A popular belief, even within the scientific community, is that the frequency of sex among romantic partners indicates the well-being of that relationship; that more sex means more happiness. There are several scientific studies, articles and self-help books that make this claim. But how much is enough? Can there be a cut-off point? Or is it true that with sex there can never really be enough?
A new study, published by researchers from the University of Toronto-Mississauga in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, now seeks to provide some answers. The study found that happiness peaks when couples have sex once a week. Any more than that does not make any difference. Sex apparently could be one of those activities that offer diminishing returns.
The study was based on an analysis of the results of several surveys of more than 30,000 individuals from the US collected over four decades. According to the researchers, couples having sex more than once a week did not report being any happier. But those that had it less than once a week reported being less happy. The study also found that the difference in life satisfaction between couples who had sex less than once a month and those who had it once a week was greater than the difference between couples who were poor (couples who earned between $15,000 to $25,000 annually) and those who were wealthier (earning between $50,000 and $75,000).
According to the researchers, despite the assumption that men want more sex and older people have less, their findings threw up no differences based on gender, age or length of a relationship. “Our findings were consistent for men and women, younger and older people, and couples who had been married for a few years or decades,” Amy Muise, the lead researcher, said.
The researchers, however, point out that their study hasn’t established a causation link between the two factors. They clarify that their findings do not show that having sex once a week makes couples happier or that happy couples have more sex. Muise also says, “It’s important to maintain an intimate connection with your partner without putting pressure.”