The one sex tip that will boost your happiness 16



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For years science has told us there’s a link between sex and happiness: as in, those having it are happier than those not. But for those having it, how much is enough? And does more sex equal more happiness?

That’s what one research group set out to discover. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh ordered half of a group of test couples to double their sexual activity (with their partners, of course), while the other half was assigned with business as usual. The happiness levels of both groups were monitored over three months.

Surprisingly, the couples having more sex did not report an increase in happiness. On the contrary, those spending more time in the sack were less happy than before the study. As the report authors put it, “We found that increased frequency [of sex] does not lead to increased happiness, perhaps because it leads to a decline in wanting for, and enjoyment of, sex”.

So what are we to make of this report, which was published in the incredibly non-sexy sounding Journal of Economic Behaviour & Organization?

Professor George Loewenstein, lead researcher told Live Science, “The findings were a surprise and a disappointment; we were expecting that the people who had more sex would enjoy it a lot and would be happier, and it would be good for the relationship. Instead, we found that the group who had more sex enjoyed it less, they wanted it less and they reported lower levels of happiness”.

Perhaps the mood-spoiler was not so much the increased sex itself but being ordered to do it.

“Whether you do something because you want to or because you are instructed to can have a huge impact on how much you enjoy it,” said Professor Loewenstein.

Previous studies have found that sex boosts happiness more than money, with the authors of the report Money, Sex, and Happiness: An Empirical Study suggesting that increasing sexual activity from once a month to once a week was the equivalent of getting a $50,000 raise in income.

The upshot of the Pittsburgh study, along with previous research linking sex and happiness, is that quality matters. Sure, it’s important to make time for sex and to fit it into your life but there’s no need to set rising targets at this stage. Instead, focus on improving the experience and making it a regular practice, like exercise. Heck, you could probably count it as exercise sometimes! If you need a push in the right direction, start here.

Do you agree that quality is better than quantity when it comes to sex? 

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I have always believed that happiness as a couple comes from how you treat one another and sex is the icing on the cake.I would take quality over quantity every time.,,

  2. That’s all very well, re. the article saying that quality not quantity counts but when you had a husband as I did many years ago, who wasn’t even a regular once a monther and never gave me hints before bed-time that his sexual desire was surfacing so, as a result, my body wasn’t ready and by the time it was, it was all over but the next day I was rearing to go, but, then, my husband had had his satisfaction and was no longer interested. I became a very sexually frustrated woman and finally walked out on him. After that I picked men for a love partner who made it very clear they were interested. Now, way past the menopause, without those hormones giving me urges, I’m happier than I’ve ever been during my whole adult life now sex isn’t part of the equation of living and my companion of the past 20 years has also lost interest in becoming sexually intimate, we kiss each other when we meet up each day (we live in separate houses neighbouring each other now) and on the occasional time when ‘our song’ comes up over the radio, we dance with one another in a close ‘slow’ as it’s termed here in France. The song is Alain Bashung’s ‘Vertige de l’Amour’ – wonderful lyrics, it begins with: ‘I burst my pillow, I must have dreamt too strongly’ . . . . . Ah, that’s love, that’s happiness, enjoying romantic moments together. Looking back I realise that sexual urges ruled my life, my head and my heart, now, without them, my head’s in control of my life and I’m better off for that and so much happier.

    1 REPLY
    • Good on you Susan what an open delightfull letter to read…… and one lots of blokes could take some notes off

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