It is very easy and intuitive to relate the amount of sex we have to the levels of happiness we experience . It seems common sense to think that sexual satisfaction plays an important role in human psychology and with the degree to which we are satisfied with life; even one of the first references in the history of psychology, Sigmund Freud, gave human sexuality a leading role in the development of our personality.
Furthermore, as we saw in another article, we know that during sexual relations several strategic areas of our body begin to emit and capture a greater amount of hormones related to the feeling of well-being and the creation of emotional bonds that make us feel good. Even evolutionary psychology talks about the origin of many innate psychological characteristics in our species by linking their origins with sex!
More sex, more happiness. You sure?
However, science is there, among other things, to test the ideas that common sense assumes to be confirmed. And, at least in the field of subjective satisfaction with life, it seems that a greater amount of sexual relations or has to be equivalent to an increase in perceived happiness .
This is indicated by a study conducted by researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and published in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.
Starting with a simple question
There is a lot of research that indicates that the people who feel happiest are also the ones who tend to have more sex than average. This correlation, like most, is quite confusing and raises many questions about how perceived happiness and the amount of sex interact: is happiness the one that leads to a more active sex life, or the opposite? Or perhaps there is a third unknown variable that generates both an increase in the levels of happiness and an increase in the frequency of sexual relations?
The researchers at Carnegie Mellon University set out to explore the possible causal relationships that could be found between happiness and people’s sex lives. Specifically, they sought to answer the question of whether more sex increases levels of happiness or not . And they did it in the crudest way possible: by recruiting a certain number of couples and assigning them very specific duties, consisting of doubling the frequency with which they used to make love, for 90 days in a row.
The research was done as follows
Of course, these people weren’t the only ones who participated in the study. In total 64 couples were recruited, but only half of them had to increase the amount of sex they would have over several months . The rest were given no instructions whatsoever regarding sex, as they were to be part of what is known as the control group . All the partners, regardless of whether they had to double the frequency of sex or not, had to fill in a series of questionnaires during the three-month data collection phase.
The questions in these questionnaires were about perceived levels of happiness, health habits being maintained and satisfaction found in sex.
The results, somewhat disconcerting
The main conclusion reached through the study was that not only does more sex not give greater happiness, but it can make it less . In addition, many of the couples who were supposed to increase the frequency of their relationships became significantly less motivated by sex. If the level of desire had decreased.
Of course, this does not mean that deliberately increasing sexual activity for three months will always affect us negatively: for example, if efforts were devoted to improving the quality of sex instead of focusing on quantity, the results could be different.