More Sex Is Better, But Only Up To A Point

People generally agree that a happy romantic relationship is also a sexual one, but past research hasn’t made clear how much sex, exactly, is best. Does sex have a limitless effect on happiness, as in, the more sex you have the happier you are? Or is there a cap after which the stress from trying to hit a certain number cancels out any happiness benefits the sex confers?

Proponents of daily sex challenges — and there are a surprising number of these challenges, in which spouses commit to a roll in the hay every day for a certain period of time — claim daily sex can recharge desire and make for a happier marriage.

While this approach may have worked for some couples (notably, the ones who wrote books about it), new research suggests that there are limits to how much happiness is linked to sex. New research published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science found that once couples are having sex about once a week, personal happiness and happiness in the relationship begins to level off.

Lead author Amy Muise, a sex and romance researcher at the University of Toronto Mississauga, says it’s a good reminder for couples not to feel pressured to live up to a certain “number” when it comes to sex frequency.

“In general it is important to maintain a sexual connection with a romantic partner, but it is also important to have realistic expectations for one’s sex life, given that many couples are busy with work and responsibilities,” she told HuffPost. “Our research suggests that engaging in regular sex is associated with happiness, but it is not necessary, on average, for couples to aim to engage in sex as frequently as possible.”

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