Having more sex won’t make you happier, study finds

Sex

Despite the widely held belief that more sex equals more happiness, a new study suggests the opposite. According to researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, it’s also tough to distinguish whether having more sex makes people happier, or if being happy prompts people to have more sex.

For the study, investigators zeroed in on 128 healthy, heterosexual, married adults. One group was told to double how often they had sex, while the other was given no special instructions. Using frequent surveys to measure and assess happiness levels, researchers came across some interesting findings. For one thing, the couples who did have sex more often actually reported a small dip in happiness levels. They also reported decreased sexual enjoyment and desire when compared to the other group.

Researchers attribute this to the fact that the couples were asked to have more sex as part of a research study, as opposed to initiating it themselves.

“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,” lead investigator George Loewenstein said in a press release.

Another researcher added that sexual desire decreases much faster than the actual enjoyment of having sex. In other words, the desire for sex may naturally go down over time, but most people still seem to enjoy it once it’s been initiated. Either way, Loewenstein said that most couples would benefit from having more sex.

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