Having This Many Sexual Partners in One Year Could Be the Key to Happiness

Updated 04/29/19
Original Illustration by Stephanie DeAngelis

When it comes to sex—namely, how much you should be having and with how many people—everybody has an opinion. While everyone approaches sex differently, it turns out that there may be a scientific correlation between sex and happiness, specifically when it comes to how many sexual partners you have in a year. A study published in the National Bureau of Economic Research found that the magic number of sexual partners in a year that led to maximum happiness was just one, MindBodyGreen reports.

The study set out to examine links between income, sexual behavior, and happiness. Researchers utilized data from a random sample of 16,000 Americans, finding that sexual activity had an impact on happiness, which the study defined as "the degree to which an individual judges the overall quality of his or her life as favorable."

Respondents were asked how many sexual partners they had in the last year and how many times they had sex. The data from this study proved that Americans have "less dramatic" sex lives than what one might anticipate. Researchers found that on average, Americans have sex about two or three times a month (although this varies based on relationship status and age). It was also reported that the average American had one sexual partner in the last year—though this too varied depending on other factors.

Using a happiness equation, the study found that the more sex a person has, the happier they report feeling and that the "happiness-maximizing" number of partners is one. Is this a sign that maybe monogamy is all it's cracked up to be? You be the judge.

Up next, casual dating versus relationships: This is when it's time to make it official.

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