Researchers have found that sex isn't just for reproduction or pleasure. A sexual afterglow that lasts two days after sex improves the quality of the relationship in the long term.
This is another reason why a high level of sexual satisfaction is important. A recent study has found that sexual satisfaction leads to an afterglow that can last for two days. A higher level of sexual satisfaction leads to a stronger afterglow. A stronger afterglow, in turn, leads to higher relationship satisfaction that can last for several months.
Of course, it is well-known that sex can improve the bond between two partners. However, we didn't really know how long these good post-coital effects last. We do now. Also, the researchers found that evolutionary adaptation and the primal need to reproduce may have something to do with how long the afterglow lasts.
214 newlywed couples participated in the study. At the beginning, they had to complete three measures of marriage quality. These couples then had to keep a 14-day diary, in which each partner had to report the times they had sex with each other. Whether or not they had sex on a particular day, they had to rate their satisfaction with their partner and their relationship. A score of 1 meant “not at all”, while a score of 7 meant “extremely satisfied”.
The couples then made a re-evaluation of their marriage about four to six months after the 14-day period.
Based on the reports made by the couples, the researchers discovered that sexual afterglow occurred despite many different factors. The couples had sex an average of four times during the 14-day period. They reported sexual satisfaction on the same day they had sex, and again on the next two days. No matter the age, gender, personality, or frequency of sex, the participants reported generally the same results.
According to the findings, couples with a stronger sexual afterglow were more likely to feel more satisfaction about their relationship.
Why two days? It may be because of our lingering evolutionary adaptation methods and the body's natural instinct to reproduce. Previous studies have found that sperm count in men needs two days to recover after sex. Sperm can also survive in a woman's reproductive tract for a maximum of two days. Since couples don't typically have sex everyday, there's a better chance of reproducing two days after sex. Sexual afterglow, therefore, may be evolution's way of keeping couples together in between instances of intercourse.
It may also be a way of keeping the couple together while the man's body recovers its sperm count. This way, the couple will have a better chance of reproducing, and with higher-quality sperm as well.
However, the research still needs some work. The participants in the research were mostly in their mid-20s, and almost all of them were heterosexual. The researchers thus claimed that there is a need for more research that focuses on older couples and LGBT couples. They also plan on studying whether a stronger afterglow can keep people faithful to their partners.
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