Why Some Couples Have Way More Sex Than Others

mbg Contributor By Emi Boscamp
mbg Contributor
Emi Boscamp is the former News Editor at mindbodygreen. She received a BA in English and minors in Spanish and Art History from Cornell University.
Why Some Couples Have Way More Sex Than Others

If you ever want to know how much sex a couple is having (for comparison's sake, perhaps?), all you have to do is look at their personalities.

But take an especially close look at the wife's personality. If she's easygoing and open to adventures, it's more likely they're getting it on quite frequently. At least that's what a new study from Florida State University says. The man's personality, on the other hand, really has no bearing on how often the couple has sex.

Why? Well, it's as simple as this: Men want and initiate sex more than women (yes, studies have shown this). So, essentially, women are "the ‘gatekeepers’ of sex within relationships.”

For this study, psychologists asked 278 heterosexual newlywed couples, mostly aged between mid-20s and early-30s, to keep daily diaries tracking their sexual activity for two weeks and take a personality test based on the Big Five personality traits—openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.

The researchers found that the higher a wife rated on openness to experience or agreeableness, the more often the couple had sex. And, like I said before, the husband’s personality had little influence on sexual frequency.

Of course, sexual satisfaction was a whole other story. For that, both partners' personalities mattered. Higher levels of neuroticism were linked with lower levels of satisfaction in both men and women. Interestingly enough, men's openness seemed to lower their satisfaction, whereas women's openness did exactly the opposite.

However, the authors warn, this study—which is built on just two weeks of data from only heterosexual couples who are very likely still in the honeymoon phase—should not be taken as representative of all couples in all stages of relationships for all time.

But what's perhaps even more important to note is that no one really knows the "correct" amount of sex a "happy" couple is "supposed" to have. Some can't keep their hands off each other and are happy about it; some don't remember the last time they did it and are happy about it. This study just gives us a little more insight into why there's no standardized sex life—because, obviously, people's personalities differ.

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