"I'm worried we're too sexual," I confessed to a friend over drinks.
We were debriefing about a woman I'd started dating whom I'd developed an intense physical connection with.
My friend put down her glass of wine and laughed.
"You're a very sexual person. I'd be more concerned if you were seeing someone who wasn't," she smiled reassuringly.
Writing about sex hasn't shielded me from the same bedroom hang-ups most people experience. And perhaps no sexual anxiety is more universal to all of us than the fear we're not having the right amount of nookie.
For a long time, I viewed the quantity of sex I was having as assurance of my worth. If men were trying to get it on with me, I felt vibrant, visible, and desirable.
Having sex with boyfriends had far less to do with an inherent biological urge, and far more to do with receiving verification I had value. It also put me in the unsteady position of self-combusting the moment a partner was too tired, stressed or checked out for physical intimacy.
It wasn't until I'd fully processed this, I was able to come to terms with the fact I was actually gay.
Though not every woman who exchanges physical intimacy for validation is repressing her sexual identity, it's fair to say most of us are working from a faulty script; one that draws a line between sexual frequency and self-worth.
Men too, are taught their masculinity is demonstrated via the notches in their bedposts. If he's not getting a lot of sex, or at least actively pursuing it, he's a "p*ssy". (An insult I've always found confusing, given the fact the vagina is arguably one of the most resilient muscles in the body.)
In short, we've been taught to equate sexual quantity with quality: if you're not doing it, aren't in the process of attaining it, or being pursued for it, there's something wrong with you. That goes doubly so for your relationship if you happen to be in one.
While I spent most of my time in heterosexual relationships worrying I wasn't having enough sex, since entering into same-sex dating, I've become conversely fretful I'm having too much of it.
Being openly gay liberated me from looking at myself through the lens of the male gaze and put me fully in touch with my sexual desire, but it's also had the somewhat inconvenient effect of hurtling me into a strange kind of second puberty, where it feels like I'm discovering sex for the first time.
This has meant a lot of sex. But instead of enjoying the unadulterated joy of sharing intimacy with another woman on my own terms, I've found my mind wandering between the sheets, lamenting if perhaps I'm spoiling something potentially meaningful with too much nookie.
Women are taught, after all, not to give away our bodies too freely, or risk being seen as easy; to repress our desire if we want to be girlfriend material. Confusingly, we're also instructed to keep our partners happy with regular sex, or be prepared to wear the label of prudes.
But while our culture seems to hold very different standards for men and women when it comes to sexual frequency, research suggests both genders are happiest with the same amount when we're in a committed relationship – about once a week – at least according to a 2015 study published in Social Psychology and Personality Science.
Interestingly, the same study found no discernible impact on a couple's reported happiness levels when they did it any more than that, and no correlation at all between the wellbeing of single people and how much sex they were having.
More notably, when researchers from Carnegie Mellon University asked couples to do the deed at a different frequency than they were used to, they actually reported feeling unhappier as a result.
While it's difficult to exist in a culture that sends us so many mixed messages about sex without feeling anxious about whether we're having the right amount (not even us sex writers are immune from that), one thing's clear. Sex is a deeply individual experience; one that can't be broken down into metrics or used as a measure of our value.
As my wise friend recently reminded me, how much you're doing it is far less important than having it with someone who agrees with you on what great sex looks like. And on that note, I'm logging off to get down to business.