A recent study published in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization recruited 64 adult heterosexual married couples. The subjects were asked how often they had sex, how enjoyable it was and how happy they were in general, attempting to measure mood and energy. 32 of these couples were picked randomly and asked to double the frequency of their sexual relations. If they had sex once a month, make it twice; couples who had sex three times a week were told to go to six. The sample ranged in frequency of sex from at least once a month to a maximum of three times a week. The other 32 were told to go about their lives as usual.
The lucky group completed a short daily online questionnaire that measured the quality of their sex the previous day and their subsequent moods. This particular study lasted about three months. The researchers discovered that some in this group did manage to double their rate of intercourse. On average there was a 40% increase in sexual relations.
Before sharing the results, a few comments are in order. 1. Any conclusions to the study are related to these 32 couples. These couples were not randomly selected from the entire universe of the heterosexual married. The findings are certainly suspect. 2. Although the article in the June 28, 2015 edition of The New York Times did not describe the character of these 32 couples, maybe the original research did. However, what were the personality characteristics of these individuals? What was the meaning of sex for these individuals within their entire life space-their personal lives, their relationship, their marriage? Freud, in his model, talked about the release of sexual tension-pleasure. For these couples, were there other reasons for having sex other than the release of sexual tension? Are we talking about intercourse and/or ejaculation or what? What about the political, economic and social conditions for each individual couple? What about procreation as a variable? 3. There are many reasons for the frequency of intercourse? Certainly the couples that had sex once a month versus the couples that had sex three times a week were different. I’d be interested in knowing about their sexual differences. 4. In this particular experiment there was only a 40% increase in sexual relations. I’d like to know the why behind that figure. 5. These researchers employed an online questionnaire. More interesting and more valuable, insightful results would have been established from an in depth interviewing process.
Findings of the study found that additional sex did not make these people state more well-being in measures of energy and enthusiasm. Some reported that more intercourse wasn’t much fun. There’s mention as to the quality of sex, but it wasn’t explained.
In a 2004 study with 16,000 adults, people said that increasing the frequency of intercourse from once a month to once a week increased their happiness to the likelihood of having an additional $50,000 in the bank. What if these individuals were involved passionate work environments. How much would that be worth in a bank?
These studies apparently were concerned about numbers and/or statistics. In the more recent study, intercourse frequency were just a snapshot within a 90 day segment pertaining to these 32 heterosexual couples. What if 32 married homosexual couples, or 32 unmarried couples were measured? How different would the results be? As we know, love, tenderness and mutuality of respect are important components within any relationship where the expression of sex is associated. And sex just doesn’t mean intercourse. An abundance of sex as opposed to compulsive sex is pleasurable, especially under the right conditions. The mood, energy and alone time of the couples play and important part within any relationship. Maybe, just maybe, the study was really an indictment about the state of marriage in our country. Don’t forget that married US households were 72.2% in 1960 and in 2012 and that number decreased to 50.5%. Yes, we have falling marriage rates in the United States.