What is normal?

When couples and individuals wonder about their libidos, especially when it comes to long-term relationships. A conversation amongst friends might  be “how often do people have sex?” or “how many times a week do you both as a couple have sex?” Sometimes the word ‘normal’ is used, even if it’s not, it is implied. What is normal?

Aoife Drury, Psychosexual & Relationship Therapist says “I explain about libido: that desire is woven of a sophisticated fabric of social, psychological and biological threads. It really is very complex. I break down possible components like stress, anxiety, grief; that medical conditions (hypothyroidism, diabetes or depression) and medications (antidepressants/blood pressure treatments) and how unresolved conflict or trust issues impact. All of these can affect the libido.


Libido varies in everyone at various stages in their lives. It’s common for couples to have mismatched libidos. Aoife tells us “then I reference that there’s something wrong if we’re primed for sex anytime, any place or alternatively if sex is rarely on the mind.” It’s important to state that when it comes to sexual desire there is no normal. It is incredibly personal and your libido is unique. If you’re lacking confidence or feeling low is when individuals or couples should seek support. The first step would be to see your GP to rule out physiological causes. Professionals including Psychosexual and Relationship Therapists like Aoife Drury can also help. Try and forget ‘normal’, what matters is your own wellbeing and satisfaction as well as your partners.

Are my fantasies and fetishes normal?

Absolutely! They are all part of having an adult imagination. Don’t worry. Like all fantasies, having one doesn’t necessarily mean you want it to happen. Aoife says “fantasies are the extensive creating of erotic imagination, the place you let your hair down and run wild!” Fantasies are in the mind and can be shared or kept as a secret whereas a fetish is something fundamental to someone’s sexuality and a kink is a pleasurable indulgence. 

So what Is normal?

We need to start having these conversations and it’s part of our responsibility to educate and reassure people that imagining sexual behaviours or encounters that stimulate and excite us are no different to how our imagination can run wild in other parts of our lives. As humans we are all unique and different and the imagined part of our sex life should be too. What even is normal? We know that there are 7 billion people on the planet and no two are the same so how the term ‘normal’ can be applied doesn’t make sense.

When it comes to sex the word ‘normal’ has no place or relevance. Human diversity should be celebrated but there is too much shame and too many labels put onto us, as well as being fuelled by fear that we are not ‘normal’ which can lead to anxiety and depression. You are normal.


Image from Pinterest.