More Time Between the Sheets Doesn’t Make a Marriage Happier

When it comes to sex in your marriage, is more always better? The answer, according to a new study, might surprise you.


According to researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, increasing the amount of sex in a marriage doesn’t increase the amount of happiness in a marriage.

The study, published in the August issue of the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, recruited straight married couples and asked them to double the amount of sex they were having (to up to as much as six times per week!). The researchers then tracked not only how the quality of the sex was, but also the overall well-being of the participants.

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Turns out not only did the participants report lower levels of enjoyment of their sexual activity, but their overall happiness went down, as well!

This finding matters for all of us! After all, it can be way too easy to be worried that you aren’t having "enough" sex and/or that the amount you are having isn't "normal." Maybe because you're comparing your weekly number to your friends' or even comparing your frequency to your own pre-kid days. But this study shows that pressure isn’t sexy and that forcing yourself to have more sex just for the sake of having more sex isn’t going to make you happier.

As one of the lead researchers, George Loewenstein, noted, "It seems that if you’re having sex for a reason other than because you like and want sex," you probably aren’t going to enjoy it as much. Loewenstein advises instead to focus on quality instead of quantity. Now, that is advice that many loving, but tired, couples may be happy to hear!

How do you feel about this finding -- do you think your marriage is happier if you are having more or just more pleasurable sex?

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