A good sex life and a satisfying relationship go hand in hand. But what exactly makes your sex life good? The media have us believe it’s all about the orgasm. And about having lots of kinky sex for as long as we can.
What makes sex wonderful?
But enjoying sex isn’t only about intercourse. Perhaps good foreplay is what really makes for top-class sex? Or maybe it’s taking the time to cuddle and kiss after intercourse that really matters?
Canadian psychologist Dr Amy Muise had a hunch that cuddles, kisses, and caresses after sex make for more satisfying sex lives and rosier relationships. So she and her team of researchers put the idea to the test.
The team rounded up over 400 couples in two different studies. As usual with this kind of research, the lovers were in for a lot of form-filling. They answered online surveys on how long they spent on foreplay, intercourse and post-sex cuddling. (OK, if you really want to compare, the average was about a quarter of an hour on each, but there were big variations.) And they rated their sex lives by scoring sentences like ‘I think our sex is wonderful’ and ‘our sex life is monotonous’ on a sliding scale.
Curling up and spooning
So was it the starter, the main course or the dessert that made the biggest contribution to a high score on ‘wonderful’? Well, the researchers found their hunch was right. For a satisfying sex life and relationship, quality affection after intercourse is more important than lots of sex, longer sex, or plenty of foreplay.
The kind of affection that works all depends on the couple, Dr Muise told Love Matters. 'For some people, it might be curling up and spooning. For other people, it might be gazing into each other’s eyes and saying nice things to each other. All of those kinds of things seem to be important.'
Only for girls?
Let's be honest… isn’t all that lovey-dovey stuff after sex something only girls like? Guys are happy to hop straight out of bed and turn on the TV, aren’t they? Or just roll over and snore? Well, this stereotype is a myth, the study found. Men were also happier with their sex lives and relationships when they spent quality time with their partner after sex. And it’s a two-way street. 'When one partner thought it was higher quality, the other partner also benefited,' says Dr Muise.
So if you’re looking for ways to lift your sex life and relationship to a five-star ‘wonderful’ rating, making room for affection is the way to go. Sure, relish lots of tantalising foreplay and steamy intercourse. But then make sure you finish the job properly with plenty of kisses, cuddles and caresses.
'Be a little less goal-oriented about sex,' Dr Muise recommends. 'What might benefit your relationship as much or more is finding that time for shared intimacy.'
Source: Post Sex Affectionate Exchanges Promote Sexual and Relationship Satisfaction, Amy Muise, Elaine Giang, Emily A. Impett, and interview with Dr Amy Muise
Fifteen minutes each on foreplay, intercourse and post-sex cuddling - does that match your sex life? Leave a comment below or on Facebook.