Keeping Up with the Joneses—in Bed?

Keeping Up with the Joneses—in Bed?

People who have more fun in the bedroom really are happier, according to a study -- and even more so if they think they’re getting more than their friends. 

A researcher at the University of Colorado at Boulder recently studied data from surveys of more than 15,000 U.S. adults collected between 1993 and 2006. He wanted to know if people’s perception of how they measure up sexually compared to their peers influences their happiness level, much like the way people compare their incomes to others’.  

The result: It does. People who were having sex once a week were 44 percent more likely to report a high level of happiness than those who hadn’t had sex for a year. No surprise there. (Learn more about the health benefits of having sex.) But people who thought their peers were getting it on more often than them were less likely to say they were very happy.

Where are people getting their ideas about how much sex everyone else is having? Likely from conversations with friends, says the researcher, or media sources like sex surveys in magazines—which could be misleading. So why bother keeping score in the bedroom, knowing you’re putting your happiness on the line? Remember, your sex life is what you—and your partner—make it. (Take control of your sex life in seven steps.)

Looking for a little extra excitement in bed? Try these tips:

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

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