According to a study published in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, having more sex doesn’t necessarily make someone happier. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania conducted numerous studies to arrive at their conclusion.
They divided their subjects into groups. Each one was made up of married male-female couples. Each person was between the ages of 35 and 65. One group was instructed to engage in sexual intercourse twice as much as normal. The other was told to carry on as usual.
The research team had the couples complete surveys in order to establish baselines. The first was a daily survey. This one focused on levels of happiness, feelings of health, the specifics regarding the kind of sexual intercourse and how much they both enjoyed it.
They were monitored for three months. After this the couples were given another questionnaire. This was to determine if the baseline had changed. The research revealed that the couples instructed to double their sex did not actually experience an increase in enjoyment.
On the contrary, the increase in frequency of sex caused a reduction in the pairs’ pleasure. Their desire was also reported to be lower than the pre-established baseline. The investigative team believes this was due to the fact that half the time the couples were only initiating sex because they had been told to do so and not because they necessarily wanted to do so.
George Loewenstein, the study’s lead investigator and the Herbert A. Simon University Professor of Economics and Psychology in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, said: “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.”
He further stated: “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 babysitting, hotel rooms or Egyptian sheets, rather than directing them to do so.” He also believes that more sex with the right mindset could be good for people.
Tamar Krishnamurti, another member of the team, thinks that their research could help couples come to a better understanding about sex. She concluded: “The desire to have sex decreases much more quickly than the enjoyment of sex once it’s been initiated. 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.”
More Sex Won’t Make You Happier?