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If You Could Have Sex Every Day, Would You Be Happier?

July 27, 2018 by Justin Lehmiller


Studies suggests that most married adults have sex somewhere between a few times per month and a few times per week (side note: sexual frequency in relationships is similar for heterosexuals and gay men, with lesbians doing it less often; however, when lesbians have sex, they spend more time on it than everyone else, which balances things out). Few couples in long-term relationships have sex every single day. But let’s imagine for a second that everyone in relationships who isn’t currently having daily sex (which is most of us) gave it a try. What would happen? Would all of that extra bedroom activity (or wherever it is that you like to do it) make us happier in the end?

In a study involving couples who had sex 5-6 times per month on average, researchers instructed half of them to double their sexual frequency for three months [1]. It turned out that those who attempted to have more sex were actually less happy by the end of the study compared to those who maintained the same sexual frequency. That’s right–more sex didn’t make them happier.

And keep in mind that these couples weren’t trying to have sex every day, either–they were simply attempting to move from 5-6 times per month up to 10-12 times per month. It turned out that the couples who tried to double their frequency started to feel like sex was a chore. It was no longer something that happened naturally and spontaneously–rather, it started to feel like something they had to do instead of something they wanted to do. This suggests that making yourself have sex just for the sake of doing it probably isn’t the best approach. Instead, you’re likely better served by making changes in your life that will allow sex to happen more naturally (e.g., having dedicated evening hours that are free from work, email, and other things that are going to take you out of the mood or stress you out).

The results of the research are consistent with the non-scientific Buzzfeed video at the end of this post. They asked a few couples to have sex every day for one month and document their experiences.

What you’ll see is that all of the couples found this to be a difficult task and, most importantly, none of them planned to keep up with it after the month was over. In fact, most of the couples didn’t seem to like the experience very much because they found that, after just a couple of days, sex became a chore.

So while having more sex than you’re currently having might sound great in theory, the truth of the matter is that, in practice, forcing yourselves to get it on more often probably won’t make you or your partner any happier in the long run. Focus instead on the quality of the sex you’re having rather than obsessing over having a certain quantity of it.

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[1] Loewenstein, G., Krishnamurti, T., Kopsic, J., & McDonald, D. (2015). Does increased sexual frequency enhance happiness? Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 116, 206-218.

Image Source: 123RF/Andriy Popov

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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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