What Your Personality Means For Your Sex Life

Photographed by Natalia Mantini.
Sometimes, it seems like everyone's having more sex than you are. But, in reality, some couples are totally fine with fewer intimate nights together. And according to a new study, those differences in how often we have sex — and how satisfied we are with the sex we're having — might depend on our unique personalities, reports The Cut.

For the study, published online earlier this month in the Journal of Research in Personality, researchers asked 278 newly married heterosexual couples to maintain a 14-day sex diary, keeping track of how often they had sex and how satisfying it was. Researchers also gave everyone the classic Big 5 personality test. This measures your levels of openness to new experiences, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.

Results showed that some personality traits were better than others at predicting sexual frequency and satisfaction. For instance, if wives had higher levels of openness and agreeableness, the couple reported having sex more often. However, husbands' personalities did not predict the frequency of sex.

On the other hand, if they were more open or neurotic, men reported lower sexual satisfaction. Similarly, women who rated higher on neuroticism also reported lower sexual satisfaction. Interestingly, though, participants' partner's personalities didn't affect their satisfaction — only their own personalities mattered there.

So what's going on here? It comes down to three ideas: "First, [the study] suggests that it is women’s, rather than men’s, personality that predicts the probability of sex in relationships," the authors write. "Second, this research indicates that the negative associations between neuroticism and global sexual satisfaction that have emerged in past research...extend to daily evaluations of specific acts of sex," they continue. And finally, "in contrast to prior research...the current findings demonstrated that only spouses’ own personality was associated with satisfaction with specific daily acts of sex."

Of course, all of the participants were heterosexual and just married. That means it's hard to know how much these findings apply to non-heterosexual partners and those who haven't put a ring on it. And it's always good to remember that more doesn't always mean better when it comes to sex. So, if you're having a good time, there's probably nothing to worry about — even if you're a little extra neurotic.
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