When it comes to sex, there’s a sweet spot—and we’re not talking about the G-spot. We’re talking about sex as it relates to your happiness. And, according to researchers from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, sex once a week is the key.
Previous studies have argued more sex equals more happiness, but this study, based on surveys of more than 30,000 Americans over the span of 40 years is challenging that—even though the researchers are unsure whether having sex up to once a week makes couples happier, or if being in a happy relationship causes people to have more frequent sex. (Kinda like the old chicken or the egg conundrum.)
"Our findings suggest that it's important to maintain an intimate connection with your partner, but you don't need to have sex every day as long as you're maintaining that connection," said lead researcher Amy Muise in a press release.
What’s more, these study results are specific to men and women in romantic relationships. Bad news for singles: There's no association between sexual frequency and well-being for single people. Some ideas why: It’s possible the link between sex and happiness is dependent on context in which sex occurs, and how comfortable the two people are with sex outside of a relationship.
The study even broke some widely-believed stereotypes, such as the idea that men want more sex or that older people typically have less sex. The findings did not differ across age, gender, or length of relationship. What's more: It turns out that money doesn't neccessarily trump sex when it comes to happiness. There was a greater difference in contentment between people who had sex less than once a month compared to people who had sex once a week than between people who had an income of $15,000-$25,000 compared to people who had an income of $50,000-$75,000 per year.
If you’re currently in a relationship and aren’t meeting the sex quota, that doesn’t mean you should get busy in order to meet the weekly average.
"It's important to maintain an intimate connection with your partner without putting too much pressure on engaging in sex as frequently as possible," Muise said.