A new study suggests that having less sex makes for a happier relationship.
The study, authored by a team of Carnegie Mellon University researches led by George Loewenstein, looked at 64 heterosexual married couples between the ages of 35 to 65. These couples were having regular sex at least once a month and no more than three times a week.
Over the course of three months, the researchers had half of the couples double the amount of sex they were having while the other half maintained their current sex habits.
Every morning during the study, each person in the segmented couples independently answered questions about things like personality traits, mood, relationship quality and interest in sex.
The result: The group who doubled their sex frequency reported feeling less happy with their sex lives and experiencing a decreased desire for sex. According to Loewenstein,
“Being in the have-more-sex condition seemed to disrupt the natural harmony of the couples.”
Based on the results, the researchers realized that there could very well be such a thing as a perfect amount of sex that differs for every couple, and that more sex can actually create problems for some relationships. Loewenstein reported,
“Couples decide to have exactly as much sex as is good for them. If they have more, it is worse.”
While the popular belief that more sex is better were proven untrue, Loewenstein remains unconvinced. He said:
“I remain convinced that couples don’t have enough sex and more sex is good for couples and individuals. Unfortunately, this study did not give me the fodder to make that claim.”