Sorry, nymphos: More sex doesn't mean more happiness.

Image: iStock.

A greater frequency of sex with your partner doesn’t necessarily equate to happiness, according to a new study. That’s right, everything you’ve ever learned from those horny teen movies, Calvin Klein ads and Craig David songs (7 Days, anyone?) is wrong.

A new study, conducted by Carnegie Mellon University and published in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, brought us this dire news. Well, I guess the direness of the situation all depends on whether you like sex or not.

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If you’re not a nymphomaniac, or couldn’t care less if you only had sexy times once a week (if that) then you’ll declare, “I KNEW sex would make you all miserable!”.

Nothing wrong with hating sex, guys. (Post continues after gallery.)

According to the researchers, when married couples had 40 per cent more sex than usual, their happiness and mood levels declined.

You would think that the results of this study would be the usual: people who have more sex are happier, richer, better, blah, blah, blah. But not this time!

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“Those induced by the experimental condition to have more sex displayed a lower mood during the course of the experiment than those in the control group,” the researchers explained.

In layman’s terms, that translates to “more sex = more sad”.

Rachel Clements, psychologist and director of psychological services at the Centre for Corporate Health, says that good sex is all about the motivations behind it.

“Our body’s response is that, if we have to do something, we want to do the opposite," she explains.

"If we know we have to exercise or go to the gym four times a week, we won’t do it, but if we say to ourselves, ‘It will be good to do this,’ then that is more motivating, because it is meaningful.”

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128 married men and women, between the ages of 35 and 65, participated in this sexy study, that went for 3 months. They were separated into two groups: Group 1 (who we will refer to using the scientific title, Happy Sex Group) were told to just carry on their sex lives as per usual. Group 2 (Sad Sex Group) were told to double their frequency of sexing.


First of all, it turned out that the Sad Sex Group were not up to increasing their sexy times by 50 per cent, and only managed 40 per cent. We don't blame them.

Secondly, the increased frequency of sex had a negative effect on the mood of the Sad Sex Group, while also making them tired and energy-sapped.

Related: 9 reasons you’re finding sex painful.

The researchers surmised that the Sad Sex Group felt pressured by their imposed standard of sexual frequency.

“Perhaps those in the increased-sex treatment who fail to achieve the sexual frequency target they are given feel inadequate and unhappy,” suggested the researchers.

Again, translated to normal-speak that means: “If a sex scientist tells you to do the sex more, then you will say, ‘no way am I doing my homework, teacher!’”

It's not a race or competition, guys. (Image via iStock)

Interestingly, the researchers noticed that the increase of sex led to a decrease in desire.

“Increased sexual frequency does not enhance (and in fact detracts from) mood because it decreases desire for, and enjoyment of, sex,” the researchers observed.


Related: 8 unexpected ways to amp up your sex life.  

Read: More sex = less horny.

Spending time alone with your partner will help your sex life. (Image via iStock)

Ultimately, researchers from Carnegie Mellon advised that we should be focused on having better sex, rather than more sex. They found that when the participants enjoyed sex and felt close to their partners, they reported feelings of happiness.

Related: 10 health benefits to having sex more often.

The researchers also suggested taking evenings away from distractions (including children) to focus on having quality sex with your partner.

This could be a trip away, or even an overnight stay in a hotel.It all sounds so much more romantic than someone in a white lab coat clutching a clipboard and advising you to increase your sexual activity by percentages, right?

Do you agree that quality sex is better than a high frequency of sex?

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