Researchers have found that a stable marriage requires weekly sex for pleasure bonding between husband and wife.
Some people think that sex between married couples ought to be a 24/7 thing. They expect those who have the freedom to copulate with a life partner to go at it like squirrels fighting over a nut.
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But the reality of the situation is far from rosy. Sex often becomes a banal and normal routine thing after tying the knot. But the question on everyone’s mind is what is the optimum amount of sex one ought to have for a healthy and stable marriage. Well the magic ratio is once per week.
More sex than this ideal number may be okay but it will not necessarily lead to a great deal of happiness. It is a fact that the more often you go for a session between the sheets, the more you tend to enjoy good health and a happier mood, but beyond the once-a-week ratio, the effect tends to wear off.
And while a great deal of intimacy is required for a lasting marriage, the sexual intercourse frequency is not supposed to be twice a day everyday. Rather it is more like doing the beast with two backs on the dirty weekend.
There have been scads of books and articles in magazines that have claimed that the path to marital bliss is through having sex again and again like rabbits that multiply. But the ground reality is indeed a little different from this fantastic scenario of a sultan and his harem.
The study, published by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, observed 30,000 Americans over a period of 40 years. The links between sex and happiness breaks down beyond the once-per-week figure. This may be surprising but it holds true across the board.
Whether this was the result of quality rather than quantity remains a mystery. But it could have to do with the overall levels of satisfaction experienced by the couples.
"Although more frequent sex is associated with greater happiness, this link was no longer significant at a frequency of more than once a week," lead researcher Amy Muise said. "Our findings suggest that it's important to maintain an intimate connection with your partner, but you don't need to have sex everyday as long as you're maintaining that connection."
The more often you have sex, the less rewarding it becomes. This is only to be expected seeing the law of marginal utility. One or two ice cream cones may give pleasure. But by the time you are slurping your sixth ice cream cone, you don’t want to see another ice cream cone for the next two months.
"It's important to maintain an intimate connection with your partner without putting too much pressure on engaging in sex as frequently as possible," Muise said.
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As for singles, the sexual satiation levels depend upon the nature of the relationship and the context in which the sexual act is seen (as a source of pure pleasure or guilt-inducing sin). And the study also debunked the myth of males being sex-hungry and elderly people avoiding sex. Such is simply not the case.