That happy couple next door may be having less sex than you think. A recent study released in the Archives of Sexual Behavior suggests that the average adult has sex about 54 times a year, or once a week on average. The study looked at couples between 1989 and 2014. Another study of 30,000 Americans undertaken over a 40 year period also discovered that once a week sexual encountered was the norm for the happy couples. While happiness is somewhat subjective, couples who reported having sex more than once a week did not report being any happier. Those who reported having sex less than once a week on average did report being somewhat less happy.

The chemicals released in the brain during sex further enhance bonding with ones partner, which is a good reason why sex in a long term relationship is very important for connection.

Another study from 2014 by Social Indicators Research disagrees. Their results showed that over a 15,000 personal sample couples who engage in sex two to three times a week were happier than those who had it only once a week. Their study indicates that the more sex the better.

Realistically though, we have to ask. Is this a correlation or causation? Are these couples having more sex because they are happy, or is the increased amount of sex what is causing them to become happy? Perhaps being happier in the first place leads to more sex in a relationship.

In reality, the normal amount of sex for any couple will differ greatly depending on the individuals. Some people have higher sex drives than others and simply require more sex to be personally happy, while others are just as happy to be abstinent. It is unlikely that any study will ever be able to give an accurate report on how much sex is the right amount given the vast differences in individuals and all the variables in play.

So what should you learn from this? Well nothing really, other than to have as much sex as you need to be happy!