Too much sex?‘Too much sex’ (or too much hyperstimulating sex) is a concept often at odds with what people think they want. This page lists items consistent with the possibility that “less can be more” when it comes to managing sex and orgasm frequency for ideal levels of wellbeing.

For example, the documented shift toward more masturbation appears to be leading to less partnered sex. Also, too much stimulation may be decreasing satisfaction over all. Consequently it may fuel a search for more intense stimulation in desensitised lovers, such as choking and pain.

Too Much of a Good Thing: Insensitivity to Rate of Consumption Leads to Unforeseen Satiation

Consumers tend to consume too rapidly, growing tired of initially well-liked stimuli such as a favourite snack … or an enjoyable video game … more quickly than they would if they slowed consumption. (Perhaps) because of an underestimation of the extent to which breaks reset adaptation. The results present a paradox. Participants who chose their own rate of consumption enjoyed the stimulus less than participants who had a slower rate of consumption chosen for them.

Sexual Frequency Predicts Greater Well-Being, But More is Not Always Better

Is it true that engaging in more frequent sex is associated with greater well-being? The media emphasizes—and research supports—the claim that the more sex you have, the happier you will feel. Across three studies (N = 30,645), we demonstrate that the association between sexual frequency and well-being is best described by a curvilinear (as opposed to a linear) association where sex is no longer associated with well-being at a frequency of more than once a week. In Study 1, the association between sexual frequency and well-being is only significant for people in relationships. In Studies 2 and 3, which included only people in relationships, sexual frequency had a curvilinear association with relationship satisfaction, and relationship satisfaction mediated the association between sexual frequency and well-being. For people in relationships, sexual frequency is no longer significantly associated with well-being at a frequency greater than once a week.

Sex or Socialization? Replicating Heterosexual Couples’ Gender Differences in the Association between Orgasm and Satisfaction in Same- Gender/Sex Couples

In our sample we found that orgasm was curvilinearly related to sexual and relationship satisfaction for both men and women, with no significant gender/sex difference. That is, there appeared to be a peak point where both men’s and women’s satisfaction no longer continued to increase with a higher proportion of orgasm.

Sexuality Leads to Boosts in Mood and Meaning in Life With No Evidence for the Reverse Direction: A Daily Diary Investigation

It is worth noting that we partially replicated a recent set of three studies. (They provide) initial evidence that the benefits of sexual frequency on relationship satisfaction remain static or decline after approximately once per week (Muise et al., 2016). … The effects of the amount of pleasure derived from sexual activity on meaning in life peaked below the maximal level. … It seems plausible that individuals are satiated with a certain amount of sexual pleasure. There is no appreciable benefit beyond the moment for anything more extreme. … For people in a romantic relationship for a shorter period of time, having sex led to greater negative emotions the next day.

[Also see How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected women’s sexual behavior?

Women’s sexual desire and frequency of intercourse has increased during the coronavirus pandemic, but they report the quality of their sex life has decreased.]

Sex Life Challenges: The Finnish Case

It is a great challenge to try to explain why in Finland, where gender equality and social welfare are highly progressed in international comparison, the lack of sexual desire is increasing, frequencies of sexual intercourse are decreasing especially in the middle age, and difficulties to experience orgasm in sexual intercourse are increasing. It was assumed that sexual well-being should improve along the progress of other social well-being.

… One of the study’s key findings was that sexual activity among Finnish people was shifting to a significant degree. (It moved) from sexual intercourse to masturbation, also among couples. … Slowly, people have begun to emancipate themselves from their feelings-based relationships, moving from shared sex toward a more individualistic experience of sexual pleasure – masturbation or self-pleasuring. … To some extent, this is also a manifestation of a partial distancing between sex and love.

Promiscuous America: Smart, Secular, and Somewhat Less Happy

The 5% most promiscuous respondents of both sexes are less likely to report being “very happy”. They are more likely to say they are “not too happy.”

… Promiscuous survey respondents are less likely to be married and more likely to be divorced. Regular readers of this blog are well aware of the fact that marriage and happiness are correlated. This association might account for why some promiscuous adults are less happy.

The Amount Of Sex You Have May Determine How Vulnerable You Are To Drug Addiction  (link goes to both underlying research and this item)

Your sensitivity to certain drugs may be determined by the amount of sex you have.  (This) could partially explain why some people are more susceptible to addiction than others. More specifically, those who have lots of sex may be at risk of developing a tolerance to some drugs. …[However]when these people hit a rough patch in their love lives and experience too many lonely nights, their sensitivity to these substances can dramatically increase.

Prevalence of drug use during sex among swingers and perceived benefits and risks – a cross-sectional internet survey in the Netherlands

For around two thirds of respondents, the reasons for using were to increase arousal (66%), intensify sensations (61%), prolong sex (68%),and release inhibitions (64%).

Diverse Sexual Behaviors and Pornography Use: Findings From a Nationally Representative Probability Survey of Americans Aged 14 to 60 Years

Clinicians need to be aware of recent potential shifts in people’s sexual behaviours. Particularly those dangerous practices such as choking that may lead to harm. … Our experiences teaching undergraduate students have been illuminating. … (They) suggest that more people may be engaging in choking behaviours as part of sex than in previous decades.

The prevalence of sexual dysfunctions and sexually related distress in young women: a cross-sectional survey

Half of the [~7,000] 18- to 39-year-olds surveyed by Monash University [said] sex made them distressed or unhappy. See Sex report finds young Aussie women are unhappy, feeling guilty in the bedroom

Sexual Activity Affects the Redox Profile Along the Aging Process in Male Rats

Oxidative stress plays a role in aging, and … reproduction [increases] the redox profiles [oxidation] of males.

The Sexual Activity and Sexual Satisfaction of Singles in the Second Demographic Transition

Voluntary singles are generally more sexually satisfied, and this is not associated with having more casual sex, but rather with desiring less sex and, among women, with being less sexually active relatively to involuntary single women.

Frequency of Pornography Use and Sexual Health Outcomes in Sweden: Analysis of a National Probability Survey

Sexual dissatisfaction and sexual health problems were associated with using pornography ≥3 times/wk.

Different Ways to Get There: Evidence of a Variable Female Sexual Response Cycle

We found that women reported a variety of sexual response patterns and that these patterns were, for the most part, associated with moderately high to high levels of sexual satisfaction. Recognizing differing patterns or more varied sexual response cycles would … reduce the percentage of women who are pathologized.

Orgasm Coercion: Overlaps Between Pressuring Someone to Orgasm and Sexual Coercion

Findings challenge the assumption that trying to ensure a partner’s orgasm occurrence is necessarily positive.

[This may be relevant for some lovers] Primary headache associated with sexual activity

  A rare headache type brought on by or occurring only during or after sexual activity.

The literature on the possibility of ‘too much’ sexual stimulation is thought-provoking. If you know of other relevant material, please drop us a line at Synergy Explorers.