How to make your marriage sizzle, not fizzle between the sheets
(NOTE: This article is part one of a three-part series)
Married sex? That’s an oxymoron, right? We’ve all heard the jokes. Our culture tells us that once a couple walks down the aisle, their sex life is over.
But research repeatedly shows that married couples actually have more and better sex than their single counterparts, and that the longer a couple stays together, the better it gets.
Yep, that’s right. Read on.
According to a study by the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University, about a quarter of married people between the ages of 25 and 59 reported having sex two or three times a week. The statistic for unmarried people of the same age? Less than five percent. And while young bachelors may talk a big game when it comes to their sex lives, the same study showed that roughly half of single men aged 25 to 29 had been celibate for at least the last year.
But even singles who do "get laid" report less happiness with their sex lives than their married counterparts. A 2013 study of nearly 4,000 college students revealed that young singles who engaged in casual premarital sex reported higher levels of anxiety, depression and low self-esteem, particularly related to "sexual regret." According to the study’s authors, "casual sex was negatively associated with well-being and positively associated with psychological distress.”
Meanwhile, a study published earlier this year in the Archive of Sexual Behavior revealed that among married people aged 57 to 85, those who were married to the same person the longest reported having the most frequent and most satisfying sex. Those married 50 or more years reported having sex more often than they did earlier in their marriage, and those married 65 years or more reported having even more sex than that.
But just "putting a ring on it" can’t be enough to guarantee a fabulous sex life. After all, the sterotype of the sexless marriage has to have come from somewhere, and it’s hard to believe the divorce rate would be as high as it is if married couples were all having toe-curling sex a few times every week.
So if you’re married and wondering why your marriage doesn’t fit the satisfied mold, come back tomorrow and Friday for parts two and three, where we’ll discuss how you might be unwittingly ruining your own sex life …
… and how to put it back together.