The joy of sex

According to empirical research conducted in 2004 on money, sex, and happiness, increasing the frequency of sex from once a month to once a week can increase a person’s happiness to the same extent as having an additional $50,000 in the bank.

In a New York Times Magazine column, Gretchen Reynolds explains that this 2004 study led researchers to question whether more sex actually causes greater happiness. Researchers studied 64 couples for three months to monitor if their happiness would increase if they had more sex than usual.  The results surprised the researchers, because they found that additional sex did not in fact increase happiness.


‘‘It seems that if you’re having sex for a reason other than because you like and want sex,’’ [Dr. George Loewenstein, who lead the study] says, you may undermine the quality of that sex and your resulting mood.”

As Reynolds explains, the study revealed that “couples should focus on the quality rather than the quantity” of sexual intercourse.

These conclusions should come as no surprise to Muslims, who have the Quran and the example of the Prophet (pbuh) as guidance on the issue of sex in marriage.  Sex is one of the greatest bonds between two people, and it is the cement which creates the foundation of a strong Muslim marriage.  Both the Quran and sunnah strongly emphasize the importance of fostering love, tenderness, and intimacy in a marriage through sex, but do not focus on the frequency of sexual intercourse.

This research is instructive for young Muslim couples about to be married, and also for married couples.  It is a good reminder that the quality of sex is key, and this means that both the husband and wife should enjoy themselves.  Sex should not be a form of the husband wielding power over his wife, or an act that carries no more importance than any other bodily function.

Read more here.

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