases exposing you to disease and increasing your risk of injury. And if you find yourself obsessing over it, it may be a clue into some underlying mental health issues.
Here’s what science says about the benefits, risks and other things to know about daily sex.
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Daily, frequent sex is absolutely safe and healthy. As long as everyone involved is practicing safe sex (and stretching periodically), it’s unlikely that you’ll take on any risks. There’s no scientific evidence linking frequent sex to any health conditions — short of dehydration, of course.
While daily sex is fine and normal, remember that it’s also very common and normal to go for days, weeks or even months without sex. Frankly, there’s also no evidence for any “optimal” or “perfect” frequency for a healthy sex life.
Our guide to how often couples have sex includes survey data that suggest adults in the United States have sex an average of 53 times per year, or just over once per week. So if you’re having daily sex, you’re getting roughly seven times the benefits of the average person.
In a nutshell: “healthy” is how you and your partner define it — what works best for your relationship is the definition of healthy.
What happens if you have sex every day? Is it good to have sex every day? The answers to these questions depend, but there are some reported benefits that top the charts.
The benefits of sex (and, to a degree, masturbation) may be subtle or hard to measure, but there are some really great ones, including:
Reduced Risk of Heart Disease. Vigorous sex is a great way to get your heart pumping, which can improve endurance and heart health. Sexual activity can also lower your blood pressure, which can also reduce your risk of heart attack.
Pain Relief. During sex, your brain releases endorphins, which are a natural pain reliever.
Stress Relief. The thing about endorphins (and another chemical released during sex called oxytocin — sometimes referred to as “the love hormone”) is that they can lower cortisol — the stress hormone. So, while you may not “feel like it” after a hard day, sex might be the best thing for you.
Burning calories. The data vary about how many calories you can burn during sex, based on things like how vigorous and how long your sessions are. However, in our humble opinion, any minute spent working out is a minute well spent. Just remember that you get even better health benefits in more active sex positions, so if you’re trying to turn this two-way into your two-a-day, offer to do the work.
Weight Loss. Is having sex every day healthy? It certainly is when it provides some extra opportunities for weight loss as part of good habits and a healthy lifestyle. And getting winded during sex can also encourage good behavior outside of the bedroom, like exercise and better eating.
Better Sleep. Research points to benefits in your sleep cycle and sleep hygiene from more frequent sex and, as you might expect, those same benefits are compounded by the benefits to pain and stress relief and improved health.
There are no known disadvantages of making love every day, according to science. The effects of too much sex in a man don’t exist, as long as you’re doing it safely.
With this said, having sex very often — for example, several times per day — may lead to certain physical issues. As a man, you could develop a sore penis, especially if you and your partner have rougher sex or don’t use proper lubrication.
That goes both ways. If you don’t use lubrication, the friction caused by the back-and-forth motion of sex may cause you and/or your partner to develop irritation.
These issues usually get better on their own over a few hours or days, but they can still be plenty unpleasant in the moment.
Another thing to keep in mind is that sex, just like any activity, can become a problem when it takes over your life. “Is sex bad?” and “Is sex bad when I ignore my responsibilities to have it?” are two very different questions.
Sex addiction is real and people do struggle with it. So, if you think your sex life is getting to the point of unhealthy and compulsive, absolutely consider reaching out to a mental health professional about it.
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No, too much sex cannot cause ED. In fact, most of the research currently available suggests that men who have sex on a regular basis are less likely to have erectile dysfunction than men who rarely have sex.
In a study published in the American Journal of Medicine, Finnish researchers found that regular sex (defined as sex once per week or more) seems to protect against the development of ED in middle-aged and elderly men.
A more recent study carried out in China produced similar results, with researchers noting that men who reported having sex at least one time per week were less likely to have ED.
That said, there’s a caveat: you might find it difficult to get and stay hard all the time if you and your partner have sex several times per day, thanks to something called “the refractory period.”
The refractory period is the period of time after ejaculation during which you won’t be able to get an erection. This period can last just a few minutes or several hours (typically, the older you get, the longer it takes you to recover).
Your refractory period might affect your erections in the short term, but it generally isn’t thought of as a form of erectile dysfunction — just a normal sort of maintenance cycle.
Frequent sex is a good thing that can improve your physical and mental health and the quality of your relationship with your partner.
We’ve listed many of these above, but just in case you wanted a handy checklist, here are ways to make regular sex easier, healthier and more enjoyable, and get the full benefits of having sex everyday:
Use protection. It’s important to keep yourself protected, especially if you have sex with more than one person. Hims’ Ultra Thin Condoms are designed to keep both you and your partner protected without reducing sensitivity.
Use lubrication. Without the proper amount of lubrication, sex can be downright unpleasant. If your partner is prone to dryness or if you’re starting to chafe, consider applying a lubricant such as Hims’ Glide Water-Based Lube.
If you have ED, treat it. Erectile dysfunction is a common issue that can get in the way of your sex life. If you occasionally find it difficult to stay hard, consider talking to your healthcare provider about ED medication to get the problem under control.
Avoid overexerting yourself. Sex is a mild form of exercise. As such, it’s best to take it easy if you’re feeling under the weather, recovering from an injury or if you’ve recently undergone surgery.
Be creative. From trying different positions to fantasies and more, mixing things up is one of the best ways to make your sex life more exciting. This guide to having better sex lists six tips you and your partner can try for more pleasurable, satisfying sex.
The amount of sex you have isn’t a measure of your worth, your masculinity or your proficiency in foreplay. It’s important to acknowledge these things, because our society has placed a high value on sex in ways that don’t really correlate.
Here’s your quick bulleted refresher:
Having sex every day isn’t bad for you as long as you are doing it safely and avoiding issues like physical injuries, STIs, and UTIs.
In fact, research suggests that frequent sex may help reduce your risk of developing erectile dysfunction.
There’s no “perfect” frequency of sex to have. Your sex drive is unique to you. Sexual desire often declines as we age.
It’s most important to have fun, stay safe and enjoy sex the way you and your partner like — without worrying about how you stack up next to other people.
Just remember: stretch often, drink water and replenish those electrolytes! Other than that, have fun.
Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!
Dr. Mike Bohl is a licensed physician and the Director of Scientific & Medical Content at a stealth biotech startup. Prior to joining Hims & Hers, Dr. Bohl spent several years in digital health focusing on patient education. He has also worked in medical journalism for The Dr. Oz Show and Sharecare and has served on the Medical Expert Board of Eat This, Not That!.
Dr. Bohl obtained his Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Medicine from Brown University, his Master of Public Health from Columbia University, and his Master of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies—Journalism from Harvard University. He is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Healthcare Leadership at Cornell University. Dr. Bohl trained in internal medicine with a focus on community health at NYU Langone Health.
Dr. Bohl is Certified in Public Health by the National Board of Public Health Examiners, Medical Writer Certified by the American Medical Writers Association, a certified Editor in the Life Sciences by the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences, a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Nutrition Coach by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and a Board Certified Medical Affairs Specialist by the Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs.
In addition to his written work, Dr. Bohl has experience creating medical segments for radio and producing patient education videos. You can find Dr. Bohl on LinkedIn for more information
Dr. Bohl lives in Manhattan and enjoys biking, resistance training, sailing, scuba diving, skiing, tennis, and traveling. You can find Dr. Bohl on LinkedIn for more information.
Bachelor of Arts, Egyptian and Ancient Western Asian Archaeology. Brown University |
Board Certified Medical Affairs Specialist. Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs
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