Love, Etc.

Study Suggests Having All The Hanky Panky In The World Won’t Make You Happy


It’s Tuesday morning, so you have some sex. Random Grindr guy; grinding jaw. He shuffles in; shuffles out.

(Afterwards, you find a quick minute to call your boyfriend and accuse him of cheating.)

Breakfast-time; waiter shoots a glance. “Sex…?”

Bathroom door locks. Trash cans topple. Wadded paper towels. Love? Bodies thrash in urinal puddles. You pull up your pants, say something clever: “Bye, Felicia.”

(You fire off another few texts to your boyfriend, accuse him of being unfaithful. Again.)

Heading home. A shortcut through the park. You pass baseball practice. All-gay league. Dugout’s damp. Spit-out tobacco everywhere. You get to know each member of the team. And each member’s member.

Back at the apartment. Boyfriend comes home. You apologize. “Irrational fits of jealousy.” Amazing makeup sex. He cradles you: “You’re my world.”

Related: Bears Have Lower Self-Esteem And Engage In Much Riskier Sex, Study Finds

Well. According to a 2015 study from Carnegie Mellon University, all this sexy love-making simply isn’t enough to make you happy.

In fact, it might even make you unhappier.

As The Independent reports:

The experiment was straightforward: Measure how happy couples were with their current sex schedules. Then, split them into two groups and ask one group to have more sex (twice as much, to be exact) and ask the other group to change nothing about their sex lives. Finally, compare how happy they were afterward. (As part of the experiment, for example, couples having sex three times a week had sex six times a week; those having sex once a month had it twice a month.)

The experiment lasted 90 days, and the results genuinely surprised the scientists:

“Contrary to what one would expect if the causal story running from sexual frequency to happiness were true,” the team wrote in their paper, “we observed a weak negative impact of inducing people to have more sex on mood.”

In general, the researchers found that the couples who doubled the amount of sex didn’t enjoy the sex as much and were less happy overall. Although the team can only speculate as to why this was, they did answer their question: More sex does not make us happier.

And since the study more-or-less “forced” the subjects to have more sex than they’re accustomed to, it appears they developed “less motivation to have sex.”

Related: Study Finds People Who Like Grilled Cheese Sandwiches Have More Sex

The takeaway? According to George Leowenstein, a professor of economics and psychology, you should “concentrate on quality and not quantity if you want to be happy.”

Of course, you could always concentrate on both.

What do you think? Are these findings at all useful? Or is this study stupid and covertly moralistic? Weigh in in the “Comments” section below.