In a perfect world, how often would you have sex? Once a day? Twice a day? Every waking moment? All chafing aside, one would think the more the merrier when it comes to getting busy.
Not so, says Amy Muise, psychologist at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Her research on the relationship between sex and happiness, published Wednesday in Social Psychology and Personality Science, yielded a surprising conclusion: the happiest people tend to have sex only once a week.
Muise's study, which examined data from 25,510 Americans ranging from 18 to 89 years old over the span of four decades, explored the relationship between frequency of sex and reports of happiness. She found that, yes, there's a linear relationship between amount of sex and happiness, but only to a point. It's perhaps better described as a"curvilinear" relationship: people's apparent satisfaction tends to level off after getting busy just once a week.
"Although more frequent sex is associated with greater happiness, this link was no longer significant at a frequency of more than once a week," Muise wrote. "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."
This conclusion is surprising enough to raise an eyebrow, certainly, but it fits with other research on the subject. A recent study published in Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization also suggests that there is, indeed, such a thing as too much sex. In that experiment, couples were forced to increase their sexual activity, but reported no additional happiness or satisfaction after doing so.
Quite frankly, I don't know what to make of this knowledge bomb. It's tough to consider banging more than once every seven days as superfluous action. And yet here I am, a staunch advocate of superfluous sex. Go forth and bone, even if it won't make you happier. Besides a bunch of scientists, who's really counting?
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