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‘Using a point system could transform your sex life’

Using a point system could transform your sex life, according to a veteran sex therapist. Here's how.
  • Bat Sheva Marcus, a sex therapist for more than 20 years, made a point system to score your sex life.
  • The system has four categories: libido, orgasm, pain, and arousal. Users need at least 100 points.
  • Marcus created the system to prove there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to a fulfilling sex life.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

When your orgasms or interest in sex suddenly disappears, it’s easy to feel like something is wrong with you. In reality, the problem is the unrealistic expectations we put on ourselves.

That’s what Bat Sheva Marcus, a sex therapist with two decades of experience, observed over time in her patients.

As the founder and director of Maze Women’s Sexual Health in New York, Marcus, dubbed the “Orthodox Sex Guru” by the New York Times, has counseled hundreds of women about their sex lives. Most of them incorrectly blame themselves for their lack of orgasms, Marcus told Insider.

So she created her own model, outlined in her new book “Sex Points: Reclaim Your Life with the Revolutionary Multi-Point System.”

It explains her four-category system that focuses on the most common themes that make or break a good sex life: Arousal, desire, orgasm, and pain. Marcus says everyone needs to score 100 points within these categories — from factors like medication, body confidence, childcare, and stress — to have a fulfilling sex life.

“The whole crux of the book is that people come into my office, plonk themselves down, start to cry and say, ‘What’s broken, Bat Sheva? Let’s fix it,’ like it’s a light switch,” Marcus told Insider. “And I say, ‘Don’t think about that. That is not a good model.'”

This way, there isn’t a “right” or “wrong” way to prepare for and have good sex. Rather, good sex becomes a customizable journey that can fit into anyone’s lifestyle regardless of their personal needs, said Marcus.

How to score your sex life

Marcus created her 100-point system when she noticed the medical director at her practice, Dr. Michael Werner, used a mixed-factor model to explain infertility to patients.

“It helped me appreciate how no one factor should be looked at independently,” Marcus writes. Instead, mind and body issues should be considered in tandem.

So Marcus created the four quadrants and 100-pint approach, started applying it to her patients, and noticed the sense of relief they felt knowing they had options for how to improve their sex lives.

To start, take Marcus’ 32-question quiz, which asks multiple-choice questions about your sex drive, vaginal pain, orgasms, sexual fantasies, and other topics that fall into the four quadrants.

The online quiz generates your score for you. 160 points is a perfect score, though Marcus said that score is “incredibly rare.”

What to do if you get a low score

According to Marcus, people who score between 32 and 40 points for each quadrant have fulfilling sex lives to some degree. But a lower score in a certain quadrant means you should focus on that area to boost your sex life.

Within each quadrant, Marcus offers multiple ways to troubleshoot.

For example, if someone who takes antidepressant medication scores low in the orgasm category, it’s possible their SSRIs are playing a role. But if going off medications is out of the question for an individual, they could try finding new ways to reach orgasm, like a stronger vibrator, Marcus told Insider.

“Better childcare may not be available to everybody and getting off your birth control pills may not be available to everybody, but it may. It really is dependent on looking at where you can get points from, what things seem reasonable for you to add into your life to get points,” said Marcus.

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