It was 9:20 at night when I wrapped up a very long, tiring day at the office. It was the 17th of March. It was hot and humid. As we approached the end of the financial year, reports piled high on my desk and every minute was spent planning meetings for the next year. The thought of going home to pour over reports was exhausting. But I found solace in one thing: the mandatory after-work drink with my friends. Angry, agitated, and on edge, I walked up to my friends happily sipping away on their drinks. One glance at my face and Varsha told me to ‘go get laid’. It had been a while. My partner was away on a business trip and would be home later that night.
Excited at the prospect of seeing him after two weeks, I quickly made my exit. I was welcomed home with hot and heavy sex. Instantly, I felt less wound up. I felt like a happy chirpy bird, a feeling I hadn’t felt in a long time. But that got me thinking: can one orgasm at the end of a tiring day make you feel happy? So me being me, I quickly got on the internet and started my research.
I’m writing this blog to give you an answer to a question that might have crossed your mind before: Does sex add happiness to your life?
Some researchers say that happiness is determined by genetic factors, but others say that happiness is determined by environmental circumstances around you. Where we derive happiness differs from person to person, but a study at Princeton asked 1000 women which life activity gives them the greatest happiness – they ranked sex as #1. This brings me back to my question: how does sex add happiness to your life if it does at all?
My biggest finding as I sat up late at night doing my research was on the psychological and physiological responses to sex. One research concludes that while the act of sex is hugely pleasurable for those who indulge in it, and leads to the opening of many happy feelings, it is the affection that gives you happiness. The after-sex affection that follows keeps people happy for hours or maybe even days after. It could serve as the ultimate binding glue. Of course, you have heard about the post-sex glow.
But that being said, sex has different effects on different people: if someone doesn’t enjoy sex, or doesn’t need sex, then how would sex make them happy?
It’s interesting to note the different ways in which people of different genders derive happiness from sex. Satisfaction and happiness from sex are heavily influenced by mental health and relationship quality for vulva owners, whereas a healthy sex life translated to better physical health for penis owners. Sex reduces stress hormones like Cortisol and Adrenaline and increases levels of Oxytocin or the huge drug, leaving you feeling calm and happy to last for days!
A study conducted on 551 married heart patients reveals that those who engage in sex more frequently experience higher marital quality and affection, making them happier individuals. While the results of some studies didn’t quite convince me, it was brought to light that sex can lead to better physical health, enhanced brain function, and better immunity.
Several studies conclude that better sex = a better quality of life. Have you ever felt better about your body when you feel sexually desired? As someone who struggles with body image, I know that when my partner wants to engage in sex with me, I feel more desirable. Research also concludes that sex can lead to a more positive self-image and self-esteem.
Plot twist! While several studies conclude that sex adds happiness in many different ways, more frequent sex can lead to less happiness, decreased sexual satisfaction, and reduced well-being. When couples were instructed to schedule and double down on their sexual frequency, trouble began. In conclusion, erotic quality > erotic quantity = greater happiness.
Meandering from my thoughts, I am someone who enjoys engaging in sexual intercourse. Now I know that sex can lead to the release of happy hormones, lifting my mood almost immediately. I know that sex leads to affection equalling the most happiness. I also know how sex helps me feel better about my body. But this isn’t the same for everyone, like for folx who don’t want to indulge in sex or don’t find interest in it. It is also extremely important to note that you can derive happiness from sex only if it is safe and consensual.
I hope you found value in my research. Good day and back to my reports now.