Intimacy and happiness – a closer look
Recently Chinese billionaire Jack Ma made headlines for telling his workers that they should be spending more time being intimate with their partners.
The statement comes after recent pushback the Alibaba CEO has received for advocating a twelve-hour workday, six days a week. His reply to the criticism is basically the old adage: work hard, play hard.
But will spending more time in the bedroom with your significant other truly lead to happiness?
Intimacy Rates Are Down Worldwide
A recent study by the General Social Survey out of the University of Chicago says that the number of Americans who are going without sex has reached all time highs.
According to the report, nearly 25 percent of those spending their time alone are men in their 20s.
And it’s not just the United States. The drought is a worldwide problem.
A recent British Medical Journal report recently revealed that nearly a third of British people between the ages of 16 and 44 have not had been with someone in a month.
Australia is also seeing a drop in intimacy rates according to media reports. Some researchers are theorizing it’s because people are staying home and living their lives more virtually.
Instead of going out and meeting people, they are satisfied with digital devices and online relationships.
But are these people unhappier? According to Carnegie Mellon, they might not be.
Quantity vs. Quality
In contrast to earlier studies that said people who make love more often are cheerier, a Carnegie Mellon study claims that couples who are intimate more often are less happy and in fact became less satisfied.
In the study, half of a group of 64 married couples were asked to make love with their partner twice as often as they normally did. The other half were instructed to maintain their normal level of snuggle time.
However, the couples that tried to double their bedroom activities couldn’t keep it going and reported being less fulfilled.
The couples that kept their regular level of intimacy stated they remained as happy as always.
The research suggests that it’s not the quantity of lovemaking, but the quality. The act of chasing more satisfaction in the bedroom actually lessons the experience and adds more stress to a relationship.
How To Make Improvements
Therapists suggest a number of different things to improve the quality of your intimate time with your partner. Scheduling intimacy is thought by many to lack spontaneity, but in fact it can help you prepare for better lovemaking.
One approach to consider is mindfulness because research suggests that it can help couples to intensify their experiences while increasing overall satisfaction.
Men's Variety spoke to certified sex therapist therapist Natalie Finegood Goldberg about this topic. She's offered the following insight:
“To those who don’t know or don’t practice it, there’s a misconception that mindfulness entails reaching a Buddha-like state. The reality is that practicing mindfulness is really more about being totally present in the moment. The best way to anchor yourself in the now is to connect with your senses – what are you seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, or smelling right now,” she said.
By being fully present, you are less likely to be distracted by the issues of everyday life, such as work, children, family and so forth.
Stress and health issues are also major hurdles for some people. By taking better care of your health, you improve your performance and make yourself more physically attractive to your partner.
Finally, probably the biggest problem for couples is communication. Talk to your partner and be clear about your needs as well as anxieties. Don’t forget to listen to their needs as well.
All of this will lead to more quality time in the bedroom. You may or may not have more get it on, but you may become happier about the lovemaking you are having.