Happiness is a great motivator. It drives us to work harder, play harder, and try new things in the hopes that we might catch a wave of its sunny feels. And although there are many factors that contribute to an individual's happiness quotient, sex and happiness are intimately related.
According to the 2017 World Happiness Report — which is, as it sounds, a report on the state of happy people everywhere — there is a major joy disparity out there. Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and Switzerland steal the show as the happiest nations, with citizens who have the highest levels of "caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance." The U.S. unfortunately has been in a state of happiness decline for years now, due in part, the report authors suggest, to "declining social support and increased corruption." But never fear Americans, because it's not only about where you live.
The report also notes that 80 percent of happiness variance is actually within countries and not between them. This is caused by "differences in mental health, physical health and personal relationships" that are most often the deciding factor on whether you'll get that boost of brightness to your life that inspires you to self-define as happy or not. And guess what activity ties directly in to your mental and physical health and your intimate social ties?
Here are five ways that sex is linked to happiness:
1The Happiest Couples Have Sex Once A Week
There are no hard and fast rules about how much or how little sex you should have to be happy. However, researchers at the University of Toronto Mississauga found that there might be a sweet spot. After surveying 25,510 Americans ages 18 to 89, they discovered that there is an increase in happiness levels correlating sex and happiness up to a frequency of once a week, but after that, it doesn't seem to have an impact. So although you might think more sex would equal more happiness, the science isn't there to back it up.
2Cuddling Boosts Your Sex Life And Happiness Quotient
If being a little spoon is your jam, then you're more likely to have a satisfying sex life and be pretty damn happy, too. This warm and fuzzy, non-verbal and very physical activity has been linked by multiple studies to greater intimacy and greater happiness in a partnership.
3Regular Masturbation Increases Happiness Levels
Not only does partnered sex boost oxytocin and happiness levels, but solo sex too. A variety of surveys have revealed that women who masturbate on the regs report increased self-esteem, higher levels of body positivity, and better sex lives in general. So if you're feeling less-than-stellar, a trip downtown might do the trick to brighten your mood.
4Men Who Don't Look Happy Often Look More Appealing To Women
Although everyone wants to be happy, when looking for a mate, many hetero ladies tend to choose men who don't look so happy. Men with facial features that suggest the "Dark Triad" of Machiavellianism, narcissism and psychopathy are quite appealing, apparently. A study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior found that of 2,370 adult female volunteers who looked at the faces of men with 'bad boy' features and picked the "narcsisstic" looking ones tended to have more "reproductive success" (aka more kids). Although we don't measure actual real world success by the number of offspring you have these days, this might not matter much. However, it does prove that happy looking guys might not always get the girl.
5Couples Who Share Chores Have Better Relationships And Sex Lives
It's kind of a no brainer, but it took a study to confirm that men who help with cleaning, cooking, and child care are part of couples who report higher levels of happiness and better sex lives.
The bottom line? Sex and happiness are inextricably entwined, and improving one usually results in improving the other.