A new study in the UK found that people who go to church regularly are more likely to report a satisfying sex life, so there. Religious folks are pretty used to being characterized as people who are always being weird about sex, but now a new study says religious belief is actually good for your sex life. How do you like them apples?
Specifically, the British National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles found that while religious people tend to report less frequent sex, the sex they do have is more satisfying. Meanwhile, less religious people who report more casual sex tend to say they’re less satisfied with their sex life. While the connection isn’t well understood, researchers suggested that religious beliefs about sex might help limit sexual activity to a level we might call “just the good stuff.”
“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 optimum exists in terms of frequency related to higher satisfaction levels,” Dr. Nitzan Peri-Rotem wrote in a university release.
Now there is one caveat, and it’s an interesting one. This difference fell entirely along gender lines. While religious women report more satisfaction with their sex lives than non-religious women, that distinction isn’t found among men.
“As religious individuals are less likely to engage in casual sex and are more likely to limit sexual activity to a relationship based on love, this can lead to lower expectations of sexual activity outside a formal union, as well as increased satisfaction from sex life in general,” said Dr. Vegard Skirbekk from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and Columbia University in the same release. “However, it is possible that religious sentiments about the sanctity of marital sex, as well as disapproval of sex outside marriage, matter more for women’s than for men’s sexual satisfaction.”