sexual frequency and happiness

Research on frequency of sexual relations and happiness

Serious academic research studies, mostly carried out in the United States, have concluded that in general, the more frequently an adult heterosexual couple has sexual relations, the happier they are. Further, that the people that seemed to be happiest in their sexual lives were the people with only one sexual partner.

But up until now, no study has been done to see if couples who were told to (for a research study) increase their sexual relations, would become happier. That was the object of a study carried out at Carnegie Mellon University (USA), and just published in the in The Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

 To the surprise of the researchers, the results showed that the couples who increased their sexual relations did not report greater happiness. However, the researchers made some conclusions that could be useful for married couples.

Their study involved 64 adult married heterosexual couples, who were randomly divided into two groups. The first group was told to continue to have their regular amount of sexual relations over the three months of the study, but the other half of the couples were asked to double the number of times they had sex over the study period.

All the participants answered surveys before and after the research about their levels of happiness, how much they enjoyed their sexual relations with their partner, along with general questions about their mood, energy level, and enthusiasm, which they noted every day. Interestingly, the couples who were asked to increase by 100% the frequency of sexual encounters with their mates were only, on average, able to increase by 40%.

Interestingly, the couples in the group that were asked to have more sex actually noted a slight drop in their overall happiness, mostly related to a drop in their levels of energy and enthusiasm, and a slight drop in the quality of their sexual encounters. This was true for both the men and women.

The researchers believed that the problem was that half the couples in the study were almost obliged to have more sex, which decreased their desire as well as the pleasure of sex. The lead researcher George Lowenstein said this showed that “if you’re having sex for a reason other than because you like and want sex”, that the quality of sex decreases along with your overall mood.

Another of the researchers, Tamar Krishnamurti, said that these findings might actually help couples have better sex, advising that “instead of focusing on increasing sexual frequency to the levels they experienced at the beginning of a relationship, couples may want to work on creating an environment that sparks their desire and makes the sex that they do have even more fun.”

The bottom line they concluded was: focus more on quality than quantity.

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See also in ProcuraMed:

5 curiosities about sex in middle age and beyond

Frequent sex can rejuvenate

Sex and exercise: two big conclusions

Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)