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Is it Sex or Something Else That Makes One Happier the Next Day?

Is it Sex or Something Else That Makes One Happier the Next Day?
June 10
16:52 2019

Have you ever noticed that you tend to be happier or better adjusted the day after any sexual experience? Is the reason for that happiness really the sexual experience or is there something else that may be responsible for that good feeling?

In the Fall 2018 issue of Time Health, page 11, there is a report titled ‘ Why having sex makes you feel better the next day’. Here is part of what they said:

“Sex has long been linked to a lengthened life and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. But new research provides scientific support for a familiar idea: that sex also strengthens the bonds of relationships, and adds happiness and meaning to life…”

“People reported being happier and finding more meaning in their lives the day after any kind of sexual activity, from deep kissing to intercourse, the researchers found…Any sort of sexual experience seemed to improve well-being. But the opposite was not true; happiness did not predict more sexual behavior, which bolsters their claim that the link between sex and well-being is due to the sex itself.”

“Humans’ fundamental need to belong is likely at the root of the effect, Kashdan says, and sexual contact is a communication of acceptance and social inclusion. ‘There is something profound about someone else giving you access to their body and accepting access to yours,’ Kashdan says…”

“But a person’s relationship with a partner matters too. When all participants were asked to rate how ‘close and connected’ they felt sex, that rating did not accurately predict well-being the next day. However, when examining those in romantic relationships, additional feelings of well-being did come from especially satisfying and intimate sexual contact. In these cases, Kashdan says, the sexual experience gives rise to a personal reaffirmation and a sense of benevolence that is beneficial to the relationship.”

After reading this, I have to ask if it’s the sexual experience (kissing, hugging, intimate contact or intercourse) that is really responsible for the well-being the next day or is it more the relationship itself?

In America of old, sexual experiences were reserved for marriage only. In a marriage, the intimate contact not only served to procreate, but also to strengthen the relationship between the man and woman.

In today’s America, sex is no longer reserved for marriage and has thus been cheapened, degraded and has lost some of that intimate bonding.

The study above used college students. I would be interested to see what the results would be if the same study was conducted with older groups of people and whether they are married or not.

Saying that, I contend that it is the relationship more than sexual encounters, that are responsible for the sense of well-being the next day. There are many couples who don’t have sex nearly as often as college kids, but who have strong and meaningful relationships and it is those relationships that yield happiness and well-being. True, that hugging and touching can still play an important part in keeping those relationships strong and happy, but it’s only a small part in many of those happy relationships.


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HLA Staff

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