Study: Having sex more frequently than your friends makes you happier

Greg Campbell | Contributor

In another example of a university researcher putting the stamp of science on what we’ve long suspected, a University of Colorado-Boulder professor discovered that people who think they’re having more sex than others tend to be happier.

Just like in other areas of life where people are happy to find that they measure up to others — such as with income and social status — so too are they happy when they think they’re getting it on as much as the next guy or girl.

But even happier are those who think they’re outperforming their peers in the sack.

“There’s an overall increase in sense of well-being that comes with engaging in sex more frequently, but there’s also this relative aspect to it,” said researcher Tim Wadsworth, in an article posted on the CU-Boulder website. “Having more sex makes us happy, but thinking that we are having more sex than other people makes us even happier.”

Wadsworth says no special funding was required for the research, which was published in the February edition of Social Indicators Research, since he relied on previously published surveys quizzing respondents about their sexual activity and how happy they were.

Perhaps not surprisingly, people who had sex once a week were 44 percent more likely to report a higher level of happiness than those who’d had no sex during the previous year. Friskier respondents, who got under the covers 2-3 times a week, were 55 percent more likely to be happy.

The happiness quotient rises further if people think they’re having sex more often than their friends, with a 14 percent higher probability of them reporting a higher level of happiness.

Of course, that depends on people having some idea of how sexually active their peers are. Aside from over-sharing with one another, Wadsworth said people can pick up clues from sex surveys in magazines and a general perception of average sexual frequency depicted in pop culture.

Wadsworth’s sample included 15,386 people who were surveyed from 1993-2006.

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