What People Assume If You Don't Have Sex Often

Ever since we were wee things in our very first sex ed class, we couldn't help but wonder: how much sex were we supposed to have? It seemed to me on that first go round that people only did it however many times equated the number of kids they had, which is sad-orable (and perhaps a testament to the state of the public education system when it comes to explaining ~the sex~). When you finally figured out that people could have sex for (GASP) fun, it inevitably led you to wonder just how often and just how long and just how in general, because there is nothing quite stronger in human nature than the urge to conform and make sure we're "normal". We wanted to know what the happy medium is on sex was the same way we wanted to know where we stood on a height percentile growing up or how we scored on a grading curve for a test in college. We wanted to use it as a way to measure ourselves, and take assurance from knowing our "place" on the scale.

The whopping adult truth, though, is that there is no "wrong" amount of sex to be having. The right amount of sex is the amount of sex you feel comfortable with, plain and simple. Still, even though in adulthood we can acknowledge this, there are still plenty of stigmas revolving around people who seem to have more or less sex than whatever a person's perceived "normal" amount of sex is; it may be 2016, but there is no denying that slut-shaming is very real, as is shaming people for not having "enough" sex. Whether or not you are comfortable with the amount of sex you're having, there is no denying the anxiety of feeling the weight of these stigmas, whether you are subjected to them by friends, by a partner, or you're just aware of them influencing your decisions.

Personally, when it comes to sex, I can take it or leave it. I enjoy it, but I don't actively miss it if I'm not having it. If there were a scale of what is a "normal" amount of sex to be having, without question I am on the lower end of it, and this has never bothered me in the least. What does bother me are the assumptions people make about me — not necessarily because they are offensive or even untrue, but because they are just that: assumptions that people have made about me solely based on how often I have sex. If you are a person who doesn't have a lot of sex, then you probably have dealt with these assumptions about your lifestyle too many times to count.

We're Not Sex-Positive Individuals

Because such is the way of the world, there will always be people who don't full understand what sex positivity means. Sex positivity is supporting the sexual lifestyles and choices of others, so long as they are explicitly consensual to all parties involved. The sex positivity movement is sometimes associated with people who have a lot of sex themselves, but sex positivity is a frame of mind, not a lifestyle. People who aren't having a lot of sex themselves can be just as supportive of how much sex everyone else is (or isn't) having.

We're Sanctimonious About Not Having Sex

The damaging but pervasive association of sex and worth is just one more way to shame women's sexuality and autonomy. Sex-positive women who aren't having a lot of sex are not doing it under some misguided notion of being "better" than those who are; our decision not to have a lot of sex is, for whatever individual reason, nothing more than a personal preference, just like everyone else's.

We Don't Enjoy Sex

You know what? Some people don't. But people who identify as asexual can still have just as fulfilling romantic relationships, and may even have relationships involving sex. Asexuality is complex, and the experience of it varies from person to person, except for one crucial thing: it's entirely normal.

That being said, plenty of people who aren't having a lot of sex enjoy it just fine. There are a myriad of other reasons we might just not be having a lot of it, but the frequency of it might not have anything to do with our enjoyment of it in the moment. The truth is that some people just tend to think of sex and pursue it more often than others do, the same way we all vary in our interest in the bajillions of other things humans do.

... Or We're Super Boring In Bed

Sex is the one arena where practice doesn't necessarily make perfect. Sure, the first time is always going to be sloppy and awkward because real life isn't The Notebook, but after you get the hang of it your ~performance~ in bed is more dependent on the chemistry you have with your partner than your experience level. The number of sexual partners or amount of time someone has had sex has nothing to do with how "adventurous" someone is in bed; that's entirely up to them. Like the amount of sex you're having, it's a personal choice — just not necessarily a related one.

We Need Someone To "Fix" Us

Again, this very thought seems to imply that there is something "wrong" with people who don't like to have a lot of sex in the first place — which there isn't. There trope of the attractive romancer sweeping an otherwise disinterested person off their feet seems to have perpetuated this idea that a person who doesn't have a lot of sex doesn't know that they have a problem until the romancer "solves" it for them, when in fact, in reality, it isn't a problem in the first place.

We "Just Haven't Felt The Right Kind" Of Attraction Yet

This is the shady cousin of the "fixing" trope, and a more condescending one, too. It implies that people who don't have a lot of sex don't know their own bodies, or that someone outside of their experience somehow knows more about what's right for them than they do. At the end of the day, you're only going to be comfortable expressing yourself sexually with someone at the level that feels right to you — and yes, the kind of attraction you feel toward different partners is never going to be the same across the board, but that doesn't make one less "right" than the other.

Psst, check out our podcast, I Want It That Way, for all things sex and relationships.

We're Afraid To Open Up To People

Some people are afraid to open up to people, and if that's the case, their reluctance to share — be it their feelings or their physical space — should be respected. But often it isn't the case that a person who doesn't have a lot of sex is afraid or wary of the idea of it. The truth is, there is no way to know what side of this spectrum a person falls on unless you are open and communicative with your partner (which hopefully you are anyway).

We Are Only Abstaining For Moral Or Religious Reasons

There is nothing wrong with abstaining for moral or religious reasons that are personal to you — it only crosses the realm into "wrong" if you project your personal beliefs on someone else, and judge them for it. Regardless, there are plenty of people who don't have a lot of sex for reasons that are entirely separate from their perceived morals or religion, even though this tends to be one of the very first assumptions people will make regarding their sex lives right off the bat.

We Secretly Don't Like You Or Are Mad At You, And That's Why We're Not Having Sex With You

There is nothing quite as dangerous to any relationship — regardless of how much sex you're having — than equating the amount of sex you're having with the feelings you have for that person. It is behavior like this that leads to the emotional manipulation of "withholding" sex or using sex to resolve matters that require more than a temporary solution. A healthy relationship should be able to accept that not every disruption in the rhythm of their sex lives has something to do with the other person's feelings about them, or else there will be a strange pressure on sex that there shouldn't be. You shouldn't assume that a person who doesn't have sex a lot is harboring a secret ill will toward you the same way you shouldn't assume anyone who doesn't feel like having sex is doing it to "punish" you.

Images: Pexels; Andrew Zaeh/Bustle (5)