4 Reasons Why People Have Sex (And Which One Makes Them the Happiest)

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It might seem pretty obvious why people have sex, but there are actually a variety of reasons.

Two new studies have examined all the reasons people get busy by asking them to keep daily diaries of their sexual activities. Among long-term relationships, researchers divided the motivations for sex into four main categories:

Self-Focused Approach: Having sex in search of a positive outcome for yourself, including personal pleasure or to feel closer to your partner.

Self-Focused Avoidance: Having sex in an attempt to avoid a negative outcome for yourself, such as not wanting to feel guilty.

Partner-Focused Approach: Having sex to reach a positive outcome with your partner. For example, wanting to make your partner feel good.

Partner-Focused Avoidance: Having sex to avoid conflict with your partner, like preventing him from feeling disappointed or angry.

Unsurprisingly, researchers found that on days when a person’s motivation was to have sex for a positive reason, the person felt more satisfied both in terms of the relationship and sexually. In addition, when a person’s reason was positive, their partner also felt more desire and satisfaction. The results held true for men and women, although men had higher levels of desire in general.

When the couples were studied over a long-term period, those who had sex for mostly positive reasons had higher sexual satisfaction months later.

Previous studies have shown that couples who have more sex are happier and more stable, but does that mean you should go ahead and do it when your motivations are more negative than positive? Well, here’s a tip from clinical social worker Julie Hanks: “If you’re feeling like you’d just rather go to sleep, try tuning in to the emotional connection between you and your partner.” If you can turn your negative reasoning into positive, it will be better for both parties and your relationship generally.

Do you frequently have sex for negative reasons? Just once in a while? Never

Whatever your reason, here are some more sex tips and questions:

10 Types of Sex to Try at Least Once in Your Life

How Often Do You Have Sex?

It’s Official: People Who Have Regular Sex Have Everything Better

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