A lot of people think the more sex you have, the happier you are. If your buddy is getting intimate with his partner five days a week, and you’re only doing it once or twice, he has to be more satisfied, right?
According to Amy Muise, a social psychologist and postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto-Mississauga, once a week is just fine for people in committed relationships. She told Today: “Once a week makes sense in some ways because I think many people would still see this as having regular sex.”
Muise and her team surveyed 30,000 Americans to determine the link between happiness and sexual frequency. Men and women of all ages in both short and long-term relationships agreed that once a week was the magic number.
A 2015 study came up with similar results. The researchers noted: “We recruited couples and randomly assigned half to double their frequency of intercourse. We find that increased frequency does not lead to increased happiness, perhaps because it leads to a decline in wanting for, and enjoyment of, sex.”
All you need to do is go to Reddit to find out about people’s sexual frequency. Not surprisingly, the numbers ranged all over the place.
One user wrote: “After almost 20 years together, the frequency is certainly less, both because of loss of libido and decline of physical stamina, but the quality gets better and better every time if that makes sense.”
Another added: “Usually 3 or 4 times a week. We live together and I’d probably prefer closer to 5, while she’d be happy with 1 or 2. We strike a pretty good balance.”
A third wrote: “We don’t have a set amount of times per week. If it happens it happens. Great. If it doesn’t it doesn’t. Sometimes we have loads of sex and sometimes we go a week without.”
Helen Fisher, a senior researcher at the Kinsey Institute, told Today: “These researchers have found the sexual thermometer for modern times…Any stimulation of the genitals will drive the dopamine system, which will lead to feelings of romantic love. And orgasms stimulate the production of oxytocin, which creates feelings of deep attachment.”
The study did not determine whether people who have sex less than once a week would be happier if they got intimate more often.