Does Having More Sex Really Put You In A Better Mood?

Is there anything that can compare to the post-sex euphoria you experience with a partner you love and trust? There's no denying that immediately after sex you feel satisfied and content, and even happy. But what about the long-term? Does having more frequent sex make you happier overall?

In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that the study participants who had more sex experienced a small decrease in happiness. Wait a minute, haven't we always been told that more sex equals more happiness?

We have. According to Psychology Today, lots of previous research has shown that engaging in more frequent sex increases happiness. In fact, one study found that having sex once a week instead of once a month produced the same amount of happiness as getting a financial boost of $50,000.

Then why this odd finding from Carnegie Mellon? Looking more closely at how the study was conducted, we see that the researchers divided the married, heterosexual couples into two groups. One group was instructed to double their sexual frequency. So if they normally had sex twice a month, they were to indulge four times a month. The other group was left to have sex as frequently (or infrequently) as they normally do. All participants filled out a daily survey about how satisfied they were sexually and how happy they were. At the study's end, researchers found that the group instructed to have more sex was less happy and less erotically satisfied than the other.

Turns out, there's something more important than sexual frequency

The researchers from Carnegie Mellon realized that it wasn't the more frequent sex per se that was putting a damper on happiness and sexual satisfaction. It was the fact that those couples were told to double the amount of sex rather than initiate it on their own, explain the study authors (per WebMD).

Another study, published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, found that there's something more important about sex rather than its frequency. That special something may not even be sex itself, but the affection and snuggling that comes with it (per Quartz).

Still, the Carnegie Mellon researchers believe that while artificially increasing the frequency of sex may not lead to greater sexual satisfaction or overall happiness, couples tend to have too little sex. Giving your sex life a boost in the right ways — focusing on quality instead of quantity — will spark desire and make sex even more fun, says Tamar Krishnamurti, one of the study's co-authors.

And don't forget the cuddling, which not only feels good in the moment, but promotes happiness and satisfaction in the long-term as well.