That’s what we’ve all told ourselves for hundreds of years. Well, actually it turns out that more nooky may be a self-defeating desire.
Researchers in the United States have found that having more sex does NOT equal more happiness. In fact, it can lead to less enjoyment and more frustration.
In a paper published in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, scientists from the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, report that simply having more sex did not make couples happier, partly because the increased frequency led to a decline in desire for and enjoyment of sex.
In order to test the sex= happiness theory, researchers asked 64 couples aged between 35 and 65 to start having more sex.
First they divided the groups into two groups. One received no instructions about sexual frequency. The second was asked to double their weekly sexual intercourse. Researchers then monitored their happiness during the next three months.
Participants answered questions online to measure health behaviours, happiness levels and the occurrence, type and enjoyableness of sex.
The researchers found that couples instructed to have more sex reported lower sexual desire and a decrease in sexual enjoyment.
That decrease was brought about, not be the increased sex but by being instructed to have more sex. It seems that when we are told to have more sex, it becomes a chore.
One of the study's designers, Tamar Krishnamurti, suggested that the study's findings may actually help couples to improve their sex lives and their happiness.
"The desire to have sex decreases much more quickly than the enjoyment of sex once it's been initiated,” she says. “Instead of focusing on increasing sexual frequency to the levels they experienced at the beginning of a relationship, couples may want to work on creating an environment that sparks their desire and makes the sex that they do have even more fun."
So, it seems, variety and imagination, coupled with candlelight and a little Marvin Gaye music, might help everyone get their sexy back.
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