Sex makes us happy. Duh. know a this isn’t a big news flash but there are a couple of interesting new studies that finally explain why doing the horizontal bop puts a smile on our faces. As a sex therapist I tell my clients that they need to keep their sex lives active or run the risk of losing their sexuality. The usual use it or lose it mantra. There is current research that explains that sex makes us feel closer, is physically one of the things we can do to stay healthy and generally just feels good.But how it makes us happier is the subject of much debate and countless research grants. For women who are sexually satisfied, it makes us happier. This fact my be obvious (and doesn’t need a sex expert to explain it), but the reasons why may surprise you.
The first, a study out of The University of Colorado Boulder suggests that we are happy when we know that we are having a better sex life than our neighbors. That na nannana kind of glee that knows you are hotter than your acquaintances. “There is an overall sense of well-being that comes with engaging in sex more frequently”. Having sex makes us happy, but thinking that we are having more sex than other people makes us even happier.” And you thought it was just your lawn mower your neighbor coveted.
A second study from the State University in New York says that it is the chemistry of semen (absorbed or ingested) that makes us happier. The fact that that women who are exposed to their partner’s semen during sex may find themselves feeling happier than those who use a condom,” say scientists.
So despite the need to practice safe sex (a infection-free partner is the key here), the mood-altering hormones in semen absorbed through the vagina can help to boost women’s mood.Semen contains a range of hormones, including testosterone and estrogen, both of which have been shown to make us happier. It goes with the study that shows that the chemicals in semen are actually good for our teeth (but I digress).
The new article from Men’s Health suggests that HUSBANDS ARE HAPPIER WHEN THEIR WIVES ARE SEXUALLY SATISFIED. The cliché says a happy wife is a happy life, and new research confirms it’s pretty much true. Researchers have found that a wife’s sexual satisfaction can predict her husband’s happiness. To find this, researchers from Ohio State University interviewed married couples to find out how much of an impact intimacy had on their relationship. They discovered that men reported higher levels of relationship satisfaction when their wives were sexually satisfied. Experts say this is because many men feel their main job in a relationship is to satisfy their wives sexually. Researchers say her sexual satisfaction is not just based on whether or not she orgasms, but also on the quality of foreplay, duration and frequency of sex and her partner’s adventurousness in the bedroom.
Finally there is an article from a new paper published by the Institute for the Study of Labor who reports that researchers have come to the groundbreaking conclusion that yes, sexual activity does indeed have a strong correlation with happiness. Not only that, but having more sex means better health and higher wages, so that whole evolutionary perpetuating-the-human-race thing is now sitting in solid fourth place on the list of top 10 reasons you should get it on regularly.
According to the study, “individuals who had sex more than four times a week had 5% higher wages than those who didn’t, which means your coworkers that are always skipping out early from work to have some good old fashioned intercourse with their partners are not only getting laid more often than you are, they’re making more money too. The higher wage effect remained true even when other factors came into play, like education or sexual orientation.”
So what doesn’t make us happy about sex?
The University of Texas study finds that women are more likely than men to regret having casual sex, moving too fast in a relationship, or sleeping with the wrong person. I think dialing drunk should be up there too.
Men, meanwhile, just regret not having sex with more people. Think about it. As a woman you regret the mercy hump, or jumping into bed too soon. Men tend to regret what they didn’t do – the red head, the threesome, or not having crazy monkey sex whenever possible.
But overall happiness can be elusive. Is it as simple as having more sex (and better) sex? I think sex is an important part of happiness. But it’s only one part. I loved Gretchen Rubin’s books The Happiness Project, and Happier at Home. She researched happiness, and while she didn’t spend her year on her back, she has some insights into how sex can add to your happiness. Gretchen had lots really great things to say. Listen to my interview with her that explores this issue of happiness in greater detail. gretchen rubin- the happiness project author talking about a year of happiness
So no matter what makes you happy (semen, comparing your sex life to the Jones’s, or that it makes you more money) you may want to explore your current reasons for grabbing a quickie.