happy sex

The basis of a happy sex life

Sex is an important part of life, not just for perpetuation of the species but also for satisfaction within relationships. Not surprisingly, there are no end of books, webinars and retreat weekends offering to share with you the secrets of a happy sex life. According to a new study, though, the secret to the happiness of your sex life may lie in your own implicit beliefs.

Implicit beliefs are unconscious beliefs that you hold about how the world works. When it comes to sex, there are broadly two types of implicit belief.

First there are those who believe in “sexual destiny” and who expect that once they find their soulmate then sexual satisfaction will just happen. These people see their sex life as a barometer of their relationship and see problems with sex as indicating problems with the relationship as a whole.

Then there are those who believe in “sexual growth”. This group of people believe they can work on their sexual problems and do not link sexual satisfaction with relationship satisfaction.

In the new study, researchers gathered 1900 subjects from heterosexual and same-sex relationships. They interviewed them to establish sexual and relationship satisfaction as well as giving tests to establish their implicit beliefs about sexuality.

The results showed people who believe in sexual growth tend to have a happier sex life.

The results showed people who believe in sexual growth tend to have a happier sex life. The researchers point out they have identified a 2-3-year honeymoon phase during which both destiny and growth believers have high sexual satisfaction. However, as sexual desire begins to ebb and flow, it is the people who believe in sexual growth who have a happier time of it.

The researchers use the analogy that disagreements over sex are inevitable over time but that your sex life is like a Garden and needs to be watered and nurtured to be maintained. They also point out that there often aspects of sexual growth and sexual destiny beliefs in the same person. Additionally, they observed that sexual destiny believers might be willing to make changes sexually if they truly believe they are with their soul mate.

The researchers are at pains to point out though that the real import of this for counsellors, psychologists and people in general is that problems in sex life are normal and don’t mean that a relationship is in trouble.

As with so many experiences in life, it all comes down to your sexpectations.

Source: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

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