While study upon study tell us that sex is indeed paramount in keeping a relationship healthy and happy, a new study suggests that frequent sex in a relationship isn’t really the key to happiness after all. So how often do happy couples have sex, then? While every relationship is different, and there really is no "normal" when it comes to sex, a lot of times, we're pretty curious about how often everyone else is doing it. And now researchers are saying that you actually can have too much sex in your relationship.
Researchers at the University of Toronto Mississauga dared to ask the very important question: “Is it true that one can have enough [sex]?” What they found was that yes, you can overload on sex, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that your relationship is somehow better for it. Lead researcher Amy Muise was interested to find that, despite how popular culture teaches us that lots of sex simply goes hand-in-hand with being happy, the reality (at least, based on her research), is that you can actually reach your limit on sex. No matter how great sex is for your individual health, it doesn't mean that it guarantees ultimate relationship happiness. Go figure.
Here are six facts from Muise's research that prove you can actually have too much sex.
1. Once A Week Is Ideal
How often should someone have sex? Good question. The study found that happiness “peaks” when couples have sex once a week. For most, that seems to be the sweet spot, and upping that frequency doesn’t seem appealing to them.
2. Americans Have A Sex Limit
Despite the idea that we’re all a bunch of hornballs (because we are!), the research found that Americans declare “enough” when it comes to sex at five times a month — a little more than once a week. It’s at that point where at least for those in the study were all set.
3. It’s More About Quality Than Quantity
Although this can’t be terribly surprising, researchers found that what really affected happiness was the quality of sex the couples were getting more than the frequency. Which totally makes sense. I think most would agree that great sex less often is better than bad sex all the time.
4. Doubling The Sex Is Just Taxing
A similar study from earlier this year of asked half of a pool of 64 couples to double their usual rate of sex to see if it would make them happier. Instead, those who were having roughly 40 percent more sex weren’t just less happy, but also felt less energetic, and even reported having bad sex.
5. Sex Frequency For Singles Is Up For Debate
Because the research focused on married couples and those in committed relationships, whether or not sexual frequency adds to the happiness of singles has yet to be determined. According to Muise, it's “another area ripe for future research," which I interpret as meaning that we should just do our thing until then.
6. A Lot Of Sex Isn’t All That
Lastly, the study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science went on to say that this particular research helps to “dispel the notion that sex has limitless benefits for well-being.” In doing so, the researchers hope that partners will focus more on intimacy that doesn’t involve sex or the necessity to have it all the time, because there’s more to relationships than sex. Which I think we all knew, right? Maybe?
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