Although we hate to admit it, it’s totally possible to have too much a good thing. Like sometimes, even though you know you love it, you’ll feel your body telling you it needs a break from sex. If your body is begging for a break, you should listen to it, even if you’re dying to crawl back into bed and get it on. Taking a break from sex is sometimes good for your physical body, but it can actually be really good for your relationship, too.
Taking a break from sex can help you through some rough spots.
If you’re in a long-term relationship, it can be a good way to recharge and get closer in other ways. And in a shorter relationship that started with casual sex, taking a break before you get serious can help you gauge whether your partner is in it for more reasons than your insanely good skills in the sack.
Constance Dunn, communication expert and author of personal self-improvement handbook Practical Glamour, told Bustle, “Taking a break from [sex] offers the opportunity to reset your relationship, and get to know a person divorced from them principally as a sexual partner. To give your relationship legs, propose a [sex] break that lasts approximately two weeks. This is long enough to get to know each other but not so long as to seem like forever.”
Here are some signs you (and/or your relationship) could stand to put the heat on simmer for a minute:
1. You’re actually sore.
You know how you get sore after the gym and then you have to go slower the next day or maybe not work that part of your body at all? The same thing can happen in the bedroom. If you’ve been having a lot of sex recently, your bits might be screaming for a time out. Let it rest a little. There will be more sex to be had later.
2. You’re not having orgasms anymore.
There are a lot of reasons you might suddenly stop orgasming. One fix is to take a little break from sex and check in with yourself without sex or maybe just to try getting off without a partner for a little bit. Orgasms can be affected by what’s going on in your head — a break from sex allows you to hear what your brain is saying.
3. You’re on autopilot.
Autopilot sex is more common than most people talk about, especially when you’ve been with a partner for a long time. When your body is just going through the motions in bed, taking a break for a little while and then coming back to it can shake things up. It’s always nice to know how to please your partner (and having a partner who knows how to work your body), but when sex starts to feel like a task, that can be a good time to take some time off and recharge.
4. You’re not getting turned on.
You should never have sex if you’re not in the mood, but it can be hard to tell a partner that you’re just not feeling sex with them at all anymore. You might need to take a break and figure out if it’s something about them, your relationship, or if you just don’t wanna do it sometimes for no specific reason at all (which is totally fine).
5. You don’t feel good about it afterwards.
If you’ve been leaving people’s bedrooms recently with a lot of anxiety, sex might be bringing you down instead of lifting you up. Some people get off on random hookups every night, but it can wear on others. If you find that the sex isn’t bringing a smile to your face, your body is very likely telling you to take pause for a minute.
6. If sex hurts, ever.
It’s one thing to be sore after a few marathon sessions and an entirely different thing to have sex actually hurt. If you’re in pain, ever, you should go see a doctor because it could be a symptom of an STD, ovarian cysts, or endometriosis. Always listen to your body.