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Why Having More Sex Won’t Make You Happier in a Relationship

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Most of us can say with pretty solid certainty that if we were to try and have more sex with our sweetie, we’d probably be happier. But a new study actually proves otherwise: Couples who were told to double the amount of sex they were currently having were not any happier than those who kept jumping in the sack at their usual rate, according to new research from Carnegie Mellon University

For the study, researchers recruited 64 sexually active couples and instructed half to up their fornication frequency. While they all obliged (oh, the sacrifices that are made in the name of science), after three months the copulating couples actually experienced lower sex drives and were enjoying sex less than when they were lucky less often. (5 Common Libido-Crushers to Avoid.)

How did this seemingly sweet deal backfire? It wasn’t that getting busy around the clock got old—the struggle lay in forcing fornication instead of letting it happen naturally. (How Often Is Everyone Else Really Having Sex?)

“Perhaps couples changed the story they told themselves about why they were having sex, from an activity voluntarily engaged in to one that was part of a research study,” said lead researcher George Loewenstein, Ph.D. If they were to run the study again, he adds, they would try and encourage people to initiate sex in ways that would put them “in a sexy frame of mind”—in other words, to up their weekly count without treating it like a chore.

Despite these results, Loewensteain says most couples would still benefit from getting busy more often. (We’re inclined to agree, especially considering these 5 Surprising Reasons to Have More Sex Tonight.)

One way to do this without losing interest? Focus on creating an inviting atmosphere in your home that sparks your desire and induces arousal naturally, suggested study co-author Tamar Krishnamurti, Ph.D.

For starters, take advantage of this sweaty and skin-baring season with these 10 Ways to Heat Up Summer Sex. And try these Steamy Sex Tips to Have Epic Vacation Sex at Home. Most couples could benefit from getting busy more often, but it has to happen naturally. After all, we work hard all day—shaking sheets should be about relaxing and enjoying the person you love, not checking something off your To Do list.

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