Couples who have sex once a week are happiest, study says

Claims that more sex equals more happiness are everywhere, but a new study has found that the correlation doesn’t necessarily continue beyond once-a-week sex.

The results were mainly concerned with people in relationships rather than single people and promiscuous sex, and suggest that what’s really important is the role sex plays as part of a healthy relationship.

“Although more frequent sex is associated with greater happiness, this link was no longer significant at a frequency of more than once a week,” said lead researcher Amy Muise, who’s also a social psychologist and postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto-Mississauga. “Our findings suggest that it’s important to maintain an intimate connection with your partner, but you don’t need to have sex everyday as long as you’re maintaining that connection.”

The study—based on 30,000 Americans and on information collected over four decades—did not identify the causal process. It doesn’t conclude whether having sex up to once a week makes couples happier, or if being in a happy relationship causes people to have more frequent sex (up to once a week).

Gender, age, or length of relationship were not determining factors, suggesting that stereotypes about men wanting more sex, as well as older couples having less sex, are not entirely based in fact. “Our findings were consistent for men and women, younger and older people, and couples who had been married for a few years or decades,” Muise said in a statement.

None of this means that we should all be striving to hit a magical sweet spot of one ugly-bumping session a week, but simply that, according to Muise, “It’s important to maintain an intimate connection with your partner without putting too much pressure on engaging in sex as frequently as possible.”

Results were published online in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.


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