A recent study of 11,000 people living in the European Union found that monogamous, married couples are happier with their sex lives than people in open or polyamorous relationships.
Approximately 82% of those in monogamous relationships reported happiness with their sex lives where as only 71% of those in open or polyamorous relationships reported the same.
Considering that there’s a dearth of research on the long-term emotional effects of polyamorous relationships, these findings may interest polyamorists, polygamists and other people who support multiple partner relationships.
The study did not say what contributed to the lower rates of sexual satisfaction in polyamorous or open relationships.
Interestingly, the study also showed that people from Spain, France and Poland are generally more satisfied with their sex lives (with satisfaction percentages from 71% to 75%) than people from elsewhere in the European Union, especially the United Kingdom (where general satisfaction ranked around 60%).
The study also showed that for European Union residents generally speaking, high satisfaction with one’s sex life reduces as one ages from age 30 to 65 (by a factor of 10% to 20% depending on whether you’re male or female).
This shouldn’t surprise anyone seeing as one’s sex drive and physical abilities decline with age as the need for platonic companionship and medical care both increase. However, the study also shows that general satisfaction with one’s sex life actually increases with age by a factor of 20% to 10% for men and women, respectively.
What that means is that while one may not feel as fulfilled by sex in their later years as they did when they were young, the quality of sex generally improves at a rate that still provides some satisfaction.
This is especially interesting in light of a 2011 study by George Mason University and Indiana University exploring the sexual behaviors of 24,787 gay or bisexual-identified men which showed that rates of sexual arousal were highest among men over the age of 60 and lowest among men aged 18 to 24.
Perhaps sex really does improve with experience contrary to popular media depictions of older people as sexless.
(Featured image by mihailomilovanovic via iStock Photography)