Scientists Weigh In On The Secret To A Happy Sex Life
People might be surprised that it's not just about blinding passion and exciting spontaneity in the bedroom — it's also about conscientiousness.
Sure, that doesn't sound particularly sexy, but researchers say that conscientious individuals win in the bedroom.
Finding The Links Between Personality Traits And Sex
The study, published in the Journal of Sex Research, explored how the Big Five personality traits — extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness — translate to sexual satisfaction.
Data were collected from 964 couples, including their answers to questions on how easily they get aroused, how sexually inhibited they are, and whether they have any sexual dysfunction issues.
"We wanted to know whether certain sexuality-related traits ... are more or less relevant to sexual function than more broad, general personality traits (the big five)," author Julia Velten, a post-doctoral fellow in clinical psychology and psychotherapy, wrote in an email to Quartz. "Studies have shown that most of these personality traits and sexuality-related traits are relevant, but it was unknown which factors are the most crucial when taken together."
Conscientiousness Pays Off In The Bedroom
One of the most significant findings of the study is how important conscientiousness turned out to be in achieving higher sexual satisfaction. Conscientious individuals are known to be efficient, organized, dependable, self-disciplined, and achievement-oriented. These are people who are big planners, which means they're also much more likely to be having planned sex.
In the study, conscientious participants were found to have fewer sexual problems such as inhibition or unfulfillment.
It's especially true in the cases of women with conscientious male partners. The authors explain this may be because thorough and dutiful men are more prone to feeling the need to satisfy their partners. In turn, their sexual partners enjoy a better time in the sack.
Basically, happier bedroom activities involves being more aware and thoughtful toward your sexual partner.
"High conscientiousness can be especially beneficial when it comes to putting effort into a satisfying sexual life or to postpone one's own needs and interests to focus on resolving a sexual problem within the context of committed, long-term relationships," the study authors wrote, according to Quartz.
On The Length Of The Relationship
The researchers also found that the duration of a relationship does not have a correlation with sexual function. This means that even couples who have been together for years or even decades are capable of enjoying satisfying, active sex lives.
Velten reveals that a big chunk of the older respondents are still sexually active — and happily so.