How Much Sex Do Couples Need to be Happy?

Judy Gerstel | July 21st, 2016

The sweet spot for sex, in case you were wondering — and who doesn’t? — is once a week.

Couples who have sex weekly are happiest and more sex may not always make you happier, according to Canadian research published recently in the online journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

“Although more frequent sex is associated with greater happiness, this link was no longer significant at a frequency of more than once a week,” said University of Toronto researcher Amy Muise.

“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 study was based on surveys of more than 30,000 Americans collected over four decades.

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 said.

The findings were specific to people in romantic relationships and are most representative of married heterosexual couples or those in established relationships.

(This study and other previous studies report that established couples do tend to have sex about once a week on average.)

And here’s another fascinating result of the study:

Sex may be more strongly associated with happiness than is money.

While conducting an online survey with 335 people who were in long-term relationships and getting the similar results as the first study about sexual frequency, participants were also asked about their annual income.

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 to $25,000 compared to people who had an income of $50,000 to $75,000 per year.