TORONTO: Countering a common perception that more sex can improve relationships, a
study has found that couples are at their happiest when they hop into
bed just once a week.
"Although more frequent sex is associated
with greater happiness, this link was no longer significant at a
frequency of more than once a week," said lead researcher Amy Muise
University of Toronto-Mississauga in Ontario, Canada.
findings suggest that it's important to maintain an intimate connection
with your partner, but you don't need to have sex everyday as long as
you're maintaining that connection," Muise noted.
Some previous studies and self-help books, have claimed that more sex equals more happiness.
this study, based on surveys of more than 30,000 Americans collected
over four decades, is the first to find that association is not there
after couples report having sex more than once a week on average.
The findings appeared in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.
findings were specific to people in romantic relationships and in fact,
there was no association between sexual frequency and wellbeing for
single people, Muise noted.
It's possible that for single people,
the link between sex and happiness is dependent on a number of factors
such as the relationship context in which the sex occurs and how
comfortable people are with sex outside of relationship.
The findings are most representative of married heterosexual couples or those in established relationships.
common stereotypes that men want more sex and older people have less
sex, there was no difference in the findings based on gender, age or
length of relationship.
"Our findings were consistent for men
and women, younger and older people, and couples who had been married
for a few years or decades," Muise said.
The study findings do
not necessarily mean that couples should engage in more or less sex to
reach the weekly average, but partners should discuss whether their
sexual needs are being met, Muise said.
"It's important to
maintain an intimate connection with your partner without putting too
much pressure on engaging in sex as frequently as possible," she said.