How often should you and your spouse have sex? From the Bible, the answer is basically “as often as your spouse wants”. Here’s the most directly relevant passage; check it out, and then we’ll talk about “conjugal rights” other than sex.
1 Corinthians 7:1-7
1 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
The literal interpretation of this passage is pretty clear: your spouse is entitled to “conjugal rights”… but what does that mean? It’s more than sex.
In addition to exclusive sexual relations, conjugal rights also include affection and companionship, shared property, presumed legitimacy of offspring, co-habitation, domestic and labor services, and affinity with your spouse’s family. The Greek word is opheilē and it refers to a an obligation or a debt that is owed to another. When we choose to get married, we voluntarily take on this obligation to our spouse. If we deprive our spouses of these rights we are in sin and need to repent.
Let’s also consider the use of the word “authority” in this passage. The Greek word here is exousiazō, and it means exactly what you think: “to have power”, “to be master”. You are the master of your spouse’s body, and your spouse is the master of your body. When you got married, you gave up control of your body to your spouse.
Now, this should be obvious but I’ll say it anyway: God expects you to use your authority in a Christlike manner.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
There is no place for coercion or manipulation in a Christlike marriage, only for mutual self-sacrifice and love.