New York: If you feel that daily sex will make you both happier, read on. According to fascinating research, the action between the sheets once a week is enough to reignite and keep the passion and love alive between the two souls.
Although more frequent sex is associated with greater happiness, this link was no longer significant at a frequency of more than once a week, the team revealed.
"Our findings suggest that it's important to maintain an intimate connection with your partner, but you do not need to have sex everyday as long as you are maintaining that connection,” said lead researcher Amy Muise, social psychologist and postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto-Mississauga.
The results, based on surveys of more than 30,000 Americans collected over four decades, reveal that happiness quotient is not there after couples report having sex more than once a week on average.
In one study, researchers analysed survey responses conducted by the University of Chicago about sexual frequency and general happiness from more than 25,000 Americans (11,285 men, 14,225 women).
For couples, happiness tended to increase with more frequent sex but this is no longer true after couples report engaging in sex more than once a week.
Despite common stereotypes that men want more sex and older people have less sex, there was no difference in the findings based on gender, age or length of relationship.
"Our findings were consistent for men and women, younger and older people, and couples who had been married for a few years or decades," Muise noted.
Sex may be more strongly associated with happiness than is money. To find this, the researchers also conducted an online survey with 335 people (138 men, 197 women) who were in long-term relationships and found similar results as the first study.
These participants were also asked about their annual income, and there was a larger difference in happiness between people who had sex less than once a month compared to people who had sex once a week than between people who had an income of $15,000-$25,000 compared to people who had an income of $50,000-$75,000 per year.
"People often think that more money and more sex equal more happiness, but this is only true up to a point," Muise pointed out.
The findings don't necessarily mean that couples should engage in more or less sex to reach the weekly average but partners should discuss whether their sexual needs are being met.
"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 advised.
However, the findings were specific to people in romantic relationships and there was no association between sexual frequency and well being for single people.
The findings were published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.