Is There Such A Thing As Too Much Sex?

Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Sex?

If sex is good for you (and science says it is), then surely more sex is better for you, correct? Surprisingly, not necessarily.
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If sex is good for you (according to science) more is better, surely? Not always, it seems.

How often are you having sex?

Time magazine recently revealed that “the average American” is having less sex now than they were 10 years ago.

This might not seem very surprising as so many are leading busier, more hectic than back then, with little time for intimacy TV, kids, the internet, social media, work, social commitments, exhaustion, etc. all encroach on our time for intimate union. 

This hectic lifestyle has resulted in unmarried couples having sex nine times less per annum and married couples 16 times fewer. Ouch!

Despite these somewhat disheartening decreases, Americans are still getting a good amount of sex – an average of once a week, married or not. Perhaps the most surprising thing about this survey was that ten years ago married couples were having more sex than their unmarried counterparts. Translated, this means ten years ago, an unmarried person was in the "less" zone, and if married now, is again in the "less" zone! 

However, it now seems that you can have too much of a good thing. A recent study asked “Does Increased Sexual Frequency Enhance Happiness?”. 

Given that “happiness” is a subjective feeling and can be influenced by a number of externals, this is a very fluid question. However, the survey revealed that yes, more sex can = more happiness, but only up to a certain point. Too much sex (there is such a thing) actually had the opposite effect.

Author of the report, George Loewenstein, concluded that “forcing” couples to be intimate more often for the study could have “turned it into a chore” and that they were “tired out”, explaining their hesitance when asked to double their sexual frequency.

This might also explain the mixed results of self-help books which suggest being intimate each day for a given period – from once a day for a month, to once a day for an entire year. In theory, it sounds wonderful, but in practice…too demanding.

What this seems to indicate is that there is an optimal frequency for sexual intercourse. It stands to reason that, without the shackles of a busy lifestyle or the demands of a scientific study, it is possible for us to unconsciously get close to that optimal frequency unprompted.

A straw poll would probably find that most people feel they are just under the “perfect” level. Why? Loewenstein says it may be due to our sex lives getting into a rut: “When a couple has been together for some time, the mere presence of the other person, even unclothed, can cease to be exciting or arousing… I still think that couples could benefit from a bit of outside encouragement to have more sex.”

Looks like he is suggesting a quick trip to Matildas!