If you haven’t read the latest research about the sexual habits of American marrieds and singles, you are probably among the majority of people who have the belief that singles are having a lot more sex than folks who are married. Well guess what. They’re not. One of the most comprehensive studies on the subject, which was released in 2010 by the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University compiled statistics on the sexual attitudes and habits of 5,865 people between ages 14 and 94. Their study revealed that less than five percent of singles between the ages of 25 and 59 have sex two to three times a week, while a quarter of married folks are beating the single record five times over. A whopping 61 percent of singles reported that they hadn’t had sex within the past year, compared with 18 percent of married people.
The belief that singles have more and better sex than marrieds has become a cultural myth that researchers and sociologists are finding to be untrue, and coming up with some hard evidence to substantiate this claim. While the single life is glamorized on film and on TV, the reality underlying the entertainment media’s portrayal of “the good life” is, for many people a far cry from the picture painted by Hollywood, both in quantity and quality.
The prevailing view for the majority of Americans is that once you’re married, sex gets routine and boring, and because it’s not so exciting any longer, the frequency falls off. The reality is that for the majority of singles, sex tend to be sporadic, infrequent, or for some, non-existent. There are of course some singles who are experiencing more abundant and pleasurable sexual activity than they ever did in their marriage, or even in their lives, but contrary to commonly held-beliefs, these people are in the minority, not the majority of the population.
And speaking of quality, having an abundant and pleasurable sex life not only feels good, but it’s good for you too. Michael Roizen MD, who is a gerontologist at the University of Chicago. He is an expert in the field of sex and longevity. His studies have revealed a number of profound health benefits that sexually active adults experience throughout life. For example, that if you are having sex twice a week you can experience the equivalent of being two years younger than your chronological age. And that there is a significant enhancement in the health and efficiency of the heart, respiration, muscle strength, as well other organs in the body.
And the even better news is that if you have satisfying sex once a day, that frequency can experience an eight-year age differentiation! According to Dr. Roizen, there is no question that an abundance of good sex will be adding life to your years, if not years to your life!
In 2004 a study conducted at Dartmouth by David Blachflower in conjunction with Andrew Oswald at the University of Warwich in England, drew on a sample of 16,000 people. They found that sex enters so strongly and positively in happiness equations that they estimate that increasing intercourse from once a month to once a week is equivalent to the amount of happiness generated by adding an additional $50,000 in yearly income for the average American. They claim that the happiest folks are those getting the most sex
Another sex study at Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, published in The British Medical Journal in 1997 studied 1,000 married men over a ten year period. The research shows that long-married men live up to five years longer than their unmarried counterparts. Sex gives you a feel good cocktail, a natural high in the form of the neurohypophysical hormone, oxytocin. Oxytocin produces a feeling of tranquility and happiness, and lowers blood pressure, which provides protection against heart attacks and strokes. The results of their studies showed that those who had sex three times a week or more cut their risk for heart attack and stroke by 50%.
In research by Kahneman, Krueger, Schkade, Schwarz and Stone (2004) they find, among a sample of 1,000 employed women, that sex is rated as the activity that produces the single largest amount of happiness.
So why are the marrieds having so much more sex than the singles?
Convenience factor: Well, for one thing, you don’t have to spend a lot of time and energy looking for, finding, and doing the groundwork for a relationship. Of course, you’ve got to keep your relationship healthy, happy, and well-maintained, but once it’s in good shape, maintaining it takes a lot less time and energy than starting from scratch.
Cues: Married couples have usually worked out an elaborate set of verbal and non-verbal cues that are easily read. A single wink while sharing dinner can speak volumes. Sometimes a gesture as simple as a touch or a smile, can be enough to extend an invitation. A single word or sentence can be sufficient. “Let’s skip desert, and jump into bed early for “More Sex Weight Loss Plan”, indulging in our zero calorie delight that’s better than a hot fudge sundae.
Married’s are Safe from STD’s: When you’re single, condoms are necessary for safety. But what a relief it is to get past the stage of awkward conversations about STD’s. There’s great peace of mind in knowing that there’s nothing to worry about.
Freedom from the anxiety that can come from fear of rejection: While being married doesn’t necessarily guarantee that our sexual overtures will never be rejected, the anxiety that generally accompanies new relationships is very different and more complex than the feelings that come up when a long-term partner isn’t “in the mood”. The accompanying anxiety from fear rejection can be a distraction from enjoying sexual connection that may cool the heat of sexual passion way down.
Free from the anxiety of not knowing what turns them on:
Sometimes new lovers are nervous, feel awkward, and fumble around in the dark about how their new lover wants to be pleasured. It takes a while to familiarize ourselves with each other’s bodies. Married couples have practiced enough to know what works and what doesn’t with each other.
Greater freedom to risk and experiment: Nearly everyone has sexual fantasies, and sharing the details can be highly erotic and intensely pleasurable. When trust has been established and deepened through experience together, there is a much greater inclination to share some of the more intimate aspects of our secret desires.
Emotional Intimacy is Great Foreplay: If married couples have been taking the opportunity to build trust, they are becoming adept at the fine art of emotional intimacy. As far as I’m concerned, the combination of deep emotional intimacy joined with sexual intimacy is winning the jackpot!