Happiness and wellbeing are very important for good mental health and according to a recent survey, 63% of Brits aged 18 and over say sex is a key ingredient to their overall happiness, while a quarter say it improves their mental health.
The global study, carried out by Lovehoney, involved 3,000 people across the UK, US and Australia and the UK findings show that the majority of Brits do believe that sex and happiness are intrinsically linked, and sex plays an important role in our overall happiness.
Three-quarters of those surveyed agreed that a healthy sex life can help reduce stress levels – two-thirds (61%) who took part in the study claim to be under significant stress every day.
The findings also revealed 71% agreed that sex helps them feel better mentally and for two-thirds (66%) sex plays an important role in their overall happiness.
When asked what the best things are about having sex, two-thirds (62%) chose intimacy and connecting emotionally as the best thing about doing it and half felt that the biggest benefit of sex was strengthening their relationship – this rose to 65% amongst people engaged to be married.
But are we getting enough?
The report found that although almost two-thirds say sex is important to their overall happiness, but only one in five are very sexually fulfilled.
It seems that over a third (37%) would like to be having sex a couple of times a week or more, but only 26% of us manage it. And when we do, nearly three-quarters admit to getting distracted by worrying about the noise they might be making (27%), family or friends being in the house (24%) or even being put off by their pets being in the bedroom (17%).
Too tired …
From the results of the study, being too tired is the most common barrier to having more sex and unfortunately us Brits seem to be more worn out than the rest of the world.
Over a third (37%) of 18-24-year olds say tiredness is a key factor, and unsurprisingly, having children in the house is a passion killer for most people in their mid-20s to mid-40s.
Other common reasons for not having sex include body confidence worries, work stress, or a lack of privacy, with 20% blaming their partner’s lack of interest.
Physical satisfaction correlates directly with different relationship stages in our lives. Just over half of all single people suggest they’re at the lower end of being physically satisfied, but everything changes when we are in relationships, when 82% say they are most sexually satisfied.
Similar life-stage patterns are repeated when it comes to emotional satisfaction, with only 50% of singletons saying they are satisfied with their emotional sex lives, jumping up to 77% when in a relationship, or even further when they become engaged (82%).
Overall, the highest levels of physical satisfaction are the 82% who are in a relationship. Married or cohabiting couples are equally as physically satisfied as they are emotionally, with seven out of ten scoring highly for both.
The age factor
It seems that our sexual activity peaks in our 20s and 30s and then everything goes downhill with age.
By the time we reach 45, with families and careers taking a toll on our love lives, a third say that sex is less important than it was 10 years previously.
By contrast, as we age, intimacy in sex becomes more important than the heart fluttering fun we seek in our teens and twenties. Three-quarters of respondents in their 60s, stated that intimacy and connecting emotionally are the best things about sex.
According to Lovehoney’s sex and relationship expert Sammi Cole, our sex lives evolve throughout our lives, ‘how adventurous we are prepared to be and how sexually fulfilled we feel, both physically and emotionally.’
While most of us reserve the bedroom for our nights of passion, the study reveals that many also enjoy more adventurous places – 44% have either had sex at a family event or would consider it. For most though (89%), it is about the experience of having sex in a car.
Half admitted to having enjoyed the freedom that sex in a field can give and interestingly, two-thirds of 55-64-year olds have already done ‘al fresco’ (double the amount of 18-24-year olds).
And with the height of summer and the holiday season upon us, an interesting finding to come out of the study was that almost three quarters (74%) say they would like to have sex on the beach! Watch out holidaymakers …
Lovehoney Summer Sale
From lingerie to toys and much more in-between, use your Lovehoney discounts and save £££’s with Health Service Discounts.