What Research Says You Need for Better Sex

Long ago, I installed Google alerts, a service that culls content for the user according to given parameters. In my case, I asked for phrases like “sex research” and “higher drive wife.” And for nearly two years, I’ve gotten daily emails with links to relevant articles—as well as a lot of irrelevant articles because false positives happen a lot.

As I’ve been going through them, I decided to summarize some of the more interesting ones; particularly those that don’t warrant a full blog post. So here we go!

Embrace New Experiences

This isn’t about new sexual experiences, though you can have those too. Rather, a study of long-term couples published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that when each partner had an opportunity to have novel experiences or develop new skills/perspectives, they had more sex and reported greater satisfaction with sexual intimacy.

The researchers called these “self-expanding activities” and noted the benefits continue. “The benefits of self-expansion for relationship satisfaction are sustained over time, and…effects cannot be attributed solely to increases in positive affect, time spent interacting with the partner or closeness during the activity.”

So go out on the town. Take that trip. Enroll in a class. Explore local nature. Do a Bible study together. Read my Pillow Talk book. Find something where you can learn together and embrace new experiences!

Sources: APA PsychNET – Broadening your horizons: Self-expanding activities promote desire and satisfaction in established romantic relationships; MBG Relationships – Couples Who Do THIS Together Have A Better Sex Life, Study Shows

Ad for Pillow Talk: 40 Conversations About Sex for Married Couples

Be a Conscientious Lover

Ruhr University researchers surveyed nearly 1,000 couples about their personalities and their sex lives. For personality, they used the Big Five Framework that measures extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience. One trait in particular was correlated to fewer sexual problems and higher sexual satisfaction: Conscientiousness.

The correlation was even higher for women whose male partners were conscientious. “Men who are thorough and dutiful may feel the need to satisfy their partner sexually, which may in turn lead to better sexual function of their partners.” Gotta love that word thorough!

Conscientiousness people are described as organized, reliable, and ambitious. They tend to be intentional and to plan, as in scheduling sex. They take time to get it right. How are you faring on conscientiousness? Need to up your game?

Sources: Inverse – “Big 5” Personality Trait Predicts How Good Sex Is for Couples in New Study; Quartzy – Turns out the best sex actually doesn’t come from hot-blooded passion

Use Cannabis…No, Don’t!

Hey, I want to be honest about the research out there, and if I’ve seen one article, I’ve seen 12 saying mild cannabis use is linked to higher sexual frequency. But notice first the word mild and then ask why this result occurred. Hmm, let’s see… What a shocker that studies showed a substance that relaxes you relates to more willingness to have sex! (And every frat party attendee ever says, “No duh.”)

I included this point because because I want to accurately represent current research, while also showing how we must ask good questions about the results. If cannabis usage is related to more sex, you still have to ask: Should I do cannabis? My recommendation is no, because we have other ways to get that relaxing effect that don’t have some of the drawbacks of cannabis. For example, cannabis may well lower sperm count and affect embryos fertilized from that sperm.

As Christians we need to ask about what we put in our bodies and whether it’s good for us. I plan to stay away from the cannabis. Although I enjoy a glass of wine sometimes—something I figure Jesus would be okay with, given that wedding miracle He performed.

Sources: My SA: Is Marijuana Good for Sex, Bad for Sperm? (I read plenty of others but didn’t keep their links.)

Note: CBD oil is not the same. These cannabis studies are essentially about marijuana.

Believe in Your Body

I’ve talked a lot about the importance of a positive body image, both for women and for men. We should embrace our inherent beauty for our own’s sake and to honor the Creator who crafted it. But research also shows it’s good for your sex life.

In a review of research literature, a study’s authors concluded that “women who are more satisfied with their appearance tend to initiate sex more often and report more orgasms during sex, while both men and women with a better body image tend to be more comfortable discussing sexual topics with a partner.” We also know that communication with your partner about physical intimacy increases sexual satisfaction. So for both genders, body image matters.

I know, I know—easier said than done. But if you’re not feeling great about your body today, take a step in the right direction. Find one thing about your body you’re grateful for—appearance, function, or health-wise. Write it down and read it several times over the next week. Then choose a relevant memory verse to meditate over. I’m a fan of Psalm 149:14: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Next week, do the same thing but with a different trait. And on and on. Begin to believe in the body you have and share with your spouse.

Sources: PsyPost: Positive body image linked to better — and safer — sex; Science Direct: A review of research linking body image and sexual well-being

Make Your Bed

In a study commissioned by a mattress company of 2,000 couples, researchers found those who made their bed had more sex per week (3 times/week) than those who didn’t (2 times/week). And even if you’re not a bed-maker yourself, if your spouse is, it’s a good idea to go with flow on this one. Why? Because 42% of bed-makers consider it a turn-off for their partner to leave the sheets untucked.

Mind you, the bed-makers were also found to be high-maintenance, but if you already married that person, too late. You’re in for a penny, in for a pound. Make that bed and maybe you can add another sexual encounter to your week!

Sources: Toronto Sun – Making your bed can boost your sex life: Study; Happy National Make Your Bed Day! See Our Survey Results

Summing It Up

There you go! Four things to improve your sexual intimacy:

  • Embrace New Experiences
  • Be a Conscientious Lover
  • Believe in Your Body
  • Make Your Bed

Do all of them or pick one to work on, and see how your sex life improves!

9 thoughts on “What Research Says You Need for Better Sex

  1. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Take experience for learning
    to elevate your head.
    Keep that doobie burning
    and always make your bed.
    Be clear and conscientious,
    and always seek the good
    without being pretentious,
    as Jesus said you should.
    Take good care of your body,
    for it’s the only one you’ve got
    for it is Heaven’s lobby,
    God’s temple, holy spot!
    These things will improve the life
    of every couple, man and wife.

    Reply
  2. Chris

    Neither of us make the bed on a regular basis, but neither of us plan on smoking anything either. Like many things, generalities need to be taken with a grain of salt. I will say that my wife is usually in a better mood if she wakes to a clean kitchen. Better moods always make for more promising days.

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      I don’t care much about the bed-making myself. I like it sorta straight, but I’m going to get back in that bed in a few hours, so it doesn’t need to be that neat. And my hubby doesn’t care either.

      Reply
  3. Rebecca

    Thorough and conscientious people would most likely be the type to make a bed. So those two work together rather well.

    Reply
  4. Mark

    Funny how people are uniquely wired differently.

    42% get more aroused with the sheets tucked in and I guess that means that 58% is able to become aroused either with sheets untucked or tucked in.

    I admit, I grew up having to square the corners when I was a child. I wasn’t married then.

    After I married my wife I adjusted with the way she “loosely” made the bed. (she didn’t tuck)

    I discovered with my height, that with the sheets untucked feels more comfortable when I sleep. During intimacy, the untucked sheets are able to fly off the bed much easier.

    Nothing wrong with the sheets tucked in, the sheets still will find their way onto the floor during intimacy.

    Just making an observation.

    Reply
  5. Mark

    Great article!

    I can’t explain why this thought occurred after reading this article, maybe it was conscientious and believing in our body (mind too )

    But the constant factor in mind of great sex is how anticipation builds with each individual spouse. Whether both have similar sex drives or if one is higher than the other.

    Those that have a lower sex drive than their HD partner, still have a sex drive, He/she will still need, want and have sex, with their HD partner.

    It did occur to me, the LD partner’s mind has to be stimulated to know that the one they love (the HD spouse) is building up an enormous amount of anticipation, becoming extremely aroused while exclusively desiring sex him/her as the one and only they will have sex with.

    I think for a LD and a HD couple to exclusively love and choose to be married and nurture one another outside of sex, should make the sex way more fulfilling especially if the sex (including foreplay) is slow and unhurried, especially when there are no expectations put on one or the other. In fact the LD spouse can actually use the opportunity to drive the HD spouse nuts with slow love making.

    It the sex is hurried (like 10 or 15 minutes or less with minimal or no foreplay) every time they make love, then communication lines need to be opened if not then the HD spouse is hanging by a thread.

    I also wonder if slow and unhurried love making becomes a challenge for the HD spouse to slow it down and as a result be the reason why its their fault, they are staring into the ceiling unfulfilled and wondering what happen?

    Reply
  6. Pingback: 4 Research-Based Tips for Better Sex | Hot, Holy & Humorous

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