You know what’s awesome? Having more sex. You know what’s really, really awesome? Having more sex than your friends. At least, that’s what a new study from University of Colorado Boulder shows — it makes us happier when we’re banging more often than our buddies. Somehow I’m not shocked that this research popped out of one of the top party schools in the country. Nevertheless, it’s got some pretty interesting numbers indicating we’re all just trying to one-up our friends.
Published earlier this year in the journal Social Indicators Research, the study was titled “Sex and the Pursuit of Happiness: How Other People’s Sex Lives are Related to Our Sense of Well-Being.” Led by CU research associate Tim Wadsworth, researchers took a look at over 15,000 results of national surveys to see how having more sex affected people’s lives. In the shock of a lifetime, the team found that mo’ sex = mo’ happiness. But they also found that that happiness is even further affected by the mo’-ness of sex other people are having.
According to their analyzations of the studies, researchers saw that regardless of the frequency of sex in people’s lives, their contentment was deeply affected by how frequently their peers were doing it (or at least how they perceived those peers, possibly judging using pop culture references or media indicators of regularity). Said Wadsworth:
“There’s an overall increase in sense of well-being that comes with engaging in sex more frequently, but there’s also this relative aspect to it. Having more sex makes us happy, but thinking that we are having more sex than other people makes us even happier.”
This study is a bit bizarre to me, as I don’t actually know all that much about how often my friends have sex. Granted, I know a lot about some of their sex lives — I have a pretty open group of friends, many of which have penchants for descriptive language — but I don’t actually know all that much about their frequency, so I guess I don’t have much to compare my own sex life to. Maybe Boulder people just contrast sex stuff more.
Regardless of my peer-sexual obliviousness, this study is just one more reminder that it is significantly more important to each human to perceive superiority over everyone else than to be pleased with one’s own life. Wait…huh?