For most people, their normal sex life is back.
Thank God! The messy Presidential election is finally over. It’s time to have some great sex. Does having sex frequently make for better relationships?
Sex, like all of life’s great pleasures, has its ups and downs. On the up side, it is a fantastic way to build bonds, experience sensorial enjoyment and receive affection yet on the downside, we have sex addiction, lack of libido and STDs. Indeed, sex is often the greatest source of arguments between couples, with some people getting too little, some demanding too much, and others thinking it doesn’t merit the importance it is given. If you are in the latter group, you should, perhaps, be aware of the fascinating new research which shows that sex between partners in a couple truly does make for a happier relationship. Therefore, the trick is, to get as much of it as you can, without necessarily taking it to the extreme.
The research, published in April, 2016 in the journal, Psychological Science, found that although couples who have a lot of sex don’t necessarily state that they are happier than couples who get less, their automatic behavioral responses show the opposite to be true. These responses are spontaneous, often subconscious and automatic. The researchers came to these findings by asking 216 newlyweds to complete a survey. They rated various qualities of their relationship using simple terms such as good/bad, satisfied/unsatisfied, etc., and were asked the extent to which they agreed with specific statements about their partner and their marriage.
The participants then took a computer test, indicating whether the words that appeared on their screen, were positive or negative. Before the word showed up, a photo of their spouse appeared on screen for just a few microseconds. The researchers then studied how quickly the newlyweds responded to each of the words – the idea was that the faster they responded, the more likely they associated their partner with that word. Therefore, if they responded faster to positive words than to slower ones, it would indicate a more positive view of their spouse.
In addition to taking the computer test, participants were also asked for a general estimation of how many times they had had sex with their spouse over the past four months.
As in previous studies, the authors found no link between the frequency of sexual encounters and the reported happiness of the couples. However, the computer test results showed that those who had sex more frequently, tended to have a more positive idea of their spouses. The findings were the same for men and women. The researchers stated that often, people feel unhappy about their relationships but are reticent to say so, or even to admit this fact to themselves. This is because marriage is seen by most as a lifelong commitment. The study also shows that asking people how they feel is not necessarily the most accurate measure of their level of satisfaction.
Rekindling one’s sex life can be difficult for couples who have had no or infrequent sex for a long time, though since regular sexual activity is so beneficial to the happiness and longevity of couples, partners may wish to think about how to avoid becoming a ‘sexless couple’. First of all, if one or both partners have gone off sex, it is vital to understand why and to address underlying problems such as depression, alcoholism, infidelity, a negative body image, poor conflict resolution skills, mid-life crises, children, monotony, etc. Any medical conditions should be diagnosed and treated.
Often, however, the problem is psychological. Partners may feel stressed because of excess work and the conflicting demands of life – children, extended family, etc. For some couples, rekindling their sex life can involve something simple like booking a weekend away alone etc., while for others, counselling may be necessary. Partners should specifically address the topic of sex with their therapist. Often, the solution is simply making it a point to spend more quality time together. Learning better time managing skills and learning to delegate tasks (including cleaning, chores etc.) can go a long way towards helping themfeel sexier. Considering that research shows that sexless couples have a lesser chance of remaining happy together, those who value their marriage should consider the importance of sex to their relationship and ask themselves and their partner – are we getting enough?