A new study by Carnegie Mellon University researchers looked at whether, indeed, more sex led to increased happiness. The experiment involved participants aged between 35-65 years who were in heterosexual, married relationships. The participating couples were split into two groups, one with no guidelines on sexual frequency and a second group which was asked to double the number of times they had sex each week. During the course of the study, which lasted 3 months, participants had to answer surveys regarding their health, happiness levels and the frequency, type and satisfaction of sex.
So what did the researchers find? Surprisingly, having more sex did not make for happier couples. In fact, for those couples who were doing it more often, the level of happiness showed a small decline and they generally had less sexual inclination and enjoyment. The researchers think out that it could be that desire and enjoyment decreased because couples were instructed to have more sex rather than it being an organic decision.
“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. If we ran the study again, and could afford to do it, we would try to encourage subjects into initiating more sex in ways that put them in a sexy frame of mind, perhaps with baby-sitting, hotel rooms or Egyptian sheets, rather than directing them to do so,” said George Loewenstein, the study’s lead investigator and professor of Economics and Psychology.
The good news is that we can all join this experiment at home. For science. So, dear readers, go buy some fancy bedsheets and get to work. Report back on whether you are happier after increasing your activity than before you started.
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