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What’s a Healthy Dose of Sex?

What’s a Healthy Dose of Sex?

In an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) is testy, seemingly out of worry about his sick dog, but the ship’s doctor, Phlox (John Billingsley), asks him, “How long has it been since you were intimate with a woman?” Archer realizes that his mood is caused by prolonged sexual tension with Vulcan commander T’Pol (Jolene Blalock).

We’ve all heard someone comment that a grumpy coworker or friend needs to “get some.” But is it true? Does sex make you happier? According to new research published in Social Psychology and Personality Science, yes—as happy as a $50,000 raise!

Researchers conducted three studies using data on more than 300,000 people and found that–up to a point—the more sex people were having, the more their life satisfaction increased. In fact, people who went from having sex less than once a month to having it once a week saw a bigger boost in life satisfaction than people whose salary was bumped from $15k to $25k a year into the $50k to $75k range.

The magical benefits of more sex did level off at the once-a-week mark. But that doesn’t mean you and yours shouldn’t jump between the sheets more often. Having monogamous intimacy seven times a week makes a man’s RealAge younger and increased sexual satisfaction makes a woman’s RealAge younger—and not just a little. The extra good news? If you and your partner are in a dry spell, making an effort to be intimate once a week should be a great starting place.

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

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