Original Illustration by Stephanie DeAngelis
In this day and age, it’s often assumed that the more sexual partners you have, the more fun you have. We can partially thank Sex and the City for giving us that idea—Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha racked up a combined total of 95 suitors over six seasons, all the while living our dream lives.
Those girls may have kissed some major toads, but they were happy, right? According to findings from a study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the number of sexual partners that will scientifically make you the happiest may be fewer than you’d think (and far less than television suggests).
The aforementioned study sampled 16,000 American adults and found that the happiest individuals only had one sexual partner a year. These findings applied to both homosexual and heterosexual couples. “According to our data, Americans have less dramatic sex lives than might have been imagined from television and other media,” the authors write in the study.
What the authors point out is that people have a tendency to be happier when they are committed to one person. Whether the happiness comes from feel-good hormones, emotional intimacy, or something else entirely, monogamy may be the key. Although this study's findings may apply to some, we should point out that science cannot quantify all relationships. While monogamy tended to make the majority of the test subjects happy, it may not do the same for you.
Be sure to read about Gwyneth Paltrow's mindful formula for better sex, and tell us what you think about the findings of this study in the comments.