Single People Have the Best Sex Life Since They’re Not Tied Down

Single People Have the Best Sex Life Since They’re Not Tied Down. There is something to this myth: all the research says that younger people have more sex than older people and single people tend to be younger. But that’s about as far as the facts go just because single people are free doesn’t mean they have partners and it doesn’t mean that when they find a partner, they have quality sex. It’s debatable which kind of relationship offers the best sex, but there is no indication from the data that single men and women who are racking up the numbers are having the “best” sex.

Single People Have the Best Sex Life Since They’re Not Tied Down
Single People Have the Best Sex Life Since They’re Not Tied Down

Sex, Singles, and the Media
Magazines, especially magazines that conceive of themselves as “men’s magazines” or “women’s magazines,” seem to flash singles’ “hot sex” on every cover. But once people get out of the early to mid-twenties the majority of young singles maintain partnered sex either in serious dating relationships or in cohabitations.

Perhaps the myth comes either from the fantasies married people have of how great hooking up must be or it may have all started during the late 1960s and 1970s when singles broke the no-sex-before-marriage rule with a vengeance. More young men and women went to school after high school and the age of first marriage started on its upward trend into the twenties for both men and women. The proportion of young adults who didn’t marry also increased, and
those who did marry experienced an increased divorce rate (Laumann and Michael, 2001).

Single People Have the Best Sex Life Since They’re Not Tied Down

But this is true in a number of countries and many studies have compared what makes people most sexually satisfied by looking at singlehood versus couplehood (married or unmarried) and found that “swinging singles” aren’t winning the satisfaction sweepstakes. One reason that singles may have less sexual satisfaction is that depression is higher in single and divorced people and is incompatible with high sexual satisfaction (Michael and O’Keane, 2000; Bruce and Kim, 1992; Pedersen and Blekesaune, 2003).

Laumann et al. felt that their data showed more sexual satisfaction among people in monogamous, committed relationships than dating ones, because there was more time, and more incentive, to learn what pleased a long-term partner than a short-term one (Laumann et al., 1994). However, other researchers, using the same data, had different explanations for the difference in satisfaction. Waite believed that satisfaction was only higher for married women than married men, and concluded that women functioned better sexually in secure relationships (Waite and Joyner, 2001a, b). A study by Meadows (1997) adds support to his conclusion because it found that older women reported more sexual satisfaction the longer they were in a relationship.

When it comes to men, the findings are mixed. Sprecher (2002) found that the unmarried men in her study were actually more likely than the unmarried women o be more sexually satisfied when the quality of the relationship they were in was high. But in Waite’s research, the men who expressed high sexual satisfaction were more likely to be in what they considered a permanent relationship than a cohabiting or dating one. Waite went on to pen a quite provocative book stating that just about everything was better in marriage, and that cohabiters (not to mention people who were dating) had less highly rated sex lives than married couples (Waite and Gallagher, 2000).

Single People Have the Best Sex Life Since They’re Not Tied Down

Is Marriage Better?
This theme of the benefits of marital commitment and mutual trust has been echoed in numerous publications. In fact, a flood of research has lauded marital happiness in contrast to any other kind of status — single or cohabiting (Brown, 2000; Brown and Booth, 1996; Lee et al., 1991). Treas and Giesen (2000) studied cohabiters and married couples and noted that cohabiters exhibited lesser commitment and less sexual loyalty. One reason for satisfaction in marriage is security and less fear of infidelity (Forste and Tanfer, 1996; Laumann et al., 1994; Pedersen and Blekesaune, 2003; Glass and Wright, 1992). Most people want, and demand, monogamy.

Single People Have the Best Sex Life Since They’re Not Tied Down
Single People Have the Best Sex Life Since They’re Not Tied Down
Single People Have the Best Sex Life Since They’re Not Tied Down

However, some scholars feel that Waite, and other researchers, have been too sweeping in their praise of marriage over other forms of sexual relationships. Warehime and Bass felt that marriage should be looked at more closely, to see which marriages are more satisfying than others, and to determine if “‘intimacy beliefs and perspectives at multiple states of life’ might make it clearer about when sexual satisfaction was highest.” They also felt that research should be done to see if singles who had been previously married experienced sexual satisfaction differently from people who had never been married (Warehime and Bass, 2008).

Others also point out that while sexual satisfaction may be higher in marriage, long-term relationships do take their toll on sexual satisfaction (Liu, 2000; Gatzeva and Paik, 2011).

Most research indicates less frequency over the life cycle of a relationship and high sexual frequency is associated with greater satisfaction (Northup et al., 2013). Habit, routine, and boredom become the enemy of eroticism over time (Sprecher and Regan, 1998; Haavio-Mannila and Kontula, 1997; Pedersen and Blekesaune, 2003). In addition, as marriages go on, couples are more likely to have children which is known to have a negative effect on couples’ sexual lives. (Brown, 2004; Doss et al., 2009).

The duration of the relationship and subsequent boredom, however, is not only an issue in marriage. A longitudinal population-based sample in Norway found that men and women who had been dating a while showed decreasing sexual satisfaction over time (Pedersen and Blekesaune, 2003).

Single People Have the Best Sex Life Since They’re Not Tied Down

So Who Has the Best Sex?
In the end, it appears that being single is no sexual nirvana. While singles have some advantages over married couples, married couples have some advantages over them (like always having a partner). We think that individual relationships are far more important than categories and the research backs us up. It turns out that people who are having more sex, and frequent orgasms with their partner, are more sexually satisfied, no matter what kind of relationship they are in (Carpenter et al., 2009; Parish et al., 2007; Haavio-Mannila and Kontula, 1997; Edwards and Booth, 1994; DeLamater, 1991).

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