A recent study published in The Journal of Sex Research suggests that being religious may be associated with increased levels of sexual satisfaction. Researchers in the UK examined survey responses from over 15,000 adults and discovered that while those with greater religious convictions engaged in less sex than their secular counterparts, they were generally more satisfied with their carnal experiences.
Vegard Skirbekk, the study’s author, summarized the team’s findings by saying that “religious people are less likely to participate in casual sex and are more inclined to limit sexual activity to a relationship based on love.”
This may result in lowered expectations for sexual behavior outside of a legal relationship as well as greater overall sex life pleasure.
In general, 11% of men and 16% of women reported that religion had a significant role in their lives. Overall, these people had less sex than those who gave their religious convictions less weight, with single and non-cohabiting religious persons having the least sex of all.
The authors of the study write, “At the same time, religiosity was connected with overall greater levels of sex life satisfaction.” This link appears to be significantly influenced by opinions regarding the proper setting for sexual activity.
Particularly married women who identified as religious were more likely to report higher levels of sexual satisfaction. However, no similar pattern was seen among married men.
Previous studies have shown that casual or loveless sex is frequently linked to disappointment and unhappiness, which may help to explain why even single religious men—who are more likely to abstain from drugs and alcohol—reported higher levels of sexual satisfaction than those who don’t place much value on religion.
In the overall sample, 25% of women and 24% of men reported being content with their sexual life, whereas 14% of women and 17% of men reported being sexually dissatisfied. In comparison to 50% of female respondents, about two-thirds of male respondents believed it was acceptable to sleep with someone who was not in love with you.
However, individuals who supported casual sex were less likely to be content with their overall sex life.
Nitzan Peri-Rotem, the study’s author, elaborated on this finding by saying that “the relationship between sex frequency and sexual satisfaction is neither simple nor straightforward; across all relationship types, too little or too much sex is associated with lower sexual satisfaction, suggesting that an optimal level of frequency exists that is related to higher satisfaction levels.”
Overall, 40% of men reported to have had ten or more sexual partners, compared to 25% of women who claimed to have had double digits of partners. Only 2% of respondents, on the other hand, acknowledged not having any personal encounter with bees or birds.
“According to research, having no sexual partners as well as 10 or more lifetime partners are linked to decreased sex life satisfaction in women, according to Peri-Rotem. On the other hand, there is no connection between the quantity of lifetime sexual partners and sexual satisfaction among men.”
The study’s authors draw the conclusion that “although sexual satisfaction initially increases with sex frequency, it drops again at a higher number of sex occurrences” after interpreting their data.